Everything You Need To Know About The Hyatt Anniversary Free Night Certificate

Earlier I wrote a review of The Hyatt Credit Card, which is one of my all around favorite hotel credit cards. The card offers a big sign-up bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt in the world upon completing minimum spend, plus an annual free night certificate on your account anniversary.

Hyatt-Card

While there are lots of other perks for the card, in this post I wanted to focus on the annual free night certificate that it offers:

The basics of Hyatt’s anniversary free night certificate

On your credit card account anniversary each year you’ll be issued a free night certificate, which is valid for a stay at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel globally. The certificate should be issued shortly after your account anniversary, and is valid for a stay within a year of when it’s issued.

There are no blackout dates for this certificate. Rather, as long as a standard room is available for your dates, you should be able to use the certificate. The redemption process is very similar to redeem points.

As a point of comparison, Hyatt ordinarily charges 15,000 points for a Category 4 free night, so that’s potentially how much this certificate will be worth (I wouldn’t quite value it at face value, since there’s an expiration date and you don’t have that much flexibility in terms of how to redeem it).

Hyatt-Free-Night

How do you redeem your Hyatt anniversary free night?

Once your account anniversary has passed, log into your World of Hyatt account and click on the “My Awards” section.

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When you scroll down you should see the “Free Night Award” listed, where you can go through the booking process.

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Just click “Book,” and then search the hotel you’re looking for. If there’s availability, you should see the “Promotional Award Free Night” option.

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For the purposes of this example the first hotel I searched was the Hyatt Olive 8 Seattle, which is $275+ per night in summer. That’s a pretty great redemption just for paying the $75 annual fee on The Hyatt Credit Card.

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Do you get elite benefits on free night certificate stays?

Much like an award night, stays booked with the anniversary night offered by The Hyatt Credit Card are eligible for all elite benefits. So if you’re a Globalist member you’d receive a suite upgrade subject to availability, complimentary breakfast, lounge access, etc.

However, if you’re redeeming your free night certificate you don’t receive any elite qualifying stay and night credits.

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You’re entitled to free breakfast as a Globalist member when redeeming your anniversary certificate

Can you use the Hyatt free night certificate for someone else?

The free night certificate offered with The Hyatt Credit Card has to be booked in the name of the primary cardmember and World of Hyatt member.

However, anecdotally many report being able to add the name of the second guest to the reservation and having them check in. That’s not to say it’s always possible or supposed to be allowed, but it is something that’s often done.

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Redeem your anniversary certificate at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong

How does the anniversary night compare to those offered by other cards?

The Hyatt Credit Card, which has a $75 annual fee, isn’t the only card to offer an annual free night certificate. As a point of comparison:

Personally I think the IHG certificate is the most valuable, as the card has the lowest annual fee and fewest restrictions in terms of the type of hotel you can redeem at. I think the Hyatt certificate is the second most valuable, based on the percentage of properties you can redeem at. I think the Marriott certificate is also valuable, but the least valuable of the three.

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I recently redeemed my IHG free night certificate at the InterContinental Hong Kong

Bottom line

The Hyatt Credit Card is a fantastic card with a big sign-up bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt property upon completing minimum spend, and it’s also worth keeping long term. The card comes with an anniversary free night certificate valid at all Category 1-4 hotels. To me that more than justifies the card’s $75 annual fee, since a vast majority of Hyatts retail for significantly more than that.

Also keep in mind that this card is anecdotally pretty easy to get approved for. You’re eligible as long as you don’t have the card and haven’t gotten the bonus on the card in the past 24 months, and the card also isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

Comments

  1. If you’re having trouble finding award availability for two award nights in a row, trying searching for one night at a time. After booking each night, call or email the hotel to combine the reservations. I was killing myself trying to find a free weekend for the Park Hyatt New York until figured out this trick.

  2. In case you have the “Free Hyatt Night Category 1-7” be cautious. I had both in my account and wanted to use my credit card annual category 1-4 cert at a category 3 hyatt place, but the system grabbed my Category 1-7 cert. I needed to call, and the agent was able to swap them. But I suspect most people don’t double check after booking.

  3. As far as I’m aware, you CANNOT apply one of your 4 Explorist lounge access passes to a hyatt CC free night. Just something to be aware of.

  4. Wife wife and I just got back from a 4 night stay at the Park Hyatt NYC. We both signed up for the credit card last spring, and thanks to this blog, were able to maximize the sign up bonus. Thanks Lucky, Keep up the great job!

  5. @Beachfan – yes. Provided parking can be charged to the room, Free Night Awards (achieved either through points or promotional means such as the credit card annual free night cert) will automatically qualify Globalists for complimentary parking.

  6. An annoying glitch with this is that if you book a property that is above category 4, the website will STILL show that “Free Night” option under the “Promotional awards” tab during the booking process (I was booking a room at the Andaz West Hollywood recently and it was there). It will let you click on “Select” and fill in your info, until the very last step where you get an error message. It’s not a huge deal but pretty misleading.

  7. I had the same happen when looking at the Hyatt Huntington Beach. Seems like an IT glitch that should be fixed.

  8. I used it at Hyatt MCO airport, I think the bookrate was like $330. I lucked out to get that much out of it

  9. Lucky: Not seeing the Hadahaa or the Andaz Maui in the list. Are those excluded from the 2 free night certs?

  10. @ Raj — The two free nights you get with the sign-up bonus can be redeemed at those properties, but the anniversary free night certificates are capped at Category 4 hotels, while those are Category 7 and Category 6 hotels, respectively.

  11. 1) since free night award is valid for 1 year, is it possible to book the free night certificate before it expires to sometime in future date?
    2 Can we use free night award and upgrade to club room by paying extra points?

  12. @ Bobby — Nope, it has to be booked for a stay by the expiration date. I don’t believe you can combine a points upgrade to a club room with the certificate. Sorry!

  13. @Lucky, I Just used my 2 free sign-up award nights for the Hyatt Highlands Inn in Carmel Highlands, CA. An older property, but well maintained, and cozy with a fireplace and firewood in every room. Nice restaurant with awesome views. Stunning views of the ocean from the room with a nicely sized balcony you can sit on. And free valet parking. Pricey if you have to pay for the room. My wife loved it. Thanks Lucky for recommending this card!

  14. Has anyone experienced this? I have my yearly free stay (category 1-4) that needs to be used by the middle of June. I am able to book a category 6 hotel – Grand Hyatt New York or Andaz 5th Avenue. What gives?

  15. I just went back to see if I could book the Park Hyatt and it is saying I can. What are the chances I get charged the 825+ tax for a Saturday night stay?

  16. I’m trying to book a free night award and notice it’s working for ALL properties including Category 7 hotels I see in my search. Is this an error?

  17. Here’s a heads-up. I just received a call from World of Hyatt reservations advising me that the Grand Hyatt in Santiago, Chile will be leaving Hyatt effective 8/1. The hotel has agreed to honor all pre-existing confirmed paid and award reservations from 8/1/17 through 12/31/17, but will not extend WoH member or status perks/benefits to the reservations. That means no late check-out, lounge access, or premium internet for Globalist members. Also, all confirmed suite upgrades for rooms after 8/1 are being canceled and refunded into members’ WoH accounts. I had a 2 night award reservation in December and was offered the option of maintaining my reservation or canceling it. I chose to cancel because of the loss of perks. I asked if Hyatt had any intention of signing-up a new property in Santiago and was advised “no”.

  18. What happens if I cancel my card after the free night has posted? Will my annual fee be refunded and reward night removed? Same question with the IHG reward night.
    Thanks!

  19. Was told that rules changed and globalist suite upgrade cannot be used with the anniversary free night. Agent tried and consulted with supervisor when she was not able to do it. Hmm. Also, agent had to call the property to confirm that the upgrade was applied. It was a long wait as they found someone who could speak enough English to confirm it for her. Asked if this is how it needs to be done now, and she said it was because of all the issues they have experienced.

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