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Wednesday was the day when we finally had official confirmation that the World of Hyatt would, after numerous postponements, finally introduce peak and off-peak season pricing from Tuesday, 26 October 2021 at 10:00 am CT for stays made on or after 1 March 2022. While clearly devaluation, this isn’t as bad as it could have been, and one of the silver linings around the dark cloud of seasonal spring is that Hyatt’s free night awards will not be affected by what’s on the way.
How do you earn Hyatt free night certificates?
Hyatt offers 3 types of free night awards:
- An award that can be used for a free night at properties in Categories 1 through 4 and which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue
- An award that can be used for a free night at properties in Categories 1 through and which is valid for 180 days from the date of issue
- An award that can be used for a free night at properties in Categories 1 through 7 and which is valid for 180 days from the date of issue
There is no free night award that will give a World of Hyatt member a free stay at Category 8 SLH properties.
Here’s how these awards can be earned:
Through Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards
- World of Hyatt members who credit 30 nights to their account or who earn 50,000 base points are rewarded with a Category 1 – 4 free night award which is valid for 180 days from the date of issue.
- World of Hyatt members who credit 60 nights to their account or who earn 100,000 base points are rewarded with a Category 1 – 7 free night award which is valid for 180 days from the date of issue.
Through the World of Hyatt credit card
- The World of Hyatt credit card (review) gives cardholders a Category 1 – 4 free night award on their card anniversary every year which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
- Holders of the World of Hyatt credit card who spend $15,000 on their card in a calendar year are given a Category 1 – 4 free night award which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
Through Hyatt’s Brand Explorer promotion
- World of Hyatt members can earn a Category 1 – 4 free night award every time they stay at 5 different Hyatt brands. This free night award is valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
The Devaluation’s Silver Lining
For stays past 1 March 2022, Hyatt award bookings will not only vary in cost based on a hotel’s World of Hyatt category but also on the season in which the dates of the stay fall, and that had the potential to really mess things up for travelers with Hyatt free night awards.
This is what the award chart for standard room redemptions will look like (free night awards can only book standard rooms):
Had Hyatt followed a similar path to the one Marriott chose when it introduced peak and off-peak season pricing, it could have devalued its free night awards by restricting them to off-peak and peak seasons.
Fortunately, Hyatt isn’t Marriott.
We’ve had confirmation that all free night awards earned from the World of Hyatt credit card, the Milestone Rewards program, and the Brand Explorer promotion will be able to book any property within the category bands they’re valid for regardless of the season.
In effect, this has made the free night awards a little more valuable than they already were because, where before a free night award could have been said to be worth up to 15,000 points or 30,000 points depending on whether it was valid for stays at Category 4 or Category 7 properties (i.e. the cost of a Category 4 or a Category 7 stay), now the same free night awards will be able to book properties costing up to 18,000 and 35,000 points.
Hyatt may be about to introduce peak and off-peak award pricing but it has confirmed that the free night awards earned through the World of Hyatt credit card, Milestone Rewards, or the Brand Explorer promotion will continue to be able to book properties in the hotel categories they are valid for regardless of the season that a stay falls in.
While it’s disappointing that the cost of some award bookings is going up, it’s nice that at least the free night awards aren’t being devalued too.