Amex OPEN Savings Discontinuing 5% Hyatt Discount

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One of the most compelling benefits of American Express small business credit cards is the Amex OPEN Savings program, which is a program available to everyone with an American Express small business credit card.

OPEN-Savings-Program

This includes the following cards:

Through this program, cardmembers can receive discounts or additional points when making purchases at select retailers (generally speaking the discount is more valuable than the additional points).

5% discount at Hyatts

For most of us, the single most lucrative savings available through the card has been with Hyatt. Specifically, you receive a 5% discount on your American Express statement for each eligible dollar spent at participating Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in the US, up to $10,000 per card per calendar year.

Amex-OPEN-Savings

As someone who lives in hotels, that has saved me ~$500 per year, which more than justifies the annual fee on any Amex small business credit card.

Hyatt-Gift-Cards-Savings

Just for context, here are the list of participating locations, and the terms & conditions.

It’s a bit ironic, because I’ve been paying for my domestic Hyatt stays with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. That way I’ve earned one Starpoint plus 5% cash back per dollar spent. I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each, so to me that’s like a return of ~7.2%.

That’s even better than earning triple points on The Hyatt Credit CardCiti ThankYou® Premier Card, or Citi Prestige® Card. And for that matter, sometimes the looks you get when checking out of a Hyatt with a Starwood credit card can be quite funny.

5% discount at Hyatts being discontinued in 2016

Unfortunately there’s some bad news when it comes to this benefit. The Amex OPEN Savings program 5% savings at Hyatt will be discontinued as of January 1, 2016:

Effective January 1, 2016, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts®, including Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, and Hyatt Regency® hotels, will no longer be part of the OPEN Savings program.  Any amounts that are charged to your Card account by this merchant on or after this date will not be eligible for the OPEN Savings benefit.

Amex-OPEN-Hyatt

That’s a shame, given that I know many people saved quite a bit every year thanks to this benefit.

It might make sense to buy Hyatt gift cards

If you still want to take advantage of this benefit before January 1, 2016, you can of course use it at Hyatt properties in the US. That being said if you can’t maximize it before then, keep in mind that Hyatt sells gift cards, and historically gift card purchases are eligible for the 5% savings. Furthermore, Hyatt often offers discounts on the purchase of gift cards towards the end of the year, which can be a great way to combine the 5% savings with a further discount.

So it might be worth waiting for that and hoping a similar promotion returns, so you can potentially save ~15% on your Hyatt stay.

Bottom line

It’s of course disappointing that the partnership between Hyatt and Amex OPEN Savings is being discontinued. That being said, I’ve certainly had a good run with it, so can’t complain too much. Nothing sticks around forever in this hobby.

I would be curious who picked up the cost for this benefit. Was Amex paying the 5% “out of pocket,” or did they have some arrangement with Hyatt?

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DC-16
Save 5% at the Park Hyatt Washington DC with the Amex OPEN Savings program

Are you sad to see this Amex OPEN Savings benefit go? Were you ever able to take advantage of it?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

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Comments

  1. Man. Just one blow after another with the devaluation of Amex. In the last week we’ve got Avios, end of Small Biz Saturday and now this. Thinking it is time to cancel all my Amex cards that have an AF and just wait for lucrative Amex biz card sign up bonuses. This is super disappointing.

  2. Let me caution everyone against buying Hyatt e-gift cards, as I did at the end of last year when they had their 10%-off promotion.

    One of the e-gift cards I bought was somehow compromised, and almost the entire balance ($2,000) was spent at a hotel in California I had never been to. Of course, I learned this when trying to use the card to pay while checking out of another Hyatt resort about two months after the fraudulent charges were made.

    After about 6 weeks of calls, e-mails, and pleading, I finally found someone in the Chicago gift cards office who was sympathetic and agreed to make me whole. But the Gold Passport and Hyatt corporate were unsympathetic to my cause (or following a rigid corporate policy). They basically said, “Well, this is your problem, so call the police.”

    For a bit more info: I had bought several e-gift cards, and I downloaded them immediately, erased them from my e-mail account, and kept them in an encrypted folder of my computer (no joke). Despite this, one of the numbers was still hacked. Several others were untouched, which makes me think that they didn’t hack my computer or e-mail but somehow guessed it or got it internally.

    I won’t risk that again!

  3. I had the same issue. My $380 e card balance was used fraudulently at a Hyatt in Indian Wells CA. I suspect it was an inside job. Luckily Hyatt reissued a gift card to me for the lost amount.

  4. To bad this benefit is going away per hyatt

    Effective January 1, 2016, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts®, including Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, and Hyatt Regency® hotels, will no longer be part of the OPEN Savings program. Any amounts that are charged to your Card account by this merchant on or after this date will not be eligible for the OPEN Savings benefit.

  5. It would be nice if Amex made up for this by making a deal to offer the discount to either Hilton or Starwood properties. Preferably the latter.

    It always truck me as odd it was with Hyatt to begin with. Did this predate the Chase Hyatt? Because in all honestly you’d have to be crazy to not take a 5% discount and either Starpoints or MR points over three measly Hyatt GP points per dollar. If you *really* wanted Hyatt GP points, you were better off buying Hyatt gift cards from Staples with a Chase Ink, paying for your stay with those, and transferring them to Hyatt.

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