Hyatt’s Annoying Free Night Cert Policy That Almost Cost Me & How I Got Around It

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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

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. My preferred solution is to book two nights with points to secure the space. Then DM the Twitter team to replace points with the certificates.

  2. At least Hyatt let’s a work around for 2 night required reservations. I tried to use my free night at the Intercontinental New Orleans with a minimum night stay and pay for the other nights with points. They wouldn’t budge. We ended up staying at a different hotel.

    • Very true – one of the reasons I stick with them is because they give their reps some power to make things happen. Such an annoying policy when you want to book two nights with two different forms and a program won’t work with you.

  3. I booked two nights with two night certificates recently. I just called and did it by phone. Yes, it would be nice to be able to book it and online!

  4. I’ve wanted to combine free nights with points nights and calling Hyatt is easy and takes but a few minutes. I don’t understand the reticence to just grab the phone and call. I did this just very recently and I bet I was on the phone under ten minutes, start to finish. I would think doing the same with multiple free night certs would be just as easy.

    • I guess I would say we are approaching 2020, this shouldn’t be that difficult to have set up. And having people call in only costs them money so it would be in their best interest.

      Often calling would not make a huge deal but had I called for this one I would have waited while they tried to contact the hotel. The hotel would not pick up to their call so I would have had to wait to hear back from them. So I would have wasted 10-20 minutes calling in and got nothing accomplished. That is why I prefer the Twitter route or better yet just make it possible to do online.

      • Hear that, Mark. Delay with security verification is my own hesitation for calling. Even after a person punches in info then they have to usually verbally repeat it + more. All that takes up to 5 min alone with any minimal wait times. And with Hyatt they normally just send you back to the property anyway..& more verifications!

        Thanks for the heads-up on how to deal with that specific issue, Mark. I ran into a 2-nt min at Hyatt Coco Beach PR, but I was using points so no issues. I, too, wonder what the issue could possibly be (with Hyatt) booking instead with FNs!

        • Glad I could help. I guess I should be happy at least it isn’t Hilton where they still make us call in to book the free nights haha 🙂


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