Mar312009

Hyatt 20% Off – Not by My Consumer Math

Remember the Jimi Hendrix line?

 “If six turned out to be nine,

I don’t mind, I don’t mind”

 

Offer:  20% off Hyatt Daily Rate for Hyatt properties worldwide with Hyatt Place and Summerfield Suites hotel brands excluded from this promotion.  Promo link

 

US, Canada, and Caribbean: Book through April 8, 2009. Stay through June 30, 2009.

Rest of the World: Book at least 7 days prior to arrival. Stay through May 3, 2009.

 

Restrictions: Reservations are prepaid, nonrefundable, and do not allow changes.

 

Reservations: Book through Hyatt.com using Offer Code LTO108

                               or call 1-800-233-1234

 

While I am sure there are great savings with this offer at some hotels, my Loyalty traveler advice is to compare rates when you are shopping for hotel rooms with this deal or Starwood’s 50% off a second night.

 

In my world a 20% sale or 50% sale off a published hotel rate is something I view skeptically. One of the primary reasons I started analyzing hotel promotions was the discrepancy I continually found between advertisements and reality. These percentage discounts are rarely based on the lowest available rate you could normally find otherwise. Frequently I locate lower rates based on AAA or other hotel special offers than the advertised discount rates based on regular rates.

 

I am not saying hotel companies falsely advertise. I do believe hotels use misleading advertising to steer the customer towards deals that are often not the best deal for the hotel guest.

 

Whether a room is 10%, 20%, or 50% off some arbitrary rate doesn’t benefit me if there is an even lower rate available for my night or perhaps a slightly higher rate with more favorable terms.

 

As a consumer I am looking for the best deal for my hotel stay. Hyatt’s 20% off rate provides the lowest available rate for some hotels. The primary drawback is the prepaid, nonrefundable, no changes terms of the 20% discount rate.  These deals often provide more favorable rates when the guest is looking for a higher category room such as a balcony, Club floor, or suite.

 

 

Analysis of 20% Off Special Offer Rates at San Francisco Hyatt Regency

 

May 4, 2009 Hyatt Daily Rate = $249

20% Off Special Offer Rate = $199.20

 

This is a 20% discount off the Hyatt Daily Rate, however, there are lower rates than the Hyatt Daily Rate. The Hyatt.com rate is a nonrefundable rate at $229. There is no advantage to the Hyatt.com rate.

 

AAA group rate drops the price down to $211.65. This is still a higher rate than the 20% special offer discounted rate, however, there is the major advantage of having a consumer-friendly cancellation policy with AAA at no penalty for cancellation up to 3pm the day before arrival.

 

Any hotel frequent guest traveling around North America should have a AAA card for hotel discounts. This is your most important card for hotel travel next to the credit card you use to hold room reservations and pay the bill.

 

$199.20 20% special offer discount / 211.65 AAA rate

 

= 6% discount on the Hyatt room rate I would have normally booked.

 

And I can still cancel the room through May 3.

 

In my reality, “When twenty turns out to be six, it’s a fix, it’s a fix.”

 

Higher Category Room = Bigger Savings?

 

There may be greater savings when seeking higher category rooms. Hyatt Regency San Francisco at the Embarcadero has one side of the hotel for preferred rooms with balconies overlooking San Francisco Bay.

 

AAA rate for Regency Club King with balcony = $311.65

20% Discount rate for Regency Club King with balcony = $279.20

 

There is more significant savings with this 20% Discount offer saving $32.45 per night, or a little more than 10% on the AAA rate.

 

The 20% discount rate looks like a reasonable savings of an extra 10% on the AAA rate. That might be sufficient to forego the liberal cancellation policy of the AAA rate.

 

Then I looked at other rates and saw the “Regency Club Promo” rate for this date at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.

 

Regency Club Promo rate = $284 and the cancellation policy is up to 3pm, May 3, with no penalty.

 

The refundable rate available for my dates is less than $5 per night more. I certainly wouldn’t risk a nonrefundable rate to save $5 per night on a $284 per night room.

 

International properties are much less likely to offer AAA discounts making this deal possibly a little better when traveling outside North America.

 

The bottom line is look at all your rate options before making your reservation – particularly a nonrefundable reservation.

hyatt-regency-san-francisco-balcony

Hyatt Regency San Francisco, balcony room

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »