Getting Points for Dining in Hotels
My parents recently stayed at the Andaz Wall Street in NY and overall were impressed by their stay. Since I wasn't there to take a million pictures, I can't do a full report, but it was overall a very positive visit.
We ate dinner one night in the restaurant Wall & Water and when the bill came, my Dad pulled out his American Express to pay and I nearly had a heart attack. He gave me a weird look like, "What? I have a points-earning credit card, what's the problem?"
I scolded him and told him to charge it to his room and pay for the room with his Hyatt Visa. By paying with that card (which gives him Hyatt Platinum status), he earned 5 points per dollar base, plus 15% platinum bonus, plus 3 more points for using the Hyatt Visa. In total, the $400 bill which would have earned him 400 Amex points, netted him 3,800 Hyatt points instead.
So in general, it makes more sense to bill your hotel meal to your room, so you get the hotel points and credit card points.
Here's another tip, even if you aren't staying at a Starwood hotel, you may be able to get Starpoints for dining at a restaurant in the hotel - simply fax your receipt with your SPG number on it to 519-633-8557 or email it to email@example.com. You can even claim points for up to 6 months, so if you've dined at any Starwood hotel, it can't hurt to send the receipt in for some points!