Please Hyatt, let Globalist members use suite upgrade certificates online
The World of Hyatt program does a lot of things right.
Notably, top-tier Hyatt Globalist status is one of the most generous hotel elite status levels out there. Elites can spread out with upgrades to suites, fill up on complimentary full breakfast, sleep in with 4 p.m. late checkout and enjoy lounge access, among numerous other valuable benefits. Even for non-elites, securing free nights in standard rooms and suites is easy and cheap, thanks to Hyatt's generous award chart. The list goes on.
But it's not perfect and there's one area in particular that we think Hyatt needs to improve: how Globalist members can redeem suite upgrade awards. Specifically, we want to see Hyatt make these certificates redeemable online.
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Hyatt made it easier to book suites — except for Globalists
World of Hyatt has made some significant improvements to its website and app in recent months. And a lot of them had to do with making it easier to book suites.
Early last year, Hyatt began showing confirmed room upgrades before arrival. It then added the ability to book suites with points online and introduced a new "Pay My Way" feature to make it easier to book multiple nights and pay using a combination of cash, points and/or free-night certificates. Most recently, it added the ability to book suite upgrades with points online.
However, it still hasn't added the ability to redeem suite upgrade awards online.
Related: 6 tips to get the hotel room upgrades you deserve
If Hyatt can let you redeem free-night certificates online, why can't it let you do the same with upgrade certificates? Obviously, this feature will benefit fewer people, but these are Hyatt's most loyal customers after all.
You typically earn two suite upgrade awards upon reaching 50 elite-qualifying nights or 80,000 base points ($16,000 in spending), plus another two at 60 nights or 100,000 base points ($20,000 in spending). You’ll earn another suite upgrade for every 10 additional nights, on up to 100 nights in total. Lifetime Globalist members also receive four suite upgrade awards per year.
Making suites more accessible for non-elites will undoubtedly make it harder for Globalists to secure complimentary upgrades. While perks like free breakfast, lounge access, waived resort fees on award stays and Guest of Honor privileges are great, capturing thousands of dollars in value via upgrade certificates is a major reason many stay loyal to Hyatt.
Related: How and when to use Hyatt upgrade certificates
How the competition fares
Most airlines don't make it easy to redeem upgrade certificates either. As with Hyatt, you usually need to call in to request the upgrades. This makes sense, given that airlines would rather sell their premium seats.
On the hotel front, one of Hyatt's biggest competitors does allow you to redeem upgrade certificates online.
With Marriott Bonvoy, you can apply Suite Night Awards directly through Marriott's website or the mobile app. While the World of Hyatt program usually seems like the more customer-friendly program, this is a page it can take out of Marriott's playbook.
Related: Here’s everything you need to know about using Marriott Suite Night Awards
One of the best perks of staying with Hyatt is how easy it is to book suites with points. However, as it stands now, it isn't easy for Globalists to redeem their suite upgrade awards. Top-tier members currently need to call in or direct message the Hyatt Concierge via social media. Adding the ability to redeem these awards online will allow Hyatt to reassert that Globalist is the best hotel elite status level.