Joseph Hostetler at Million Mile Secrets uncovered an amazing find: Hyatt now lets you mix paid and award nights as well as free night certificates in a single booking. This makes it possible to use multiple free night certificates on a single booking (very useful for properties that only show award availability on multi-night stays) and it makes it a little easier to get around the games some properties play that can make it hard to use your points. This is a huge find in my opinion.
Hyatt Pay My Way
The ability to use Hyatt Pay My Way has been in our World of Hyatt Complete Guide, but this was actually the first time I noticed it while searching for a rate. When you search for a stay, you’ll now see a “Pay My Way” button underneath the cash rate on a standard room in the “standard rate” search results.
Clicking that button brings you forward to a page where you can choose to mix nights booked on points and/or free night certificates with paid nights as shown below.
Again, this has apparently been an option for a long time, but I had somehow missed it. It looked huge to me because:
- Many members now have multiple free night certificates (and they’re easier to use). Between credit card certificates and those earned from stay activity, particularly given certificate extensions and short-term opportunities, many World of Hyatt members have multiple free night certificates. Previously, you had to book those free night certificates separately. That was a problem at hotels that required a multi-night stay to book an award. Now you can easily book that multi-night stay using multiple free night certificates.
- Many properties play games with award availability. For example, in the past, I had to book a 5-night stay on points at the Andaz Maui and then call the Diamond/Globalist line later and ask to change my checkout date in order to get the 3-night stay I actually wanted. Joseph reports that the Andaz Maui now requires a nine night stay in order to see availability using points. Now you can pop in the dates for a 9-night stay and choose to use points or free night certificates for any number of those nights and the cash rate for additional nights.
I am no fan at all of the games played by properties like the Andaz Maui that make it hard to use the loyalty program’s points (if the hotel is unhappy with the compensation they receive from Hyatt, that’s something they should be taking up with Hyatt rather than by making it nearly impossible for the guests that the brand brings in the door to use their points). I am a fan of beating them at their own game — and for that reason, I’d like to give Joseph Hostetler a huge high-five. Now if he could just get them to give meaningful upgrades and extend even an hour of late checkout, maybe I’d go back again. I won’t hold my breath. It’s worth noting that the Andaz Maui isn’t alone in this game, but other past common offenders (I’m looking at you Andaz West Hollywood and Hyatt at Olive 8) seem to be happy to take points reservations now that nobody is staying there.
Overall, this is a fantastic addition for Hyatt that I wish I’d seen sooner. It has long been possible to customize a stay like this with Marriott. I am glad that Hyatt instituted the IT to make this happen. In the end, this is a big win for members in that it makes it easier to book the stay you want using the implements you have at your disposal. Kudos to Hyatt for that.
I actually noticed this earlier this month while trying to book a stay at the Andaz Maui; however, it seems like you can only use Pay My Way for stays up to 10 nights. Award availability at the Andaz was really wonky when I was searching, and required me to book 11 nights in order to be able to shorten it to the 3-night stay I wanted. Luckily, I made Globalist just time and was able to “borrow” the points necessary.
Anyway, I was there last week – my first true stay as a newly-minted Globalist – and surprisingly received a complimentary upgrade to a suite as well as a 4pm checkout proactively offered 🙂 . Beginner’s luck?
I just tried playing around with Andaz Maui and did not get Pay My Way for any dates prior to September. And only able to use points if 9 nights or longer.
Pay My Way should be available whenever there’s Standard Room availability for a stay up to 10 nights; for example, 5/14 – 5/23 at the Andaz Maui.
This could be very useful in the upcoming Q2 promo. By my cursory reading of the FAQ, the Q2 promo will work for paid stays, P+C stays and free night certificates, but I did not see anywhere where it said points nights would qualify.
If I can combine nights on points with free night certs and have the stay qualify for the Bonus Journeys promo, that would shift some of my upcoming nights to Hyatt for sure.
Pretty sure points are an “eligible rate” in Hyatt’s terminology.
I would welcome a post that lists Hyatt (and other brands’) hotels that “play games”, and what the search criteria/night minimums are to see award availability.
This can’t be news to you two, pay your way has been around for a while…I thought you guys even wrote about it before?
Not sure I missed it in my skimming, but another benefit is that non globalists should be able to apply club certs to the entire stay, wearas FN cert stays normally cannot have club certs applied to them (learned that at Hyatt Regency Tokyo, who I guess get more than their fair share of FN cert stays).
Haha. Yep, we have it in our Hyatt Guide. I roasted Nick about it in tomorrow’s FM on the Air
I have seen this a little bit. I wonder if this inches us closer to the time when certificates will not block suite upgrades. If you can build a week long stay with maybe one certificate in there. Can you know use a suite upgrade on the reservation even though a certificate is in use.
Greatest post I’ve read this year. Hyatt Centric Waikiki is playing this evil game. I even emailed Hyatt Corporate about the non-availability of 15K-point rooms and the email response (that came yesterday) from Hyatt Centric states that a 5-night reservation is required to show 15K-room availability. So Hyatt Centric Waikiki is not alone on this. Question to Nick, in the article you mentioned you can call Globalist line to shorten your stay from 5 nights to 3. I have a couple FN certificates, can I also book 5 nights at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki, using the 2 FN certificates, and a combination of points+cash for the other 3, and then call the Globalist line to remove the point+cash stays, leaving only 2 nights using the FN? Or does “Pay My Way” has to include a paid stay? Thanks!
Wow — that is a great find. Anyone with multiple certs able to determine whether it pulls the optimal certificates first (i.e., the closest expiration ones). I expect to be in that position soon.
I just checked some dates in Maui because just went there and I was not pleased with the limited places that accepted points. BTW one of the few Destination Residences that would take points was Wailea Elua Village and we had a great 1 bed oceanfront condo there for 30K points (less 25% for the promo). Alas, they seem to have removed Pay My Way from most of the nice places (including Andaz). Still available for some, like Elua, but not for Residences or the others.