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.
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).
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.
When you scroll down you should see the “Free Night Award” listed, where you can go through the booking process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers an annual free night valid at any IHG property, and has an annual fee of just $49 (which is waived the first year)
- The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card offers an annual free night valid at any Category 1-5 hotel (there are a total of 9 categories), and has an annual fee of $85
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.
I recently redeemed my IHG free night certificate at the InterContinental Hong Kong
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.