Best Ways to Use a Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificate

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Deluxe Park Pool Villa

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The World of Hyatt, Hyatt’s loyalty program, is a fan favorite among many award travelers, in particular, those who earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points because Hyatt is a direct transfer partner of Chase. Why do travelers like Hyatt? The primary reason is because of the value you can receive when booking Hyatt hotel rooms with Chase points.

Compared to other hotel programs like Hilton and Marriott, the points required to book a hotel room relative to the cash price for the same room are low, so you can receive solid value with the points that you use.

Another reason travelers like the Hyatt program is because you can earn free night certificates from your hotel stays or with your credit card spending.

Hot Tip: If you’re looking for ways to boost your Hyatt balance, check out the best ways to earn a lot of World of Hyatt points. 

Hyatt provides its members these avenues to earn free nights, so why not take advantage of them?

In this article, here’s how to earn a Category 1-4 night certificate as well as the best hotels to redeem the certificate at around the world.

How to Earn a Free Category 1-4 Night

Park Hyatt Siem Reap
Relax at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap. Image courtesy of Kuoni.co.uk

With the World of Hyatt program, you have 3 main ways to earn Category 1-4 free night certificates.

The first way to earn a free night certificate is to stay at 5 different Hyatt brands. There are 17 brands in the Hyatt portfolio so you’ll have the opportunity to earn 3 free night certificates in a calendar year. The Hyatt brands include:

  • Andaz
  • Hyatt Centric
  • Park Hyatt®
  • Miraval
  • Grand Hyatt®
  • Hyatt®
  • Hyatt Regency®
  • Hyatt Residence Club®
  • Hyatt Zilara®
  • Hyatt Ziva®
  • Hyatt Place®
  • Hyatt House™
  • The Unbound Collection™
  • Destination® Hotels
  • Joie de Vivre
  • Alila
  • Thompson Hotels

Hot Tip: Thompson Hotels was recently added to Hyatt’s Explore tab giving you access to 8 Thompson Hotels; 6 in the U.S. and 2 in Mexico. Joie de Vivre’s 14 U.S. properties were also added to World of Hyatt.

Staying 30 qualifying nights or earning 50,000 Base Points in a calendar year is the second way to earn a free Category 1-4 certificate.

Another way to earn a free night is to stay at Hyatt properties for 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 Base Points in a calendar year. The free night that you earn is actually a Category 1-7 night instead of only a Category 1-4 night.

The last way to earn a free Category 1-4 night certificate is by holding the World of Hyatt credit card.

The Hyatt credit card actually gives you 2 ways to earn a free night. The first being is to simply be a cardmember. Every year that you pay the annual fee, you’ll earn a Category 1-4 free night certificate. The second way is to spend $15,000 on the card as by hitting this threshold, you’ll earn an additional Category 1-4 free night certificate!

Bottom Line: The World of Hyatt program has a number of ways to earn a Category 1-4 free night certificate that you can use to book a complimentary hotel stay. The best way is to simply being a cardholder of the Hyatt credit card.

Hyatt Award Chart

Free nights
Hotel CategoryStandard Room Points Per NightRegency/Grand Club Points Per NightStandard Suite Points Per NightNEW: Premium Suite Points Per Night
15,0007,0008,00010,000
28,00012,00013,00016,000
312,00017,00020,00024,000
415,00021,00024,00030,000
520,00027,00032,00040,000
625,00033,00040,00050,000
730,00039,00048,00060,000
840,000

The World of Hyatt program has several award charts. When redeeming your free night certificate, reference the Free Night chart. Hyatt expanded this award chart to include a new section for Premium Suites. Not only can you book a Standard Suite with points, but you can also book a Premium Suite with points.

Best Category 1-4 Hotels to Book by Region

For the hotels in this article, they were first categorized by region and a sample of prices were taken throughout the year for each hotel. By taking an average of the sampling pricing, you can now see what your average cent per point value would be for each of these stays.

United States & Canada

The way to extract the most value is to book these U.S. and Canada properties when the cash price is high.

Thompson Chicago

Thompson Chicago
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

Thompson Hotels are now bookable on the Hyatt website making this hotel a great place to use your free night certificate. The Thompson Chicago is in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, providing you easy access to amazing restaurants and views of the lake.

The Thompson Chicago is a Category 4 hotel that averages $393/night netting you 2.6 cents per point in value.

The Gild Hall

Gild Hall
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

Another Thompson Hotel to check out is Gild Hall. Located in New York City’s Financial District, Gild Hall is a great place to access Brooklyn, Tribeca, SoHo, West and East Village neighborhoods.

Gild Hall is a Category 4 hotel that averages $370/night giving a return of 2.5 cents per point in value.

Andaz Savannah

Andaz Savannah
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

Heading south to Georgia, there is Andaz Savannah that sits along the Savannah River. This hotel would be an ideal place to check out the city’s antebellum architecture and historic district.

The Andaz Savannah is a Category 4 hotel that averages $367/night giving you 2.4 cents per point in value.

Joie de Vivre Hotels in New York and San Francisco

9 of the 14 Joie de Vivre Hotels are Category 1-4, including expensive hotel markers New York, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, and Chicago:

  • Hotel Revival, Baltimore (Category 2)
  • Hotel Lincoln, Chicago (Category 3)
  • The Talbott, Chicago (Category 3)
  • Avatar Hotel, Santa Clara (Category 3)
  • Wild Palms Hotel, Sunnyvale (Category 3)
  • Waterfront Hotel, Oakland (Category 3)
  • Chicago Athletic Association, Chicago (Category 4)
  • Hotel del Sol, San Francisco (Category 4)
  • Hotel Avante, Mountain View (Category 4)

Honorable Mentions

Here’s a few additional intriguing hotels where you can use your Category 1-4 free night certificate.

The Confidante Miami Beach ($333/night, 2.2 cents/point), Hyatt Regency Seattle ($330/night, 2.2 cents/point), The Eliza Jane ($318/night, 2.1 cents/point), and the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile ($318/night, 2.1 cents/point).

Bottom Line: The U.S. and Canada is one of the best regions in terms of the number of opportunities to book a Category 1-4 hotel. With the Thompson hotel portfolio now available to book with points, the sky’s the limit for your Category 1-4 free night certificate. 

Caribbean & Latin America

Park Hyatt Mendoza

Park Hyatt Mendoza
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

For those looking to experience the wine region in Argentina, the Park Hyatt Mendoza is the place to stay in the heart of the country’s wine region known for its Malbecs.

The Park Hyatt Mendoza is a Category 3 hotel that averages $242 or 12,000 point per night, netting you 2.0 cents per point.

Hot Tip: Hyatt has 4 additional properties in Argentina including Correntoso Lake & River Hotel, Hyatt Centric Santiago, Hyatt Place Santiago, and the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. 

Stara Hamburgo

Stara Hamburgo
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

The Stara Hamburgo is centrally located in Mexico City near another Hyatt property, the Hyatt Regency Mexico City. This hotel is part of the Small Luxury Hotel portfolio that is now bookable on the Hyatt website.

Stara Hamburgo is a Category 3 hotel that averages $234 or 12,000 point per night, netting you 2.0 cents per point.

Honorable Mentions

Additional hotels to put on your list are the Hyatt Centric Lima ($222/night, 1.8 cents/point) and the Hyatt Regency Mexico City ($206/night, 1.7 cents/point). Neither is likely to net you more than 2 cents per point, so consider using Hyatt points or cash to book either one of these hotels.

Bottom Line: The Caribbean & Latin American region is not an area where you’ll find a ton of high value redemptions. Instead, you may want to book many of these hotels with Hyatt points or cash.

Europe

Compared to other regions, using a Category 1-4 free night in Europe is going to be tough. There aren’t many properties where the value is more than 2 cents per point.

Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile

Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

Just north of the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll find the Paris Étoile property. What is gret about this hotel is that some rooms have incredible views of the Eiffel Tower, making any trip to Paris that much better.

The Étoile averages $347 or 15,000 points per night — a 2.3 cents per point in value for your free night certificate.

Hyatt Regency Chantilly

Hyatt Regency Chantilly
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

If you’re venturing outside of Paris and need a place to stay, check out the Hyatt Regency Chantilly property. At right under an hour north of Paris, you can stay at the Hyatt Regency Chantilly and be surrounded by the largest racehorse-training community in France.

Hyatt Regency Chantilly averages $291 or 12,000 points per night. At that rate, you can receive almost 2.5 cents per point in value.

Andaz Vienna

Andaz Vienna
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

In Austria’s capital, Vienna, there’s a new Andaz property worth keeping your eye on. The Andaz Vienna is located just outside Vienna’s Old Town and would be an excellent place to use your Category 1-4 free night certificate.

The Andaz Vienna is a Category 3 hotel averaging $285/night giving you nearly 2.5 cents per point in value.

Honorable Mentions

The only additional property worth mentioning is the Category 4 Park Hyatt Istanbul ($262/night, 1.7 cents/point).

Bottom Line: Europe wouldn’t be the first region recommended when looking to redeem a Category 1-4 free night certificate. 

Africa & Middle East

This region, like Europe, is another one that’s not well represented with Category 1-4 properties that offer valuable redemptions.

With that said, there are a few hotels that may be worth considering if you’re in Africa or the Middle East.

Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla

Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com.

Hyatt has 2 properties in Jordan, and the Aqaba Ayla hotel is the one you’ll want to check out.

Situated in the port city of Aqaba, this Hyatt Regency is home to an ancient fort, archaeological museum, beaches, windsurfing, water sports, and scuba diving.

The Aqaba Ayla averages $317 or 12,000 points per night, so you should be able to receive more than 2.5 cents per point.

Hyatt Regency Casablanca

Hyatt Regency Casablanca
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com

If you’re wanting to check out Morocco, the Hyatt Regency Casablanca is a property to book on your trip. Casablanca is a French colonial port city with beautiful architecture, beachfront cafes, bars, hotels, and restaurants.

This property in Casablanca averages $292 or 12,000 points per night. As a result, you can get nearly a 2.5 cents per point in value.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Image courtesy of hyatt.com.

For those taking a safari, why not tack on a side trip to a Park Hyatt in Zanzibar to see the beaches in eastern Africa? The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is a Category 4 hotel and would be a great place to relax on your trip to Serengeti National Park or Kilimanjaro National Park.

The Park Hyatt Zanzibar averages $366 or 15,000 points per night giving you 2.4 cents per point in value.

Honorable Mention

Another hotel in Tanzania to check out is the Hyatt Regency Dar es Salaam ($260/night, 2.2 cents/point)

Bottom Line: Much like the Europe region, Africa and the Middle East do not have a vast selection of Category 1-4 hotels that offer more than 2 cents per point. 

Asia

In addition to the U.S. and Canada, the Asia region is where you should focus your attention because of the number of properties that you can extract value from using your free night certificate.

Without a doubt, Asia has the most opportunities to redeem points for more than 2 cents each.

Hyatt Regency Tokyo

Hyatt Regency Tokyo
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo in Japan is a hotel to stay at during your trip to Tokyo. Check out the many izakayas, or bars, throughout the city, the Toyosu fish market, and the amazing food scene.

You can expect to pay $387 or use 12,000 points per night; your points will provide you with more than 3 cents of value each for your stay.

Hot Tip: This Hyatt Regency is typically expensive and doesn’t require that many points, so we recommend keeping it on your list if you’re visiting Tokyo!

Hyatt Regency Naha Okinawa

Hyatt Regency Naha Okinawa
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com

Staying in Japan but moving south, you’ll run into the Naha Okinawa property. The island has several remaining fortresses, a museum paying tribute to victims of WWII, snorkeling, and an aquarium.

The Hyatt Regency Naha Okinawa averages $296 or 15,000 points per night, so you’re looking at nearly 2.0 cents per point in value for this redemption.

Grand Hyatt Taipei

Grand Hyatt Taipei
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com

Island hop over to Taiwan and you’ll find the Grand Hyatt Taipei. Taipei is known for its night markets, the National Palace Museum, and the 509-meter bamboo-shaped skyscraper, Taipei 101.

You’ll have to pay $333 or 15,000 points per night to stay at this hotel, so you can still land more than 2 cents per point in value.

Honorable Mention

If you’re making a trip to Vietnam, consider staying at the Park Hyatt Saigon ($308/night, 2.0 cents/point).

Bottom Line: The Asia region is absolutely loaded with Category 1-4 hotel redemption opportunities and should be at the top of your list when checking out where to use your free night certificate.

Australia & Pacific

Rounding out the list of Category 1-4 properties lands you in the Australia and Pacific region. All in all, this isn’t a region with a ton of sweet spots, so keep that in mind when you’re looking to redeem your Category 1-4 free night certificate.

Hyatt Regency Saipan

Hyatt Regency Saipan
Image courtesy of Hyatt.com

Head to the South Pacific and you’ll find the Hyatt Regency Saipan on the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands. Saipan is known for its beautiful beaches, mountains, golf courses, diving, snorkeling, and hiking.

The Hyatt Regency Saipan averages $260 or 12,000 points per night giving you a value of 2.2 cents per point.

Hot Tip: The Hyatt Regency Saipan recently moved to a higher award category. However, you can still receive more than 2 cents per point in value. 

Honorable Mention

There are two properties worth mentioning: the Grand Hyatt Melbourne ($264/night, 1.8 cents/point) and the Gaya Island Resort ($279/night, 1.9 cents/point) hotel, a Small Luxury Hotels property.

Bottom Line: The Australia and Pacific region is another weaker region that doesn’t offer a ton of Category 1-4 hotels. 

Final Thoughts

Hyatt is a major hotel operator that continues to compete with the big brands of Hilton and Marriott. Many Hyatt elite members appreciate having their loyalty rewarded by being able to tap into the redemptions on this list.

Though Hyatt gets a bad rap for not having property coverage in many parts of the world, this list confirms that you have plenty of free nights available worldwide, just not always at a phenomenal value.

So when the time comes to redeem your Category 1-4 free night certificate, make sure to leverage this list to receive top value for your Hyatt free nights.


FAQ

How do I join the World of Hyatt? Is there a fee to join?

The World of Hyatt program is free to join by enrolling in the application here.

What are the World of Hyatt elite status levels?

Hyatt offers 3 elite tiers in Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist.

What are the different Hyatt brands?

Park Hyatt, Miraval, Exhale, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, The Unbound Collection, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Residence Club, and Thompson.

How do I contact World of Hyatt?

You can email Hyatt customer service at worldofhyatt@hyatt.com or call them at 1-888-344-9288.

Can I earn World of Hyatt points with a credit card?

Hyatt offers an excellent co-branded credit card and also partners with Chase. What this means is that you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned with cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Freedom Unlimited℠Chase Freedom®or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card directly to Hyatt.

Do World of Hyatt points expire?

If there’s no activity in your Hyatt account in 24 months, your Hyatt points will expire. Any earning or redeeming point activity resets the clock.

How many Hyatt points do you need for an award stay?

With the updated Hyatt award chart, you can book a standard room for 5,000-40,000 points per night.

Premium Suites require a bit more points at 10,000-60,000 points per night.

Can Hyatt points be transferred?

Members of the Hyatt program are allowed to transfer their points to another person by submitting a points transfer form.

Hyatt points can also be transferred to airlines, but the transfer ratio is horrible.

Michael McHugh

About Michael McHugh

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Michael took his first international trip in 2013 with friends to the Bahamas. Although he didn't travel much in his younger years, on that trip, he caught the travel bug and has been hooked ever since. Michael first caught wind of the points and miles game in 2014 while at a bar in Washington, DC where the conversation amongst friends was quickly derailed because of an alert on a friend's phone about a mistake fare.  That's where the love affair with points and miles began.

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2 comments

  1. Martin Gfeller · November 18, 2019 · Reply

    Very interesting post, thanks a lot. Do you know if a free night (category 1-4 certificate) counts towards elite status at World of Hyatt?

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