If you’re a Hyatt loyalist with their co-branded credit card, then chances are that you receive a fair number of Category 1-4 free night certificates. While I generally find these certificates to be useful, in this post I wanted to cover what was probably my favorite use of one of these ever.
How to get multiple Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificates
The World of Hyatt Credit Card was recently introduced, and it offers a Category 1-4 free night certificate on the account anniversary every year. You also have the opportunity to earn a second Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in a cardmember anniversary year.
On top of that, the card can help you earn elite nights towards status, so you receive a further Category 1-4 free night certificate when you qualify for Explorist status, and then you receive a Category 1-7 free night certificate when you qualify for Globalist status.
In other words, if you’re someone who qualifies for Globalist status every year and spends at least $15,000 per year on The World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’re earning at least three of these certificates per year, plus a Category 1-7 certificate.
How valuable are Category 1-4 free night certificates?
While Hyatt’s best hotels will be in Categories 5, 6, and 7, Categories 1-4 cover a vast majority of Hyatt’s global footprint. Generally speaking the points category a hotel is in is related to their average occupancy and nightly rates, so these certificates won’t be valid at the Park Hyatt Paris, Park Hyatt Sydney, etc.
The good news is that these certificates are good for more than just Hyatt Place properties. For example, just a couple of days ago I redeemed a Category 1-4 certificate for an upcoming stay at the Hyatt Centric Miami South Beach, where the paid rate would be around $400 including taxes and fees. Redeeming a free night certificate from The World of Hyatt Credit Card is an exceptional value.
This is a great use of the certificate, and while I’m looking forward to the stay, I’m not expecting the Hyatt Centric to be amazing or especially luxurious. After all, you’re paying for the location.
That brings me to my most memorable Category 1-4 redemption.
Redeeming Category 1-4 certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon
Before I get into the details of this specific stay, let me say that I think a majority of my firsthand perception of loyalty programs is based on peak experiences. In other words, 20 one night stays at airport Hyatt hotels will do very little to make me feel loyal to the Hyatt brand as a Globalist member, because all I’m hoping to get out of the stay is a place to sleep with fast Wi-Fi.
A majority of my perception of loyalty programs is based on those few stays that matter most to me. For example, after recent stays at the Park Hyatt Paris and Park Hyatt Milan, my perception of World of Hyatt has improved by so much. I was able to redeem points and confirm suite upgrades at the time of booking, and both hotels were spectacular. That goes a long way towards making me feel rewarded for my loyalty.
While this wasn’t quite one of those stays, this brings me to my stay at the Park Hyatt Saigon last October. It was my first time staying at the hotel, and I only stayed for one night using a Category 1-4 certificate. The hotel is a Category 4 property, and a paid stay would have cost about $400.
I loved the Park Hyatt Saigon. While most Park Hyatts have modern minimalist decor (which I like as well), this property has French Colonial decor (which is fitting of the place), while still having all the modern amenities you’d expect.
The lobby was beautiful, with fresh floral arrangements.
Even though we arrived before check-in time, we were able to check-in early, and were able to take advantage of Globalist 4PM check-out the next day, so we stayed for about 30 hours. Upon checking in we were invited to have a welcome drink in the spacious lobby bar. I had a cappuccino and Ford had fresh coconut juice.
As a Globalist member, I got an upgrade to a beautiful suite, with a welcome amenity of red wine and some dried fruit.
It had been a very long week of travel and we had work to do and wanted to take a nap, so when we arrived we ordered some delicious Vietnamese food through room service.
The following morning we had our complimentary Globalist breakfast in the restaurant, which had a massive selection of high-quality options.
The service throughout the hotel was excellent as well.
Usually, my most memorable stays are longer ones where I confirm a suite upgrade in advance, but for whatever reason, this one night stay was one of my most memorable Hyatt stays of last year. I loved the decor of the Park Hyatt Saigon, we got a great upgrade, and we really maximized our one night stay here.
Maybe I also liked it so much because this was the middle of an eight-day mileage run where Ford was otherwise miserable. Lesson learned. 😉
I’d argue the combination of Globalist status and The World of Hyatt Credit Card are more useful than ever before, given that you can now redeem Globalist confirmed suite upgrades on award stays, and all nights now count towards status, including those booked with free night awards. On top of that, with Hyatt’s credit card you can now earn elite nights towards status, which makes it easier to earn Globalist status.
What has been your favorite use of a Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificate?