HomeHotel LoyaltyWorld of HyattWorld of Hyatt is still offering points in exchange for expired certificates

World of Hyatt is still offering points in exchange for expired certificates

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Updated to reflect that not all WoH members are having success with this

This is a post to remind World of Hyatt members that if you can’t find an economical or worthwhile use for a Hyatt free night certificate, there may be no need to make a booking for the sake of it or to watch the certificate go to waste – Hyatt may be happy to give you points in exchange for any free night certificates that you allow to expire.

The World of Hyatt program has been one of the more member-friendly loyalty programs for a number of years and one of the ways in which that friendliness has manifested itself is through the program’s willingness to frequently offer points in exchange for expired free night certificates.

A part of me expected to see Hyatt quietly withdraw this unwritten allowance after it introduced peak and off-peak award pricing but based on my recent experience, World of Hyatt agents are still appear happy to offer up points in exchange for expired free night awards.

How do you earn Hyatt free night certificates?

Hyatt offers 3 types of free night certificates:

  • A certificate 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
  • A certificate 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
  • A certificate 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.

Note: Hyatt actually calls its free night certificates “free night awards” but to prevent any confusion between awards booked with points and awards booked with instruments from a credit card or from Hyatt’s Milestone Awards, I’ve chosen to refer to them as certificates.

Exchanging a certificate for points

Requesting points in exchange for an expired certificate is simple:

  1. Wait for your certificate to expire
  2. Call the World of Hyatt phone line or email your World of Hyatt concierge (if you have one) and ask to have your expired certificate exchanged for points. All the data points that I’ve seen suggest that you need to make this call within 90 days of your certificate expiring.

Be aware that Hyatt representatives are not able to convert valid certificates into points so you’ll have to wait until your certificate has expired before making a request (you may not be able to see the expired certificate in your account but the phone agents can).

Important to know

The first thing that I should point out is that I’ve seen evidence that suggests Hyatt representatives have the ability to offer points for all Hyatt free night award certificates (i.e. Chase issued certificates as well as Hyatt issued certificates) but comments you’ll see at the end of this post suggest that it’s a lot easier to get points for a Hyatt issued free night certificate.

The second thing that I should point out is that you may not always get what you want on your first call to Hyatt – some people have reported being turned down by the first agent that they’ve spoken to but that a second (or sometimes third) agent has processed the exchange for them. Update: Some people are reporting no luck at all.

Note: If you have a Hyatt concierge courtesy of your elite status, its worth contacting them before you allow your certificate to expire to see if they’ll confirm how many points you’ll be offered when your certificate expires.

The number of points you’re offered will usually depend on what certificate you’re exchanging with holders of Category 1 – 4 certificates usually given 10,000 points* and holders of Category 1 – 7 certificates given 20,000 points.

*There have been reports of 15,000 points being given for some Cat 1-4 certificates

Quick thoughts

Clearly, you will almost always get better value by using a free night certificate for a stay than by exchanging it for points, but with a significant number of certificates only valid for 6 months (and with a lot of people living busy lives and unable to take a vacation or short break whenever the mood takes them), the points option can be very useful.

I, for example, recently took what I expect some will consider to be a controversial decision when I allowed a valuable Category 1 – 7 certificate to expire unused before claiming 20,000 points in return…

a screenshot of a account

…but I’m actually ok with how things turned out.

My certificate was earned as a byproduct of my efforts to earn a couple of extra suite night awards (I was given the certificate for earning 60 elite night credits last year) and at no point in the 180 days during which the certificate was valid, did I have a need to book a property costing more than 20,000 points.

In order to use the certificate to its full potential, I would have had to book a stay that I wouldn’t have otherwise made, and as that would have meant spending money that I wouldn’t have otherwise spent (on travel and on incidentals), that wouldn’t have been a particularly clever thing to do.

As 20,000 bonus points in my World of Hyatt account is worth more to me than a 1-night stay that I don’t really need to make, I was ok with watching my certificate expire unused.

Bottom line

If you have a Hyatt free night certificate (award) that’s coming up to its expiration date, you’re not necessarily in a ‘use it or lose it’ scenario. World of Hyatt agents continue to have the power to convert expired free night certificates into useful World of Hyatt points and while those points probably won’t have the same potential value as your certificate, they’re almost always going to be a better money saver than a certificate that you’re using for the sake of it.

As the comments below will show, this won’t work for everyone, but it’s still something worth keeping in mind if you have an expiring Hyatt certificate. Also, if

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    • I know 6 other Hyatt Globalists personally. 5 had expired certificates and all 5 were offered points.
      I also know of 7 non Globalists who all had certificates expire between the middle of last year and a week ago and all were offered points by the Hyatt reps.

  1. I don’t believe this is a correct blanket statement. I called about 5 times and was told each time that a cert issued by Chase is NOT able to be converted. Hyatt issued certs can be.

    If anyone has any success with Chase issued certs then please make note as it was a hard no from multiple agents.

  2. Just tried this. It’s not something that universally works…even on the second, third, etc. attempt. I was told that there was nothing that can be done for nights issued by Chase nor was there an eligible option if a member did not accrue at least 10 night credits in 2021. Please revise your details.

  3. I got points for a chase cert a few years ago (prepandemic) but not since. I got 10,000 points for a Hyatt 1-4 cert last year.

  4. I received the same response as Tried but Not True. Called 3 different times. All agents had the same response. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but at least they were consistent. 🙁

    • Hi Bill, out of interest, what Hyatt status do you have and how did you earn it? (I’m trying to find a pattern that explains why some are having success while others are not)

      • I’m Explorist. I “earned” it and have kept it with the MGM affiliation and vice-versa. I would always get use out of the certificate each year but when Covid hit, my state and most all of N.E. shut down. I didn’t travel anywhere. On top of this there is only 1 Hyatt property in Maine, none in New Hampshire, 1 resort in VT. Not exactly a big footprint and living in northern Maine, I’m 300 miles from the Portland property.
        I would have preferred that they extend the cert’s like Hilton, IHG and Marriott did for another 6-12 months since I am planning a getaway in the next couple of months. But it’s no big deal. My wife and I are each sitting on 200K points accumulated from previous offers and spending, so will burn those when we get the chance.

        • Thanks for the reply, Bill. I agree, extending the certs would clearly have benefitted a lot more people (especially as the certs are “immune” to seasonal pricing).

  5. Lowly Explorist here I called/chatted 3X and was told not for the chase free nights UNLESS I had a min of 10 nights for the year – I only had 7 in 2021.

    I ended up using the cert on the last day, but saw many on FT who were denied after expiration so YMMV

  6. Globalist here (got it back in December after 2 years as Discoverist) and was told to “pound sand” this past weekend – both on a phone call and using their chat function on their website.

    Read this article today and thought why not – HUCA works for so many before and initially, the agent once again was very polite in saying she could do nothing. However, I was very polite, used her name and highlighted how I really liked Hyatt. This was enough for her to take a look at my stay history in 2021 and she offered me 25K (I was only expecting 10K) bonus points. I stayed 25 nights in 2021 and she appreciated that I made the effort to stay at Hyatt (mainly in the second half of the year). Don’t give up, keep trying and always helps to be nice

  7. I recently had an exchange with Hyatt via Phone and email. I had 4 award nights expire. I contacted Hyatt beforehand, they said to wait until they expired to call back. We were going to try to use them by end of year, but I got Covid. So, I called. They gave me 10k points for one of the nights. For the others, like another person said, they basically told me to pound sand! The nights were a mix of Hyatt and Chase free nights. They said they couldn’t do anything about the Chase free nights. I shared with their consumer affairs department that this is not how to treat loyal Hyatt members, especially those that frequent their restaurants, spa and other amenities even while not traveling, spending thousands of dollars per year. They said they would pass on the comments. Sad, really.

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