Hyatt Now Lets You Select Which Free Night Certificates To Redeem Hyatt Now Lets You Select Which Free Night Certificates To Redeem

Hyatt Now Lets You Select Which Free Night Certificates To Redeem

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One of the best features of booking a stay with Hyatt is that it still maintains an award chart. Although semi-dynamic (thanks to peak and off-peak pricing), you'll always pay a fixed range of points for your stay, even when cash prices are sky-high. This is especially useful when redeeming free night certificates with World of Hyatt. Unlike other chains that have devalued their certificates with dynamic pricing, Hyatt's free night awards have thus far retained their value even as other program elements change. However, Hyatt's engine has always defaulted to redeeming the certificate that expires first, not the one that would be the most worthwhile.

But that's changing, as an update to Hyatt's Pay My Way feature to grant more customizability. Let's take a look.

Hyatt Pay My Way Feature Updated

One of the most useful features to debut in recent memory, the Pay My Way tool allows guests to select their method of payment for each night of their stay. This can be incredibly helpful for those who'd like to use a mixture of redemption options, including cash, points, points + cash, and free night certificates.

However, Hyatt's booking engine has faced some limitations. Most notably, guests haven't had a choice of which certificate they'd like to redeem. Instead, the site automatically pulled the award that was expiring first. While this is convenient in theory (and allows you to make sure no certificates are wasted), what often happened was that high-end certificates were applied to low-end stays.

Hyatt Pay My Way example booking with free night awards and cash
Credit: Hyatt

Such is the case for a recent stay in Seoul for AwardWallet's Senior Editor Ryan Smith. He'd booked a stay at the Grand Hyatt Incheon, a Category 3 hotel, and Hyatt's site applied his Category 1–7 certificate to the stay. Since there was no choice to change the certificate online, this quirk required noticing what was happening and then contacting Hyatt to make the change prior to check-in.

If you don't notice, you could use a Category 1–7 certificate, rather than the Category 1–4 award you'd prefer to use. That's been the process for years.

Happily, this update to Pay My Way features the ability to choose which certificate you'd like to redeem for your stays.

Hyatt Pay My Way choose certificate
You'll see a list of your eligible free night awards during the reservation. Credit: Hyatt

If this option doesn't appear in your browser, don't worry. Hyatt suggests clearing your cookies to make this work. We first attempted a booking using Apple's Safari browser, to no avail. However, a second attempt using Chrome allowed the new feature to show up, no cookie-clearing required. If neither of these moves works, also try logging in via Incognito to see if it'll force an appearance.

Final Thoughts

This update to the Pay My Way feature is great news for those with Hyatt certificates to burn. In the past, those using a free night certificate had no way to select which cert they'd like to use, and that issue has been remedied now. Gone are the days when you'll burn a Cat 7 certificate on a Cat 2 stay. With this update, Hyatt guests can choose when and how they're redeeming with no need for a phone call.

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  • Thank you so much for this info! I have been trying to book 4 nights in Philly, using my free night cert on the very last night (worth more points) and it has not been easy. I had to make 2 separate reservations (one points, one free) on the phone. Now I needed to make a change and redo reservation, and when went to go get the last night, it wouldn’t take my certificate. I have been determined not to call and figure this out for myself! I finally refreshed enough times for pay my way to show up, canceled the other reservation and got all 4 nights using my freebie on the last one. One single reservation. So much easier, thank you!