I called Hyatt today to make a guest of honor reservation for a friend and was fortunate enough to be connected with a tenured World of Hyatt (WOH) rep. After making the award booking, she offered to review my account for unclaimed Hyatt points, which I didn't know existed, and I gladly accepted. 30 minutes later, I was ~100k points richer!
What Are Unclaimed Points?
Each time an award reservation is made, WOH deducts the required points from your Hyatt account. Apparently (based on my call), the individual property needs to actually claim those deducted points. If the property does not claim the points, they stay in a state of purgatory.
In my particular case, the majority of unclaimed points were from guest of honor reservations where certain individual properties were not properly trained on redeeming such awards (this is speculation from the WOH rep as she saw multiple cases from the same property). Time goes by and the points may never get claimed.
There was another instance where a property simply didn't (forgot to?) deduct. And now the property has left the Hyatt chain, there is no chance of the points getting claimed by the hotel.
What To Say On the Call?
This should be a good start: “Are there any old points in my account for past award reservations that have not been redeemed by the individual property”
If the rep sounds confused, hang up call again. Btw, the number I called: 800-233-1234
Does It Really Work?
I had my friend call Hyatt to see what would happen, expecting the worst. But after using the line above “Are there any old points in my account for past award reservations that have not been redeemed by the individual property” the WOH rep replied “Sure let me check!”
Ten minutes later, ~15K was redeposited into his account for an award booking made many years ago. This seems to have been caused by some booking/rebooking mix up where the points were not properly deducted/claimed. Since the points went unclaimed for so many years, the rep was happy to give the points back to him.
We do not have enough data points yet to see if this will work consistently. It is possible that all award reservations from your account were redeemed and claimed successfully and therefore you get nada. It is also possible that the WOH rep refuses to redeposit the points to your account despite there being unclaimed points. And of course, it is very likely that the rep has no idea what you are talking about.
In my friend's particular case with the ~15k redeposit, the rep obtained approval from her supervisor before redepositing. It's likely the case where they see that the hotel will never claim the points and will give the ok.
In addition to the ~100k that was redeposited back into my account, the tenured Hyatt rep told me that there was another unclaimed 100K from a guest of honor reservation made several months back. However, she recommended that I call again in a few months as properties go through an annual audit. The last thing she wanted was to inflate my balance with another 100K only to have it taken back 1 month later.
So this is my warning: There is a chance that redeposits of any unclaimed points from RECENT award bookings may eventually get deducted from your account some time in the future.
Tell Us How It Went
If you end up calling WOH, let us know in the comments below how your call went – g'luck!