Hotel Credit Card Anniversary Free Night Expiring? Treat Yourself to a Staycation Instead of Letting It Go

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Yikes – I almost missed that the expiration date on my annual category 1 to 4 Hyatt free night certificate is fast approaching.  With no travel plans in the coming weeks, my options are to let it lapse or burn it on a “staycation” nearby.

Initially, I was bummed about this, because you can often squeeze hundreds of dollars in value from the anniversary night you’ll get from the World of Hyatt Credit Card (or old Chase Hyatt card) in lots of interesting locations.  It really is the best hotel credit card with a free night on your account anniversary, so it stings a little to burn it on a relatively mediocre redemption.

But then I realized I shouldn’t feel guilty.  It’s okay to use a certificate on a local getaway!

The Kids and I Will Be Sticking Close to Home by Redeeming a Hotel Credit Card Anniversary Free Night Certificate at the Nearby Hyatt Regency Rochester

Here’s how I’m not letting my free night certificate go to waste – and why you might consider doing the same.

I’ll Use My Hotel Credit Card Anniversary Night to Treat the Kids to a Winter Escape

I’ve had the Chase Hyatt (now World Of Hyatt) credit card for many years, and have made great use of the category 1 to 4 free night each account anniversary at wonderful hotels like the Hyatt Regency Paris – Etoile and Grand Hyatt Berlin.

This year, it’s not in the cards to burn the certificate in a fancy international location or big city.   Hyatt anniversary free night certificates expire 1 year after the date of issue, and my certificate expires in ~2 weeks.  I’d hoped to use it somewhere exotic but it just didn’t pan out, and there’s no way to extend its validity.  In the past, some folks have reported being able to “cash in” the certificates for 10,000 Hyatt points after expiration, but apparently Hyatt will no longer do this.

Instead of letting it expire, I’ll redeem my certificate at the freshly renovated category 2 Hyatt Regency Rochester.  We’ve stayed here in the past, but not since upgrades have been done, so it’ll be interesting to see what they’ve done with the property.

The paid rate for our night is ~$175, so I feel like we’re getting a decent value from the annual fee, too.

Not a Bad Rate for a Free Anniversary Night – Still Well Worth the Annual Fee

The kids can’t wait for this night out because they’ll get to enjoy the hotel’s indoor heated pool and fancy breakfast.  I’m mostly just looking forward to not having to make dinner for a night!  It’ll also be interesting to see if they give me an upgrade for having Hyatt Discoverist elite status (another perk of the card).

It’s almost like a forced mini-break, and a way to step away from the drudgery of everyday life even for a quick stay.  Sure, I’d prefer to use the certificate somewhere tropical in the middle of February, but at least the kids and I are making memories and getting a decent value from the annual fee I pay on the card each year.

If you’re looking for somewhere close to home (or anywhere) to redeem a Hyatt free night certificate, Hyatt’s website has a handy map tool, and you can filter just category 1 to 4 hotels as well.

Use Hyatt’s Map Search to Find Hotels Close to Home

Here are other cards that come with an anniversary free night certificate

  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (worth up to 40,000 points)
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (worth up to 35,000 points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (worth up to 35,000 points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program

How about you?  Have you ever redeemed a hotel credit card anniversary night certificate somewhere local or less glamorous just to not let it go to waste?  I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

Jasmin Baron was an editor at Million Mile Secrets. She covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel. Her work has appeared in The Points Guy and Business Insider.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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