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?

All Daily Getaways packages are discounted. And you get an additional 10% off each sale price at checkout by paying with an American Express, so that’s a no-brainer. I’ll always quote prices after the American Express discount.

Prices today are:

Each package has some name like “2 Nights in an Elite Hyatt Hotel For $330.” Ignore that name. You are simply buying a quantity of Hyatt points that you can use for anything Hyatt points can be used for.

You can buy one of each package, but I can’t imagine a human will be quick enough to get one of each package before each size sells out.

Best Uses of Hyatt Points

Hyatt points are best used for stays at Hyatt hotels brands including:

  • Park Hyatt
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt
  • Hyatt Place
  • Hyatt House
  • Andaz

Free Nights

Hyatt hotels are divided into seven categories to determine their award prices. Free nights range from 5,000 to 30,000 points per night.

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At the cheapest price of 0.93 cents per point, the categories range from $47 to $279. Club rooms are about 30% more and suites are about 60% more.

Whether these are good deals depends on the retail price of the hotel you want, your subjective value of the room, and whether you can get it on Priceline for cheaper.

I think $47 for Category 1 Hyatt is a very good value. This Category includes a lot of Hyatt Places, and I really enjoy the Hyatt Place concept.

I am not in the habit of spending $279 per night for hotel rooms, but that is a huge discount off the list price of Category 7 properties, which tend to go for closer to $1,000 per night at peak times.

Also keep in mind that Free Nights will not incur taxes, which are often another 10% on top of the list price for paid nights.

Cash & Points

The Cash & Points chart allows you to use half the points needed for a free night plus a cash co-pay.

Three big differences between Cash & Points stays versus Free Nights:

  1. Free Night stays are always available as long as a standard room is for sale. Cash & Points stays are capacity-controlled.
  2. Free Night stays are NOT elite-qualifying. Cash & Points stays are elite-qualifying.
  3. Free Night Stays can be booked online or by phone. Cash & Points stays can only be booked by phone at 800-228-3360.

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When deciding between Free Nights and Cash & Points, I use Free Nights as the starting point. Then I look at how many points I would save by booking a Cash & Points night.

The cash I’d have to spend is the cost of “buying” those saved points.

For example, on a Category 6 hotel like the Andaz Maui at Wailea, you save 12,500 points by booking with Cash & Points at a cost of $150 or 1.2 cents per point. If you’d like to buy 12,500 points for 1.2 cents cents each, book the Cash & Points option.

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Andaz Wailea at Maui at Cocktail O’Clock

Upgrades

On paid stays, you can use points to upgrade. Three thousand points upgrade one night to a Club room. Six thousand points upgrade one night to a suite.

At these prices, that means upgrading to a suite for as little as $56 per night on a paid stay.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 8.39.45 PMWho will get the best value from Hyatt points?

People who value stays at luxury properties.

If you think $250 is a steal for the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa or Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, if you think $300 is a pittance for the Park Hyatt Sydney or the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, then this deal is for you.

If you take paid stays at nice properties and want to upgrade for under $60 to a suite, then this deal is for you.

But if you wouldn’t dream of paying $300 for a night at a hotel and don’t take paid stays (so the cheap upgrades are useless to you), this deal is not for you.

Purchasing the Packages

To maximize your chances of getting in on the deal, I recommend using a site like whattimeisit.com to figure out the official time. This year’s sales have all started on time to the second. Keep refreshing the page of the Daily Getaways package you want for the best chance to snag it.

This is what happens if you try to purchase something where all quantities are already in someone’s cart.

This doesn’t mean the deal is sold out. If someone doesn’t complete his purchase, that quantity will immediately become available for someone else. Keep checking until the dreaded “Sold Out” appears.

I will be by my computer at 1 PM ET / 10 AM PT / 7 AM HST to see if I can get a package. Do you plan to buy them? Post your successful or failed attempt in the comments, so we can gauge how quick you had to be to snag a deal.

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