A New Change to Hyatt’s Booking Process for Award Reservations

As many know, I’m a Hyatt Diamond — Hyatt’s top tier, and a status I find worth keeping every year.

Major benefits include:
— Club access at properties with clubs
— Breakfast offered at all properties
— Diamond suite upgrades (4 per year)
— Welcome bonuses and amenities

One of the unpublished benefits of being a Hyatt Diamond is that you can make a points reservation without the necessary amount of points in your account. So, assuming I want to stay at the Park Hyatt Milan which costs 30,000 points a night, I could book a night there with only, let’s say 5,000 points in my account. Traditionally, you’d be able to book the reservation, and then so long as you had the necessary amount of points by check-in, you’d be good to go. This was sort of an unpublished perk, and frankly, a perk that I’ve taken advantage of many times. It’s worth noting that this would only work if you didn’t have the necessary amount of points in your account. So, if I had 30,000 points and the night I wanted to book was 30,000 points, it would take the points out automatically.

Today, I needed to make an award reservation at a Hyatt House hotel at 8,000 points a night. Usually, I wouldn’t dare do this, but with the rate not budging lower than $200 a night, it seemed like a good deal. I only had around 4,000 points in my account, having recently spent a sizable chunk of my points in Sydney. I had the capability of transferring in Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but at the time of wanting to make the reservation didn’t necessarily want to, since I had several upcoming reservations that would naturally add points – between bonuses and actually spend credits.

Interestingly, Hyatt replied back that they could not make the reservation with less than the necessary amount of points. Apparently, effective in March of this year, points are required for reservations prior to 7 days to arrival, and at that stage, they can only dip below the necessary balance by 1,000. Further, if you don’t have the necessary points prior to arrival, you’re reservation will convert to the daily rate — which is a bit scary, since Park Hyatt properties can run into the several hundreds of dollars per night.

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The lesson learned here is that…

  • You now need the necessary amount of Hyatt points in your account at least 7 days prior to check-in.
  • It’s possible to “over draw” the account, but only by 1,000 points.
  • If you forget to deposit the necessary amount of points, your reservation will convert to the daily rate.

In practice, I don’t know how this will play out.

  • I’ve had reservations such as this and the reservation did not convert to the daily rate (I just learned this new rule today and have had similar reservations like this since March)
  • Hyatt’s IT systems don’t tend to be on top of things, so I can see room for error.

In any event, it’s an FYI for those who are Diamonds who tend to use this practice.

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Comments

  1. Rick says

    Just to clarify, does that mean you were still able to make the reservation with just the 4000 points in your account? It wasn’t entirely clear since there was mention of going -1000 max by the Hyatt rep. In other words, I can still make bookings without the necessary points in my account except I just need the points there at least 7 days before check-in?

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