Now that World of Hyatt requires an obscene 60 nights for their top status (which unlike their competitors doesn’t include award stays), many Hyatt loyalists are looking for ways to stretch their night count.
One method you’ll want to avoid? Booking a “Third Night Free” rate on Hyatt’s website.
Various hotels in the Hyatt portfolio offer these rates at different times. They almost always have a cutesy name, often have an extra on-property perk thrown in, and are sometimes limited to higher category rooms. The common thread is that for stays of three consecutive nights or longer, the third night is free.
In theory it sounds fantastic. Combined with the Citi Prestige benefit, you can potentially get two nights paid for, which could represent a significant chunk of cash.
But there are some problems with these rates.
The 3rd night isn’t really free
Prior to this year and the new World of Hyatt Globalist requirements, I would never even have considered booking one of these rates, as they’re not necessarily as competitive as they seem at first glance.
Take a look at this rate for the Andaz Mayakoba, where Mike recently stayed with his family. The best available rate is the “Member Discount” Andaz King at $204 per night. Meanwhile, the third night free rate is called “One More Night” and suggests a rate of $218, including a breakfast buffet for the Lagoon View King (which would be $247 a night using the “Member Discount” rate).
So on the surface that looks like a great deal! You’re getting a $29/night discount over the member rate, plus breakfast.
When you click through, however, and expand the rate details under the “summary of charges,” you can see that the cost of the individual nights are higher than on the search screen, though the total for four nights is the same.
Still, if the larger room and breakfast matter to you, this is a pretty decent deal. You’re paying $870 for the four-night stay, versus $988.
Combined with the Citi Prestige, this can be an excellent deal (still do the math!), as the Hyatt pricing breakdown works in your favor. By spreading the room cost across three nights rather than four, the average nightly rate is higher, so you receive a greater reimbursement from Citi.
But there is one big caveat.
The 3rd night doesn’t earn stay credit
In retrospect this should have been obvious, but it caught me by surprise.
I booked a 3rd night free rate at the Park Hyatt New York this winter when my cousin Heather and I went to Hamilton with our husbands (you may remember the ridiculous IRROPS recovery through Europe on that one).
As we needed two rooms, I made a Guest of Honor booking for a standard room for Heather, and then booked a Park Suite through Citi Prestige using the 3rd night free rate (with the expectation that we’d switch rooms at check-in).
Citi had no issues booking the rate, and the agent thought it was excellent that I’d be getting a free night from Hyatt and from Citi.
It wasn’t until check-out that I realized my mistake. Hyatt’s accounting systems structure this rate so that the third night isn’t merely discounted — it effectively doesn’t exist. So on a consecutive stay of four nights, night number three doesn’t even show up on the folio:
(Before anyone judges me for eating in the hotel, that “dinner food” is post-post-theater cocktails)
That means that as far as World of Hyatt is concerned, this was a three night stay, so I was awarded three eligible nights.
And that recent four-night stay of Mike’s at the Andaz Mayakoba?
This isn’t a huge deal, and like I said, it seems obvious in retrospect, but since Mike and I were both caught out by this rate at different properties I figured I should share.
For general members, and especially when combined with the Citi Prestige, the third night free rates can be pretty good deals. Those who need the night credits towards status will need to crunch the numbers and see if the potential savings outweighs missing out on a stay credit.
Has anyone had a different experience with the 3rd night free rates?