Best Hyatt Category 1-4 Hotels For Burning Those Free Nights: Domestic Edition!

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Best Uses Of Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates

Best Uses Of Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates

Before Hyatt launched their refreshed World of Hyatt Visa, the only route to free night certificates was the annual free night you received with their co-branded credit card. You earned a free night every anniversary, and finding the best uses of Hyatt category 1-4 free nights was something I frequently pursued.

Earning Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates

Hyatt upped their game in 2018 with the new card, plus the launch of the new World of Hyatt program and brand explorer bonus. Now you have even more ways to earn Hyatt free nights. You can:

The World of Hyatt Visa is solidly the best hotel credit card, in my opinion. Check out the other four that round out our top five hotel cards!

Now that we’ve covered how to earn free nights, redeeming them is simple. You can log into Hyatt’s website and choose to use it at any Category 1-4 hotel where there are standard award nights available. You’ll see the option to use your free night pop up. If you want to book more than one consecutive night with free night certificates, you’ll need to search and book one night at a time.

Once Hyatt launches their peak and off-peak pricing, remember that free night certificates are tied to the category. Your free night certificate, if used at a Category 4 property during peak dates, will be worth up to 18,000 points!

Now, without further ado, here are the best uses of Hyatt Category 1-4 free nights at hotels within the U.S.

Best Uses Of Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates

The Confidante Miami Beach

The Confidante was a solid pick for our first experience in Miami Beach. My daughter arrived around 6:00 AM, and they let us check in immediately. The hotel has a great vibe and an awesome location right in the middle of the beach. My daughter and I really enjoyed our breakfast in the outdoor section of their Bird & Bone restaurant.

Even though this resort is very limited in size with two small pools (one family, one adults-only), it is an enjoyable, relaxing escape.

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

Situated near the water’s edge with impressive views of San Diego Bay and Coronado Island, it’s hard to find a better hotel in downtown SD. A decent Grand Club and comfortable rooms complement the fantastic location. Rates vary substantially depending on what is going on in San Diego, but it makes for a fantastic use of a Category 1-4 free night certificate when rates climb above $300 per night.

Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel

With limited options in NYC, you have to take what you can get with Category 1-4 free night certificates. Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel, is one of those too-good-to-be-true properties. Located in an assuming building in the Financial District, the hotel has a great design and appears to be a great choice for a NYC visit.

That being said, most I’ve spoken with rate The Beekman, the other NYC Thompson Hotel, a lot more highly. This one isn’t Category 4 or below, however, so it doesn’t make the list.

Lahaina Shores Beach Resort, A Destination Hotel

This is a new property on my radar. I missed more Destination Hotels joining Hyatt’s portfolio, including this resort property on Maui. It doesn’t look like a top-tier place, but the resort rooms appear to have cooking capabilities, which may be a huge plus those looking for this amenity.

Andaz Savannah

Situated in the heart of this charming Southern city, the Andaz is a lovely choice for a stay in Savannah. You’ll be right in the middle of the historic colonial district, with fantastic restaurants and plenty of shopping to enjoy. I’ve eyed the Andaz Savannah as my potential first stay with the brand, although it’s also possible I make it to an international location first.

Hyatt at Olive 8

With multiple excellent Hyatt properties in Seattle, it is difficult to trim the list to only one to feature for the best uses of Hyatt Category 1-4 free nights. The Hyatt at Olive 8 has always come highly recommended with its excellent dining. But you cannot go wrong by choosing the Grand Hyatt, downtown Hyatt Regency, or even the Hyatt Regency over on Lake Washington.

I remember last year when people groaned about the hard-hitting changes to the Hyatt award scene in Seattle, as both the Hyatt at Olive 8 and the Grand Hyatt increased to Category 5 properties. Well, no more. These will be Category 4 locations once again on March 22. Update: In light of Hyatt punting their category changes until next year, this hotel will *not* make the Category 4 list in 2020!

The Bellevue Hotel

This historic property in downtown Philadelphia is an excellent choice for a visit to the City of Brotherly Love. I haven’t been to Philly for years, but I’ve eyed this Hyatt location as a great option, mainly because I would be able to burn Category 1-4 free night certificates here.

Best Uses Of Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates

Hyatt Residence Club Sedona, Piñon Point

I love Sedona. This may be my own preferences influencing the picks, but I’d happily burn my certificate in this amazing Southwest destination. You don’t get all the same amenities at a Residence Club as you would at a standard hotel. But the location is good, the rooms look spacious, and the property looks excellent.

This is one of only two U.S. Hyatt Residence Club locations available at Category 4 or less (the second is in Puerto Rico), so if you’re looking to check of that brand from your brand explorer, the Club Sedona Piñon Point is your opportunity.

Hyatt Centric Waikiki

I’ve begrudgingly added this one to the list, as Waikiki is literally the last place I would wish to visit in Hawaii. However, if being in the middle of Honolulu is a must, the value here is excellent. Rates are rarely sky high, but you’ll likely get a solid $250 in value for your certificate, which is better than many places.

Best Uses Of Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates

Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa

With rates ranging from $250 to over $400, this resort property outside of San Antonio is a great choice for Hyatt Category 1-4 certificate use. With a water park, golf, trails, and Camp Hyatt for the kids, this is a popular resort for families. The Hill Country Resort & Spa has nine dining options as well. I’m still amazed it is a only a Category 4 property.

If you’re Globalist, things are even better. You’ll dodge the $35 per night resort fee, enjoy free breakfast, and also have complimentary parking on award stays.


Maximizing your free nights is always a fantastic goal. I have a (potentially) bad habit of using them for airport stays and when the first reasonable opportunity presents itself, but the other side of the coin is that I don’t have to go out of my way to work a great use into my travel plans.

My personal best uses of Hyatt Category 1-4 free nights included our night at The Confidante, featured above, as well as a recent stay at the Eliza Jane in New Orleans. I decided at the beginning to not include any Hyatt Place properties, but there are a few great options in Hyatt’s mid-scale brands, including the Hyatt Place Marathon Keys. Keep an eye out for Hyatt Place bargains in otherwise expensive locations!

What is your best domestic use of a Hyatt free night?

Photos courtesy of the Miles to Memories team members and Hyatt hotel website media. 

Ian Snyder
After igniting his passion for award travel while planning his honeymoon, Ian now enjoys using points and miles to see the world with his wife and three internationally adopted kiddos. He loves dissecting loyalty programs to find maximum value. His goal is to demonstrate that extraordinary travel is possible for the ordinary family.

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  1. We’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort twice now. Great value and a wonderful place to visit with kids. This is definitely one I’m afraid will go up to a category 5.

  2. Chicago Athletic Association Hyatt. On Michigan Avenue across from Millennium Park and “The Bean.” Great views from rooftop bar/restaurant. One of the closest hotels to the Art Institute. Near lots of restaurants and the theater district. 2nd floor bar behind the reception desk has a $10 Happy Hour special M-Th. Burger, fries, beer, and a shot for $10. Last time here as a Globalist I got a very nice suite upgrade and the staff is great.

    • Thanks for the tips! I’ve looked at that property. Almost chose it instead of the Talbott for a stay last summer, but I was looking for a Joie de Vivre brand in that case.

  3. Mine was expiring so my wife and I did a ‘staycation’ at the Phoenix Hyatt Regency. Just so happened to be ‘First Friday’ at the theatre across the street, which meant live music (which was excellent). The next day was the regular Saturday market in the Roosevelt art district and so we walked around there before the 2PM checkout. Parking overnight was only $12. Weather was excellent and hotel, while only a Cat 3, was great. There are numerous restaurants all over in downtown Phoenix and the downtown is clean, walkable, and safe. I learned that the light rail goes to the airport from there too — about 20 minutes. Had I paid cash for that night it would have approached $300.

  4. I use to work in Savannah. Savannah is one of the most unique cities in the world. Every couple of blocks, in either direction, in the historic area there will be a park. Each of these parks is unique. A common feature are the large live oaks with moss hanging from them. Savannah is loaded with great restaurants. While Charleston, 2 hours to the north is very colonial, Savannah is about 30% like Charleston, 30% like New Orleans, and 40% truly unique. It has a working port and one of the largest shipping ports on the east coast. There are hotels and bars that line the river. Each year in March, but maybe not this one, they have the 2nd largest to NYC of St. Patty’s parade and party. Savannah is very walkable and allows drinks in containers in a specific area year round. Best time to visit is mid March to mid April when all the azaleas are in bloom, or in Oct./Nov when the heat has broken. Personally, I would pick Savannah over Charleston for its uniqueness.

    • We spent 5 or 6 nights in Savannah last September. What a charming and lovely experience it was. The historic Squares are enough for any serious or mildly interested history buff. There’s enough culture, history and great dining to suggest this great city warrants more than a weekend stay. And less than an hour by car gets you into environs like Beaufort, beaches, etc. A gem of a city.


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