To use Hyatt Points???

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by merice107, Mar 19, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    My wife and I have been talking about going out to San Francisco this summer and then driving up to Seattle (going along Hwy 101 and Humboldt Redwoods State Park). I'm still trying to find two good stopping points between Sand Fran and Seattle (Portland being one) but that is not the point of this post.
    We are thinking about doing two nights in San Fran and one or two in Seattle. I would love for it to be longer but it is for an extended weekend.

    I would prefer to not spend $700+ on hotels for 5 nights. I know that isn't too bad given the locations but I got in to this hobby so I would not have to do that. However, I don't want to use up too many of my UR points that I was going to use for Tokyo next summer.

    So I was thinking about buying Visa gift cards at OD, then loading them on to my Target Prepaid. The whole process would be about $122 for 30,000 Hyatt points. 30,000 Hyatt points would get me 2 nights in the Hyatt Regency SF or Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf. Two nights is about $500-$600 for those places. Seems worth it to me right?

    $6.95 fee for $200 Visa Gift Card
    15 cards with the fee would be $104.25
    3 $3 load fees (one per each $1000) makes that $113.25
    7 $1.25 ATM fees to withdraw the cash is $8.75 making the total:
    $122

    Similar scenario for the Seattle stay...

    Thoughts?

    Update: Since I am a History teacher, I clearly can't do math. The $122 total would be for 15,000 Hyatt points. So $244 for a $600-$700 stay.
     
  2. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    If you can manage the float for the Target Amex, it seems like a plan. It will take several months to get all the money out if you don't mind paying the $3 fee each time to withdraw and risk amex shutting the card down.
     
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  3. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    If that's your goal ... then $122 for 2 night stay @ Hyatt Regency or Hyatt Olive 8 is always a good deal ... if you think of it that way.

    Just keep in mind parking in SF is $50+/night ... and gas in California is almost $4.50/gallon & tax in SF is higher than most of the state... just throwing it out there since you seem frugal.

    Then again 30k UR is a domestic RT as well or 60k RT is a USA <-> Europe RT ... so ;)
     
  4. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    Then he can use CSP for parking or add it to the bill and get 2x for the charge and an AmEx for extra points for gas. The other option is buy gas cards from a drug store to get either 5x UR on Freedom or 6x on AmEx HH and then use those GCs to buy your gas. Just a thought to maximize the points earning potential.
     
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  5. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    You guys make me feel like a newbie!
     
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  6. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I think the Hyatt Regency is better than the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, but the Grand Hyatt is better than both (of course, it depends on what you're doing ...I probably wouldn't stay at the Grand Hyatt if I didn't want to go shopping).

    I have never driven up 101 past Clear Lake. As you've observed, there is an awful lot of nothing. You might find a place to stay in Eureka, but I'm not familiar with the area. It's rather difficult to get back to I-5 between Eureka and Cannon Beach, which means at that point you're committed to continuing up the coast until you head to Portland. The Tu Tu Tun Lodge is nice but relatively expensive, located at Gold Beach north of the Oregon-California border that may fit your needs.

    In Seattle, I prefer the Olive8 to the Grand Hyatt. Even without Diamond status, I think I'd still prefer the Olive8.
     
  7. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    a little bit of work for a lot of savings. sounds good to me.
     
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  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    that's the name of the game here isnt it?
     
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  9. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I just got back from a stay at the Hyatt Regency on Embarcadero two weeks ago. Very nice hotel and in a great location. The one at fishermans warf didn't look as great from the outside.
     
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  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Downtown vs Fisherman wharf.

    Downtown is a good location, pretty property etc.

    FW ... tourist central =)

    personally i'd do HR ... or if you're driving & frugal (like me) I'd do HRSFO. Parking is cheaper ;)
     
  11. Jenny & Curt
    Original Member

    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    You might check airfare from the Bay Area to Seattle. There are sometimes bargains to be had, and you'd have time to spend in both cities.
     
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  12. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Yes, but I am really looking forward to the drive itself. I feel as if it will be very Americana for me. I like small town America, especially out west.
     
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  13. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    We are planning a similar drive when we can finally get the time off.
     
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  14. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    You might consider starting farther south, and including our little bit of Paradise (our avatar is a pic of our town, taken from the mountain across the street from our house.)
     
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  15. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    SLO is awesome ;)
     
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  16. theresa_don

    theresa_don Active Member

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    Can someone help me better understand the process of getting Hyatt points from loading Visa cards onto target cards? (Newbie here....) thanks!
     
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  17. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Basically ... buying gc to load prepaid card using chase credit cards that will award you UR points. You then xfer the UR points into Hyatt.

    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/frequentmiler/ wrote extensively about the target stuff.
     
  18. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    A different trip, also being planned ;)
     
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  19. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Let us know if you need any tips (like including Thursday night in your stay.)
     
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  20. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Several thoughts for this mix, none of which are specifically about Hyatt points:

    First: remember that downtown parking is $$$, especially in SF. Consider picking up the car in the city rather than at the airport. You'll avoid the $20 SFO rental car surcharge and likely get a better rate. (My favorite SFO rental car trick of late: take BART to San Bruno ($7/person) and rent from Avis at the Tanforan shopping mall. While $7 seems steep, it's less than the airport surcharge, and it's a short walk from BART to the Avis. Downside: more limited hours. You might want a backup reservation at the airport in case your flight arrives late. The rental car offices in the city have longer hours, too.)

    Second: do you really want to be in the city, or are your wishes better (or as well) served by staying outside, where the value proposition is better? For example: if you want to see Muir Woods or Mt. Tamalpais State Park near SF, you could stay at an airport-area hotel or north of the city. There is a category 2 Four Points in San Rafael that runs only 3k SPG points on weekends.

    Third: you might want to consider spending more time on the drive and less in the cities. You could take the route 1 detour through Mendocino and Ft. Bragg, seeing more of the coastline or linger in some of the other parks.

    Lastly: a plug for priceline. It can save some serious coin, which is nice when you're paying out of pocket. Mixed results in the SF area depending on occupancy: I've gotten 3* and 3.5* airport area hotels for under $50 and 4* Union Square hotels for under $80, but those days may be behind us. Use biddingtraveler.com and betterbidding.com to get an idea of what you can get and at what price point today. If you're looking around the airport, I find the South San Francisco zone (mid-market hotels with free parking) to offer better value than the SFO/Burlingame zone (most hotels charge for parking). San Bruno is a mixed bag. San Mateo offers good value but it's the wrong direction for you. You can also use p-l for the "major" cities along the drive -- you'll get chain hotels rather than scenic local places, but, again, the price can make it worthwhile. I've gotten the Hilton Eugene for $45, a Holiday Inn in Springfield, Oregon (outside Eugene) for $55 and a Staybridge in Vancouver WA (outside Portland) for only $40. It's harder in the smaller towns: Grants Pass, Eureka, Medford, etc.
     
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  21. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Well I am visiting my brother who is working at Facebook. So I will be going out to Palo Alto. Maybe I could get a cheap hotel at the airport with no parking charges? Then we could just drive in to the city?
     
  22. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    In that case... yes, staying on the peninsula absolutely makes sense.

    If you want to use Hyatt points, there's a category 2 Hyatt House in Redwood Shores - it's a mediocre property, but it's only 8k HGP points v. 12-15k for the Hyatts in SF. Palo Alto is a mediocre place to find hotel deals. Consider San Mateo - there's a Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Crowne Plaza, all of which can be reasonably priced and might be won through priceline. The South SF area (6-7 mid-market properties - I love the Larkspur Landing) and the SFO/Burlingame area (the bulk of the airport hotels, though most gouge for parking) offer the most rooms.

    If rental car rates at SFO are crazy, keep in mind that Palo Alto has a full set of off-airport rental companies. Perhaps your brother can pick you up or you can take Caltrain to Palo Alto.

    Also be aware that Palo Alto is about equidistant from SFO and SJC, perhaps slightly closer to SJC. Flying into SJC or picking a car up there might make sense.
     
  23. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    I'm math challenged as well but I'm not getting 30,000 Hyatt points, I'm only coming up with 3,000.

    15, $200 Visa Gift cards purchased with the Hyatt card yields 1 GP per dollar spent resulting in 3,000 Goldpassport points.

    Also, you're ATM fees will be higher than you've anticipated unless you plan on slowing withdrawing the money and only doing 1 ATM withdraw a month for 7 months. With the Target AMEX, your first ATM withdrawal is free, each subsequent withdraw that month is $3 plus whatever the ATM charges.
     
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  24. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    This would be with an Ink Bold. So x5 would get me 15,000UR points, then transfered to Hyatt.. I made an update on the original post that I would need to double that $122 to get 30,000. Sorry for the confusion. I didn't realize my mess up until trying to explain it all to my wife that night.

    Great point!
     

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