Bet you didn’t know: Gift Hyatt free night certificates to someone else.

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Julian Kheel over at CNN Underscored is probably going to berate me for the use of his old column title, but I don’t remember a ceremony retiring his number when he headed off for greener pastures and there just wasn’t a better title for this (and if he wants to sue me, my liability is limited). At any rate, I am indeed willing to bet that most readers didn’t know that Hyatt will allow you to gift your free night certificates to someone else. Several members of our Frequent Miler Insiders group have confirmed that they have successfully done this. That’s huge because it means that a couple playing in 2-player mode could potentially combine forces to earn those nights toward elite status and/or enjoy the elite status benefits of the recipient.

I certainly didn’t know this was possible, though in hindsight perhaps I should have made this guess sooner. A couple of years ago, when I only had Explorist status, I called Hyatt asking whether there was some way to reserve a room for friends (we were traveling together but had separate flights home; their itinerary included an overnight layover one way).  Guest of Honor bookings can only be made by Hyatt Globalist members, but the front line agent with whom I spoke told me that Hyatt allows members to gift a stay to someone else. My friends wouldn’t get any elite benefits, but all they needed was a place to sleep for a few hours. In my case, my friends weren’t even World of Hyatt members, which is part of the reason that I needed a solution other than transferring points to them. In hindsight, I could have connected the dots to apply the same gifting situation to a free night certificate. However, conventional wisdom has long been that you can’t use a free night certificate to make a booking in someone else’s name – which is still (mostly) true.

And that’s why I thought the answer was no when a member of our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group posted this week to ask the following question:

Does anyone know if there is any way for me to use my wife’s Hyatt free night certificates and get the nights credited to my own account for purposes of hitting the Globalist threshold?

Much to my surprise, several group members commented about how this could indeed be done — by gifting the free night certificate rather than asking to book it in someone else’s name. See these responses:

Yes, but she has to specifically say she’s gifting it to you when you call to make the reservation. She can’t just say I want to book a room in my husband’s name.
Did this last month and it worked.

And:

Yes I just did it a few weeks ago. You can’t do it online but you can call to gift. But I can confirm I received the elite credit for my wife’s credit card nights.
However, make sure you don’t have free nights sitting around in your own account when your wife gifts you hers. I had a bit of a fiasco when I had 2 free nights disappear when my wife gifted me her 2 certs (so 4 free night certs were used for 2 nights in the hotel). I didn’t discover it until I was already checked in so it took an hour on the phone with Hyatt to resolve the issue.

This isn’t a feature that I can find in the official World of Hyatt terms, but thinking back on my experience with gifting a free night (booked with points) to my friends, it seems like this may have long been possible with the right terminology. Again, you can’t use your certificate to book a room in someone else’s name, but it seems that you may be able to gift it.

I therefore followed up with my Globalist Concierge to ask generally whether someone like my sister could gift her free night certificate to me. I was told that “in general any member is able to gift their points or free night awards to somebody else”. The gift giver would just need to call reservations and let them know that she was authorizing the use of the free night for me and she would need to be able to confirm my account details.

Obviously that could be huge for folks in a 2-player household who have multiple free night certificates thanks to the pandemic extensions and credit card spend. This means that they could consolidate the use of free night certificates by having one member gift their free night certificates to the other. It could also be very useful in a household where, for example, Player 1 has Globalist status but Player 2 doesn’t; Player 2 could gift their free night certificates to Player 1 in order to take advantage of Globalist benefits on a stay.

Based on the data points above, I don’t think you can do this proactively. That is to say that I don’t think you can gift someone an open-ended certificate but rather I think you would need to gift it at the time of making a reservation (but this is just a best guess based on data points, so I could be wrong). Any way you slice it, this is great to know and a good tool to keep in your belt if you are collecting Hyatt free night certificates in a multi-player household.

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Alex

If a Globalist gifts a cert and makes a reservation for a non-Globalist, will the person staying receive Globalist benefits? In other words, do the benefits of the original owner or the person actually staying apply?

Greg The Frequent Miler

The only way to share Globalist benefits is with a stay booked with points and designated as Guest of Honor. With a cert the benefits will be based on the status of the person staying

Adventure NML

This is actually confirmed officially on their site. https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/en/rewards/purchase-share-gift.html

Share points or eligible awards including; Free Nights, Points + Cash and select room upgrades with any World of Hyatt member. It’s a great gift idea or an easier way to plan a vacation with family and friends.
To share an eligible award, call (800) 544-9288 in the U.S. or Canada, or Hyatt in your region.

lochquel

Just tried gifting to a friend. Was unable to do so unless I was booking a reservation on that phone call, not just gifting to the friend to use whenever. An important distinction to make a note of.

Bob

Thanks for the great and timely info! I just cancelled the existing reservation in my (Discoverist) wife’s name. Then we called Hyatt and gifted her free nite cert to me and then made the same reservation in my (Globalist) name. As a data point: all worked well after the CSR paused to talk with her supervisor. She explained that there’s a new procedure where they don’t actually transfer the cert to me, but use the cert to issue the reservation in my name. I had to specifically ask that my member number be included on the reservation. The notification email actually went to my wife’s email address, but reservation was in my name and included info that as a globalist I was entitled to benefits at that elite level. Thanks again for the hot tip.

Akuma

DP: Worked perfectly for me! Looked up a availability for the dates/hotel we wanted to book, called World of Hyatt with my wife nearby and told the Hyatt rep we wanted to gift my wife’s free award nights (3) to my WOH account for making a booking (I did make a dummy booking in advance to use up my existing award nights and the bulk of my points balance prior to the call). The rep confirmed my wife’s info and got her permission to gift the award nights to my account and then proceeded to make the reservation. The first time I called the rep had everything processing when the call dropped (without a call back). Had to call WOH again and start over but after 20 minutes or so being on hold they were able to process the award night transfer and make the booking under my WOH account. Great job Nick and Frequent Miler Insiders!

[…] Gifting Hyatt Free Night Certificates:  Did you know that this was possible?  I sure didn’t.  I love finding out these tricks to help enhance our free, or almost free travel.  Here’s a good article explaining how this is done. […]

[…] Gifting Hyatt free night awards […]

Bill

Thanks to you and all your tips and hints, I am now Globalist until end of Feb. 2023. I appreciate all your information and this is something new I didn’t know.

Jan W

Do you have a post on gifting free night certificates in general? I’m thinking more along the lines of letting someone else have your free night and less about the status implications. I recently booked a few beach-front nights for a niece finishing vet school. As it turns out, I couldn’t use my certs and ended up booking with UR points (couldn’t even use hotel points directly–everything in Va Beach was already booked up for my dates), but it raised a lot of questions about when and how one can share their points. Since many of us have amassed sizeable points/certs during the last twelve months, wonder if a detailed post on how to share the wealth would be appreciated? This has been a tough year and I’m sure many of us have friends and familiy who would love a gifted weekend getaway…

PJ O

Hi Nick – Thanks for this valuable information! Follow up to the question I asked on your other Hyatt article regarding the new promotion. If I’m staying two nights as a “guest of honor” who gets the 2500 points? Me or the member who gifted it to me? Likewise if I stay 10 nights as a “guest of honor” who gets the free night certificate? It’s my understanding that I will get the elite nights credit as long as I give my Hyatt number. I’m thinking that the member who gifted me the stay will get the 2500 points (per two nights) but I’m not sure. Also I’m not sure as to the free night certificate. Who gets that? Thanks in advance for your reply.

ashu

There should be a poll at the end of article. Did we know – Yes/No.

Christian

Nice catch! Thanks for bringing this up. On a separate note, I’m so glad that Julian landed well. I thought that he was with TPG, which made me unhappy since Julian has integrity. I’m glad to know I was wrong.

Nick

This happened to me a year ago. A friend had an expiring FNC and made the reservation for me. I checked in and got the elite night even though I wasn’t expecting to. Make sure to double check your Hyatt number is attached when checking in.

Steve mcdoogal

This is silly. I’ve never had an issue adding someone’s name on at any hotel and calling in to let them know they would be arriving first.

Drew

Nick: Don’t waste your time with this guy. Your article was on point and explained everything clearly. “Steve mcdoogal” is clearly a clown and either doesn’t know how to read or is just trolling. He, like his breed, want to complain about everything because they think they’re smarter than everyone else.

Keep up the good work.

LarryInNYC

While I totally get the value of being able to transfer the certificate to someone else, I’m a little unclear on why non-elite P2s might have more than one certificate (for the annual credit card renewal) lying around?

Larry K

My P2 has not stayed in a Hyatt under her own account in several years and she currently has three cat 1-4 certs.

LarryInNYC

Credit card?

Larry K

Yep. Last year’s anniversary and spend. This year’s anniversary.

NK3

Huge difference. If my significant other can gift me certificates, then I can earn the elite nights, and we get the benefits of my higher level status. For a 2 player household, this is awesome.

rj123456

Great post, begs the obvious question: will Bonvoy let you do the same?

John Oh

It may be early but I nominate this blog post as Blog Post of the Year.

E W

Gifting an award is mentioned in the official World of Hyatt terms and conditions. See Appendix B(II)(13).

Hal

Do you know if guest of honor would apply if you gifted the free nights?

Kurt

This has been possible for a long time. Did this few years ago when I had expiring night certs, gifted to a friend for their booking. The only thing is not to cancel the booking, seemed like cert just disappears with cancellation as it is not tracked in recipient’s account.

Dave

I was just thinking this. My wife and I have about 10 free nights between us and I will be Globalist soon. Are you certain that if she gifts me the night I would get globalist benefits? I also wonder how it would work on a split stay like if I was using 3 nights and 2 of hers for a five night stay.

wadacash

Yes, you will get globalist benefits and you would get the elite night credit. The gifted certs have your Hyatt number attached. From the hotel’s perspective, you would be the one checking in. The hotel wouldn’t know the certs originally came from your wife’s account.

But yes, by all means use up your certs first in case the agent messes up like what happened in my case. I don’t know if it was agent error or a system error, but either way, four certs were used up when really it should have been two.

Caroline

This is awesome and will be very useful, as I’m shooting for Globalist this year. So here’s the next question — will this work with Marriott free nights too?

wadacash

I tried researching that. My understanding is that Marriott credit card free night certs are generated with the credit card holder’s name attached automatically and are unable to be gifted to another person. You could try to add the elite member’s account info to the reservation to potentially get those benefits (if you’re lucky to find a generous hotel) but the elite night credit would still go to the credit card holder.

Kirk

The follow up question would be whether one could gift the club access awards to someone else. The answer seems to be “no,” from all that I’ve read before. But it would be hugely positive if one could gift these awards, especially for Globalists who don’t have much use for them.

BML

But I am an Explorist and will be a Globalist soon when Hyatt will finally post my bonus journey nights! So I want to give the awards to my sister who will be travelling! Wonder if it can be done

NK3

Whoa! Thanks for the tip. One of the most useful articles I’ve read in a while (and from a blog where I routinely find useful info).

Julian

Hey!