A couple year ago I started a Google Map to track my travels. Actually, I started a couple, one of which contains pins of the coolest off-the-beaten-path locations I’ve read about. One of the others is a map of all my hotel stays, organized by chain.
One thing I have consistently done is add in info of how each stay was booked. This is usually one of four options: award (points), certificate, cash, or work. Award nights win by a serious margin across all chains. Within specific chains, I may be more likely to use cash. Choice Hotels, as an example. I booked a couple cash stays with them because a) they are cheap and b) they were offering 8,000 points for every two stays last year. So it was a time to earn, not burn.
However, I realized that there is one chain where I have honestly never paid the full cash price for a single night. Ever.
I’ve Never Paid the Full Cash Rate For a Hyatt Hotel
Over the years I have stayed a grand total of 45 nights in Hyatt hotels. This has ranged from top-tier stays at the Park Hyatt Milan to the staple Hyatt House or Hyatt Place stay, such as when my son and I stayed at the Hyatt House Seattle Downtown this past winter. Of these, the vast majority have been using points or certificates.
Literally none of the stays have been using just cash. None. Zero. I have a number of work nights, but those were on the company dollar, not mine. This blew me away.
There are three “Cash & Points” stays, all booked before Hyatt changed the way these awards work and reduced the value. for one of the stays we spent $55 and 4,000 points for a night at the Hyatt Regency Montreal (no longer a Hyatt), which was an excellent redemption.
Adding up the three nights, we have spent a total of $205 plus taxes with Hyatt on actual room rate. There has been some spending on incidentals, but that’s literally it. And I’m even on track to earn Hyatt Globalist this year.
This is one of those moments where I am blown away by what this award travel hobby allows you to do. For 34 nights of hotel (45 total minus 11 for work) we’ve paid $205, plus the annual fee for two Hyatt cards for four years. This is ~$750. That’s the equivalent of $22 per night.
Now I just gotta keep it up.