You’ve collected your points, booked your flights, and you’re ready to pack your bags. But there is one last step! You have to find hotel award availability! Often, hotels limit award availability to “standard rooms.” What this means is you should not expect a penthouse suite, or the best ocean views. Instead, expect an average room. You are, after all, not making the hotel much money on your room stay.
This certainly isn’t a guarantee, and even at a place like the Grand Hyatt Kauai, the “standard” room is still far superior to your typical $100-$200 per night room elsewhere. Remember, you are staying for nearly free. While this limits your ability to be picky about the type of room you can get, remember you aren’t paying for it. If you were, it may have taken years to get where you are!
In this guide, you will find hotel award availability for the Grand Hyatt Kauai. While there certainly are other options, this is a good option that can be booked using Ultimate Rewards points. If you have questions about other options, don’t hesitate to contact me (insert link) for more information.
Finding Hotel Award Availability with Hyatt
Hyatt is one of my favorite Chase transfer partners. Top Hyatt hotels that can cost $500 or more a night are only 25,000 Hyatt points. With Chase’s 1-to-1 transfer with Hyatt, this is a great value! You can get 2 cents per point and up at top hotels with this transfer option. Below, I’ll show you how to find hotel award availability with Hyatt at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
Sign up for a Hyatt Gold PassPort Account
As a reminder, you’ll first need a Hyatt Passport Account. You can sign up on the Hyatt Gold Passport home page. As you become a more experienced travel hacker, you will have many usernames and passwords for many sites. Instead of using the same repeatedly, I again recommend a password manager like Lastpass to manage it for you. It is easier to start with a password manager from the beginning, than have to organize it later when you have dozens of accounts.
You will need a Hyatt Gold Passport account to start. Otherwise, you will not be able to see award availability. If you have set up a lastpass account, you can use lastpass.com/generate to generate a password for you. Currently, Hyatt doesn’t allow special characters, so uncheck the special characters box. This will generate a unique and more secure password for your account.
Note: On March 1, 2017 Hyatt is rebranding its award program. It will no longer be Hyatt Gold Passport, but instead will be World of Hyatt. Everything should transfer normally, so signing up now will transfer later.
Find Hotel Award Availability
Now that you have signed up for your Hyatt Gold Passport/World of Hyatt account, you can search for availability. REMEMBER! With transfer partners you always want to check for availability before transferring points. For this award trip, you will be transferring from Chase Ultimate Rewards. It is important to find hotel award availability before you transfer points.
On the Hyatt Gold Passport page, enter where you want to go. You don’t have to know the specific hotel. You can search for your destination in general to find hotel award availability. In the example below, I searched for “Hawaii” and was able to see all available hotels. Although it will originally show it in US Dollars, click “Select” to advance to the next screen.
This screen will show you the price in dollars for various options. Since you are a travel hacker, you want to find hotel award availability. Hyatt makes it easy, just click the box option to “Show Hyatt Gold Passport Points & Awards.”
This will show you the available award rooms for your dates. Keep in mind, not all award rooms will be available. The farther out you book, the more likely your chances are to find hotel award availability. While writing this guide, on some dates there was only an ADA accessible room available. Other dates, the standard king or queen/queen rooms were available.
It may also give you the options to do points and cash. This can be a good deal with Hyatt! In the example picture above, it is actually more valuable to use points + cash. But if you are wanting to save as much cash as possible, points also provide a great value.
Transfer Chase Points
Now that you have been able to find hotel award availability with Hyatt, you will need to transfer points from Chase. The steps are identical to what you did for FlyingBlue, only you will transfer to Hyatt instead. I love using Hyatt as a Chase partner, because it is easy to find hotel award availability and Ultimate Rewards transfer almost instantaneously.
Hyatt will kick you off the site after a short amount of time. You may have to restart your search after transferring your points in order to book. Don’t worry, it is unlikely the award availability has disappeared. And Hyatt bases its award cost on the tier of the hotel – the better the hotel the more it costs. This means it won’t cost more because you already searched for it.
Congratulations! If you’ve followed this guide from beginning to end, you will have successfully travel hacked a Hawaii vacation! As always, the travel hacking game is subject to change. The sign up bonuses on the cards I recommended will vary and change. I’ll do my best to keep it up to date, but if you find it out of date, please email me and I’ll update it.
Now that you know how to hack your way to vacations continue looking around our site! A lot of the base knowledge you’ve gained from this guide will better help you understand other posts. So keep reading for more of my cheap tips for dream trips, and enjoy your cheap Hawaii vacation.