Hyatt is selectively extending suite upgrade and free night certificates

Dec 24, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

It looks like Santa is granting some wishes for some World of Hyatt members.

The Chicago-based hotel chain is selectively extending the validity of expiring free night and upgrades awards, as first reported by Traveling Well for Less.

Top-tier Globalist members — those that earn 60 or more elite-qualifying nights each year — can reach out to their dedicated concierge agent to ask for an extension of suite upgrade awards and free night certificates that are set to expire on Dec. 31., according to the report. The concierge can also assist with reservations and account inquiries, among other things.

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The “My Hyatt Concierge” team is empowered to extend suite upgrades and free night awards by six months.

If you have expiring club lounge access awards, those can be converted into a lump sum of points (either 500 or 3,000) only after these awards expire, according to the report.

TPG reached out to Hyatt for more information about the reported extensions and received the following statement from a spokesperson.

At this time, we do not have plans to remove expiration dates from awards, and true to understanding and care, we will continue to listen to member feedback to evaluate ways to flex the program. World of Hyatt has a history of providing flexibility for members who have experienced hardships, and we will continue to extend care for members as global recovery evolves.

Related: How and when to use Hyatt upgrade certificates

No extension for non-Globalist members

While Hyatt is being generous to its top-tier members, it doesn’t appear that the same flexibility is being extended to its other loyal travelers.

But all hope is not lost. If you have an expiring award but don’t have a dedicated concierge, you may have success getting an extension by reaching out to the chain on social media or via the in-app chat feature.

For example, TPG’s Summer Hull is a 50-night Globalist member without access to a dedicated concierge. She has several awards expiring on Dec. 31, 2021, so she called Hyatt. When she called, a Hyatt agent said she’d get a minimum of 500 points per expired Club Access award and 10,000 per expired reward night. However, the agent said she’d need to call in again after the awards expire.

A suite at Hyatt’s Ventana Big Sur (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

As a Hyatt Globalist myself, I’m sitting on a handful of Hyatt free night and club access awards that are due to expire in seven days. Earlier this week, I reached out to my dedicated concierge agent, who told me that World of Hyatt wasn’t doing any extensions on awards expiring on Dec. 31 because they were previously extended in 2020.

My agent recommended that I either gift my awards to family or friends staying with the chain in the next few days or reach out again in the new year to see if there’s anything that could be done.

After speaking to other TPG reporters who had success getting their awards extended, I reached out again to Hyatt’s chat team, who shared some positive news with me.

I see you have 4 Club Access Awards in which we can offer 3k points as a courtesy. Otherwise, we can offer 10k points for your 1-4 awards and 20k for your 1-7 award expiring on December 31st.  Would you like to go ahead with that? 

During the height of the pandemic last year, the chain was one of the first to extend expiring certificates and upgrade awards, but it hasn’t (officially) processed any additional extensions outside of asking a dedicated concierge.

While the chain is now making exceptions on a case-by-case basis, many TPG readers and loyal Hyatt members have reached out to express their frustration with the program’s seemingly stingy extension policy.

Of course, travel rebounded somewhat in 2021 (relative to 2020), but Hyatt‘s competitors have nonetheless been more generous in recent months.

Photo of an inside pool at Miraval Berkshires.
Miraval Berkshires (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors have extended all current free night awards through June 2022, while IHG Rewards is giving members until Dec. 31, 2022, to use awards earned in 2021.

With the spread of the omicron variant, most of my friends have canceled or significantly scaled back their holiday plans, so I’ll definitely exchange my awards for points to use at a later date.

If you’re in the same boat, it can’t hurt to reach out to Hyatt. Perhaps Santa will still be around granting some wishes.

Featured photo of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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