Hyatt: How to Use Free Night Awards

Redeeming awards through the Hyatt site is relatively simple. Earning them can be, too, with the right card.
Jun 23, 2022

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One of the most appealing benefits of World of Hyatt Credit Card is the annual free night. Cardholders who renew their card each year receive a Hyatt free night certificate to use at eligible hotels every year. And there's an opportunity to earn a second World of Hyatt free night based on your annual spending. If you love Hyatt, here's how to use the free night award benefit that's included with your credit card.

What types of Hyatt free night awards are available?

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As a World of Hyatt member, you can redeem free night awards using your points or by redeeming a Hyatt free night certificate. For members who want to maximize World of Hyatt Credit Card benefits, earning and redeeming free night awards is an excellent choice.

Here are three ways to earn free night certificates from Hyatt.

Credit card free nights

Through its partnership with Chase, Hyatt offers two free night certificate opportunities for World of Hyatt Credit Card cardholders. Cardholders receive the first World of Hyatt free night just for renewing World of Hyatt Credit Card card each year. You'll earn a second World of Hyatt free night certificate when you spend at least $15,000 on your card each year.

Milestone awards

Hyatt rewards frequent guests by providing milestone awards based on nights stayed or points earned. Milestone awards start at 20 nights and are earned every 10 nights thereafter to a total of 100 nights. You may also earn select milestone awards based on your base points earned.

With World of Hyatt milestone awards, you can earn two free nights each year.

30 nights or 50,000 base points earn:

  • Explorist status.

  • One Category 1-4 free night award.

  • Two Club Lounge access awards.

60 nights or 100,000 base points earn:

  • Globalist status.

  • One Category 1-7 free night award.

  • Two Club Lounge access awards.

  • Access to My Hyatt Concierge.

Brand explorer award

There are 19 different brands in World of Hyatt, and its loyalty program wants members to try each one. One way that it encourages this behavior is through its Brand Explorer awards.

When you pay an eligible rate, book a room with points or redeem a free night certificate for a stay at five different Hyatt brands, you'll earn a Category 1-4 free night award. Additional free night awards are available for every additional five unique Hyatt brands that you stay in over the lifetime of your membership. That means that you can earn three free night awards just by staying at different Hyatt hotels and resorts.

Where to find your Hyatt free night award

Once you've earned a Hyatt free night award, you'll be able to find it in your World of Hyatt account online or in its mobile app.

Using your internet browser, visit Hyatt.com and log into your account. Click on your name in the upper right corner, then click on "My Awards."

After clicking on "My Awards," you'll find a summary of your free nights, upgrades and Brand Explorer progress.

Click on the blue plus sign in the free night's row to view the details. Here, you'll see a listing of each World of Hyatt free night certificate you've earned and its status. Additionally, each free night award lists which categories you may redeem it at and what the expiration date is.

How to use a Hyatt free night award

Once you've located which Hyatt free night certificate you want to use, click the blue "Explore Hotels" button next to the award.

This brings up a world map that highlights the Hyatt hotels and resorts around the world. The map can also be turned off to search by destination. You can zoom in on a specific destination, use the search function in the upper left corner or narrow down your results with the filters. For Category 1-4 certificate stays, select categories 1, 2, 3 and 4 so that you don't waste time looking at ineligible properties.

The filters allow you to select specific hotel amenities, brands or award categories. Once you've narrowed down your search to a specific property, click on it to see more details. Click "Select" if you are ready to book.

Next, enter the dates that you wish to travel and click "Check Availability."

The description of the available room for the Hyatt free night certificate appears next. You may also compare available rooms and how much they cost in cash or points by checking other rates. Click "Select" if you are ready to book your room.

Once you've selected the room, you'll verify your personal information and payment information to secure your room.

Find the Hyatt that's best for you

To find the Hyatt free night redemption that's best for you, start with the World of Hyatt destination map. It includes over 900 properties that you can redeem points or certificates at. For Category 1-4 certificates, there are more than 600 properties available.

Use the map's filters to narrow down the search results and find a property that offers what you're looking for in a vacation. The filter includes searches for common hotel amenities like:

  • Free breakfast.

  • Pet-friendly.

  • Pool.

  • Ski.

You can also narrow the results based on the type of hotel you want to stay in — budget, luxury or somewhere in between. Families may focus on Hyatt Place, Hyatt Ziva or Hyatt House properties. While travelers searching for a romantic getaway may select Secrets, Hyatt Zilara, Park Hyatt or Dreams.

How to get maximum value from Hyatt free night awards

Most Hyatt free night awards are limited to Category 1-4 properties, but some go up to Category 7. When booking Hyatt free nights, many cardholders want to receive a good value from their Hyatt free night certificate. Here are a few tips on how to use a Hyatt free night award for maximum value.

  • Focus on higher category properties. In general, properties in a higher category cost more points or cash to book a room. By focusing your search on higher-tier categories, you'll receive more value for your free night certificates.

  • Compare cash versus points. Hotels in higher categories may not always provide maximum value for your certificates. Before booking your free stay, compare it against the cash price. NerdWallet values Hyatt points at 1.9 cents each. If you're not getting at least that much in value, consider paying cash for your stay.

  • When you're parking a car (Globalists only). At many Hyatt properties, you'll pay to park your car. However, when you're staying at Hyatt on an award stay, parking fees are waived for Globalist members. To get the maximum value from your World of Hyatt free night certificates, save them for stays where you'll need to park a vehicle.

  • Seek out international destinations. As a global brand, Hyatt has many wonderful Category 1-4 properties worldwide. This enables you to book stays at international properties using your free night certificates instead of settling for the Hyatt Place near the airport somewhere in the U.S.

Be careful when booking Hyatt free nights

Most free night certificates are eligible for stays at Category 1-4 hotels or resorts, but some go up to Category 7. The website typically selects the free night certificate that is expiring first when booking an award stay. So, make sure that you're not using a Category 1-7 free night on a Category 1-4 by accident. If so, contact Hyatt customer service (or your concierge if you're a Globalist) to have them swap a Category 1-4 award in its place.

The bottom line

When you have a Hyatt free night certificate, it is important to learn how to use Hyatt free night awards. As a World of Hyatt Credit Card cardholder, you'll get up to two Hyatt card free night certificates each year. And you can earn two more free nights based on your elite status qualifications annually. These certificates can be a powerful addition to your travel planning and can save you hundreds of dollars every year when following these tips.

Photo courtesy of Hyatt.


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