Update 4/14/23: We’ve just received a response from Hyatt indicating that they plan to honor the original terms of the promotion. Here’s what they said (bolding is mine):
…we are working to ensure that any World of Hyatt member who was registered for Bonus Journeys on or prior to March 20 and had a qualifying stay with a checkout date of March 20 will receive credit toward the Bonus Journeys promotion.
Since this issue was brought to our attention we have been working towards a solution to honor the original FAQ. At the end of the promotion, activity will be reviewed and accounts will be credited by June 15, 2023.
I’m glad to see that Hyatt plans to honor the original wording of this promotion. We’re still not certain why the wording changed (and it could have been an honest mistake) but, regardless, this is the right thing for them to do. It’s probably best to doublecheck your account post-June 15th to make sure that it was applied correctly, but at least we know it’s their intention to make everyone whole according to the original terms that were published.
We’ve talked a lot recently about Hyatt’s latest promotion, particularly now that Bilt has offered a fast track to Globalist status that stacks with the Hyatt promo.
Thank you again for bringing this to our attention. We understand the inconvenience this has caused, and we are working to ensure that any World of Hyatt member who was registered for Bonus Journeys on or prior to March 20 and had a qualifying stay with a checkout date of March 20 will receive credit toward the Bonus Journeys promotion.
Since this issue was brought to our attention we have been working towards a solution to honor the original FAQ (below for reference). At the end of the promotion, activity will be reviewed and accounts will be credited by June 15, 2023. We appreciate your patience while we worked through this.
Unfortunately some readers have recently encountered an issue with the promotion and didn’t earn bonus points for a stay as expected. The reason for that has turned out to be because Hyatt has been shady and changed the terms of the promotion, going against a scenario they’d previously explicitly stated would be eligible.
As a quick reminder, here’s how the latest Hyatt promotion works. You earn 3,000 bonus points for every two nights you stay during the promotion period after your first stay. That first stay can be for only one night and award stays count for both your first stay as well as subsequent stays, along with paid stays. You can also earn 500 bonus points for every two nights you stay in 10 eligible cities.
The promotion is running from March 20 to May 26, 2023, so your first stay has to occur during that time to trigger the bonus point earnings on subsequent stays. After publishing the post about the promotion, a reader asked what would happen if they checked in on March 19 and checked out on March 20 – would that count as the first stay?
Based on past promotions I’d assumed that it would, but you know what they say about assumptions. Thankfully, the Frequently Asked Questions section on Hyatt’s registration page specifically addressed this question, so I replied with the following answer which I’d copied and pasted from that FAQs section.
Yes – the FAQs for the promotion helpfully mention this exact scenario:
9. I have registered for the promotion and have a stay on March 19 with a checkout on March 20, 2023. Will the night count towards the promotion
Yes, Eligible Nights completed between March 20 and May 26, 2023, will count toward the promotion. This would count as the first stay needed to start earning. However, it will not earn Bonus Points.
Perfect, so any stay booked for the night of March 19 where you check out the following day would count as the first stay needed for the promo. It’s there in black and white on Hyatt’s own website. Case closed.
A few days ago we started getting reports of people who didn’t earn bonus points on a Hyatt stay conducted after a first stay on the night of March 19. At least one reader reached out to Hyatt to query this and received the following reply from Hyatt:
Thank you. The bonus points start with the second eligible stay after registration within the dates of 3/20/2023 and 5/26/2023, the stay checking out on 3/20 does not qualify. ~ Christi
That seemed strange as I was sure that their website had explicitly stated that a stay checking out on March 20 would count. When checking the FAQs section again, I noticed it said the following:
9. I have registered for the promotion and have a stay on March 19 with a checkout on March 21, 2023. Will the night count towards the promotion
Yes, Eligible Nights completed between March 20 and May 26, 2023, will count toward the promotion as the stay includes the night of March 20, which is within the stay period. This would count as the first stay needed to start earning. However, it will not earn Bonus Points.
As you can see, the wording now says if you checked in on March 19 you’d have to check out on March 21, not March 20. Here’s a screenshot of that new wording on their site on April 11:
If I didn’t know better, I’d have assumed that Hyatt had always displayed that wording. However, I knew for sure that I’d copied and pasted different wording to reply to a reader back in February when registration for this latest Bonus Journeys promotion first opened.
Just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy, I plugged the registration page URL into the Wayback Machine. Their most recent copy of that page is from March 2 (you can find it here) and sure enough, the FAQs section does display the original wording that explicitly states that a stay the night of March 19 is eligible:
That means that at some point in the last few weeks Hyatt has updated that page to completely contradict what they’d previously advised World of Hyatt members. As a result, anyone who stayed with Hyatt after having completed a stay on the night of March 19 will earn zero points for that second stay because Hyatt has now changed its mind and decided that it’ll be classed as the member’s first stay during the promotion period.
That’s a truly awful stance for Hyatt to take. It would be one thing if the wording on the registration page was previously unclear and they added a section to ensure members knew exactly what would and wouldn’t be eligible. That’s not the case in this scenario though. For at least nine days (and likely longer than that) when they got the most coverage from travel sites sharing details about the promotion, the FAQs were 100% clear that staying on the night of March 19 and checking out on March 20 would count as a member’s first stay. At some point since then they decided not to honor that and quietly sneaked in the contradictory terms.
Yesterday we reached out to the Hyatt rep who’d originally provided details of the promotion and who’d previously answered some other questions we had about the promo, asking what could be done for members who followed Hyatt’s guidelines to the letter, only to encounter this subsequent bait and switch. We’ve not heard back from them yet, so we’ll update this post if and when we receive a reply.