Hyatt has just joined Hilton in offering some great customer-friendly extensions due to the current Coronavirus situation. For the moment we’ve all been waiting for: Hyatt is extending both status and free night, suite upgrade and club lounge certificates. This will be extremely helpful for loyalty members who are most likely not going to be able to maintain status or use their certificates due to lack of travel.
Elite status extension
Earning status this year will be quite challenging, so Hyatt is making it easy for existing status members. Those with Discoverist, Explorist or Globalist status will not have to re-qualify and will receive an extension until Feb. 28, 2022. This means whatever your status level was as of March 31, 2020 will carry over. Your new expiration date will be reflected into your Hyatt account no later than April 15, 2020.
Just a few things to keep in mind — while your status will be extended, your milestone benefits will still need to be earned. For example, after completing both 50 and 60 nights, you’ll receive 2 suite upgrades (4 in total). While you no longer need to earn 60 nights to maintain Globalist status, you will not receive those suite upgrades if you do not stay those respective nights. Of course you can always be upgraded to a suite upon check-in, based on availability, the suite upgrades allow you to confirm your suite when you make the reservation months in advance.
Now, if you are looking to earn a higher status than you currently have, then you an still partake in Hyatt’s status match and challenge promotion. This is for participating corporate employers, but you do have until November to enroll, so hopefully we will all be back to traveling by then.
Keep in mind, your World of Hyatt credit card can also help you earn a higher status or nights towards milestone benefits. For every $5,000 you spend on your card, you’ll receive 2 qualifying nights. This can be combined with nights stayed. You’ll also receive 5 nights towards status yearly, meaning you only need to receive an additional 45 nights to earn the 50 night milestone benefit or 55 nights to earn Globalist status.
Free night stays, suite upgrades and club lounge access certificates extended
If you have an unused certificate — free night, suite upgrade or club lounge access — with an expiration date between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020, the award will be extended through Dec. 31, 2021. This is an extremely generous extension as it can give you up to another 19 months to redeem the certificate.
Now, you will no longer need to exchange your free night certificate into points and can actually receive the full points value. It will also allow you to continue to earn a bunch of free night certificates to burn in a longer stay.
As a quick recap, here are the ways to earn Hyatt free night certificates:
- World of Hyatt Credit Card and the old Hyatt Credit Card receive a free night certificate annually on their account anniversary (category 1-4, expires 1 year)
- Spend $15,000 on your World of Hyatt Credit Card during your cardmember year (category 1-4, expires 1 year)
- Complete 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points (category 1-4, expires 180 days)
- Complete 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base points (category 1-7; expires 180 days)
- Stay at 5 different brands with the Brand Explorer award — you can only earn these once an account lifetime (category 1-4; expires 1 year)
I personally have many free night certificates expiring in April — that were supposed to be used for a trip to Disneyland that is not happening — so I am thrilled that I will get a nice extension on these certificates.
I also like that you will not have to call to get the certificate extended as they will automatically be updated in the system. All awards that were set to expire between March 1 and March 31, 2020 will be replaced with new awards on April 20, 2020. Moving forward, all unused awards will be updated in your Hyatt account by the 20th of the month in which the award would have originally expired.
24-hour change and cancelation policy
In case you are nervous about making a hotel reservation right now, Hyatt is implementing a policy where you can change or cancel any hotel reservation 24-hours before your scheduled arrival. This is for all hotels booked between April 2 through June 30, 2020. This even includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations during peak travel time. The only exclusions are reservations at Destination Residences and Special Event Rates.
Now you can book travel for non-refundable reservations and not need to worry about whether or not you’ll need to cancel in the future.
I am very pleased with Hyatt’s extensions, but am not at all surprised. I knew Hyatt would do something that was extremely customer-friendly, it was just a matter of when. We are a Hyatt family and since we already have Globalist status, we will not have to worry about earning it again this year. However, we are still going to try to get to the 50 night level, so receive some of those milestone benefits — we truly love those suite upgrades for our Hyatt travel needs.