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As a benefit of earning elite status, World of Hyatt issues upgrade certificates to frequent guests. Top-tier Globalist members earn four confirmed suite upgrades, called Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards, and Explorists earn four Club Lounge access certificates once they reach that elite level. For both types of awards, each certificate will cover a stay of up to seven nights.

One aspect of the upgrade program has irked some members, however. In the past, certificates have been valid for one year from the date they’re issued — they expire 365 days after issuance, rather than at the end of the elite year. That essentially means that elites have been penalized for meeting the requirements of each tier earlier in the year — if you earned Globalist status on June 1, 2018, your upgrades would expire on June 1, 2019.

Hyatt’s just announced a change for the better here. Beginning this year, upgrade certificates will expire on the same date elite status ends — if you earn Globalist or Explorist status in 2018, your upgrades won’t expire until February 29, 2020.

The expiration policy will also change for lifetime elites. Per Hyatt:

“Upon achieving Lifetime Globalist status, members will receive four suite upgrade awards valid through the remainder of that year plus 14 months. Annually, Lifetime Globalists will receive four suite upgrade awards on or around March 1 valid for the remainder of that year plus 14 months. In addition, Lifetime Globalists who stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 Base Points in a calendar year will receive four additional suite upgrade awards that are valid for the remainder of the year they are earned plus 14 months.”

If you’ve already earned status this year, you should see this change reflected in your account as of Friday.

While this certainly seems like a sensible change, it’s likely that Hyatt’s feeling some heat from the Marriott/SPG merger. I only have one qualifying Hyatt night in 2018, for example, and given Marriott’s far broader reach — more than 6,500 hotels worldwide, compared with Hyatt’s 700+ — many road warriors are surely focusing their efforts on earning Marriott status, instead.

Featured image of Park Hyatt St. Kitts.

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