Update: As of Hyatt’s IT update in January 2016, this is no longer an option. All stays must be completed by the expiration date on the certificate.
I’ve had the Chase Hyatt Visa for several years now and I renew it solely for the annual free anniversary night which is valid at Category 1-4 hotels. Each year my anniversary night must be used by August 31st or I lose it. However, there is a little know policy that Hyatt Gold Passport can actually grant a courtesy, one time exception in which they will extend the expiration by 30 days. This is actually a policy Hyatt has confirmed publicly but many people still don’t know about it. So while you probably just learned something, I recently tested and proved you can do better by extending it even further out.
This all started when I started looking for an award night in Abu Dhabi for early October as I built in a one day layover (really 21 hours) in Abu Dhabi on our way to the Maldives. My goal was to use the annual anniversary free night from my Hyatt credit card since August was here and I still hadn’t used my anniversary night. I had to find a Category 1-4 Hyatt in Abu Dhabi and it turns out there is a perfect hotel that would work for us – the Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, a category 3 hotel that looks fantastic and gets great reviews as the 13th ranked hotel in all of Abu Dhabi.
This would be perfect except even with a 30 day extension my anniversary night would expire on September 30th – my reservation would be for the first week in October so I needed 32 days. Instead of resorting to using next year’s anniversary night (that was valid until 8/31/16) I turned to the power of social media and contacted @HyattConcierge asking for help. I explained I wanted to use my expiring anniversary night and understood a 30 day extension was possible but I was really hoping I could get a 32 day extension if that was at all possible. Sure enough by simply asking, it worked!
However, Hyatt did better than just extending my expiration date by 2 days. They ended up giving me a whole another month to use it and extended the free night until October 31, 2015! I noticed this when I went to My Awards in my Hyatt Gold Passport account online and saw this year’s anniversary night (which is now marked as redeemed since I am using it for an October stay at the Capital Gate Abu Dhabi) & compared it to next year’s anniversary award which has the same August expiration date I see every year. I’m guessing that based on a technological limitation on Hyatt’s end, the expiration must be a month end so I really got a 2 month extension from the original expiration date.
By simply telling Hyatt I needed two extra days (after taking into account the 30 days they would have granted me) to use my anniversary award night, they were kind of enough to grant me an extension greater than what is generally allowed. By doing that, I was actually able to extend my expiration date by a total of 60 days which in essence gave me more than a 14 month window to use my anniversary night. I don’t see why others wouldn’t be able to replicate this though I think it would help if you tell them a specific circumstance and the dates/hotel you are looking to book with the extended anniversary night. The lesson here is before resorting to throwing away the anniversary night because it is about to expire, it doesn’t hurt to ask Hyatt if they can extend it. I was pleasantly surprised with my results!