I Gave Some Bad Advice Yesterday, and I’d Like a Chance to Fix It!

Registration has opened for Hyatt’s new promotion. You pick whether you want to earn free nights or points.

Staying fewer nights during the promotion period, free nights are the better deal (even though they expire). Staying more nights, I consider pints the better deal.

I recommended thinking through how many nights you’re likely to stay during the promotion period, and making your selection accordingly.

In general, I think the advice to register for promotions right away is sound:

Basic principle: sign up for promotions whenever you know about them, even if you do not think you’re going to take advantage of them. Plans change. You get rebooked or have to book a room elsewhere. A trip comes up. Odds of remembering that there’s a promotion to take advantage of at the time you’re changing your plans? Very slim. Registration is quick and easy, so just do it.

In this case, though, there’s a better way to play it. Set a calender reminder to register close to but in all cases by the March 31 registration deadline. And use your stay history over the first couple of months of the promotion period, together with a better sense of what your remaining stays look like, to make a better informed choice of whether free nights or points will be better for you.

See, commenter Gene asked,

Can you make stays now, register in late March (before the March 31 registration deadline), and have your Jan 15 – March nights count towards the promo? That would help in making the choice between nights and points.

During my trip from airport to downtown yesterday I scanned the terms and conditions of the offer and it seemed that all stays during the promotion period count towards the promotion — regardless of when you stay, provided you register by the close of registration.

Frequently only stays or flights count towards a hotel or airline promotion after you register. Activity prior to registering just doesn’t count. Not so here.

I queried Hyatt just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything. I asked specifically whether you could register later — after having stays — and those stays would still be bonused. And indeed that’s correct, here’s the reply I received back:

That’s true. Once you’ve registered during the registration period, stays will be counted and points/nights will be retroactive. Just make sure not to forget to register!

I still like registering for bonuses right away. I will forget. I will manage not to go back and do it later. When I flew American’s new Airbus A321 earlier in the week, I had forgotten I would be receiving bonus miles from the promotion supporting the launch of this new service. I had forgotten about it until I saw the bonus post — even though I had written about the offer. Fortunately, I registered for it right when it came out.

Nonetheless, in this case it’s possible to wait and choose which option works best for you later.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I agree with asar.

    Pints wins every time.

    I chose the points due to lack of need for free nights in the near term. But I plan to max it out and nearly requal my diamond early this year.

  2. if you hit 15 nights, Gary, would you take 3 Category 4s (Hyatt Santa Barbara or Hyatt SF Regency) or the 30K points?

  3. @Michael – personally I would take the points because of the short expiry of the free nights, that the free nights don’t count towards status and can’t be upgraded either. But if you likely had a need for the free nights and didn’t need to worry about requalification, take the nights they are more valuable then than 30k points

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