Quick points: How I got 16,000 Hyatt points with a phone call

Jan 6, 2022

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TPG’s Points and Miles team has been writing a Quick Points series to help you earn points, redeem miles and maximize your travel with bite-sized tips. Here’s how you may quickly be able to pad your World of Hyatt account.

While 2021 was a better year for travel on the whole than most of 2020, many of us still had to cancel trips and spend more time at home than we might have liked.

As a result, some time-sensitive travel goodies, such as upgrade certificates and free night awards, may have gone unused. While some programs extended those awards for another year, the World of Hyatt program took a different approach.

On Dec. 31, 2021, some Hyatt free night awards and lounge access certificates expired.

Personally, I had one Hyatt Category 1 to 4 award and two lounge access awards that expired on that date. While Hyatt would not extend the certificates or offer any compensation for the situation when I called right before the end of 2021, the program was very generous after the calendar flipped to 2022.

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What happened

Whereas programs such as Hilton and Marriott offered yet another extension for some otherwise expiring free night awards into 2022, Hyatt decided the time was up for additional extensions for awards with an expiration date on Dec. 31, 2021.

While I wasn’t terribly heartbroken over my Club Access awards expiring (I’d since earned Globalist status which would get me into lounges), I wasn’t thrilled to lose a Category 1 to 4 award.

To be honest, it surprised me to see I was losing an award as I had used several in 2021, but this one with a closer-in expiration date remained unredeemed as the new year approached.

As mentioned, a call to Hyatt just before the end of December about any potential extensions or compensation for the expiring awards was met with kindness but no action other than to check back after the first of the new year to see what could be done.

A 2021 stay at the Hyatt Regency Churchill (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

What was offered

As a points-obsessed person, once I poured my Jan. 1 morning coffee, the next order of business was to call the Hyatt Globalist line. This time, the kind woman on the other end of the call was able to offer points for each expiring award and lounge access certificate.

The exact amount offered for each certificate varies a bit from person to person based on criteria we don’t have access to. For example, here at TPG, the number of points received from various staffers varied from 500 to 3,000 points per expiring lounge access certificate.

The minimum offer I’ve heard for things like lounge access passes is 500 points per expired pass.

My Category 1 to 4 award netted a deposit of 10,000 World of Hyatt points. That’s not as good of a return as if I was able to redeem it for a Category 4 hotel that could cost up to 18,000 points per night under the new peak- and off-peak chart, but it was a whole lot better than nothing at all.

TPG values 10,000 Hyatt points at $170, making that alone worth the call.

While I (thankfully) didn’t have a valuable Category 1 to 7 award expire, a TPG staffer who did was given 20,000 points for that expired certificate when they reached out to Hyatt.

Bottom line

There are no guarantees as to what Hyatt may or may not offer for any individual account — or how this may change in the future.

But our recent experiences indicate it’s at least worth a quick phone call to the World of Hyatt team if you’ve had some awards and certificates recently expire due to trips you weren’t able to take in the last year or two.

After all, that one phone call may net you some extra Hyatt points to put toward trips still to come.

Featured image by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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