Not having a full understanding of cancellation policies can be a major mistake when booking hotel stays. If you misunderstand the policy or have the wrong dates in mind, it could be a mistake that ends up costing you hundreds of dollars.
In this article, I’ll break down the Hyatt cancellation policy. I’ll talk about some of the new changes related to coronavirus and how those changes can impact you. I’ll also give you some things to be on the lookout for such as deposit deadlines.
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What is the Hyatt cancellation policy?
Generally, you will have to cancel 48 hours prior to arriving to avoid cancellation penalties. However, the cancellation policy depends on the type of booking you make and also can depend on the property you are staying at.
Changes have been made to the cancellation policy due to the pandemic and I will break down those changes below.
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World of Hyatt elite cancellation policy
If you are a Hyatt Explorist, Globalist, or Lifetime Globalist and the cancellation deadline is 48 hours, Hyatt will allow you to cancel with no penalty up to 24 hours prior to check-in.
There are just a few things to note about this.
This only applies when the cancellation deadline is 48 hours. If you were dealing with a cancellation policy of more than that then this exception does not apply.
This exception does not apply to Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Miraval resorts and M life resort destinations and excludes pre-paid and non-refundable rates.
Coronavirus cancellation policy
If you made a reservation before July 1, 2020 the reservation should be able to be canceled at no charge up to 24 hours prior to your scheduled arrival.
This policy includes advanced purchase rates.
Certain types of bookings are excluded from this special cancellation policy.
Reservations made after April 1, 2020 at select Destination properties or under the Special Event Rates and after June 3, 2020 at Hyatt Residence Club properties are excluded.
For new reservations booked July 1, 2020 or after, you should be able to cancel at no charge up to 24 hours prior to your scheduled arrival.
Just note that some properties may have a different type of cancellation policy and if that is the case then the policy that is disclosed at the time of booking will apply.
Hyatt makes this clear when they say:
“Any reservations booked on July 1, 2020 or beyond that disclose a different cancellation or refund policy at the time of booking are excluded from this policy and subject to the cancellation or refund policy disclosed at the time of booking.”
Advanced purchase rates
An advanced purchase rate is usually the cheapest rate offered because it comes with the least amount of flexibility. If you are a Hyatt member, you can save as much as 15% with Member Rate Advance Purchase.
You will know if you are booking an advance purchase rate because you will see it when you click on view rates.
Typically, after you purchase an advanced purchase rate you are not allowed a refund for your stay. Thus, it is very important that you are extremely confident about your travel dates when booking these type of rates.
If you need to change your dates, you should contact the hotel and they might allow you to push the dates forward or backward without incurring a fee.
Due to the coronavirus changes, even many advanced purchase rates can be canceled 24 hours prior to check in. It’s not clear yet when this policy will end so always be sure to double check the cancellation terms.
In order to take advantage of these cheaper rates, you might have to book them further in advance than a standard rate.
For example, you may only be able to book an advanced purchase rate if you are making a booking 7 to 14 days ahead of your check in date.
For these reasons, it really does pay to plan in advance if you want to utilize the cheapest rates.
How to find the Hyatt cancellation policy
It’s usually very easy to find where the cancellation policy is stated for Hyatt.
Simply search for a hotel and after you click on that hotel and view the rates, you should see the cancellation policy listed under the “rate rules.”
If there is a 24 hour cancellation rule, you will see language like this:
24hours Prior To Checkin To Avoid One Night Fee”
The only issue that I have is that sometimes the language used to describe the cancellation policy is poorly crafted/formatted.
For example, the hotel might use shorthand to describe the policy such as, “Cxl more 7 days prior to arrival-full refund.”
I definitely think hotels should strive to achieve maximum clarity when spelling out these cancellation policies. People are already getting confused about cancellation rules all the time so why are they using shorthand/bad English?
Sometimes in order to make a reservation, you might be required to put down a deposit.
If that is the case, the deposit will usually be the price of one night and when you view the rate rules you will see this clearly spelled out in the terms.
It will say something like:
“Credit Card Deposit Required 1 NIGHT(S) DEPOSIT WILL BE CHARGED TO CREDIT CARD.”
If you only need a credit card to guarantee your stay but no charge is necessary then the terms will likely just state something like:
“Credit Card Guarantee Required.”
Other times, you might also be dealing with a deposit that ties into the cancellation policy.
For example, for the Hyatt Ziva Cancun they require a credit card deposit for one night and it is nonrefundable 14 days before arrival.
You can tell just by viewing the cancellation policy:
Full Nonrefundable Deposit Due 14d Before Arrival.”
So just be aware when booking resorts that your cancellation deadline might be much further out than 24 to 48 hours. Often when dealing with resorts, the cancellation deadline is weeks and not days from arrival.
Sometimes you might have to deposit more than just one night to guarantee the reservation.
For example the Hyatt Miraval Austin requires a deposit of 50% of the stay at the time of booking to guarantee the reservation.
Some properties are specifically excluded from the waived change and cancellation fees. These include brands like Destination Residences, Hyatt Residence Club, and Miraval.
You can find the full list of excluded properties here.
Alternative cancellation policies
If you’re staying at one of the following brands such as MGM Resorts International, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and Lindblad Expeditions, it’s very possible that the cancellation policies will be different from the standard Hyatt policies.
If you fail to cancel prior to the cancellation deadline, there’s a good chance that you will get hit with a cancellation fee. In most cases this will be the price for a one night stay.
Hyatt cancellation policy FAQ
The deadline for avoiding a cancellation fee will vary based on the property but many properties are requiring cancellation only 24 hours prior to check in right now.
The standard deadline is 48 hours, however.
The cancellation fee is typically the price of a one night stay. To estimate the fee, simply look at the price of your first night scheduled.
The cancellation for a points booking is typically the same as for a standard rate but it could depend on the property.
This means that you will typically need to cancel 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid a cancellation fee.
If the original cancellation deadline is 48 hours, Globalist members can cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival without penalty (subject exceptions).
This only applies if the original cancellation deadline is 48 hours.
Resorts often have different cancellation policies than standard hotels. Sometimes the cancellation deadline will be 14 days prior to arrival or more.
As you can tell, the cancellation policy is relatively straightforward. Right now due to the pandemic, you can cancel up to 24 hours prior to arrival and avoid cancellation fees at many hotels. However, if you plan on staying at a resort the cancellation policy will likely be more strict.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC. Read my bio.