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

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

Jasmin BaronHotel Credit Card Anniversary Free Night Expiring?  Treat Yourself to a Staycation Instead of Letting It GoMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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

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.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

More Info

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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Hi all, my annual fee is charged on April, I plan to cancel it before I notice a free night cert was in my Marriott account. Would anyone know if I do go ahead and cancel the credit card, will I still be able to use the free night that is in my Marriott account?Thanks in advance!

Hi Ku,

I found some data points in online forums that suggest it would still be valid.

The value of the free night can be pretty amazing though, and more than enough to cover the card’s annual fee. Any reason you are thinking of cancelling?

I’ve used it close to home a couple of times luckily we live about an hour into Chicago so have enjoyed a night away in the city. Great date night!

Author

Hi Boonie – Perfect for a date night! Thanks for sharing.

Just used our Bonvoy free nights in Auckland and IHG will be used in Vancouver. road trips and airport stays are always a good way as well. I monitor with Award Wallet and haven’t lost one yet. Marriott actually extended one for me and raised it from a 25k to 35k. Just keep your eyes on it or quit the card

Author

Hi Thane – Nice spots to use those certificates – enjoy! Thanks for sharing re: Marriott, was this recently?

same here as well. I have a Marriott certificate (up to $25K – level 4 hotel) so we picked a Residence Inn close by home. Pool, decent breakfast and good ratings on Tripadvisor). Always check the Ratings feedback first before you book even a free night!

Author

Hi Traveller Tom – That’s a good tip re: TripAdvisor – glad you were able to get use out of your certificate!

Same for us. We have an IHG certificate expiring at the end of March, another in July, and a Hilton weekend night expiring in July. So we are making the 5+ hour drive to DC and spending a Sunday night at the Graham in Georgetown (Hilton) which isn’t on the metro, and then 2 nights at the Willard Intercontinental where we’ve used a free night before.

Author

Hi Marilyn B – Sounds like a lovely trip – well done on combining perks from several cards. Enjoy your visit!

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