Cat 4 Hyatt: Chicago Athletic Association Review


I am so buried in points and free nights now, that I almost let one expire! I had a cat 1-4 night cert that was to expire on Sunday! Lollapalooza is in town 01 to 04 August, and I thought it would be a moonshot to book a hotel right across the festival for some staycation people watching.

They wanted $382 a night for a tiny hotel room, but oddly it was only a category 4 hotel at 15,000 points a night. I get one of these free nights every year with my Legacy Chase Hyatt card (which I refuse to upgrade to World of Hyatt):

My annual fee is not waived since I got it before the MLA, but even for the $75 annual fee, this cards is still an excellent deal:

Since my wife is under 5/24 I am seriously considering closing the Legacy Hyatt and opening a World of Hyatt this card after her CSR application. This free night (and a second one for $15k spend) has the potential of being worth more than the $300 travel credit from a converted Chase Freedom card. Please see the links below if you are under 5/24, the annual $95 will be waived for military:

I booked online and called in to add a guest name. They reminded me on the phone that I needed to show my face some time during my stay if my wife was to check in first, or I would be charged the $382 room rate. This is to prevent third party bookings. My wife braved the crowds before me and checked in without an issue. Since I booked with a free night cert, and have Discoerist status with the Chase Hyatt card, I was not on the hook for the $25 destination fee:

Otherwise my $25 would be pre spent on these things:

In general the concept of resort fees is bogus, but that seems to be the way things are going until the FTC shuts down such disingenuous pricing practices. However I was motivated to hit everything up on the above list. You also have to ask about it at the front desk to be given a little card with all the amenities listed. I did take advantage of cutting the line to get coveted Saturday morning brunch at Cindy’s:

Hotel guests get a separate elevator entrance for Cindy’s
Rooftop seating at Cindy’s

The game room was a fun place to drink the glasses of complementary ($25 resort fee waived) champaign while playing chess:

The room was alright, but not for $385:

Overall our room was tiny with a Ace Hotel Hipster feel to them. Multiple pieces such as a pommel horse are used for furniture. The common spaces are pretty cool with the cherry circle room feeling right out of a set from Mad Men:

The gaming room is awesome with every form of old school entertainment you would find in a pub:

The bar of the game room brought me back to The Shining:

They even have bocce ball:

The lobby has actual working fireplaces:

Overall the stay has been excellent, and the people watching hilarious. If you got these certificates to burn then by all means consider the CAA! The waiver of the $25 resort fee was icing on the cake.


2 thoughts on “Cat 4 Hyatt: Chicago Athletic Association Review

  1. Ryan says:


    Great Review! I’ve been following your strategy for quite sometime and I’ve come up with a sizable collection of cards. I have 2 questions:

    How do you keep track of what benefits are still available on each card?
    How do you track putting a few dollars on each card every month so they are not automatically closed?

    If you have an excel sheet or something, I think a blog post would be super beneficial for your readers because the hard part is staying on top of all this. I’d really be interested in how you do it.


    • uiucderp2011 says:

      well, one day I’m gonna finish which should have these worksheets, stay tuned!

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