Great Hyatt Points + Cash in Europe
One of the best things that Hyatt has done over the past few years is introduce Cash + Points rates. Depending on the category of the hotel, you can pay as low as $50 plus points for a hotel. The interesting thing about this is the rates are set in USD. So what happens when you stay in a foreign country?
Hyatt uses their own conversion to determine your rate in the local currency. For example, last year when I stayed in the Grand Hyatt Santiago in Chile, the Cash + Points rate converted back to about $56 USD when it was supposed to be $55. Not a big deal, but something to look at.
I just ran into the opposite situation when I booked a room at the Park Hyatt Hamburg. The Park Hyatt is a category 4 property which means it is supposed to cost $100 + 7,500 points. Since you can’t book online, I called in to book the hotel and was given a rate of 84 Euros + points. If I convert Euros to US Dollar at today’s rate it comes $93.33.
Basically the Euro has taken a tail dive compared to the dollar and it seems like Hyatt hasn’t adjusted their rates. Currently 1 Euro is $1.11, however their calculating 1 Euro as $1.19. I’ll take that exchange rate. Of course, the rate is locked in, so things can definitely change before check-in. In this case check-in is in a few days so it won’t change much, but if you book months ahead you could either win or lose.
Check on Reservations?
This situation made me think that people should really check on Points + Cash reservations made quite a long time ago. As far as I know Hyatt locks in your rate depending on the conversion at the time of booking. If the US Dollar changes significantly against the currency you are booked in, you may be able to get a lower rate. Of course it could go the other way as well, but then you would just leave things as is!
With rates for this hotel at about 300 Euros per night during my visit, I think the Points + Cash option is very good considering I get a stay credit. Since Hyatt bases the Points + Cash rate on the current USD exchange rate, there may be an opportunity to check international bookings to see if you get a more favorable conversion.