Imagine the frustration of staying at a Hyatt Category 3 property and accidentally paying for it with a Category 1-7 free night certificate — all while a Category 1-4 free night certificate sits in your account. Ouch.
This experience taught me about a World of Hyatt quirk you should know. Here’s how to ensure Hyatt pulls the right certificate from your account.
Hyatt’s 2 types of free night awards
The former can be used at any property rated in categories 1-4 on Hyatt’s award chart. These aren’t affected by Hyatt’s peak and off-peak pricing, either. As long as you can find a standard award room at an eligible property, you can use this certificate there.
You can earn these free nights in the following ways:
- Receive a Category 1-4 free night each year with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
- Earn a second Category 1-4 free night by spending $15,000 in a calendar year on the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
- Earn a Category 1-4 free night award after 30 qualifying nights with World of Hyatt in a calendar year, also qualifying you for mid-tier Explorist status.
Category 1-7 free night awards are more valuable, allowing you to use them at Hyatt properties in categories 1-7 and all-inclusive properties in categories A-D.
These awards also are more difficult to earn. You’ll need 60 qualifying nights with Hyatt in a year to earn a Category 1-7 certificate, also qualifying you for top-tier Globalist status.
Pulling the right certificate
If you have both types of awards in your account, you don’t want to use a Category 1-7 award when staying at a hotel in Categories 1-4. Unfortunately, I did that without realizing it on a short-notice booking at the Grand Hyatt Incheon.
When booking a hotel online and using a free night award, Hyatt’s website automatically pulls the award that expires first. You don’t have the option to choose the lower-value award.
To get around this, call World of Hyatt reservations at 1-800-544-9288, or contact your My Hyatt Concierge (if you have one).
Using a Category 1-7 free night award at a Category 1-4 property feels like you’ve overpaid. Unfortunately, the award type can’t be changed after your stay, so you should ensure in advance that Hyatt uses the correct award type.