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Disclosure: Emily & I get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. We don’t write about all the credit cards available in the US, but only the ones which get us miles and points or cash back for Big Travel with Small Money!
Folks who have an American Express business card get a 5% discount at Hyatt hotels through the AMEX OPEN program. And if your AMEX card earns points and category bonuses for hotel spending, you could earn cash back and points.
So how do you decide which card to use? Your best bet may be to take advantage of the benefits on both cards!
It Depends on Which Cards You Have
If you have the Chase Hyatt card and at least 1 American Express business card, you’ve got a decision to make!
1. Use the Chase Hyatt Card – Up to 20% Off Best Available Rate
Link: Chase Hyatt Credit Card
Folks often get the Chase Hyatt card for the sign-up bonus (2 nights at any Hyatt after completing the minimum spending). Emily and I used the bonus at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome on our honeymoon and got 2 free nights in a ~$600 suite!
This card could be good for Hyatt stays because you get:
- 3 points per $1 you spend at Hyatt hotels
- “My Elite Rate“ 20% discount on standard rooms (if available)
- No foreign currency fees
- Hyatt Platinum Elite Status, which gives you 15% bonus points on stays, free internet, late check-out, and better rooms when available
My Elite Rate
Not all hotels always have the My Elite Rate available, but when you can get it, 20% off the Best Available Rate is a great deal!
Note: The Chase Hyatt card isn’t necessary to get My Elite Rate. It’s a benefit for platinum and diamond Hyatt elite members. But because the Chase Hyatt card gives you automatic platinum status, you get My Elite Rate as a perk!
For example, I searched for Hyatt hotels in Miami and found the My Elite Rate at the Hyatt Regency Miami on May 22, 2014. You save 20%, or ~$40 off the Best Available Rate of $179 + tax (~$202).
If you use the Chase Hyatt credit card, you’ll get ~429 extra points (~$143 per night X 3 Hyatt points per $1 you spend on the Hyatt card) for a 1 night stay in addition to the discount.
And because you get platinum elite status with the card, you’ll get free internet, late check-out, and 15% bonus points.
But you do NOT have to use the Chase Hyatt credit card to get the 20% discount! You get it because of your platinum or diamond elite status.
However, the My Elite Rate is not offered at all Hyatt hotels. So if you can’t find it, you may have to use the other options to save money at Hyatt.
2. Use an American Express Business Card
Link: Business Credit Cards
You can get a 5% discount on some Hyatt hotels (but only in the US!) through the American Express OPEN savings program. If your American Express card earns Membership Rewards points (like the AMEX Business Platinum or AMEX Business Gold) you can choose either the 5% discount or an extra 2 points per $1 you spend.
If your American Express card earns hotel points or airline miles (like the AMEX Starwood Preferred Guest or AMEX Delta Gold) you’ll get the 5% discount, plus the regular points and miles you’d normally get from any purchase.
Looking at the Hyatt Regency Miami again, you’d save ~$10 (Best Available Rate of $179 + tax X 5% discount
). And you’d get 179 airline miles or hotel points on the booking (in addition to the points you’d earn just from staying at Hyatt).
But, you can earn an even bigger discount if you use the AMEX SimplyCash card and choose hotels as your 3% cash back category. Your total discount would be 8% (5% from the OPEN program and 3% category bonus on the AMEX SimplyCash card).
You’d save ~$16 at the Hyatt Regency Miami (Best Available Rate of $179 + tax X 8% discount
). But you wouldn’t earn extra hotel points or airline miles by using the card.
Remember, most AMEX business cards (except for the AMEX Business Platinum) charge foreign exchange fees, so they’re not good cards to use when traveling overseas.
Here’s a list of credit cards that do NOT charge fees when you use them outside the US.
3. Best Option: Use My Elite Rate, but Pay With Your AMEX Card
This is the best case scenario. Assuming you have Hyatt elite status (from the Chase Hyatt card or otherwise), here’s what to do:
- Find a Hyatt hotel that qualifies for My Elite Rate and the AMEX OPEN business card discount (only Hyatt hotels on this list qualify for the OPEN discount)
- Book through a cash back portal (such as Ebates, TopCashBack or TopCashBack) to save another ~3%
- You’ll save 20% by using My Elite Rate and another 5% through AMEX OPEN
- Use the AMEX SimplyCash card to save 3% if you’ve chosen hotels as your 3% cash back category
You could potentially save up to ~31% off the Best Available Rate! (20% My Elite Rate discount + 3% from cash back portal + 5% AMEX OPEN business card discount + 3% AMEX SimplyCash hotel category bonus).
In our Hyatt Regency Miami example, you’d save ~$63 (Best Available Rate of $179 + tax X ~31% discount
By not using the Chase Hyatt card, you’re missing out on 3X Hyatt points per $1 you spend. But I value 8% cash back (5% AMEX OPEN discount + 3% hotel category bonus from the AMEX SimplyCash card) much more than earning extra Hyatt points.
And if you’re booking a Hyatt outside the US, I would definitely consider the Hyatt card because it doesn’t charge foreign exchange fees.
When staying at a Hyatt in the US, the Chase Hyatt card isn’t always the best card to pay with. But the My Elite Rate 20% discount you get with the card (by having platinum status) is a great deal!
If you pay with any American Express business credit card, you’ll get a discount of 5% at Hyatt hotels participating in the OPEN savings program. But not all hotels are eligible.
And if you pay with the AMEX SimplyCash card you can get another 3% cash back.
Don’t forget to book through an online cash back portal to get an even bigger discount. You could save ~31% or more off the Hyatt Best Available Rate by stacking My Elite Rate and credit card discounts.
Cash back is worth much more to me than additional Hyatt points, so I’ll use this method to get Big Travel with Small Money at Hyatt hotels in the US!
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