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World of Hyatt elite status members love their suite upgrades, and while many hotels will offer a complimentary, space-available upgrade upon arrival, there is another path to a better room. Some elite members can earn suite upgrades that they can apply in advance, giving them a better shot at an upgrade.
It’s important to understand how and when you can use these to maximize your experience. Those dream suites on the website may still be out of reach if you’re expecting a freebie. World of Hyatt is one of the few remaining hotel loyalty brands to maintain an award chart, giving members transparency and flexibility in how they use their awards.
Here's everything you need to know to make the most of your Hyatt upgrade.
Different types of Hyatt upgrade certificates
The program offers two types of Hyatt upgrade certificates, and it’s important to understand the difference between Club Lounge Access and Hyatt suite upgrade awards (sometimes called the Hyatt TSU, or tier suite upgrade).
Club Lounge Access: Award for club-level rooms with lounge access.
Suite Upgrade Award: Award to upgrade your room to a suite.
These awards are usually earned through World of Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards program, which awards more perks for how often you stay or how much you spend.
For example, if you stay at least 50 elite-qualifying nights or earn 80,000 base points, you will earn two Hyatt suite upgrade awards. More rewards follow the more you stay (and spend), and when achieving Globalist status, you get four suite upgrade awards per year.
ConciergeKey members with American earn automatic Globalist status after linking their World of Hyatt and American AAdvantage accounts.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards right now
How to use a Hyatt suite upgrade certificate
To apply an upgrade award on eligible reservations, you must contact a Hyatt Global Contact Center when booking.
Each upgrade award is good for as many as seven nights when paying in cash, points, or points and cash. This is a great deal since other programs — like Marriott Bonvoy — only provide suite night upgrades to use per night rather than per weeklong stay.
If you have a limited number of upgrade awards, you’ll want to save them for longer stays. Just note that the certificates must be applied and used before their expiration date.
Upgrade awards aren’t valid on free night awards that come with the World of Hyatt Credit Card. In addition, if the property where you want to redeem the suite upgrade award is not open when you make the reservation (even if they are taking reservations), you're not able to apply the award.
» Learn more: The best Hyatt credit card offers
What to know before booking Hyatt suite upgrade awards
Each upgrade expires 14 months after the end of the year in which you earned it. So if you earn a suite night award in 2022, it will expire on Feb. 29, 2024. If space is available, the upgrade will clear on the spot, which is what makes these so valuable. You don’t have to wait for the luck of the draw when you arrive.
» Learn more: Should you pursue Hyatt elite status this year?
There are several properties that exclude use of Hyatt upgrade certificates. These include popular hotels like:
Park Hyatt Sydney.
Hyatt Paris Madeleine.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills.
AMR Collection hotels and resorts, among others.
There are some surprising properties on the list, too, however. These include Hyatt Regency Wichita and any Hyatt Place property, although those presumably do not have many suites. Suite upgrade awards are only valid at properties that let you redeem a suite free night award.
» Learn more: Hyatt Place vs. Hyatt Regency
Standard suite availability
Do a little homework before contacting customer service to see if a standard suite upgrade is available, as premium suites are not eligible for suite upgrade awards.
It’s fairly simple. When searching for award space on the app or through the website, if a standard suite is available, it will show up with points availability. Take note that there is a difference between standard and premium suites. If only premium suites are available, you won’t be able to successfully use your suite upgrade award.
Some suites are better than others, and most hotels will only upgrade members to a standard suite — not one of the larger premium suite options (unless otherwise specified during the redemption process).
If you see a standard suite available with points, then it should be available for a suite upgrade award.
» Learn more: The complete guide to World of Hyatt
AmEx Fine Hotel and Resorts Upgrades
You might be able to get a premium suite upgrade in advance of arrival when booking certain rates through the Fine Hotels and Resorts program with American Express. This program — open only to cardholders of The Platinum Card® from American Express, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Centurion Card from American Express — comes with one-category, space-available upgrades. Terms apply.
Members must use their card to book travel through the AmEx Travel portal or through telephone to be eligible for these rates and benefits.
Maximizing a Hyatt suite upgrade award
The best time and place to use suite upgrade awards are for longer stays (up to seven nights) at nicer hotels. While it’s great to have a suite upgrade at a business hotel, you’ll enjoy it a lot more when at a more upscale, resort-style property.
World of Hyatt is a generous program in many ways with its elite status benefits (especially for Globalists) and suite- and club-level upgrades earned as part of its Milestone Rewards program. Once you achieve elite status, you can start using these valuable perks, which can save hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars off of your next eligible World of Hyatt stay.
All information about the Centurion Card from American Express has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Centurion Card from American Express is no longer available through NerdWallet.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card