Chasing Diamond: Suite Upgrade Awards

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In yesterday’s post “Chasing Diamond” I detailed why I had decided to signup for Hyatt’s Diamond Trial.  The Trial gives me top tier Diamond status for 60 days.  And, if I complete 12 eligible paid nights during that time (and, I will!), I’ll keep Diamond status through February 2015.  Please see the prior post for more details.

Yesterday morning I was looking forward to my first Hyatt stay during the Trial when I remembered that suite upgrade awards were made available to all Diamond members, including Trial members.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure if these were paper certificates or what.  I thought that maybe I would have to wait until they arrived in the mail to use them.  Just in case, though, I logged into my Hyatt account, grinned at the words “Diamond Member” above my name, and selected “Account Detail” and then “My Awards”.  Sure enough, my suite upgrade awards were there!  Here is the detail from the screen:

Your Suite Upgrade Awards are available to use on paid room nights at any participating Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide between now and February 28, 2014. For purposes of this award, a suite provides for one-bedroom accommodations. Suite upgrade award is not valid toward Specialty, Premier, Presidential or Diplomatic Suites.

Awards

Earned:      4
Redeemed: 0
Available:    4
Expiration:  28 Feb 2014

I thought it was awesome that I’d be able to upgrade some or all of my stays during the Diamond Trial, but I was concerned about the Feb 28 expiration.  Do I really have only this month to use them?  I called the number shown on the screen and was happy to learn that Diamond members get 4 upgrade certificates every year on March 1.  So, I would be issued new certificates next month!  Awesome!

I then proceeded to try to upgrade all of my upcoming stays.  Along the way I learned some important facts:

My Elite Rate is not considered an eligible rate

One of my stays was booked with Hyatt’s new My Elite Rate (20% off the daily rate).  The Hyatt representative I spoke with told me that I couldn’t upgrade a room booked with that rate.  She told me that AAA and government rates were fine, though.  So, I rebooked using the AAA rate at the same hotel, but for a few dollars more, and then applied the upgrade.  It occurs to me now that I should have tried to hang up and call again to see if I got a different answer from a different agent…

After publishing this, several readers commented that the My Elite rate is in fact eligible for upgrades.  And, Jeanne from HeelsFirstTravel let me know that this was specifically addressed by Hyatt in this Milepoint thread.  Specifically, Hyatt Gold Passport Concierge wrote:

MyElite rates will be considered eligible for Gold Passport Points, stay credit, night credit, partner airline miles, M Life tier credits, etc. They also allow the four annual Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards to be applied to them (provided both the rate and the suite in question are available, of course).

It was dumb of me to think that the Diamond Desk associate I spoke with had the right information.  I should have double checked before changing my plans!

Availability is based on the type of suite available

For one of my stays, the Hyatt representative told me that the suite upgrade wasn’t available.  She elaborated that each hotel can choose specific suite types to be eligible for upgrades and that this hotel (the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort) had only two, and they were taken.  Bummer.

You can upgrade future stays

Even though my upgrade certificates expire at the end of this month, I can apply them now to a future stay.  As long as I book the stay and apply the upgrade before the upgrade expires, it is good to go.  One big caveat: if I have to cancel that stay after Feb 28th, I’ll lose the certificate completely.

Suite Upgrade Awards max out at 7 nights

You can use a single upgrade award to upgrade a stay of up to 7 consecutive nights.  If you want to do more than 7 nights I suppose you would have to use multiple upgrade awards.  This restriction doesn’t impact me at all based upon my current reservations, but its good to know.

Excluded properties

Hyatt lists a number of excluded properties in the Upgrade Award terms & conditions:

    • Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa
    • Hyatt Regency Kyoto
    • Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine
    • Hyatt Regency Tulsa
    • Hyatt Regency Wichita
    • Hyatt Santa Barbara
    • Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa
    • Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
    • Park Hyatt Sydney
    • Hyatt House properties
    • Hyatt Place properties
    • Hyatt Residence Club resorts.

 

Basic suites only

The terms & conditions insist that the upgrade award is for basic suites only:

For the purpose of this award, a suite provides for standard one-bedroom accommodations. Suite upgrade award is not valid toward Specialty, Premier, Presidential or Diplomatic Suites.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping an individual property from upgrading you further at their discretion, but you certainly can’t bank on it.

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