In 2017, World of Hyatt introduced the Hyatt Brand Explorer awards. Every time you stay at a new Hyatt brand, you’ll receive a new check mark next to the respective brand. Every time you complete 5 new brands, you’ll receive a free night certificate. This is based on cumulative stays since March 1, 2017 and does not reset every year. When the promotion was originally launched, Hyatt members were capped at earning 2 free night certificates.
Now, in 2019, Hyatt is up to 15 brands in their portfolio. Both Thompson Hotels and Joie de Vivre Hotels were added earlier this year. Later this year, we’ll also see the addition of two more brands when Alila and Destination Hotels are added.
This means you can now earn up to 3 free night certificates with the Brand Explorer promotion! I was informed by Hyatt that members accounts will be updated mid-June to reflect three badge images.
Things to know…
Once you stay at 5 different Hyatt brands, you’ll receive a certificate deposited to your account. The free night certificate is capped at a category 4 property. It also expires 12 months from when it was earned. Almost all stays count towards this magical 5 number — qualifying paid stays where you earn points, full point reservations, cash and point reservations and even stays where you redeemed another free night certificate earned.
Using the certificate is similar to using World of Hyatt points. Sign into your account and select the option to use points. If you have a free night award available it will show you the option to book with the free night promotional award. As long as there is a standard room available, you can use the certificate.
One important thing to know when using free night certificates is that you cannot book them as part of a larger reservation. Each certificate must be booked as separate one night stays. If you are looking to stay multiple nights, I suggest calling the hotel ahead of time and making sure all reservations are linked in their system.
Additionally, when you use your free night certificate you cannot use a Globalist Suite Upgrade or Explorist Lounge Access certificate, . This is a big disadvantage of using the certificates. When using points you can tack on those certificates. If you are using a free night certificate as part of a longer stay, I suggest booking this night as the last night of your stay so you can use the other two certificates on the first part of your reservation. Once your stays are linked, I would speak to the hotel to ensure you do not have to switch rooms and ask nicely if you can still receive lounge access.
I am glad that World of Hyatt members can now earn up to three free night certificates. Although I am well aware that actually staying at this number of Hyatt brands is extremely difficult. For those who live outside of the US it is near impossible, and even incredibly challenging for those within the US.
How many brands have you stayed at?