Apr022008

The Value of Hyatt Stay Certificates

After more than two weeks of living, breathing, staying, and eating Hyatt, I was wanting to write about something else for a change. But I feel compelled to write another post about Hyatt. The most interesting hotel stay cost-cutting strategy on my mind today is the Hyatt Stay Certificate program.

The United e-fares weekly email yesterday had an advertisement for the Mileage Plus VISA card with an offer for 21,000 bonus miles and a free Hyatt stay certificate after charging $250 on your new card.

Visions of a luxury Hyatt hotel night in some exotic foreign city motivated me to investigate the details of this offer.

Frequent guests need to add Hyatt Stay certificates to the list of strategies for reducing the cost of hotel stays. There are some bargains to be had with Hyatt Stay certificates.

First, I will continue with a quick analysis of the Hyatt stay portion of the United Mileage Plus VISA offer. The fine print of the offer states the cardholder will receive a Hyatt Stay Certificate good for one night at a Choice selection hotel after spending $250 on the card.

What is a Hyatt Stay Certificate?

A Hyatt Stay Certificate is a prepaid hotel night certificate covering room and taxes for the length of the stay designated on the certificate.

Hyatt Stay Certificates are available in 7 types. There are 5 levels of a nightly stay certificate and 2 levels of weekend multi-night stay certificates (weekend certificates are only accepted in USA and Canada at most Hyatt Hotels).

Most Hyatt hotels participate in the program and each Hyatt hotel is designated as accepting a specific minimum level of certificate, or any certificate in a more expensive level.

Nightly stay certificates come in 5 price levels:

Classic $99 per night
Choice $135
Premier $165
Elite $249
Inspire $319

The United Mileage Plus Visa card offer will provide a Hyatt Stay Certificate-Choice Category free night.

What is the value of a Choice Hyatt Stay certificate?

About half of all Hyatt hotels worldwide will accept this level certificate for a free night.

The Hyatt Regency Monterey will accept Stay certificates in Choice level and above. The Hyatt Stay Choice certificate would have a value of $280 if used on July 21, 2008 for the Monterey Hyatt Regency (4-2-08 Hyatt reservationist found 7-21-08 available after two other dates in July and August were not available using a Hyatt Stay Certificate. Room rate $279/night + $11 resort fee). That is quite a valuable bonus on top of the 21,000 Mileage Plus frequent flier miles.

The limitations of Hyatt Stay Choice level certificates are only about half of the Hyatt Hotels in the world accept the Hyatt Stay Choice level certificate. The other half require a higher priced level Hyatt Stay certificate.

Other points to remember about Hyatt Stay Certificates:
– Hyatt Stay certificates are not valid at Hyatt Place or Summerfield Suites.
– There are only a handful of Hyatt hotels worldwide that do not accept Hyatt Stay certificates which improves their value.
– Hyatt Gold Passport points and stay credit are not earned for Hyatt Stay certificate hotel stays.
– Upgrade certificates can’t be used in conjunction with a Hyatt Stay certificate.
– Certificate is only good for a single stay. Imagine you buy a three night Premier Hyatt Stay Certificate and then you decide you can only make a two night stay. Your 3-night certificate can be used for a 2-night stay, but you lose the value of the third night.
– You can use a higher-priced Stay Certificate for a hotel that accepts lower priced certificates, but you don’t get any credit for the higher cost certificate. Assume you buy a 3-night Elite certificate because you had planned to use it in London and then cancel that trip. Your trip to Monterey could be booked with a Choice Hyatt Stay certificate at $135/night, but you are afraid the Elite certificate might expire before your next trip so you decide to use it for the Monterey Hyatt. Even though you paid $249 night for an Elite Hyatt Stay certificate and you may still be saving money on the cost of the hotel stay, you do not get any credit for the $114 extra your Elite certificate cost compared to the Choice certificate you could have used to book the Monterey Hyatt room.

USA/Americas, 129 hotels

44 accept Classic Hyatt Stay certificates (or higher)

34 accept Choice Hyatt Stay certificates (or higher)

21 accept Premier Hyatt Stay Certificates (or higher)

20 accept Elite Hyatt Stay Certificates (or higher)

8 accept Inspire Hyatt Stay Certificates

2 hotels, Hyatt Regency New Orleans and Hotel Victor, Miami do not accept Hyatt Stay Certificates.

Europe/Middle East/Africa region has 34 Hyatt properties.

Of these hotels, there are no properties that accept the Classic level Hyatt Stay certificate.

7 properties accept Choice level Hyatt Stay certificates.
16 hotels accept the Premier level.
4 require the Elite level,
2 accept the Inspire level (Paris, Dubai), and
5 hotels do not accept Hyatt Stay certificates.

Asia/Pacific 51 Hyatt Properties

14 accept Classic Hyatt Stay certificates (or higher)
5 accept Choice Hyatt Stay certificates (or higher)
8 accept Premier Hyatt Stay Certificates (or higher)
17 accept Elite Hyatt Stay Certificates (or higher)
7 accept Inspire Hyatt Stay Certificates

214 Hyatt hotels worldwide

(Hyatt Stay certificates are not valid for Hyatt Place or Hyatt Summerfield Suites)
Of 214 Hyatt Hotels worldwide
17 hotels only accept Inspire certificates (7.9%)
41 hotels accept Elite certificates (19.2%)
45 hotels accept Premier certificates (21.0%)
46 hotels accept Choice certificates (21.5%)
58 accept Classic level (27.1%)
7 hotels do not accept Hyatt Stay certificates (3.3%)

Classic level stay certificate ($99) good for 58 of 214 Hyatt hotels
Choice level stay certificate ($135) good for 104 of 214 Hyatt hotels
Premier level stay certificate ($165) good for 149 of 214 Hyatt hotels
Elite level stay certificate ($249) good for 190 of 214 Hyatt hotels
Inspire level stay certificate ($319) good for 207 of 214 Hyatt hotels

Example savings #1:
Hyatt Regency Philippines May 15, 2008 $140 + 23.5% tax and fees = $172.90/night and this stay is only $99/night for a Classic Hyatt Stay Certificate.
Savings using Hyatt Stay certificate = $74/night

Example Savings #2:
Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill
May 15, 2008
280GBP + 17.5% tax = $658/night

Elite level Hyatt stay certificate is $249/night.
Savings using Hyatt Stay certificate = $409/night

Example Savings # 3
Hyatt Regency Monterey
July 21, 2008
$279/night compared to $135 night using Choice Hyatt Stay certificate.
Savings using Hyatt Stay certificate = $144/night

London on the Cheap

The Churchill, Hyatt Regency, London was available for a Hyatt Stay Elite-level certificate 7-night stay at the cost of $249/night. $1,743 for a 7-night hotel stay when I checked today.

What would it cost to book this hotel through a regular paid reservation for the same period?
1,815 GBP + 17.5% tax = $4,265 for a 7-night paid stay at the Churchill.

Remember that no Hyatt Gold Passport points are earned on a Hyatt Stay certificate hotel stay. For a savings of $2,522 by using the Elite Hyatt Stay certificate, I think most of us would be willing to forego the points for a 7-night stay in London. Get your ducks in a row, and with a little bit of luck and availability, the Hyatt Stay certificate option may have you flying off to a new land at remarkable savings for your hotel stay.

Participating hotels and details of the Hyatt Gift Cards and Certificates program can be found at https://www.certificates.hyatt.com/

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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Comments

  1. There are a couple of additional points to note about these certificates:

    a) I checked into the Grand Hyatt Berlin which the website says accepts Inspire, Elite and Premier certificates. But upon checkin they would only accept the Elite Certificates as they said each category of certificates was capacity controlled. A later call to Hyatt’s Reservations confirmed this (but I am not still 100% sure).

    b) I have had luck at a few hotels using Diamond Suite upgrades upon checkin even though technically they cannot be used with these Stay Certificates.

    c) The best strategy is to only buy single night Stay Certificates which can be combined. No reason to buy a 3 night certificate when you can buy three 1 night certificates.

    d) Make your reservation before buying the certificates. They will ask for the certificate number during the reservation process but you can just tell them you don’t have them yet and they will continue making the reservation.

    e) When used correctly, a Stay Certificate can get you a room at half the normal price. You sacrifice points and upgrades (usually) and other Gold Passport promotions, but it can be a way to stay at a hotel like the Park Hyatt Sydney for $319 when the cheapest rate is normally $650.

  2. Thanks JeffB for your comments. I had not read them until today when I prepared to bring up this topic again.

    Your insight is the kind of feedback that makes Loyalty traveler blog better information.

    I don’t always know all the details of hotel loyalty program nuances. I don’t have the money to try all the strategies I write about for the blog. Reader feedback is important.

    Getting to use a confirmed diamond suite upgrade is a bonus.

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