This is my dad’s first year as a Diamond member of Hyatt Gold Passport, so he was concerned when he got an email warning him that his Diamond Suite Upgrades would soon expire. He often stays at boring airport hotels and doesn’t get the opportunity to use them for worthwhile stays.
Diamond members receive four such upgrades each year — including when they first earn that status. So the first thing I did was tell him that even when last year’s upgrades expire on February 28, 2015, he’ll get another four shortly after.
But that doesn’t mean he needs to travel by then. The great thing about Diamond Suite Upgrades is that they clear immediately. If a suite is available, they’ll book it and send you a confirmation email. You can book a stay and upgrade the room before they expire even if you’ll be traveling later this year.
Each upgrade is good for a single stay of up to seven days, so that’s potentially 28 days of total upgrades. You really shouldn’t pass that up. If you don’t know when you’ll use them, at the very least make some cancelable reservations and upgrade those. Better to book, upgrade, and cancel later than let them expire without making the effort.
What rooms can be upgraded? Just about any paid rate, as well as rates booked as Points + Cash awards. However, full points awards cannot be upgraded. I think your best deal is upgrading a Points + Cash award. I did that last year, paying $150 + 12,500 each night for a $1,000+ ocean view suite at the Andaz Maui. You’ll need to call Hyatt to check on Points + Cash availability.
Suite availability is a little easier to find. Either call or go online and make a fake booking to see what rooms are available — but each hotel has its own definition of an eligible entry level suite.