Hyatt’s Free Night Certificate Policy That Almost Cost Me & How I Got Around It
I have talked about some issues I have with Hyatt’s free night certificate policy in the past. In that instance I wrote about how you can not use a lounge certificate while staying on a free night certificate. That is a rule I don’t really understand but that is not what I want to talk about today. Hyatt’s free night certificate policy that almost cost me a booking is the fact that you can only book them one night at a time. I know this issue isn’t solely Hyatt’s, other hotel programs do the same thing. But what has been a nuisance in the past was a bigger issue on my latest booking.
Hyatt Free Night Certificate – How Do You Earn Them?
There are a few different ways to earn Hyatt free night certificates and I had a few stacked up and I was itching to use them. Before we get to the issue at hand let me share the ways you can earn them:
- World of Hyatt Credit Credit
- You get one each year after paying the annual fee, although they have been taking a while to post.
- You can earn a second free night by spending $15,000 on the card in your cardmember year.
- Each of these only works at Category 1-4 hotels.
- Elite Status
- Earn a category 1-4 Hyatt free night certificate after spending 30 nights at Hyatt in a calendar year.
- Earn a category 1-7 Hyatt free night certificate after spending 60 nights at Hyatt in a calendar year.
- Brand Explorer Perk
- Earn a category 1-4 Hyatt free night certificate for every 5 unique brands you stay at. You can currently earn up to 3 of these.
I was sitting on 3 free nights and needed to use two of them for our upcoming New Orleans meet up. The free night certificates had all come from different earning avenues.
I had earned one of the nights from my World of Hyatt card’s anniversary, one from hitting five unique World of Hyatt brands and one from staying 30 nights this year. I should be getting another one in the next few days for hitting the $15K in spend on my World of Hyatt card while chilling at home.
Hyatt Free Night Certificate Issue
Now that we know how to earn the certs and how I stockpiled mine let’s talk about the issue I had redeeming them. If you have ever tried to use more than one Hyatt certificate online you know that you have to book them separately. Each individual certificate has to be booked as one night stays. The system will not let you book multiple nights at the same time. While this is annoying I have just booked individual nights it in the past and then asked Hyatt to merge the reservations on Twitter. That was until my latest booking.
I booked the first night no problem but the second night was showing no availability. This confused me because when I searched for award space for both nights before booking it showed availability. I went back and double checked after booking the first night and award space was still showing for the weekend when booking two nights. It appears that the hotel was blocking one night stays. I think of this as playing games with award space, something Hyatt is no stranger to. I had to figure out a way around this because one of my certificates expires shortly after the trip and that is why I didn’t want to use points.
Hyatt Twitter to the Rescue
I could have picked up the phone and called Hyatt directly to see if the reservation folks could assist me. But I wanted a passive solution, one that didn’t cost me that much time, and Hyatt Twitter has been helpful for me in the past, so I went that route.
I sent them a DM saying that the hotel is showing award availability on two night stays but not for individual night stays. I also told them I wanted to use my free night certificates and asked if they could book it for me. They said they would contact the hotel and see what they could do.
I guess they were unable to get the hotel on the phone but they were able to force the booking anyway. How, I have no idea, but I got a confirmation of my booking a few hours after my initial message.
This is more of a nuisance than anything else. But had it been for a popular award or on a holiday etc. I could have missed out on my booking while I was waiting for Hyatt to do their work behind the scenes. This seems like too much work for such a simple thing. I don’t know why Hyatt doesn’t make it possible to book multiple nights in a row online with free night certificates. Granted normally this nuisance will only take you a few extra minutes, unless the hotel is playing award space games. This time it took a few extra hours but I was able to get the booking I needed without spending any points. Just be aware of this issue should you plan to use a free night certificate on a multi-night booking in the future.
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