Guide To Hyatt Globalist Suite Upgrade Awards

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There are many perks I love about Hyatt’s top tier Globalist status, though arguably my single favorite perk is the suite upgrade awards that members receive. In this post I wanted to take a closer look at how this benefit works.

What are Hyatt suite upgrade awards?

With World of Hyatt suite upgrade awards, members can confirm an upgrade to a standard suite at the time of booking for a stay of up to seven nights when booking an eligible rate. This is in addition to the standard upgrade benefit that’s available to Globalist members, which is suite upgrades subject to availability at the time of check-in.

To me this is such a spectacular benefit — while several hotel loyalty programs offer room upgrades subject to availability at check-in, World of Hyatt is the only program that offers suite upgrades that you can use to confirm an upgrade at the time of booking.

Any frequent traveler can appreciate the significance of this — it allows you to lock in upgrades for the stays that matter most to you at the time of booking.

Earning Hyatt suite upgrade awards

World of Hyatt members can earn suite upgrade awards as part of the Milestone Rewards program:

  • Earn two suite upgrade awards upon earning 50 elite nights or 80,000 base points in a calendar year
  • Earn two additional suite upgrade awards upon earning 60 elite nights or 100,000 base points in a calendar year
  • Earn an additional suite upgrade award for passing 70 elite nights, 80 elite nights, 90 elite nights, or 100 elite nights
  • World of Hyatt lifetime Globalist members receive four additional suite upgrade awards per year

In other words, those qualifying for Globalist with 60 elite nights receive four suite upgrade awards, while members can earn up to eight per year, should they earn 100 elite nights.

Even elite nights earned through the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) qualify towards this.

World of Hyatt members can earn up to eight suite upgrade awards per year

Redeeming Hyatt suite upgrade awards

While the process of earning suite upgrade awards is pretty straightforward, there’s a bit more nuance to redeeming them. So let’s cover this in a few parts.

What rates are eligible for suite night awards?

You can apply suite upgrade awards to any eligible paid rate (this includes Hyatt Privé rates) or eligible points redemption. The only type of stay that’s typically considered eligible that you can’t use suite night awards on is free night certificates, whether we’re talking a Category 1-4 free night certificate, Category 1-7 free night certificate, etc.

At what hotels can you redeem suite night awards?

Suite upgrade awards can’t be redeemed at the following properties:

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Paris Madeleine, Hyatt Herald Square New York, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, Spirit Ridge at NK’MIP Resort, Hyatt Rosemont, Hyatt Regency Suites Atlanta Northwest, Hyatt Regency Lisle near Naperville, Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport Newport Beach, Thompson Seattle, Chicago Athletic Association, The Talbott, Hotel Revival Baltimore, Hotel Avatar, Hotel del Sol, Waterfront Hotel, Park South, The Laurel Inn, Hotel Kabuki, 50 Bowery, Alila Manggis, Studios at Alila Sminyak, Alila Villas Uluwatu, Ventana Campground, or Destination Residences or Hyatt Place hotels or resorts.

As you can see, Destination Residences and Hyatt Place properties are excluded, and then there’s a small additional list of properties not eligible for suite upgrade awards. This is primarily due to how few suites these properties have.

You can’t redeem suite upgrade awards at the Andaz Tokyo

Are there capacity controls on suite upgrade awards?

As long as a standard suite is available for sale you can use a suite upgrade award to confirm it. That’s pretty remarkable when you think about it, given that there’s potentially quite an opportunity cost to a hotel for that.

How long of a stay are suite upgrade awards valid for?

Each suite upgrade award can be redeemed for a stay of up to seven consecutive nights at one hotel. Generally speaking a suite upgrade award can only be applied to a single reservation.

In other words, if you’re staying for a week at a hotel but have two separation reservations (let’s say four nights paid with points and three nights paid with cash), you wouldn’t be able to apply a single suite upgrade award to the whole thing. However, in some cases the hotel may be able to work with you.

Redeem a suite upgrade award for a stay of up to seven nights

What kind of suites are eligible for suite upgrade awards?

Suite upgrade awards can be used to confirm an upgrade to a standard suite, and each hotel has a different definition of that.

How do you determine what a standard suite is at a particular hotel? There are two options:

  • Many hotels will list it directly on their website when you do a search — just look at room categories, and specifically for the one that says “this is a standard suite” in the description
  • Not all hotels list this, in which case you’re best off calling Hyatt, and they can tell you what a particular hotel considers to be a standard suite

As long as a standard suite is available for sale over your dates, you should be able to apply a suite upgrade award for your stay.

How do you apply a suite upgrade award?

Unfortunately there’s no way to apply a suite upgrade award directly, but rather you’ll need to reach out to Hyatt to do so. You have a few options for that:

  • Phone up World of Hyatt customer service
  • Contact Hyatt on Twitter
  • If you have a Hyatt concierge, they can also help you

What is the expiration policy for suite upgrade awards?

Hyatt suite upgrade awards are valid for the year in which they’re earned, plus around 14 months. In other words, suite upgrade awards earned in October 2020 would be valid through February 2022.

Note that you have to actually stay by the expiration date (with the check-out date being prior to when the suite upgrade award expires), and not just make the booking by then.

My Hyatt suite upgrade award strategy

I’ll admit that I’m probably a bit too much of a suite upgrade award hoarder, since some of my suite upgrade awards typically end up being used sub-optimally at the very end of the year.

The challenge is that you have a finite number of suite upgrade awards, and it can be hard to predict what your travel will look for an entire year. In general here’s how I prioritize suite upgrade awards:

  • How long am I staying? Ideally I use these for stays of at least four nights
  • How much time would I spend in the room? Personally I value suites more when staying at a resort than when at a city hotel, since I’m more likely to spend time in my room at a resort
  • How good is the standard suite at a hotel? At some hotels the standard suite is a small junior suite, while at others it’s a massive “full” suite
  • What are the odds that I’d otherwise get a space available suite upgrade as a Globalist? Globalist members get suite upgrades at check-in subject to availability, and odds of that happening vary greatly by hotel based on how many other Globalist members there are, how many suites the hotel has, etc.

An upgrade at the Hyatt Regency Dushanbe was easy without a suite upgrade award

Bottom line

Hyatt’s suite upgrade awards program is probably my favorite aspect of Globalist status, and what most sets World of Hyatt apart from other loyalty programs. Being able to confirm suite upgrades at the time of booking for stays that matter most to me is something I value immensely.

Just for qualifying for Globalist status you could be looking at up to 28 nights per year in confirmed suites at the time of booking, which is pretty awesome. This is a benefit that has even become more valuable in recent years, since these can be used on award stays (which wasn’t previously the case).

What has your experience been with Hyatt suite upgrade awards?

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Comments
  1. Apparently the suite upgrades set to expire in February that are going to be extended actually aren’t going to be extended until November? I asked to apply to a stay in April, was told that I could not (yet).

  2. For outsiders to the World of Hyatt program, the suite confirmed upgrades are for real. There’s a too-good-to-be-true quality to the sound of them, but Hyatt really will redeem each certificate for up to seven night stays in the listed Hyatt hotels. Over the course of my WoH membership I have stayed for months in some really nice suites. If you pick the right hotel, it makes the WoH program an almost unbelievable value. The confirmed upgrade certs are valuable to the point that I’ve made sure to earn the maximum 100-night milestone awards for the last few years, and always taking the milestone reward as an upgrade certificate.

    Pro tip: you can email your Hyatt concierge, a contact which is a perk of Globalist status, to try to secure your upgrade versus hanging out on the phone.

    I’ve found the best redemption values in China’s great cities. I’d love to hear recommendations from other Globalists about their favorite redemptions for Hyatt’s confirmed upgrade certificates in the United States and worldwide.

  3. Are you sure they can be used on Free Night Awards? I’ve been denied before and had this confirmed by my Hyatt Concierge that they can definitely be used on award stays, but NOT on free night awards.
    Could be a case of ymmv and I got unlucky, but I’ve tried a number of times with the same result.

  4. Free Nights using points: Yes
    Free Night Awards (credit card, milestone, promotional): No

    Also, one suite upgrade can cover multiple (but consecutive) reservations up to 7 nights. Hyatt Concierge can take care of it as long as the whole stay has standard suite availability.

  5. Globalist Pro Tip: Don’t book the cheapest room and you’ll automatically get upgraded to a very good room without the need for a suite upgrade. GH DFW Airport, Andaz Napa & HR Santa Barbra have treated me great. Presidential suites or badass rooms.

  6. Over the years I have received upgrades to some amazing suites such as one at the Grand Hyatt Seattle that I think had 4 or 5 doors so was the combination of 4 or 5 rooms. I have also really enjoyed the suite upgrades at Kauai and Bali resorts and Park Hyatt suites all over the world which were very large and included all sorts of upgraded amenities. Some of those rooms have had retail prices of over $2000 per night. Hyatt is very generous to Globalists for offering these rooms.

    That said, the suite upgrades are not my favourite perk of the Hyatt program. Even though they sound very valuable like getting a $2000 room for just a hundred or couple of hundred dollar sounds amazing, the frequency that I am able to really cash in on them is fairly rare.

    I like the free breakfast and or club lounge access benefit for Globalists to be a much more valuable perk in the program than the confirmable suites. Unfortunately, I travel often to places during mid to peak seasons, when the weather is nicer. I find that travelling then the suite availability for stays from 4-7 days long that suites are often not available. Every year I leave a couple of suites expiring in my account.

  7. Seems like Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is no longer on the exemption list for Globalist suite upgrades unlike in years past. Doubled checked on Hyatt’s website. That would be amazing for such a great property.

  8. My favorite perk in the World of Hyatt program is probably the guaranteed 4 p.m. checkout. If you have a young family, as we do, it is transformative, and makes us much more likely to casually schedule staycations at Hyatts not very far distant from our home. This weekend we’ll be hiking in Malibu and the 4 p.m. checkout assures that we can finish that hike before we’re compelled to leave the hotel.

    Over time the confirmed suite upgrade has grown in importance for us as its value has become clear, and it has literally increased our Hyatt bookings by 20 – 50 nights a year. So assuming Hyatt knows what it is doing with the financial end of this, it is a win-win for everyone involved.

    Club access in Asia and at select US locations (San Francisco, San Diego, NYC, Seattle) is on another plane of existence, with free meals, free booze, and great views. The Hangzhou Grand Hyatt is practically running a restaurant in terms of the quality of its food offerings, while the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai offers lovely service with jaw-dropping views of Shanghai’s skyscrapered Lujiazui central business district. If you make it to the lakeside Hangzhou Grand Hyatt, take time to chat with the ever-charming and super-interesting Slava, who helps manage the hotel and often supervises the Grand Club.

  9. @ Miami Heat — Unfortunately they’re not possible with suite night awards, but you can outright redeem points for premium suites nowadays, which could represent a good value.

  10. My favourite upgrades are PH NYC, PH Dubai and PH Abu Dhabi which oddly did not require an upgrade award. I never use them for business as not in the room long enough.

  11. @ Ben – Love Hyatt! Combined with IC RA, we stay in suites > 95% of the time. Or, should I say “stayed”, you know back in 2019, when we used to travel..

  12. Ben – can you clarify the timing that you need to select the 10k points or the suite upgrade award as you go from 60 to 100 nights? That is, how much time do I have to select between the two options? I’m considering taking the points since hotels are fairly empty for the forseeable future and I like the chances at getting a “free” upgrade w/out using a cert.

  13. We’ve done some sheltering-at-Hyatt to escape Wildfire smoke off and on since mid-August. Suites are harder to come by at check in time as Hyatt often waits a few days after a guest checks out before they allow someone else to check in- even though the Hyatt site showed standard suites available to reserve. We found this to be true for Mar Monte in Santa Barbara, Hyatt Regency Westlake and Hyatt Centric Mountain View. We are going to do a shelter-at-resort next month at Indian Wells and decided to use a suite upgrade for that – 7 nights in a renovated Penthouse suite w/ the new water park for $200/night. Not bad. Suites when sheltering at a resort is essential if multiple people are trying to connect in for work and school. We are also planning to use standard room points for 7 nights @ Grand Hyatt Kauai and use a suite upgrade award for spring break. Great benefit. BTW do you know if using a suite upgrade award counts as an “award stay” for the free parking Globalist benefit?

  14. Ben — Can a Globalist reserve two rooms (including one for a guest) using points or cash, and then use (2) suite upgrade awards to upgrade both rooms?

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