A guide to Hyatt’s Brand Explorer perk (A trick to getting a free night with Hyatt!)
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Like many miles and points enthusiasts, I’m a big fan of Hyatt hotels. With the ease of earning World of Hyatt points through paid stays, from the World of Hyatt Credit Card or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your account, Hyatt hotels are great for folks looking to maximize their award points. Plus, Hyatt points are arguably the most valuable of all the major hotel brands, so your points go way further than with other chains like Marriott or Hilton.
In addition to a strong rewards program, Hyatt has a number of other perks and benefits for its members. One of these, the brand explorer perk, allows you to earn a free night when you complete a stay at five different Hyatt hotel brands.
What is Hyatt’s Brand Explorer perk?
Officially known as the “5-Brand Free Night Award,” the Hyatt Brand Explorer perk allows you to earn a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after you complete an eligible stay at five different Hyatt brand hotels. For your stay to count towards the perk, it must be one of the following:
- A stay where you paid an eligible rate (third-party travel booking sites don’t count) on or after March 1, 2017
- A stay where you redeemed a Hyatt free night award (such as the annual free night award from the Hyatt credit card) on or after January 1, 2018
- A stay where you redeemed Hyatt points or points and cash on or after March 1, 2017
Thankfully, award stays where you only redeem World of Hyatt points count toward the Brand Explorer perk!
The perk is once-in-a-lifetime, meaning you can only get credit once for a stay at each Hyatt brand. But currently, Hyatt has 17 different brands that count towards the program, meaning you can earn up to three free nights with the Brand Explorer perk by staying at every brand. Hyatt brands include:
- Park Hyatt
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Ziva
- Hyatt Zilara
- Hyatt Place
- Hyatt House
- Hyatt Residence Club
- Destination Hotels
- Thompson Hotels*
- Hyatt Centric
- The Unbound Collection
- Joie De Vivre**
*Some locations only
**For stays after 5/15/19, some locations only
How to check your progress toward a free night
Wondering how many different brands you’ve stayed in so far? Head to your Hyatt account and click the “My Awards” tab. From there, click the “+” on the “Brand Explorer” tab.
On the “Brand Explorer” tab you’ll be able to track your progress toward earning a free night with the Brand Explorer perk.
As you can see below, I’ve only stayed in one Hyatt brand since this program started back in 2017.
How to redeem brand explorer free nights
When you complete stays at five different brands, the free award night will automatically be added to your account. To redeem the free night, you can simply search for any Category 1-4 hotel and select “Use Points” as the method of payment. When you select the hotel you want, an option for redeeming the free night award will appear.
The free night award is good for one year from the date of issuance and can be used on any standard room at the hotel. The award is not subject to blackout dates, which means that you should be able to redeem any time the hotel has a standard room available.
While Categories 1-4 are on the lower end of Hyatt Hotels), there are still some incredible properties that you can stay at with the free night award.
For example, the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego is a beautiful waterfront property that regularly has room rates over $300 a night. But you can book this room for free using the Brand Explorer award night, with no blackout dates.
On the East Coast, you could stay at another beautiful waterfront property, the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, where rates also go for over $300 per night.
Which Hyatt brands are excluded from the Brand Explorer perk?
The 5-Brand Free Night Award is not valid at M life Rewards locations and is only redeemable for Category 1 – 4 Hyatt hotels or resorts.
How many free nights can you earn through the Brand Explorer perk?
The maximum number of free nights you can earn through the brand explorer perk is three, given the current number of Hyatt brands.
How do you book a free night earned with the Brand Explorer Perk?
There are two ways to book a free night earned with the brand explorer perk. First, you can book through your “My Awards” page. Second, you can book by calling a Hyatt Global Contact Center.
The free night award is only valid for stays at Category 1 – 4 Hyatt hotels or resorts and is not valid at M life Rewards properties. And it’s redeemable for one free night in a standard room, only when standard rooms are available at the Standard Rate.
When does the free night expire?
The free night award earned through the brand explorer perk is valid for one year from the issue date. And it must be redeemed for a reservation with a checkout date before the award expiration date.
The Hyatt Brand Explorer perk allows you to earn a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after completing an eligible stay at five different Hyatt brands. Since Hyatt currently has 17 brands, you could earn up to three free nights with the perk!
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