Despite the fact that I consider myself a frugal traveler, I pay hundreds of dollars in credit card annual fees each year. Why? Hotel certificates that I get to collect as a bonus. Normally, I don’t have a problem utilizing them for travel plans we make anyway. While most folks try to maximize them by staying at a resort, I’m perfectly happy to burn them on airport stays. Usually, you won’t get outsized value with this strategy, but I look at it as getting a decent room at a deeply discounted rate. In general, I don’t hold out for amazing value, and settle for “good enough.”
But sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too. Last year my family stayed at Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (category 4) by using a combination of renewal certificates and points. So, when I collected two extra certs via Hyatt “5-brand promo” from a stay in Andaz Costa Rica, I figured this resort in Orlando would be a good candidate. Certainly better than using them on airport stays, plus, we live only 1.5 hours away. So, all in all, it’s a relatively cheap vacation. The kids will be pleased, that’s for sure.
We plan to take my MIL with us, and will need two rooms. By throwing our two credit card renewal certificates into the mix, we won’t even need to touch Hyatt points. Plus, I plan to take the kids to Disney next year and hope to utilize a weekday 3-day pass for Florida residents. I figured we could use this stay for that purpose, and enjoy the resort amenities while we are at it.
Unfortunately, using the certificates at this place is a bit of a challenge. The resort is extremely popular, and many weekends are sold out. On top of it, there are minimum stay requirements on some dates. Since you have to use certificates individually for each night, you end up hitting a roadblock when trying to redeem them.
Fortunately, from my previous interactions with Hyatt reps, I knew it’s possible to override minimum stay requirements on their end. Sometimes they have to contact the property, and other times they can do it themselves. You may have to call a few times, but don’t take No for an answer. I asked the rep to transfer me to a supervisor, who was able to help. All set.
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.