Hyatt stay certificates have long been a unique offering and potentially great value. Basically Hyatt has let you buy certificates valid at select hotels, which can represent huge savings. The catch is that they are capacity controlled and aren’t eligible for elite stay/nights or points accrual.
In January of this year Hyatt made some changes to stay certificates, whereby they adjusted prices and added two new categories of certificates. In August of this year Hyatt made some further changes to stay certificates by decreasing the number of participating hotels. So it’s clear they’ve been tweaking the program substantially over the past year, and I’d say in August the real value of these died, since they got rid of most of the “sweet spot” redemptions.
Anyway, it seems they’ll be taking it a step further and will stop selling stay certificates as of January 8, 2014, and will be replacing them with Hyatt night certificates:
As of January 8, 2014, Hyatt Stay Certificates will be replaced by Hyatt Nights Certificates, which are available for bulk purchase by registered businesses only. Hyatt Nights certificates will not available to the general public and are intended for use as corporate incentives, employee engagement, consumer loyalty, credit card redemption programs and auction packages. Hyatt will continue to honor Hyatt Stay Certificates through the expiration date printed on each certificate and subject to all terms and conditions applicable to such certificates.
Hyatt Nights certificates are sold in single-night increments and offer last room availability at participating Hyatt hotels worldwide when a standard room is available. Businesses interested in purchasing Hyatt Nights certificates may get more information at www.hyattincentiverewards.com. Participating Hyatt hotels and designated Hyatt Nights redemption levels can be viewed at http://hyattincentiverewards.com/ParticipationLocations.aspx.
So they’ll have last room availability, but will also only act as corporate incentives.
Furthermore, Hyatt will be eliminating weekend certificates and spa certificates as of January 7, 2014, though they’ll continue to be accepted through April 30, 2015.
On the plus side, Hyatt has introduced electronic gift cards in the past week, which is a positive change:
As of December 18, 2013, Hyatt eGift Cards are available for purchase on Hyatt.com. Hyatt eGift Cards are like traditional plastic Hyatt Gift Cards and valid at all Hyatt hotels in the United States, Canada and Caribbean toward the purchase of room charges, restaurants, spas and more, but they are also instantly delivered by email, incur no shipping and handling charges, provide Hyatt-branded design options or photo upload options, and can be redeemed by smartphone, tablet or printing.
Unfortunately the discounts out there available on gift cards don’t seem to work on electronic ones.
It’s certainly sad to see the stay certificates disappear, though at the same time they weren’t all that valuable in their current form anyway…