Has participation in Hyatt’s stay certificate program changed?

One of the better kept secrets of the Hyatt Gold Passport program is their stay certificates, whereby you can buy any of seven categories of certificates valid at a variety of properties. Each property can opt into whichever category certificates they want to, so generally an airport Hyatt Place would accept all categories of certificates, while a top Park Hyatt may only accept the highest category certificates, if any at all. There are some capacity controls on these, so redeeming them isn’t quite as easy as redeeming points, for example.

In January of this year Hyatt made some changes to stay certificates, whereby they slightly raised the cost on some stay certificates and introduced a few new categories.

Anyway, while I haven’t seen a formal announcement yet, it looks like participation by some Hyatt properties in the stay certificate program has quietly changed. Dozens of hotels seem to have changed the level of certificates they accept, and in many cases, some properties don’t accept them at all anymore.

You can find the categories of stay certificates that each property accepts here. For example, previously the Park Hyatts in the Maldives, Paris, Milan, Zurich, Moscow, and Sydney all accepted the “Ultimate” level certificates, which could be purchased for $461.11. All of these properties now seem to not accept any level of stay certificates, as you can see below.

Hyatt_Stay_Certificates

It’s very disappointing if this is in fact a change they made without any sort of an announcement. In fairness it could very well be that hotels are asked what level of participation they’d like on a yearly basis, and given occupancy rates more hotels chose to opt out. But I still think this is something that should be announced.

I’ve reached out to a contact at Hyatt to see if they can comment on this.

Comments

  1. wow. Those are big changes. Your post about this back in Jan saved me a lot of money at the Hyatts in Cologne and Mainz last month.

  2. Wow – about 3 weeks ago, thanks to you and other bloggers, I made a 3 night reservation at the Hyatt in Cannes. The room went for 600 Euro or $800 per night and I got the certificates for about $188! I have the certificates and the reservation confirmation so I’m not worried but this is truly a big loss for us.

  3. One of the better kept secrets…

    Not so secret any more, though. Too many people doing this now, perhaps, and Hyatt decided they needed to better align the accepted certificate types with their typical rates? It’s not just some of the fancier overseas Hyatts that have changed. Two weeks ago the Hyatt Regency Chicago took Choice certificates, now they only take Elite and up.

  4. Lucky:

    Thanks to your earlier post I did take advantage of this. One night stay in Chicago in October… needed to stay in Magnificent Mile neighborhood. Hyatt Chicago at Magnificent Mile accepted the Choice certificate with no problems. Saved me $100++!

    –Matt

  5. I’ve noticed this as well – I have a stay at Hyatt Regency Hakone booked at Elite level certificate, but couple days ago was looking through the properties list and noticed that now they only take top-most certificate.

  6. Looks like you can add PH Shanghai and Tokyo to the list of properties that no longer accept any certificates.

  7. David, seeing as how the first comments on this post were at 605 pm and the FT thread was at 359 PM, I doubt there is any connection…

  8. Just completed a last minute trip that included stays at both the Grand Hyatt in Cannes and the Hyatt Regency in Nice. I referenced your recent trip report for input and noticed the certificate acceptance had changed for the worse at both properties. Based on the quality of these hotels and the fact that they so recently joined the brand I would guess their initial levels of participation in the certificate program may have been unintentional or at least not fully appreciated internally. A bunch of bookings associated with such low revenue may have changed that and led to this “correction.”

  9. I mentioned it before: Hyatt will be the next major devaluation. Their program is just not sustainable. How can they keep letting people book $1K+ hotel rooms like Park Hyatt Paris, Zurich, Sydney, Tokyo, Maldives etc.. for only 22K points? Same with the certificates. Unfortunately, the great days with Hyatt will be gone soon.

  10. And I thought so few people used the certificates.
    Been using Stay certificates for years and saving tons. By just yesterday I noticed that my favorite SA hotel jumped 4 categories from $109/Classic to $325.55/Inspire. I called to verify that my half-dozen $109 reservations for 2014 travel were still good. They are but I’ll miss the $109 rate esp since it includes tax. Stay certificates save me at least $183/night over the lowest IBM rate. Used to be that Hyatt Grand Central was avail @ $99 – a steal esp when bfast and perks were incl. Not the greatest hotel but for $99, a deal.

  11. Blogs like these that give away all the secrets ruin it for those that figure it out themselves.

  12. Checked more properties – they raised pretty much everything across the board (at least among full service hotels). Sad.

    Burning my last Choice certificate in Vancouver this weekend, and will have to find a use for 1 x Classic (used to be booking Hyatt Miami with it), which now jumped 2 categories up.

    Looks like they updated certificates so that now they reflect the higher end of the hotel’s price range (e.g. price at the peak time), while it used to be priced compared to rate at lowest time.

  13. @sharedsecrets- then why are you here? don’t tell me its to police what “secrets”(loosely defined as information available to everyone who has a internet connection) have been leaked.

  14. “Not participating” doesn’t bother me all that much. Certificates were always capacity controlled, so a hotel could always just not offer any availability.

  15. Well the Kyoto HR went to Ultimate together with Hakone. GH Beijing & HR HK TST went from Elite to Exclusive and PH Busan from Premier to Inspire. GH HK went Inspire to offline.

    I guess it wasn’t enough for them to limit the availability dates. 2+ category jumps are quite a devaluation.

  16. The problem with Hyatt’s program is the same as that of the airlines these days. Back in the olden days, the loyalty programs gave awards liberally because they had the capacity and because they were rewarding those folks who were actually staying at their properties often.

    Fast forward to 2013. How many redemptions are funded entirely by points that were earned through stays? The reality is that Hyatt is making rooms at Park Hyatts available to folks who don’t usually set foot in a Park Hyatt. It is all the credit card miles both on spend and bonuses that is funding a lot of this largesse. Between Hyatt’s own generous credit card signups and Ultimate Rewards, it isn’t all that hard to rack up several free nights at properties selling rooms for well over $500.

    I the long run, that is not sustainable, especially with current occupancy rates…

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