A friend of the blog reached out with a situation that I narrowly avoided recently but is worth knowing about for anyone who has multiple Hyatt free night certificates: Hyatt.com might take your Category 1-7 free night certificate when you intend to use your Category 1-4 free night certificate. To avoid this, contact Hyatt either via phone or the Twitter concierge before your stay. This situation typically applies to Globalists who received a Category 1-7 free night certificate as a 60-night milestone benefit (and who also have Category 1-4 certificates whether from 30-night milestone benefits or the Hyatt credit cards) and it is good to be aware of this if that applies to you.
Unlike Marriott, Hyatt does not give you an opportunity to choose which type of certificate to apply to a reservation. For example, I have both a Category 1-4 and a Category 1-7 free night certificate in my account:
That’s not very descript and I was concerned that it might take my Category 1-7 free night certificate for this Category 4 hotel. I reached out to the Hyatt Concierge on Twitter to ask if they could make the reservation for me to make sure that it used one of my Category 1-4 free night certificates.
The Hyatt Concierge told me to go ahead and make the reservation myself and then give them the confirmation number and they would check it. I did and they checked and sure enough Hyatt had taken my Category 1-7 free night certificate, but they were able to switch it to use one of my Category 1-4 certificates and put my 1-7 back in my account for future use.
Unfortunately, a friend reached out who wasn’t so lucky. He expected that Hyatt would correctly take the Category 1-4 free night certificate and didn’t realize that Hyatt had automatically applied the 1-7 certificate until after the stay was completed. When he realized that Hyatt had redeemed the wrong certificate, he reached out to customer service.
In short, Hyatt told him that all they could do was provide 10K points as an apology. They said that there was no way for them to reinstate a used certificate.
I thought that was a surprisingly poor response to the situation given that it isn’t the member’s mistake but rather Hyatt’s underperforming IT to blame for the wrong certificate being used. No reasonable member who stays 60 nights in a year would intentionally use a Category 1-7 free night certificate instead of a Category 1-4 on a Category 4 hotel.
By contrast, Marriott’s system automatically recognizes when you have multiple certificates in your account and lets you choose which certificate(s) to use.
To me, an extra 10K points from Hyatt was weak compensation. Yes, he still has his Category 1-4 certificate, but even if he uses that to maximum value (“saving” him 15K points), the additional 10K points here only nets him 25K points ahead — which isn’t enough points for a Category 7 Hyatt at standard pricing (30K), never mind that a Cat 1-7 certificate even covers a Category 7 property at peak pricing. He pushed back but Hyatt was firm that 10K was the best that they could do.
That’s not reflective of Hyatt’s typically excellent customer service. Hyatt usually goes above and beyond. In this case, I believe that the phone rep likely didn’t have a way to reinstate a Category 1-7 certificate otherwise I think Hyatt would have done that. Still, it stinks that they wouldn’t offer more points.
The moral of the story here is that if you have both Category 1-4 and 1-7 certificates in your account and you want to use a certificate for a reservation at a Category 4 (or lower) property, proactively reach out to Hyatt to confirm that the correct certificate is attached before consuming the stay.