World of Hyatt points are easily the most valuable in the world of hotel points. Scoring a free night is much easier with Hyatt thanks to reasonable redemption rates that start at just 5,000 points per night. But Hyatt has another little-known way to score a free night that doesn't require a World of Hyatt Credit Card, spending a ton of nights in Hyatt properties, or even earning any points at all.
It's called Hyatt Brand Explorer, but you can think of it like a Hyatt punch card. It works like this: Every time you stay at five of Hyatt's individual hotel brands – think Park Hyatt, Andaz, Hyatt Place, Hyatt Centric, and Grand Hyatt as well as boutique Alila locations or one of the many all-inclusive resort brands – you'll earn a free night certificate. And you can use that certificate to easily book almost any category 1-4 Hyatt property, which cost up to 18,000 points per night.
That's a novel concept among the big box hotel chains and one of the easiest ways to earn a free night. Best of all, there's no time limit on how fast you have to rack up stays in order to earn a free night. And with how many different hotel brands Hyatt has to choose from, you can earn several of them – as many as five free nights, in fact.
So let's break down everything you need to know about the Hyatt Brand Explorer perk and how you can take advantage of it.
How World of Hyatt Brand Explorer Works
The Hyatt Brand Explorer benefit launched back in 2017 when Hyatt rebranded their loyalty program from Hyatt Gold Passport to World of Hyatt program. Yet despite its age, it's gotten little attention.
Here's how it works:
- Every time you complete a stay at a Hyatt brand you've never previously stayed with, you'll earn one credit towards a Hyatt Brand Explorer free night. Stays booked directly with Hyatt using cash or points, free night certificates, and even Hyatt points plus cash stays qualify.
- Once you stay at five different Hyatt brands, you'll earn a free night certificate that can be used at any Hyatt category 1-4 property within the next 12 months.
- You must be a World of Hyatt member and book directly with Hyatt for your stays to count toward Brand Explorer
But perhaps the best thing about this is that there is no time limit for completing stays with different brands. Once you complete a stay with a new brand, it will be logged in your account – typically 24 to 72 hours after checking out.
Want to see where you're at in your Brand Explorer journey log into your account, go into settings, click “my awards” and “Brand Explorer” to see!
After a handful of Hyatt stays stretching as far back as 2018, I recently stayed at my fifth Hyatt brand, a Hyatt Centric. One day after checking out, I received an email: “You Just Earned a Brand Explorer Award.”
Since there are a total of 28 brands in the Hyatt hotels portfolio that count toward Brand Explorer, you can earn up to five Hyatt brand explorer certificates over time. First things first: Make sure you're signed up for a World of Hyatt account. And use your Hyatt account to book any hotel stays to make sure they count toward your Brand Explorer count.
Once you earn your free night certificate, you'll have one year to complete your free stay. More on that soon…
Do Award Stays Count Towards Hyatt Brand Explorer Progress?
If you book a free award night stay at a Hyatt property with World of Hyatt points, it will count towards your Brand Explorer progress.
In fact, any stay where a World of Hyatt member pays an eligible rate or redeems a free night award counts towards Brand Explorer progress. That means paying cash, using points, making a cash plus points redemption, or even using a free night certificate from a World of Hyatt Credit Card will count.
Generally speaking, nights booked through an online travel agency (OTA) or another third party will not be eligible.
And there's one more caveat to keep in mind: Award stays booked using Hyatt's Guest of Honor program will count for the Hyatt Globalist member who booked the hotel stay – not the guest who actually stays at the property.
Hyatt Hotel Brands
It's getting even easier to rack up hotel stays at Hyatt brands to earn a free night.
Hyatt recently added a slew of new all-inclusive properties to its portfolio, resort brands with names like Secrets, Dreams, Zoetry and more – as well as Hyatt's own Ziva and Zilara all-inclusive chains (which count separately towards Hyatt Brand Explorer), of course.
Add in all the usual Hyatt properties from the likes of basic Hyatt Place hotels to top-of-the-line Park Hyatt properties and everything in between, and you've got plenty of options to pick from to work your way towards a free Hyatt Brand Explorer night. Even brands that don't have the Hyatt name in them count, like Andaz, Thompson Hotels, Alila, and more.
The only major exception is Hyatt's growing number of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). While you can earn Hyatt points on these stays or redeem them for free night at SLH locations, these properties don't count toward your Brand Explorer count.
But the rest are fair game. Here's the full list of eligible Hyatt Brands as of publication:
- Caption by Hyatt
- Destination by Hyatt
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt Centric
- Hyatt House
- Hyatt Place
- Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Residence Club
- Hyatt Studios
- Hyatt Zilara
- Hyatt Ziva
- Joie de Vivre by Hyatt
- Park Hyatt
- Thompson Hotels
- Unbound Collection
- Vivid (coming soon)
Trying to find specific brands that fit your upcoming travels to march toward a free night? Hyatt has a handy property map that allows you to filter by hotel brands. Just head to Hyatt.com, click “Explore” in the main menu, then “Hotels & Resorts.” Once the map is up, just select the option to filter your results and select the brand(s) you're focusing on.
How to Track Your Brand Explorer Progress
Not sure how many Hyatt stays you racked up toward a free night? Or if your recent Hyatt stay added another notch toward the five you need? One of the best parts of the Brand Explorer program is just how easy Hyatt makes it to track and use.
Start by heading to Hyatt.com and logging into your World of Hyatt account. Once you're logged in, select the “Brand Explorer” option under “My Account.”
In addition to the handy brand-by-brand tracker which shows you which properties you've already stayed at with a checkmark, Hyatt shows you how many nights toward your next free night stay you've racked up – and how many free night awards you've earned through Brand Explorer.
Once you've earned a free night award from Hyatt this way, it'll show up with the expiration date clearly noted.
How to Redeem Your Free Hyatt Brand Explorer Night
Booking a free night you earned from Hyatt Brand Explorer is easy.
It works much the same as redeeming any free night certificate … and unlike other hotel chains, Hyatt doesn't make you jump through hoops to redeem this free night. You can do it all online, just as you'd book a Hyatt hotel stay using points. So long as you've got a Hyatt Brand Explorer award available, Hyatt will give you the option to redeem it.
Once you've earned your free night through Hyatt Brand Explorer, you've got just 12 months to use it before it expires. And you need to complete that stay before the 12 months is up – not just book something beforehand.
To start, just head to Hyatt.com and make sure you're logged into your account. Be sure to select the option to “Use Points” – that's the key to using these free night awards from Brand Explorer.
But you can't use these free night certificates at every Hyatt hotel in the world. You'll need to book a Hyatt Category 1-4 hotel. With Hyatt's introduction of peak- and off-peak pricing, that means you can book hotels that cost as much as 18,000 points – a peak night stay at a Category 4 property. Even though they price out at 17,000 points, off-peak stays in Category 5 properties aren't an option.
And keep in mind, you can only book properties that have standard award space available. No award space? You won't be able to use it.
Considering you can book a category 1 to category 4 hotel with this free night, that's a lot of running room to get some good value. Cash rates at some of those properties can easily range from $100 to $400 or more a night. Check Hyatt's website for a full listing of category 1-4 properties.
We've laid out some of our favorite ways to use Hyatt free night certificates, like the Park Hyatt Mendoza for a visit to Argentinian wine country, the Andaz Savannah on the East Coast, and many more. You shouldn't have a hard time getting $200 or more in value out of your Hyatt Brand Explorer redemption.
For example, you could book a room at the Thompson Washington, D.C. next April, a Category 4 property during a peak period. It's a great use of a Brand Explorer night as the same room would cost over $400.
How to Earn More Hyatt Free Night Certificates
You can easily go beyond the Hyatt Brand Explorer and keep racking up free night certificates.
For starters, you can earn a category 1-4 free night award each and every year you hold the World of Hyatt Credit Card. With just a $95 annual fee, you'll get a free night certificate each year after your cardmember anniversary. You can even earn a second free night certificate by spending $15,000 each year. Those certificates work exactly the same as with the Brand Explorer perk.
In addition to the free night award certificate, the World of Hyatt card offers a ton of value with automatic Discoverist status and allowing you to earn 9x points on paid Hyatt stays, easily making it worth the annual fee. Make sure to read our full review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Click Here to learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
If you often stay at Hyatt hotels (or even if you don't), this Hyatt Brand Explorer is worth keeping track of. It's an easy way to earn a free night: Stay at five new Hyatt brand properties, and you'll earn a free night to use at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel.
That's a fun and easy way to earn some additional Hyatt free nights. Best of all, there's no time limit to complete those five stays and get a free night. And whether you book with cash, points, or an existing free night certificate, it will count toward your Hyatt Brand Explorer progress.
Lead photo of Hyatt Regency Sydney, courtesy of Hyatt