Hyatt Category 1-4 Certificates Gift to Missionaries & Those In Ministry
In this post I wanted to go over the gifting of Hyatt Category 1-4 certificates to missionaries.
All images courtesy Hyatt.com
Deadline for Booking
When an award night is going to be gifted, it's often because it would expire with the original recipient who paid for it being unable to use it. There's typically a short timeline for booking before expiration. With that in mind, for any free night I offer, I require a 48 hr window for confirmation of a hotel & date including the information needed for booking before it's offered to someone else. If it's offered to someone else, the 1st person can still confirm it at any time if they haven't yet.
In order to secure your reservation, the free night holder gifting the free night will need:
Your name as it's listed on your government issued ID
The name(s) of anyone else coming with you to stay in the same room, and if children, their ages
Your room type preferences out of the standard room types possible (i.e. King bed, 2 queens, 2 doubles, etc.)
Any early/late check in/check out requests
Confirmation that you understand the fees possible (details below)
Example Booking Starting by Searching by Category: Japan (part 1)
Since the first missionary that I am going to offer one of these to is in Japan near Tokyo.
As visible on my best practices section below, I start of by considering only category 3-4 hotels on the Hyatt website near Tokyo:
Rather than going to the closest one, I jump to the highest $ price one, select dates, select the # of guests, & click on "Use Points" even though no points will actually be used:
Weekends tend to be high $ in many places [excepting locations like DC], but higher $ rates is better since it means you're stretching more value out of the certificate that doesn't care about how high or low the $ rates are.
Sadly in this case, no hotels are available this close to the booking date on that Friday (11 days away), as shown by the below screen with greyed out H's on the map and no costs visible on the left:
The next date I try is for the prior Friday, but that one pulls up the hotel I want, but with no points availability:
No points availability means it won't be available with these certificates on that date. Even if points availability is present, if it's not for standard rooms, it's not possible with these certificates. The next thing I'll do is to try additional dates to see what might work:
This date has some options with points, but it's requiring cash too, and that's not what I'm looking for:
Then I go 1 by 1 before I find a night where it's possible. Finally, I found this one:
Once there, I look at the top right to see if there are any additional fees, and there are not:
That said, if I'll be driving there, it would be good to research the parking fees:
For that information I go to where it states "Visit Hotel Website" in another tab:
Once there, I do a search for parking using ctrl+F (on a PC), and see this section:
From there I click to view details:
And from there I see the following:
Parking for $11 USD/day is not bad compared to many hotels in big US cities.
To see how good of a deal I would be getting, I shift to "View Rates" for the cash rates:
Once there, I go to "Book Now" besides the standard 1 King Bed to see how much it would be after taxes/fees under the "member rate" since membership in Hyatt is free & easy to setup:
That's a savings of approximately $300, so not bad for a category 1-4 certificate:
Let's say that I really would prefer a Friday night instead. Enter the next step.
Search by Date Japan Example (part 2)
If you didn't find what you're looking for when searching by category, go to the Hyatt website and at the top, input your location, guests, dates, & that you'll be using points.
From there, I consider options that I uncovered during my category search:
Hyatt Regency Yokohama, Hyatt Regency Tokyo, & Hyatt Regency Tokyo Bay
I already know that Hyatt Regency Tokyo isn't really available, so I'll check on Hyatt Regency Tokyo Bay, which shows availability:
From there I go as if I'm booking, and confirm that there are no additional fees on the top right:
Next I'll go back to see how much value I'd be getting by clicking on View Rates:
Then I click on Book Now:
It's not as valuable as the alternative above in $, but if it's better for you due to being on a Friday, it's a solid option to consider:
I also want to check out the fees for parking, so I'll go to the hotel website here:
And scrolling down to map & transportation I see here:
From there I see the parking details & other transportation details:
1. Compensation Directly to the One Gifting the Hotel:
It is against the program rules to provide any compensation to the one gifting the certificate for your receipt of the certificate. A written or verbal thank you is nice, but not necessary.
2. Cancellation Fees:
Keep in mind that cancellation policies of hotels may sometimes mean that there is a fee if you cancel too close to the time that you are supposed to check in at the hotel. In some cases, there may be fees in excess of the loss of the free night, or the free night may not be lost but the $ rate for the night may be required with no option for the free night certificate to be lost. If any fee like that is incurred, it should be paid to the one gifting the hotel within 14 days.
3. Resort Fees:
Even if a hotel typically charges a resort fee, these are waived even at the basic member level for free nights typically.
Free nights with a free night certificate shouldn't incur any taxes unless you have room charges or other $ expenses like parking fees.
Unless you are staying with a Guest of Honor Benefit from a Globalist with Hyatt, if the hotel charges a parking fee, and you plan on parking, prepare to pay for a parking fee.
Not Viable Alternatives to Hyatt Category 1-4 Certificates
While programs can change at any time, to my knowledge, the following are not possible to gift:
Hyatt suite night upgrades, club lounge access awards from those who aren't globalists (although Guest of Honor is possible for those gifting nights on points or certificates, including club lounge access)
Marriott free night certificates
IHG free night certificates
Viable Alternatives to Hyatt Category 1-4 Certificates
(discontinued soon) Radisson Rewards free night certificates
Most points based awards, excluding Choice Hotels (& a low number of airlines, i.e. ANA) which are only possible to book for immediate family/in laws in the case of Choice & with different rules for the minority of airlines that have restrictive rules on who can use someone's points
Unless you'll already be traveling, since free night certificates are typically only for 1 night, it's best to go somewhere that's not too far away so that most of your experience isn't spent traveling and so that you're not hotel hopping.
Be sure to watch out for hotels where fees would be incurred and check the hotel ratings prior to identifying where you want to go. Going to a higher end hotel of the category 1-4 options that's not too far from you with low or no fees is ideal.
For category 1-4 options, go here.
For category 3-4 options, go here.
Not Giftable to Others
My policy is that if the one that I'm offering a free hotel night can't use it, while they can certainly share about others who could use it who are in need, those that they are gifted to shouldn't be those who are supporting the missionary or person in ministry. Also if the person I initially offer it to can't use it, they should let me know within 24 hrs.
While geared towards those with Globalist Status (these certificates typically will be from my wife's account, who doesn't have Globalist status), and toward SE VA, this blog I wrote may be helpful.