Hyatt Points for 0.99 Cents Means $49 Hotel Rooms

Today is the third day of the third week of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways. Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will usually sell out in a few minutes. I’m writing about all the awesome ones

Today’s deals are discounted stay packages of Hyatt Gold Passport Points:

These will be the toughest hotel-point packages to get get, since the quantities are miniscule. I’d guess you have a second or two right at 1 PM ET to snap them up.

  • How good are the deals?
  • What are the best ways to use Hyatt points?
  • What hotels are covered?

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Which Card Has the Best Sign Up Bonus for Hyatt Stays?

I love staying at Hyatt properties. One of my recent favorites is the Andaz Maui at Wailea. (See my review here.) So I got to thinking about which are the best credit cards to get more free stays at Hyatts worldwide.

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Sunset at the Andaz

The surprising answer is that the best card for most people is not the Hyatt Card.

The best cards for most people are actually the The Ink Plus and The Ink Bold, which are both business cards. The best personal card is either the Hyatt Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred, depending on your goals.

I’ll break down the best cards to earn Hyatt stays by sign up bonus, spending bonuses, best card for paying Hyatt bills, and flexibility.

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Around the World in Cathay, Singapore, and Lufthansa First: Grand Hyatt Macau

This is the fifth installment of a round-the-world trip report that started here. We pick up in Macau, China.

I like Las Vegas in small doses, so I’ve always wanted to check out Macau, one of China’s two special autonomous regions (the other is Hong Kong). Macau is famous for being the biggest gambling destination in the world with revenues about seven times larger than the Las Vegas Strip’s in 2013.

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Macau and Hong Kong, 37 Miles Apart

I had heard that comparing Macau to Vegas was a mistake because while there’s a lot to do in Vegas from shopping to shows to just people watching, Macau is just gambling. I had even heard you could see Macau and get sick of it in a day.

That meant this was the perfect trip for me to go to Macau because I only had 20 hours in Hong Kong as part of an American Airlines award, and Macau is a short ferry ride away from Hong Kong International Airport.

I still haven’t spent time in Hong Kong itself, and I want to save it for a trip when I have several days to explore.

The day before heading to Macau, I had booked myself one night at the Grand Hyatt Macau, which usually goes for around $300 per night. The hotel is a Category 4 property, so I booked my night for free with 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points, the majority of which I had transferred instantly from Ultimate Rewards.

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I landed at 2:20 PM in Hong Kong, and I was feeling pretty good since I had slept eight hours on my flight from JFK in Cathay Pacific First Class.

I headed toward the ferry counters, which are well signed and before immigration. There are two ferry terminals in Macau, both of which are served from HKG for about $40. One terminal is called Macau on the north end (the Macau Peninsula) and the other, Taipa, is on the south end (on the island of Taipa.) Taipa was closer to my hotel, but I would have taken the first ferry to either because a cab from one ferry terminal to the other is only about $10.

I booked my ferry ticket for a 4 PM departure and boarded the one hour ferry to Taipa Ferry Terminal on Macau.

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How was the Grand Hyatt Macau? Is Macau worth a visit?

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Trip Report: Review of the Andaz Maui at Wailea

I just got back home from two nights at the Andaz Maui at Wailea.

It’s a beautiful, luxurious, attentive resort with breathtaking sunset views.

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It’s also very expensive, poorly located for the activities that interested me on Maui, and charges a $30 mandatory valet fee per day if you come with a car.

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What are my thoughts on the service, food, room, value, and more (with tons of pictures)?

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Predictions for Major Changes to Loyalty Programs in 2014

2013 was a year of several major devaluation announcements including:

  • United (kicks in February 1, 2014)
  • Southwest (kicks in March 31, 2014)
  • Delta (already kicked in on current award bookings for travel that starts February 1, 2014 or later)
  • Hyatt (kicks in January 7, 2014)
  • Ultimate Rewards (with three major transfer partners devaluing–United, Southwest, and Hyatt–the program took a major hit through no fault of its own)

But the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re still getting outsized value from our miles and points and traveling the world in style for next to nothing.

What’s my outlook for 2014 and what’s my strategy for earning and burning the major points’ currencies?

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