Say What? Chase Gave Me 15,000 Points Instead Of A Category 1-4 Certificate!

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Is something changing with the annual Hyatt free night credit?

$15k Hyatt Free Night Certificate — Did I Win the Lottery or Is Something Changing?

Is something changing with the World of Hyatt free night certificate from spending $15,000 on the credit card? Or did I just win the lottery from a customer service rep doing something unique? Instead of the traditional free night certificate, I got something different. It’s much better and here’s what happened.

Hyatt free night credit

Hyatt Free Night Certificate Via Credit Card

The World of Hyatt credit card from Chase is a favorite in this hobby. It is also one of the most valuable Chase personal cards out there. I even wrote about why this card has a place in my wallet. It also comes with 2 great perks relevant to this article:

  1. An annual free night certificate on your card anniversary. It’s well worth the $95 annual fee if you maximize it.
  2. Earn another free night certificate if you spend $15,000 on the card that year. This runs by cardmember year. If you opened the card April 10, you need to do the $15k between April 10 and next April 10. It’s not by calendar year.

The card currently has a welcome offer 25,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. You also can earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after $6,000 total in purchases within 6 months of account opening (Learn More). That’s a total of 50,000 World of Hyatt points, if you’re interested in applying and are under 5/24 with Chase.

Interacting With Chase to Verify My Spending

I cut it close on earning the Hyatt free night certificate from the $15,000 of spend. My cardholder anniversary is December 1st every year. For some reason, I had it in my mind that I had until the end of the year to meet the spending requirement. I was forgetting that this offer is based on cardholder year, not calendar year. On November 30th, I realized I needed to spend $800 by tomorrow. I sent a secure message to Chase to confirm the deadline and how much I’d spent.

Chase Responds

Chase confirmed that my deadline for $15,000 in spend was December 1st. Remember that pending items don’t count. However, the customer service representative helped me out:

The $15,000 spend would have to be met on the December 2019 cycle in order to qualify for the free night. All purchases must be posted before the cycle ends on the 15th of the month.

Since my anniversary date was in the middle of a billing cycle, they’d consider any spending that happened in that billing cycle. This gave me an extra 2 weeks to make sure I met the spend and that all charges posted, rather than sitting as ‘pending.’

My Message to Confirm

I messaged Chase on December 16th to confirm that I’d surpassed the $15,000 in spending and to thank them for the grace period. I also asked when I could expect to see the World of Hyatt free night certificate in my Hyatt account.

Chase Gives Me a Big Surprise

I won the lottery in the response from Chase. The Hyatt free night certificate is valid for 1 free night at any Category 1-4 property. You cannot use it at a Category 5 property and pay the difference. It also expires after 12 months. However, I got this surprise message from Chase:

We have honored your free night for meeting the spending requirement of $15,000 on your December cycle. We have issued 15,000 bonus points which is equivalent to a 1-4 category night stay with Hyatt and points do not expire. You will see the points deposited on your next billing cycle.

Wow! Just wow. I’ll take 15,000 Hyatt points over a Hyatt free night certificate any time. Why? The free night is 1 free night, whether that hotel costs 5,000 or 25,000 points. If I stay at a property that’s 5,000 points per night, those 15,000 points give me 3 free nights. Huge difference. True to form, Chase posted the points to my World of Hyatt account on my next statement.

Hyatt free night credit came as 15,000 points

Are Things Changing?

Are things changing? This is a solo data point. My wife met her $15,000 spend requirement a few weeks after I did and got the traditional free night certificate. It posted with her statement closing from Chase. This is the standard award.

Hyatt free night award from spending $15,000 on the card

Final Thoughts

Are things changing with the World of Hyatt free night certificate? Will it move to points? I may be an outlier here. I’d love to see data points on anyone else receiving 15,000 points instead of a free night certificate in their account. My theory is that I cut it close (and technically got an extension) on the deadline for the $15,000 spend requirement. Because of this, the customer service rep gave me a grace period. Maybe there was no way to issue the normal certificate in this scenario. Or maybe things are changing. I won’t intentionally plan for this next year, because another chat rep might not be so kind. However, I’d love to see this become the new normal.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder what will happen to me. Anniversary date is Jan 10, I got one free night award deposited and I put my spend over 15k in early Jan. I have no idea if the cert I have in my account is the anniversary or the extra 15k spend. I should have 2 certs right now.

    • The 15K certs usually don’t post until the statement cuts. So you should see it after your next statement hits.

  2. The 15k points can be good if using for multiple cat 1 redemptions. For those using the 15k points instead on a category 4, it may not be a good exchange once the peak pricing takes over in march.

  3. NO, I wouldn’t want that at all. I would much rather have my Category 1-4 certificate-I make a point of staying in a Category 3-4 hotel to use it, and then I usually buy a points and cash stay or a the cheapest dollar stay I can so I have two nights. Also, you are forgetting that Hyatt added the Small Luxury Hotels to their collection. I don’t think any of those are Category 1-they are category 3-4 or higher. I will be using my two free nights (earned one from staying at 5 different Hyatts) at the Gild Hall hotel in NYC in February, and will use my cert in October to stay at a palace hotel in Portugal. There aren’t very many 5000 point hotels near me, if any-I have no use for that.

    • You are misunderstanding something. 15,000 points gets you the equivalent of a category 4, but you can also use them in other ways and th your don’t expire. He can still book an SLH category 3 and come out 3,000 ahead

  4. Hyatt didn’t give you that. Chase did. Title is misleading. What happened to you happens all the time. Chase issues courtesy points all the time. Think of this as a bigger courtesy.

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