Can Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades Be Used On Points + Cash Bookings?

Reader John asked the following question on a post I wrote a few weeks ago about Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrades:

I have a confirmed booking at Park Hyatt Paris Vendome using cash + points. The entry level suite is the Park Suite King. The Park Suite King is available for the days I’m staying there. When I called Hyatt Diamond line (three times already), they said that the Park Suite King is not available for the suite upgrade. In your primer above, it says that if the entry level suite is available for a booking, then it should be available for the DSU. Can you explain why this is the case (i.e., not available for DSU) when it’s available to be booked?

For those of you not familiar, in early 2014 Hyatt introduced Points + Cash, whereby, as the name suggests, guests could redeem part points and part cash for a hotel stay. Really this was Hyatt playing “catch up,” as most other hotel loyalty programs already offered such an option.

Hyatt-Cash-Points1

This was in conjunction with an award chart devaluation, and really sort of evened things out in a way.

What was most exciting about Points + Cash is that they count as “qualifying” stays. That means stays booked using Points + Cash are eligible for points accrual, elite stay/night credit, and also count towards promotions. For Diamond members, Points + Cash stays are also eligible for Diamond Suite Upgrades.

Park-Hyatt-Abu-Dhabi

However, there’s a bit of a catch when it comes to redeeming Diamond Suite Upgrades for Points + Cash bookings, as John has encountered:

  • When on a fully paid cash rate, Diamond Suite Upgrades can be used to confirm an upgrade to a standard suite at the time of booking, pending availability, with no capacity controls
  • When on a Points + Cash stay, Diamond Suite Upgrades can be used to confirm an upgrade to a standard suite, though those upgrades are capacity controlled

So there is indeed only a sub-set of suite inventory which you can upgrade a Points + Cash stay with using a Diamond Suite Upgrade, and that will vary by hotel. Some hotels make all standard suites available, for upgrades on both paid and Points + Cash stays, while others seem to have some sort of a quota on Points + Cash stay upgrades. For what it’s worth, based on my limited data points I’ve noticed more and more capacity restrictions on suite upgrades using Points + Cash.

Andaz-West-Hollywood

Bottom line

Hyatt has the most generous confirmed suite upgrade policy of any hotel chain, given that they let you confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking, down to the last standard suite. So I don’t think they’re being unreasonable by adding some extra restrictions.

That being said, my hope is that long term they’re able to make the whole process more transparent, both by allowing Points + Cash bookings and Diamond Suite Upgrade Award requests to be made through the website. I do genuinely believe Gold Passport is working towards this, though Hyatt and IT often don’t go in the same sentence. 😉

Have you ever run into issues redeeming Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards on Points + Cash bookings?

Comments

  1. Ben–

    You neglected to identify the location of the two suites pictured. The lower one is Andaz West Hollywood, right?

  2. I recently ran into a new but similar issue. I wanted to make a cash and points booking at Park Hyatt Melbourne and was told It was only available if I used I suite upgrade. Since it was only for a 1 night stay, I didn’t want to waste a suite upgrade for 1 night. I agree though that the usual story is points and cash rooms may be available but unable to add suite upgrade.

  3. Last summer, I once got an available award night (cash and points) only by using my DSU. Standard cash and points were gone. So it may occasionally work the other way. This was PH Hamburg. This was last minute for what it’s worth.

  4. Yes, I’ve had this problem. I pointed out to the rep that there is nothing in the terms and conditions about cash and points upgrades to suites being limited – needless to say, when I asked for a supervisor, availability magically became available while I was on hold.

  5. Locations that are popular or with limited standard suites definitely impose the sun set rule for C&P upgrades but I personally having come across problems unless you are booking very close to arrival date or at peak season.
    Also worth noting that, any cancelled bookings do not automatically return the suite upgrade. Double check your totals or you might miss out.

  6. i, again, beg to differ as to who has the most generous upgrade policy. hyatt gives you 4 per year and nary an upgrade without them. and nada on points. hilton are not guaranteed, but they are given so frequently overseas that the benefit is FAR superior to hyatt. hilton is also transparent with their award availability, while hyatt is playing so many ‘let’s rename the standard room so we can have zero award rooms available’ games that they suck. before, HGP was better, and HAD to be due to small footprint. now, with REVPAR up, they think they can do anything. and, based upon your (and other blogger) blind loyalty, they seem to be getting away with it.

    i am all for you guys being compensated thru affiliate links, etc- but i do wonder if there is some compensation coming from hyatt that we don’t hear about. the universal fawning over hyatt by bloggers is out of sorts with the current reality of the program.

  7. @ Larry — DSU should be automatically refunded upon cancellation of a reservation, but I also agree that it’s best to check. I’ve also had it happen to me once

  8. @abby — Yup. With travel bloggers like @lucky there is not even a pretense of objectivity anymore. Other than for such bloggers, who’ve drank too much of their own ‘Hyatt is best’ kool-aid, there is little doubt that as a loyalty program Hyatt GP is at best a work-in-progress, the bloggers’ superlatives notwithstanding.

    The myths were hatched in the annals of the travel blogosphere and they all fell for them. Now they are simply being repeated mindlessly. I bet that @Lucky’s claim that you flagged is just cut and paste that he’s used a hundred times and will use again, undeterred the following evidence…

    Right now I am at Conrad Hong Kong, where, as a HH Diamond, I was upgraded at check in to a corner suite for this 7-night stay. A year ago I was upgraded to a similar suite at this same property on 9-NIGHT stay, something that is impossible with a single GP DSU. In January, I was at this property and was upgraded to a suite on the coveted harbor side…on an AWAR stay (!), something that is impossible with a GP DSU. Lastly, I cleared 12 of 12 or 100% of my complimentary suite upgrades last year , i.e., 8 more suite upgrades than a GP Diamond could ‘confirm’ all year thanks ‘to the most generous suite upgrade policy in the business’… 😉

  9. I for one was a HH Diamond for a year and have been Gold for the past two. I never once was given an upgrade better than a “club floor” room or maybe a corner room. Over the same three year period I was a GP Diamond for two years and Platinum for one. I have always been treated better by Hyatt properties. I just used two SU’s for my family vacation in CA at GRand Hyatt locations on cash + points. Never have had an issue using them. As Plat in between Diamond runs, I often received club rooms, corners, etc AND club access with breakfast when I technically was not eligible. Yes I drink the kool-aid and tell anyone that will listen that GP is much better than HH. I don’t believe for a minute that Hyatt pays the bloggers to hype them up. I have seen Hyatt’s GP program in action as a casual traveller and they don’t need to pay for good press, they deliver it in the way they treat their guests!

  10. I love all the Hilton people getting suites as Diamonds. I have never had one suite upgrade, not Europe, not Asia nor the USA. I like Hyatt as personally they do surprise me with a super room sometimes. Equally sometimes I get what I pay for.

  11. @Greg — A HH Diamond for a year during which you probably expected suite upgrades to be offered to you automatically rather than actively asking for them does not count. And, if you got club (i.e. executive floor) room upgrades as a Gold, that’s what you’re supposed to get. What’s your beef?

    @MilesFromBlighty — Mmmm…If you have status with Hilton and you have never gotten upgraded, you must be one of those who have no clue about how to take advantage of your status, as even people with no status at all have reported getting complimentary upgrades sometime somewhere! Heck, I was upgraded to a suite a Hyatt Regency Hotel and Casino in Manila last year on a C&P stay as a GP Plat, which is “elite” status in name only… 😉

  12. @ abby — Funny enough I don’t earn a commission on the Hyatt card, but do earn a commission on some Hilton cards. Have never been paid a dime by Hyatt. Just my experience as a guest. 🙂

  13. @Lucky — Nah…Just approach HHonors as the mature and rewarding loyalty program that it is. Currently, it is the most vibrant hotel loyalty program out there (Exhibit A: the multitude of ‘stackable’ promos that are currently running simultaneously and are unmatched by any other program’s) and Hilton Worldwide is right now the fastest growing hospitality company. I would say they are doing something right and deserve a second objective look…by the likes of you and others who’ve drunk too much of the “Hyatt is best” kool-aid.

    BTW, FWIW, I do not believe for a second that you’ve been paid to shill for HGP or SPG. Loyalty bloggers generally tend to favor smaller programs, like GP and SPG, and you’ve made unpersuasive arguments before to the effect that smaller programs are more rewarding.

    G’day!

  14. Do more cash and point award become available as the stay day approaches or is it set? Trying to figure out if i should keep calling CSR to check availibility.

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