Hyatt is by far my favorite hotel chain right now, especially for my family vacations. Having club lounge access saves my family a ton of money with complimentary breakfast and food throughout the day. And the suite upgrades allow my family to spread out in large luxurious suites. To top it off, earning free night certificates is also quite easy as well! Ultimately, Hyatt has won me over big time and my family is fully committing to Hyatt properties this year while trying to earn Globalist status. The Hyatt certificates are quite amazing!
Hyatt recently introduced milestone benefits. This means you can actually earn club lounge certificate and suite upgrades even quicker:
Club Lounge Certificates: At 20 nights you earn your first 2 Club Lounge award certificates. At 30 nights you’ll earn 2 more.
Suite Upgrade Certificates: At 50 nights you receive 2 suite upgrade certificates. At 60 nights you’ll receive 2 more. You also have the option of selecting more suite upgrades after you stay 70, 80, 90, and 100 nights. (Or you can select 10k bonus points).
Free Night Certificates: At both 30 nights and 60 nights you earn a free night certificate. The 30 night one is capped at a category 4 property while the 60 night certificate is capped at a category 7 property. Also, if you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you receive a complimentary free night certificate on every anniversary year, capped at a category 4 property.
Everything you need to know…
1. Credit card spend counts towards eligible nights for earning these certificates
One of the best perks of the World of Hyatt Credit Card is that you earn 5 nights towards status annually. You also receive 2 nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card. There is no cap to the number of nights you can earn — spend $100,000 that will earn you 40 additional nights! These nights not only count towards status, but also towards the milestone benefit chart. Not only that, the nights earned from credit card spend can be combined with nights earned from eligible Hyatt stays.
2. The free night certificates all have different expiration dates
There are many ways to earn free night certificates with Hyatt and they all have different category caps and expiration dates. This can absolutely be confusing and the expiration dates can creep up on you quite quickly so make sure to keep tabs on them.
You can earn free nights through:
- Credit card anniversary renewal: This free night certificate is awarded to just credit card members upon their account anniversary. This is a category 1-4 free night certificate and expires 1 year after it is deposited into your account.
- Brand explorer rewards: You can earn a free night certificate by staying at 5 different Hyatt brands. In your Hyatt account there is a tracker which will show your progress. You can earn a maximum of 2 free night certificates in your account. This is a category 1-4 free night certificate and expires 1 year after it is deposited into your account.
- Staying 30 nights: After staying 30 nights at Hyatt hotels under your account, you receive a free night certificate capped at a category 4 property. This free night certificate expires 180 days after it is deposited into your account.
- Staying 60 nights: After staying 60 nights at Hyatt hotels under your account, you receive a free night certificate capped at a category 7 property. This free night certificate expires 180 days after it is deposited into your account.
- Credit card spend: If you spend $15,000 on your credit card (in your cardmember year), you receive a free night certificate capped at a category 4 property. This free night certificate expires 1 year after it is deposited into your account.
There are no blackout dates for any of the certificates. As long as there is a standard room available to book via points, you can use your certificate.
3. How do I apply a club lounge access certificate to my reservation?
Prior to checking into your hotel, you must call Hyatt to let them know you want to redeem the Explorist Club Lounge Access Award. They will pull the award from your account and apply it to your reservation. The front desk at a hotel cannot apply the award for you.
4. What happens if a hotel doesn’t have a club lounge? Will they give me complimentary breakfast in the restaurant instead?
If you are looking to apply a club lounge access certificate to a reservation where the property does not have a club lounge, you are unfortunately out of luck. While Globalist members will receive alternative breakfast at the hotel restaurant, that does not apply for those looking to use a club lounge certificate. In my opinion, this is one major flaw with the certificates.
5. How do I apply a guaranteed suite upgrade certificate?
After you make your hotel reservation, you can call Hyatt and let them know that you want to apply a suite upgrade to your room. As long as there is a standard suite available, they will immediately upgrade your room. I love how Hyatt will guarantee you into a suite months prior to your reservation! If you are not sure if there are any standard suites available, you can always call Hyatt prior to making your reservation as well and ask them to check certain hotels/dates for you.
Note: Not all suite types are eligible for the suite upgrade certificate.
6. When do the lounge access and suite upgrade certificates expire?
Both Explorist Club Lounge access awards and Suite Upgrade awards are valid “for the same period as the tier status achieved at the time the awards were earned”. This essentially means they are valid until the end of the year plus 14 months. For example, let’s say you earn an award in 2019, regardless of the date it was earned, it will not expire until February 28, 2021.
7. Are suite upgrades available to use at the Hyatt all-inclusive properties?
Yes, you can use a suite upgrade to upgrade your room to a standard suite at all of the Hyatt all-inclusive properties. We are personally a big fan of the suites at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun property.
8. What happens if I need to cancel a reservation that already has a club lounge access or suite upgrade tied to it?
If you already applied a suite upgrade or club lounge access certificate and you need to cancel your reservation. The certificate will then go back into your account to use for a future reservation. You will not lose the certificate, although the expiration date will not be extended.
9. Can I apply a club lounge access and suite upgrade certificates to any stay?
Not to any reservation, but most. The certificates can be used on paid stays and free night stays (all points or points + cash), up to a maximum of 7 consecutive nights. So if you have a stay booked for more than 7 nights, you’ll want to break it up into two separate reservations. Apply the certificate to the first reservation and email/call the hotel in advance asking them connect your two reservations. If it is a suite upgrade you are using, ask the hotel if they are able to keep you in the same room for your entire stay. If it is for club lounge access, it might depend on how you access that particular club lounge, but it definitely cannot hurt to ask.
The one time you cannot use the certificates is when you are redeeming a free night award — not using points but an actual free night certificate. If you have a 1 night stay with an award certificate, unfortunately you are out of luck. However, on a multi-night stay where you are paying or using points for at least 1 night and using the free night award certificate for another night, you have to make two separate reservations. Make the paid/point reservation first, then the free night award certificate for the last night. Again, email the hotel in advance asking them to connect your two reservations and ask if you can receive the same benefits (club lounge or suite upgrade) for that last night.
10. Can I use both a club lounge access and suite upgrade certificate in a single reservation?
After completing 50 nights you receive 2 out of your 4 suite upgrade certificates. That means during your 51-59 nights at Hyatt hotels if you want to apply your suite night upgrade, you can also apply the club lounge access certificates. Once you hit 60 nights, you’ll receive club lounge access automatically simply by having Global status.
Hyatt has done a great job with their benefits. They allow you to earn free night certificates quite easily and have the best options for club lounge access and guaranteed suite upgrades. Not only are these certificates obtainable to earn, they are pretty easy to use as well.
For example, we are using one at the Hyatt Place in Portland, Maine (category 4) property that would have otherwise cost over $300 a night during leaf popping season. While we would not have paid that amount, this is giving us a nice weekend getaway in a great city!
Where is the best hotel you’ve used a Hyatt free night certificate? Or the best suite upgrade you’ve receive? What about the most amazing lounge you’ve had access to?
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