Making Memories in New York with Points

Here at Loophole Travel, we love great stories.  While many of our posts describe how to take big trips with the points you earn, the real key is using points and miles to create lasting memories.  In this guest post, Ben will share a story of how he used his Chase Ultimate Reward points to do just that.  Take it away Ben!

By Ben:  A few days ago, I shared this trip report on Reddit and was asked to share it here.  As I am a big fan of this blog and have gotten more than my fair share of great info here, I was happy to do so.  The short version of the story is I used 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points to spend two nights at the Park Hyatt New York when I already live and work in Brooklyn.  Now I can already hear your groans, my point-enthusiast reader, about the wasted opportunity for a round trip ticket across Europe on a hotel in my OWN HOME CITY.  I know, I know, grab your pitchforks but hear me out.

I need to start this description by painting a full picture…and what is any nearly absurd (but utterly worthwhile) Ultimate Reward redemption story without a romantic encounter?  I recently ran into an old crush about a month ago on the streets of Greenwich Village.  She was in town for the night. I said, “We should get a drink and catch up!”

In college we had been close but always platonic.  That night, over drinks, things were different.  Furtive glances and smiles that lasted just a bit longer than normal were exchanged between us.  I was nervous as hell, nervous enough to have my hands shaking a little as I grabbed my beer glass.  This was the girl that meant a lot to me in college.  A few drinks later, I walk her out to get a cab.  She turns away from the traffic of the streets to look at me.  Right there on the sidewalk, still shaking a little, I take my chance and I kiss her.  She kisses back fully and I’m over the moon!

But I soon come back to earth realizing she needs to get her cab to make her flight back home.  I brood, even while I’m with her, over what I would give if she could stay just an hour more.  We say goodbye in the bittersweet circumstances.  We text and talk nearly every day afterwards.

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Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and she tells me she’s coming to the city and would love to see me.  I offer to have her stay with me in Brooklyn while I sleep on the couch and she thinks that’s a wonderful idea.  Little does she know I’m looking over my Ultimate Rewards points and the Hyatt website.  I call Hyatt Concierge and ask for two nights at the Park Hyatt knowing it would be a long shot.  The gods of Hyatt Gold Passport must have looked favorably on me that day, because two nights in a Deluxe Park King were available on the 14th floor.  I booked them immediately, basking in the glee of my little secret.

The day she arrives in town, I get to the coffee shop where we are meeting early, and I’m sweating like a wreck.  But I see her and it’s fantastic.  We laugh and spend the whole day just exploring New York like tourists.  Around 7 PM I tell her, “I have a surprise.”

I lead her to the hotel.  We go up to the room, and it’s beautiful.  Windows with water tower and skyscraper views, a huge bathtub in the bathroom – it seems like double or triple the space of my room at home.  Her jaw hits the floor.  She’s laughing like a madwoman and saying, “OH MY GOD!” over and over at every marble counter top and leather cushioned chair.

I tell her, “I can still sleep on the sofa in Brooklyn.” It sounds flippant but I was serious.  I knew getting a hotel room was a huge risk and I would never want her to feel uncomfortable about sharing a hotel bed with me.  She laughs and pulls me to her.  I feel her arms wrap around me and we kiss.  She didn’t want me to go back to Brooklyn, so we spent our two nights at the Park Hyatt.

It was an incredible stay from start to finish with unbelievable service from the Park Hyatt team.  It would have cost me ~$1,950 if I had paid in cash but at 60,000 UR -> Hyatt Gold Passport I got a 3.25 cpp redemption.  Now, would I have sprung for the Park Hyatt and paid the cash rate if I didn’t have the points?  Probably not, I would have most likely stayed in Brooklyn and saved the money.  But if I had 60,000 Ultimate Rewards and could go back in time, I would have done it all over again the exact same way.  I was able to make that weekend something I will remember for the rest of my life.  Thank you Loophole Travel and all of you, dear readers.  You make this possible for people like me.

You can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points for a similar redemption to Ben’s with the Chase Ink Plus card.  This is a limited time bonus offer!

If you have a story about how you used points/miles to take a great trip or made incredible memories, and you would like to share it here, please submit it to loopholetravel@gmail.com for consideration.  Cheers!

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