Don’t Make This Mistake When Redeeming Hyatt Free Night Certificates

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World of Hyatt members can potentially earn quite a few free night certificates annually:

  • If you have The Hyatt Credit Card, you get an annual Category 1-4 free night certificate (valid for 12 months)
  • For staying 30 qualifying nights or earning 50,000 base points per year, you get an annual Category 1-4 free night certificate (valid for 180 days)
  • For staying 60 qualifying nights or earning 100,000 base points per year, you get an annual Category 1-7 free night certificate (valid for 180 days)
  • While this can only be earned once, World of Hyatt members get one Category 1-4 free night certificate after trying five different Hyatt brands, and another Category 1-4 certificate after trying another five Hyatt brands (valid for 12 months)

At the moment I have three free night certificates in my account — two are valid at Category 1-4 properties, and one is valid at Category 1-7 properties.

A couple of days ago I was trying to redeem my two Category 1-4 free night certificates for a stay at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne (which retailed for $300+ per night for my nights — a heck of a deal using the certificates), and tried to make the booking online.

Hyatt’s bad IT is nothing new, though this reminded me of an issue with these certificates — specifically, if you have multiple Hyatt free night certificates and try to redeem them online, the eligible certificate expiring soonest will be pulled first.

What this meant is that even though I tried to use my Category 1-4 certificate expiring in August (and specifically clicked on that one), it pulled my Category 1-7 certificate expiring in April. Fortunately there’s an easy enough way around this — if you call World of Hyatt, they can make the booking and pull the correct certificate. However, when I’ve done this, it’s clear that some sort of a workaround is required, so it’s not even that straightforward for them.

I’ll add better online redemptions of World of Hyatt certificates to my (very long) wish list for Hyatt’s IT department. I can’t even imagine how many people accidentally redeem the wrong certificates for stays, and don’t find out until it’s too late, given that this isn’t made clear at the time of booking. Besides, having to call to book isn’t exactly the best use of resources for the World of Hyatt call center agents.

So if you have multiple Hyatt free night certificates and don’t want to redeem the one expiring soonest, be sure you call Hyatt to make your booking, or else you may find yourself disappointed.

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Comments

  1. How do you even book the free night certificates online? I’ve tried multiple times and can’t for the life of me figure out how to do it.

  2. Lucky,
    Is the 1-7 certificate at 60 nights or Globalist qualification? As you know, you can re-qualify based on 55 nights.

    Thanks.

  3. If you want to avoid a call, you could make a dummy booking to use the Cat 1-7; book the Cat 1-4 now that it’s the next available; finally, cancel the dummy booking to put your Cat 1-7 back in your account. Or, you can shoot them a DM on twitter and they’ll take care of it (which is probably even easier).

  4. It just amazes me how incredibly bad Hyatt’s IT system really is. Once while on the phone with a Hyatt agent, even she admitted that their system is horrible. Hyatt in general is not impressing me so much these days. 🙁

  5. To be fair, every hotel chain that I have dealt with pulls them starting with the first to expire, it is just that no others have the issue of having different levels of certs, so the IT is the same, it is just that the program is stupid to issue different certs. Seems to be more of a program design issue than an IT issue.

  6. When are we going to be getting our Amex Hilton Surpass anniversary certificates? I’ve heard yes we will be given them, even though this benefit was taken away by the Hilton Ascend.

    If this benefit isn’t going to be in there I want to cancel before having to pay for $95 fee.

  7. @farnorthtrader It’s not that big of a deal from an IT standpoint to use the cert that was clicked on instead of the one that expires first. However, that might not be a priority bug fix if they have bigger fish to fry.

  8. I have 2 free night certificates to redeem before August 5 from the credit card spend, but every time I try to redeem online, it tries to deduct my points instead of using the free night certificates. I don’t understand!

  9. Question about that last free night category criterion: Do you have to stay at 5 different brands in one year or it can be done over any period of time as long as you keep your WOH membership?

    Thanks.

  10. @ Luis, apologies, but I completely disagree. The Park Hyatt is superior in all respects including the charming location.

  11. How do you use the certs online? I do not get the free night option as you have posted, when I click on “Show world of Hyatt Points and Awards,” my only option is World of Hyatt Free Night from ……. I have 2 Chase Hyatt credit card certs and have also tried to book one night at a time as previously discussed.

  12. To book the online category 1-4 or 1-7 rewards you have to book one night at a time and you have to keep selecting various dates to find the dates that have availability. If you are a globalist email your private concierge and they can look for you instead of looking yourself. I practically book everything through my private concierge person now and she is awesome. She fixes all the suite upgrades if they are pulled wrong. She lets me book with all points even when I don’t have the points in my account yet. As long as I have them in 7 days prior to arrival. I know some people don’t like Hyatt but being a globalist now is so much better than Diamond status when everyone had it. I do feel special when I check in at a Hyatt

  13. Echoing the suggestion to email your personal concierge if you are a globalist. The same thing happened to me and she fixed it.

  14. Don‘t bother staying at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. I have just stayed there 1 week ago using points (with status). The rooms are in terrible condition. Mine had mold in the shower and stains on the (old) carpet. Plus there was no sound proofing so one could hear every bit of business from next door. I have no clue how they pull off that retail price tag.

  15. Don’t get cancer or any medical issue that prevents you from traveling if you have the two free night Hyatt certificates. I was shocked that Hyatt wouldn’t extend my two free nights despite providing them Drs. notes explaining that I had an immobile vocal cord and had difficulty speaking. Anticipating my medical condition was not feasible.

    Customer service would only exchange the certificates for 20k points each. IHG was much more gracious. I have always loved Hyatt hotels, but this experience is making me rethink the company. Very disappointing and I expect better from Hyatt.

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