Hyatt points + cash: No upgrades for the Diamond-less

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Quick Summary: Hyatt Points + Cash stays can be upgraded with Diamond Suite Upgrade certificates, but cannot be upgraded with points.

Oops.  Yesterday’s post about the Hyatt Carmel Highlands was initially full of errors.  In the original version of the post, I had transformed Turkey Vultures into California Condors, I had extended the reach of the name “Pacific Coast Highway” far beyond its actual range, and I had given incorrect information about upgrading to suites.  All of that has been corrected, but the embarrassment lives on.  While no one was harmed with regards to the first two mistakes, the third could be a problem.

Many people receive my posts only through email and would be unlikely to see post-publication revisions.  As a result, there may be people banking on the ability to use points to upgrade Hyatt points & cash stays.  But, I was wrong.  You can’t.

Hyatt points + cash upgrades

Hyatt points + cash upgrades

I had booked a points + cash stay at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands and I had used a Diamond Suite Upgrade to upgrade to a two story townhouse suite.  In the original post, I said that those without Diamond status can book the Points + Cash rate and then use 6,000 points per night to upgrade, for a total of $150 (+ taxes) and 18,500 points per night.  That was wrong.

Hyatt points + cash upgrades

A reader named Don wrote: “Hi Greg, I’ve heard from Hyatt’s Twitter account 6,000 point suite upgrades can’t be done with cash and points bookings. Was the agent just misinformed? Is there a specific way in going about confirming such an upgrade?”

I called the Hyatt Diamond desk to ask.  The agent I spoke with was great.  I asked whether a non-Diamond could book a points + cash stay and upgrade to a suite with points.  He replied that he didn’t think it was possible, but he wasn’t 100% sure. I gave him a random date so that he could attempt to book it and see if it worked.  At the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, the random date I picked was available for points + cash.  The agent then tried to book the combination of points + cash and a 6000 point suite upgrade.  He couldn’t find a way to do it.  To his credit, he didn’t leave it at that.  He checked with his supervisor just to be 100% sure.  His supervisor then joined the conversation and confirmed that it wasn’t possible.

I didn’t leave it at that.  In order to avoid getting yet another thing wrong, I checked the Hyatt Gold Passport Terms & Conditions.

Here is what the terms say about Diamond Suite upgrades:

A complimentary suite upgrade is valid on paid nights when paying an Eligible Rate, for a maximum of 7 consecutive nights, at participating Hyatt hotels where suite accommodations are available.

Notice that upgrades can be made when paying an “Eligible Rate” (which is, essentially, any paid rate that earns points & stay credits – points & cash stays included).  Meanwhile, the same document says this about upgrading with points:

Hyatt Gold Passport upgrade awards may not be redeemed at all Hyatt hotel or resort locations. In order to redeem a Regency Club or Grand Club upgrade award or a Suite upgrade award at a Hyatt Resort property, member must pay a minimum of the Standard Rate deluxe room (such as partial ocean view, ocean view, slope view, etc.). In order to redeem a Regency/Grand Club upgrade award or a Suite upgrade award at a non-resort property, member must pay a minimum of the Standard Rate.

In other words, not all paid rates are eligible for point upgrades.  Points & Cash rates aren’t specifically mentioned, but it seems clear enough that they do not meet the “Standard Rate” or “Standard Rate deluxe room” qualifications.

After learning all of this, I updated the original post and added other suggestions for upgrading (please check out the Hyatt Carmel Highlands post for details).

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