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Hyatt Brand Explorer is one of my favorite perks across hotel loyalty programs. You can earn up to five free nights simply by staying at different Hyatt brands within the World of Hyatt program. Here's a look at how to earn the awards, what they are, and how to maximize this awesome benefit.
What is Hyatt Brand Explorer?
Hyatt Brand Explorer offers you up to 5 free nights with World of Hyatt by staying at the different Hyatt brands. So, let's first take a look at what brands are under the Hyatt umbrella.
The Hyatt Brands
There are currently 28 Hyatt brands that count for this perk, including the following hotels:
- Alila (only certain participating locations)
- Caption by Hyatt
- Destination by Hyatt (both participating Destination by Hyatt Hotels and participating Destination by Hyatt Residences locations)
- Dream Hotels
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt (often referred to as “Vanilla Hyatt” to prevent confusion)
- Hyatt Centric
- Hyatt House
- Hyatt Place
- Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Vacation Club (including any Vacation Ownership Property, whether or not branded as a Hyatt Residence Club)
- Hyatt Zilara
- Hyatt Ziva
- Joie de Vivre / JdV by Hyatt
- Park Hyatt
- Thompson Hotels
- The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
These all-inclusive brands also count, so long as the property you stay at has started participating in World of Hyatt during your stay:
- Impression by Secrets
Notice that Hyatt-affiliated hotels like MGM and Small Luxury Hotels do not count toward this perk.
How to Earn 5 Free Nights
With the Hyatt Brand Explorer perk, you can earn a free night after staying at five brands. But it's not limited to the first five. You can earn another free night at each additional five brands. Thanks to the addition of several all-inclusive resort brands, you can earn five free nights in total.
You can see all of these eligible brands listed in my Hyatt Brand Explorer progress:
As you can see, I've earned three free nights already. By staying at additional brands, I could earn a fourth and fifth free night.
The free nights that you earn with Brand Explorer are the same Category 1–4 Hyatt free night awards you might be familiar with from the The World of Hyatt Credit Card.
These free night awards allow you to stay at a Category 1–4 property worldwide, and the awards are valid for one year. Note that you must complete the stay by the expiration date — not just make the reservation.
For reference, Category 4 awards typically cost 15,000 points during standard pricing. Thus, if you see a property charging 15,000 points or less for an award night, you should be able to use the free night certificate.
If a night costs more than 15,000 points, it may still be possible to book with a free night certificate. However, the property would need to be a Category 4 hotel charging 18,000 points for a peak night. You can read more about Hyatt peak and off-peak pricing here.
How to Find New Brands
In addition to being a big fan of the Hyatt Brand Explorer perk, I'm also a huge fan of how easy Hyatt makes it to find the location of brands you want to stay at. Simply head to Hyatt.com. You don't even need to log in.
At the top of Hyatt's home page, click on “Hotels & Resorts.” This will take you to a map.
As indicated at the top right, click on “Filters.” This is where we can find the brands we haven't stayed at yet.
Here, you can filter by brands (just click on the ones you want visible on the map) and even by award category. This way, you could view only the cheapest redemptions when pursuing your free nights from the Brand Explorer Perk.
For me, there are only 136 hotels and resorts worldwide representing the brands I haven't stayed at yet, helping me earn additional Hyatt free night awards with Brand Explorer. Each blue dot represents a location, and clicking on it shows details about the property. All but one of my remaining brands are all-inclusive properties.
Which Stays Count?
You might think that only paid stays count, since you're earning free nights, after all. However, you would be wrong. Amazingly, everything counts — free nights, points+cash, points bookings. If the stay is in your name and under a qualifying rate (meaning, it's not an employee discount, group rate, or similar), then it counts.
When Hyatt first launched Brand Explorer, award stays didn't count. Thus, some people had to circle back and stay at a brand again. In a super-customer-friendly move, Hyatt changed this. Thus, you can earn 5 free nights from Hyatt Brand Explorer without actually spending a cent out of pocket. You don't need to pay cash for the stays to get credit.
How To Check Your Hyatt Brand Explorer Progress
To see which brands you've stayed at, log into your World of Hyatt account. In the top right corner, click on your name and then click on “My Awards” in the drop-down menu.
From here, you'll see your available upgrades and a box saying Brand Explorer. Click on that to expand it.
From here, you'll see which brands you've stayed with so far. If you stayed at a brand in the past and believe you should have credit, contact Hyatt with your stay details.
Marriott, Hilton, and other brands don't have anything similar to the Brand Explorer from Hyatt. It's one of the best ongoing hotel perks around. By staying at different Hyatt brands, you can earn up to five free World of Hyatt nights. Best of all, you don't even need to pay for the stays to earn Hyatt free night certificates through Hyatt Brand Explorer.
To really maximize this perk, you could do what my wife and I do. When we stay at a new brand, we book one night in her name and the remaining nights in my name. That way, we both get credit for that brand while enjoying the perks of my Globalist status during the stay.
Plus, if World of Hyatt reaches 30 brands, you'll be able to earn six free nights. And we may be on the way to that, especially as World of Hyatt is acquiring Mr & Mrs Smith hotels and launching a new extended-stay brand.
Were you aware of this perk before? How many different Hyatt brands have you stayed at?
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