3% Simply Cash hotel category did NOT work with Hyatt gift cards

A few weeks ago I purchased a $500 Hyatt gift card in preparation for a couple of stays I had coming up. Thanks to my Milepoint premium membership discount, I’m allowed to buy up to $5,000 worth of Hyatt gift cards at a 10% discount.

In addition, since Hyatt is part of the Open Savings program, by paying with my Simply Cash Amex card, I got an automatic 5% credit back on my account.

The Simply Cash amex also lets you choose a 3% cash back category once a year. The categories are:

– Airfare
– Hotels
– Car rentals
– Gas stations
– Restaurants
– Shipping
– Advertising and media

Since I was planning on buying the gift cards from Hyatt, I chose hotels:

Simply-cashI purchased a $500 Hyatt gift card, which came out to the following:

Gift card face value:                   $500
Milepoint 10% discount:              (50)
5% Open Savings credit:        (22.80)
Shipping                                             6.00
Net cost                                         $433.20

Now in addition to the above, I was supposed to receive the 3% cash back, but noticed I only received 1%, or $4.33. I reviewed the fine print on the 3% sign up confirmation email, which clearly says gift cards are excluded and will default to 1%. A call to Amex confirmed that the 3% had not posted because of this reason. Now, I had read several reports confirming that the 3% was stackable with the Open Savings 5% and worked, but in my case, it did not. Since this is the first time I purchase Hyatt gift cards this way, I don’t know how they were posted before, but it is possible that Hyatt has started coding the purchases differently.

My total savings on a $500 Hyatt gift card were:

Gift card face value                    $500
Price paid after all credits      (433.20)
Additional 1% cash back          (4.33)
Money saved                                $62.47 (12.49%)

Even without the additional 2%, these are substantial savings, and when combined with an additional 20% discount for Platinum and Diamond members, they can really add up when booking paid Hyatt stays. It really makes it easier when paying for stays such as the one we just had during 4th of July weekend at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio on this beautiful suite.


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