Hyatt’s Category 1-4 free night certificates can be earned in several ways, most commonly as an anniversary perk of the Chase World of Hyatt Card, as a 30-night Milestone perk or by spending $15,000/year on the Chase card. One of the easiest, and perhaps least-noticed, ways to earn Cat 1-4 certs is through World of Hyatt’s Brand Explorer promotion. Brand Explorer allows WOH members to earn category 1-4 certs each time that they stay at five unique brands in WOH’s portfolio.
Hyatt now has 26 brands, so for the first time it’s possible to earn up to five free night certificates through Brand Explorer alone. The primary reason is that Hyatt’s total number of brands recently increased by eight, thanks to the addition of new all-inclusive properties as well as the launch of the a new brand, Caption.
- World of Hyatt’s Brand Explorer Program now has 26 total brands, allowing WOH members to receive up to five free category 1-4 certificates.
Terms and Conditions
- This is not an annual benefit, each brand is once-in-a-lifetime. For example, you can stay at 2 different brands in one year and then 3 additional brands in a later year in order to earn a free night.
- No registration required. Any qualifying paid or award stay counts.
- Free night award details:
- Valid for one night at any category 1-4 Hyatt (including during peak rates). Not valid on all-inclusive properties.
- Valid for 180 days from when it’s issued. You must complete the stay by the expiration date.
I’ve always enjoyed the Brand Explorer promotion and am surprised that it’s not emulated by some of the other hotel chains. It provides a gamified incentive to try out brands that I might otherwise not prioritize…in fact, there are times that I’ve specifically chosen a hotel in a given city in order to add it to my BE count.
In case you’ve never seen it before, you can find your total Brand Explorer count under WOH account information, either in the app or on desktop:
As you can see, there’s a lot of possibility here for me. Even though I’m a Globalist and have been staying at Hyatts for years, I only have nine total brands (although I’m about to stay at a Joie de Vivre hotel next month making it ten). It actually should be higher, but there’s 3-4 brands that I stayed at years ago that aren’t listed, perhaps before Brand Explorer was active. I never thought to look at it then and now no one can find the stays on my account.
There’s a few brands that will be tricky:
- Although Caption is now added, there are only two locations: Memphis and Shanghai. There are several more supposedly in the works.
- You’d think that regular Hyatt, being the namesake of the entire brand, would have locations all over the world. That would be incorrect. There’s only 16 left: 5 in India, 1 in France, 1 in Mexico and 9 in the US.
- Hyatt Residence Club is exclusively a US timeshare brand, with sixteen locations in the US and Puerto Rico. For members based outside of the US, it can be quite difficult to get there. I have my sights set on The HRC Carmel Highlands, which I’m going to pair with my next trip to Ventana Big Sur.
- Miraval, Ziva and Zilara can also be difficult for members outside of North America, as there’s only 3 Miravals, 3 Zilaras and 6 Zivas…all of them on this continent. There are two new Zilaras and one new Miraval (in Saudi Arabia) on the way. Zilara is actually one of the brands that I’ve been to and isn’t credited, unfortunately.
- UR Cove is a brand that is specific to mainland China. Currently, there are only 10 locations, but there are over 30 more in the pipeline and the brand has designs of eventually getting to above 300 locations.
- With the addition of the AMR Collection, ten of the twenty-six total brands are now all-inclusive. There’s a fair amount of overlap in footprint as well. I don’t find the idea of property-surfing between Caribbean locations of Dreams, Sunscape, Breathless, et al to be terribly tempting.
All in all, its fun to have even more opportunities at a bite of the Brand Explorer apple. It’s a fun and no-risk promotion that can, over time, lead to quite a few free nights with very little effort.
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