Bah, humbug to you, too, Hyatt!


Hyatt is making some more changes to their program this year, cutting a number of discount certificates which have been available to customers for a while now and with minimal notice. Merry Christmas, huh?

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As of 7 January 2014 customers will no longer be able to buy Hyatt Stay Certificates. These certs were essentially another way to buy an award night at many Hyatt hotels. Rather than redeeming points you would redeem a certificate. There were several levels of certs but each was a fixed price. The net effect was that it was often possible to get a decent discount on room rates, particularly at higher-priced properties, if you planned a bit in advance. The good news is that issued Hyatt Stay Certificates will continue to be honored per the T&C in effect when they were issued. The bad news is that you won’t be able to get new ones anymore in a couple weeks.

As of January 8, 2014, Hyatt Stay Certificates will be replaced by Hyatt Nights Certificates, which are available for bulk purchase by registered businesses only. Hyatt Nights certificates are not available to the general public and are intended for use as corporate incentives, employee engagement, consumer loyalty, credit card redemption programs and auction packages.

In other words, we don’t want end-users buying these to circumvent our revenue management controls so we’re pulling them off the market.

Also being retired are Hyatt Weekend Certificates and Hyatt Spa Certificates, which are comparable to the Stay Certificates but for weekend trips or spa properties.

The replacements product Hyatt is pushing are gift certificates. Cash-value cards where there is no room for arbitrage or discounts. Certainly understandable from their perspective; not so great for those playing the game.

And, to be very clear, I don’t really think that Christmas has anything to do with the announcement timing. I just happen to think that it is an entertaining coincidence and the phrase works well this time of year. I do think that the many changes Hyatt has made over the past 6 weeks have been awkwardly spaced out. Rather than just telling customers everything that’s happening they’ve strung out the change announcements, including burying this one a couple days before a holiday where people aren’t paying as much attention and where it will get lost in the shuffle.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

5 Comments

  1. The one time i was going to but the stay certificates to get a lower rate than available was at the Hyatt Siesta Key Resort. I called in before I bought to see what room it would book me into. as I was going to be using 2 free night certs as well. They told me that I could not use stay certs at that property. I pointed them to their website that said I could . Hyatt reps just said it was an error on the website and they would have it corrected. They gave me extra points for the inconvienence. Just for grins I checked back 4 months later and the website said that property was still eligible for stay certs. Go figure! Last time I tried to use them.

  2. I have really never understood this love affair with Hyatt among your Boarding Area peers. I used to do the hotel elite thing until discovering that chasing it is a waste of money.

    1. I almost understand it for someone who is getting all (or at least most) their stays paid for by a 3rd party (i.e. work reimbursed). And the benefits (and bonus points) Hyatt was throwing around a couple years ago were pretty impressive. Less so now.

      But I absolutely agree that chasing elite status is a waste of money for personal travel habits.

  3. Hyatt has gone from offering the best promotions of any loyalty program such as Faster Free Nights and the Gx bonus offers, to offering some of the least compelling reasons to stay at their hotels. Gold Passport was the first hotel loyalty program to offer free internet for Platinum and Diamond members and confirmed suite upgrade certificates for Diamonds. Now the Faster Free Night offers and Gx bonus offers are a thing of the past, and they tend to make bonus promotional point offers that are akin to the old Gx bonus offers. On top of this, Hyatt has a limited number of locations, and their rates tend to be 20 to 50 percent higher than Marriott and Hilton. Why pay so much money to stay at a Hyatt? Hyatt has some spectacular hotels, but Gold Passport no longer creates compelling promotional offers to compensate for their lack of locations. Hilton and Marriott offer a far greater number of global locations at a more compelling value.

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