Hyatt makes some changes to stay certificates — adds categories and slightly adjusts prices

Hyatt has long offered “stay certificates,” which are certificates that they sell that are intended to be given out as gifts. Previously there were five categories of certificates, with different hotels accepting different categories of certificates (lower end hotels would accept most/all certificates, while higher end hotels only accepted the most expensive certificates). These can be a great value for stays at many Hyatt properties.

Anyway, it looks like they’ve made some changes to these certificates. There used to be five types of certificates, though now there are seven types, with the following prices:

  • Choice ($152.22)
  • Premier ($188.89)
  • Elite ($260.00)
  • Inspire ($325.55)
  • — new
  • — new

Anyway, the prices for the first five types of certificates more or less stayed the same (some changed a few dollars), while the two last categories (“Exclusive” and “Ultimate”) are new.

This page lists which types of certificates each hotel accepts. It’s worth noting that elite benefits do apply on stays with certificates, though you don’t earn points or elite credit for these stays.

You’re supposed to make these reservations by phone, though you can usually search availability online by using the special offer code for the respective levels, which are as follows (with the number at the end being the number of nights you want to stay):

  • HSCLN1
  • Choice — HSCHN1
  • Premier — HSPRN1
  • Elite — HSELN1
  • Inspire — HSINN1
  • HSULN1

For example, the Hyatt Regency Mainz accepts all levels of stay certificates down to Choice.

So obviously if you were purchasing a certificate for the purpose of booking a stay you’d want to book the lowest possible level, since it’s the cheapest.

Once you’ve done that you can go to hyatt.com and select your dates and then enter the above code in the “special offer code” field.

If the results show “Rate is Confidential” then there’s availability using that certificate. If it just shows the normal rate then there’s not availability. This doesn’t always work, though that’s the general idea.

Anyway, on the whole this is probably good news, since before the change there were about a dozen properties for which you couldn’t redeem any certificates. All properties can now be redeemed for using an “Ultimate” stay certificate.

If you don’t have Hyatt points this can be a great alternative to actually paying for stays, given that there are several Hyatts out there that consistently retail for $800+ per night.

Comments

  1. I wonder if any properties which previously accepted Inspire now only accept the new, higher-level vouchers.

  2. I can totally see properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney (rack rate $990/night) moving up tiers as soon as they can from Inspire to Ultimate level. It’s still not a bad deal in that case, but still, annoying.

  3. Wow. This is very useful. Are there taxes and so forth on top of the certificate? Do stays using these count towards elite status?

  4. HI Lucky,

    I tried to use these gift certificate codes in Indian properties but most of them same rates as certificate prices or sometimes less than certificate prices also. Can you help or advise how to break this ?

  5. If I read the FAQ correctly, stays paid for with Stay certificates do count for accruing GP points and stay credits. I assume that means elite benefits also apply.

    So… here’s the big question: How tightly is capacity controlled? Are certificates available when prices are otherwise high, or do they stop taking the cheaper certificates? Has anyone experimented with this?

    Also, does this have some value in cities with really high hotel tax rates?

    Finally, can you buy the certificates “instantly” or do they have to be mailed?

  6. I figured out the answer to the last question: they mail out a paper certificate since there is a charge for shipping, and they ship it signature required.

  7. Perhaps this would earn 5% cash back as well from Amex Open.

    I’m looking at staying at the Hyatt Place Waikiki and instead of $300 per night I can get it for under $190 with this deal.

  8. I am wondering the same thing I think @Carl is…based on the FAQ, there seems to be a discrepancy as to the earning for GP.

    From the FAQ:
    Do I receive Hyatt Gold Passport points when I purchase Hyatt Gift Cards & Certificates?

    No, at this time, Hyatt Gift Card & Certificate purchases are not eligible to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points.

    Do I receive Hyatt Gold Passport points when I redeem Hyatt Certificates and Gift Cards?

    Yes, any payment or redemption made with a Hyatt Gift Card or Certificate for goods or services that would otherwise be eligible for Hyatt Gold Passport rewards are eligible for the same rewards. The person using the card or certificate must be a member of Hyatt Gold Passport.

    But the stay cert T&C stated:

    Hyatt Gold Passport points will not be given for the-value of this certificate.

    Did something change as of 2013 with the earning of GP or are they referring to another certificate in the FAQ?

  9. @ RakSiam — They cover the taxes on the stay and you don’t earn elite credits.

    @ PRANAY NIGOTIYA — In many cases this doesn’t end up being a good deal, and this may be the case at many properties in India.

    @ Carl — There are *some* capacity controls. It’s definitely more restrictive than award redemptions where you can redeem as long as there’s a standard room available, but it’s not as tough as finding a SkyMiles ticket either.

    Most taxes are charged as a percentage of the room rate, and in this case since the room rate is zero (for all practical purposes) there are no taxes.

    @ W Brian Duncan — Let me try to clarify. For the first part of the Q&A they’re saying you’re not earning Gold Passport points for the actual purchase of the certificate. That’s to say that if you purchase a $200 certificate you’d earn whatever points you’d usually earn through your credit cards, and not five points per dollar plus elite bonuses.

    The second part (though not clearly written) is referring to Hyatt gift cards/certificates, and not stay certificates. That’s just saying that if you purchase a $1,000 gift card you’d still earn the standard points when you go to redeem them.

    But for the actual stay certificates you don’t earn stay credits.

    Sorry this is confusing, but I think it’s a function of them selling gift cards/certificates and stay certificates on the same part of the website. ­čśÇ

  10. Doesn’t seem as though there’s any way to use these for Maui or Kauai, as every night I try says that it is not available, even for the Ultimate cert.

  11. Thanks. The only negative for me is that the resort fees still have to be paid. That can add another 20% or more to the cost. Still better than paying for the rooms at some places I would visit.

  12. So what happens when it does not state confidential but instead shows a very low rate? For example one hotel shows $109 per night with the code but $349 w/o the choice code. Does it require a call?

  13. @ Rich — My understanding is that this means it’s available as well. If it shows a rate below the published rate there should be availability using the certificate. it’s only not available when it returns an error message and shows the “Daily Rate” as the main option.

  14. @Lucky,
    I found from your website’s link that Hyatt sells both stay certificates and weekend getaways certificates while the weekend certs are much more expensive than stay certs. So, I assume that we can also use the stay certificates on weekend (if the hotel accepts), right?

  15. Lucky – do you know what other Hyatt properties are as/more expensive than the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Vendome?

    Hyatt has added the two sign-up nights to my account so I am trying to use them wisely. My goal is to visit a new city/country with the added benefit of staying at an expensive hotel (for free).

    Thanks.

  16. @ mangoceviche — Frankly every Park Hyatt I’ve stayed at has been awesome. In terms of price I’d say the most expensive are the Park Hyatts in Sydney, Paris, Tokyo, Zurich, the Maldives, and Buenos Aires. But I’ve found many other Park Hyatts to be of similar quality but just priced a bit lower since the markets can’t sustain such high rates.

  17. Thanks Lucky. I’ve always wanted to visit the Maldives. Is it safe to say that the free night doesn’t cover the $450 transfer fee from Male Airport to the hotel? ­čÖé

  18. I have some suite upgrades to use. Can these be applied on a stay certificate? I’d like to use it at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. Gruss

  19. Zero luck finding availability at the San Francisco Grand / Regency properties. They retail $350+ a night weekdays.

  20. I’ve booked my stay in Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui in Nov’13 using the Elite stay certificate. They’ve raised the rate to Ultimate. Would the increase impact future reservations? i.e. Can they come back and say they will not accept the certificate in Nov’13 for a confirmed reservation?

  21. Following up on Jen’s comment, I wanted to alert fellow readers to a potentially alarming change. While attempting to use one-night stay certificates I had purchased, I was unable to secure availability at a wide range of properties that previously offered rooms for certificate redemption. I proceeded to review the participating property list, which has changed drastically for the EAME region (only 44 locations remain on list). Most notable properties in the UK, France, and elsewhere in Europe (Grand Hyatt Cannes, Park Hyatt Paris, Hyatt Regency London, etc) are either no longer participating or only available at the Ultimate level. Does anyone have any additional information regarding this unfortunate change? It is very disappointing to note the lack of any advance notice or warning from Hyatt.

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