One of the great benefits to a hotel credit card and rewards program is the ability to earn free night certificates. World of Hyatt is one of the popular hotel programs where people love to earn these certificates. This perk can be a great supplement to your of Hyatt points or even Chase Ultimate Rewards points, since Hyatt is a Chase transfer partner. As a result of the pandemic, many of us may have a plethora of these certificates built up, so let's look into how you actually earn them and use them.
Ways to Earn Certificates
You can earn Hyatt certificates in a couple different ways. First off, you can earn one with the Chase World of Hyatt card (review). This card carries an annual fee of $95. That means every year after paying your annual fee, you will have a certificate post to your account (in 8-12 weeks). This is valid for a free night (including taxes and fees) at a category 1-4 property.
Second, Hyatt certificates are earned by meeting certain elite night milestones. You can earn elite nights with actual stays or through credit card spend with the Chase World of Hyatt card. After achieving 30 nights, you earn a category 1-4 certificate and 2 club lounge passes. After achieving 60 nights, you earn a category 1-7 certificate. Sixty nights also earns you two suite upgrades and the much desired Globalist status.
Additionally, you can earn Hyatt certificates by completing staying at different Hyatt brands. For every five different brands you stay at, you will earn one free night certificate with the Brand Explorer program.
Finally, Hyatt may offer promotions from time to time that allow you to earn extra free night certificates. We have seen many promotions since 2020 as hotels try and incentivize people to travel again.
Using a certificate with Hyatt can be easy to do online right from your World of Hyatt account. First, simply search for your desired hotel or destination, and make sure to check the box to “Use Points” in your search.
Verify that the hotel's category falls within the categories of the certificate you want to use. Keep in mind that categories do not actually show up in a regular Hyatt search. However, points are standard among categories. This means a category 4 will price out at 15,000 points.
You can also use this Hyatt search feature, which limits search to a category 1-4.
If you don't know your specific location, you can search program wide by category with this list. It provides you a list by category and further breaks it down by state, which can be a great resource for general flexible searches.
Once you find your hotel, select the “Free Night” option. The other nights listed are award bookings using World of Hyatt points. You want the one that shows “Free Night” with no points amount listed.
Now for the one small catch. You usually must search one night at a time typically using this method. Hyatt free night certificates can only be used online for one night. There is one exception or work around to this explained below. You can also book each night separately and then contact Hyatt to merge the multiple reservations into a single stay. Contacting Hyatt to combine into a single stay is a simple process and pretty pain free. If you have full Globalist status (60 nights), you can reach out to your assigned Hyatt concierge, which is what I did recently.
Pay My Way
Hyatt had started rolling out this new feature in December. Pay My Way lets you mix different types of payment for a single reservation. This means you can avoid having to book separate nights and then calling to have Hyatt merge them into a single reservation. Huge thanks to Mark from Miles to Memories who helped us work through some research glitches with this feature and reached out to Hyatt for clarification.
To find this feature, you must do a regular search with no special rates selected, otherwise you won't see it. You need to select the Standard Rate option. I have no idea why Hyatt has hidden it like this because it's a great feature.
You then click on the Use Pay My Way to get the breakdown screen to come up. You can then mix and match what you would like to use for your reservation. Keep in mind, this is best for certificates and points only or maybe points plus cash. Using cash only under this may result in a higher rate since it is the “standard rate”.
Free night certificates can be a great way to save on travel in addition to using points. It also makes the annual fee on hotel cards well worth it. I have loved my Chase World of Hyatt card. I usually can get at least double my value on a hotel credit card annual fee. For my upcoming spring break trip, I used four Hyatt free night certificates versus paying about $1,200 cash for a four-night stay. Are you using your certificates yet? What are some of your best bookings? Come over to our Facebook group and let us know your thoughts.