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TPG reader Christopher emailed me to ask:
“I want to book an award stay in Las Vegas for my brother-in-law using Hyatt Gold Passport points. Is this possible? Can you book an award stay without actually being there in person?”
The short answer here is yes-you can book an award stay for someone else, and don’t worry– your brother shouldn’t have any trouble checking in. Most every hotel program that I’m aware of will allow you to use your points to book rooms for other people. You just book the stay as you normally would and add his name to the reservation. I’ve done this numerous times with Hyatt and other hotel chains, and I’ve never had a problem before.
To be safe, I would call Hyatt once you make the reservation to confirm your brother’s name is added, or to add his name if you couldn’t do it online. A week prior to arrival I would call again to double check that his name is on the reservation and to let them know he’ll be the one checking in. However, if you’re not actually staying in the hotel, then your friends or family aren’t supposed to get your elite status benefits, so I wouldn’t bank on that happening. I would be careful if you plan on doing this for people you don’t know too well, as your credit card may be on file and you could be liable for damages or other charges, but for close friends and family there shouldn’t be an issue.
As for using Gold Passport points in Vegas, while there aren’t many Hyatt branded properties in Sin City, you can take advantage of Hyatt’s partnership with MLife to redeem points at MGM properties like Bellagio, Aria, and others. While I don’t think this is the best use of Gold Passport points (since Vegas hotels are often pretty inexpensive depending on when you’re traveling), it can be a good redemption option during peak periods or special events.