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Like many businesses, hotels are always looking to increase their revenue without appearing to increase their prices. That’s the only way to interpret the trend of spacious suburban hotels and remote resort properties imposing parking charges.

Parking fees are especially egregious in places where parking is plentiful and there aren't many public transportation options. 

But I rarely pay for parking when I travel, as I’ve developed several strategies that are highly effective at avoiding this unnecessary fee. Specifically, my Hyatt Globalist Status—it's the top tier of the World of Hyatt loyalty program, and the perks are hard to beat.

How to Get Free Parking at Hyatt Hotels

  1. 1

    Achieve Hyatt Globalist Status

  2. 2

    Book Your Free Award Night With the Hotel

  3. 3

    Ask the Hotel to Bill Parking Charges to Your Room

Hyatt Globalist Perks

The primary way I avoid parking charges is by earning top-tier Globalist status with the World of Hyatt program. Perks of the program include:

  • Free hotel parking
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Club lounge access (where available)
  • Suite upgrades awards
  • Room upgrades (when available)
  • Waived resort fees (where applicable)
  • Share your benefits with friends and family
  • Early check-in
  • Late checkout
  • Premium internet access
  • Free bottled waters
  • Member rates
  • Accelerated rewards points earnings on Hyatt bookings

Getting Free Parking With Hyatt Globalist Status

To receive free parking at participating Hyatt properties, you'll need to reach Globalist status first and book your free award night. Then, request that the hotel bill your parking charges to the room. If you don't have the parking charges billed to your room, Hyatt will not cover your parking fees.

You can receive free parking at nearly all Hyatt hotels and resorts, but there are a few urban hotels that don’t have their own parking lots and can’t offer you this benefit. So it’s best to verify this benefit before booking a hotel where you’ll need to park. 

Becoming a Hyatt Globalist

Normally, Globalist status currently requires 60 night-stay credits in a calendar year. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay 30 or 60 nights away from home each year—let alone pay for all those nights—as there are other ways to earn night-stay credits. 

First, you earn a night-stay credit for every night you stay in a Hyatt property, even if you redeemed points or used free night certificates for your stay. And since I typically pay for hotel stays with my points, I’m able to earn this status with little out-of-pocket expense.

I receive plenty of Hyatt points by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Ink Business Preferred®. I also earn points and night-stay credits from having the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase. There are also many other travel rewards credit cards worth considering if you're not necessarily attached to staying at the Hyatt.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

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Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR21.49% - 28.49% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Sign Up Bonus 75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the gold standards for earning travel rewards. It has a generous sign-up bonus and you can earn points on travel and dining expenses. The card does have an annual fee, but you can continue earning points through bonus categories and an anniversary points boost.

Overview

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty flexible as it lets you transfer rewards points into miles or points several airlines and hotel programs. You can take advantage of strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can book any reservation you want through the Chase Travel℠ portal. Although the card might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers, it has a built-in upgrade path, so when it’s time to level up your travel rewards game, you won’t have to start from scratch.

Read the review

Pros

  • Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners
  • Accelerated earnings on dining, travel & household purchases
  • Excellent travel and purchase protections
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Not ideal for the highest spenders
  • $95 annual fee

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR21.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$95 More info

    This fee includes extra cards for authorized users, such as employees, at no additional charge.

  • Sign Up Bonus 100,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

    Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $2,300 (100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

Those with travel and advertising expenses will like the high earning rates in these categories, plus cardholders can eke out even more value with fully transferable rewards through the Chase Travel portal. One drawback is the modest annual fee, though many can offset this with the card’s earning potential.

Overview

This card offers a whopping 100,000 bonus points after you spend $8,000 in the first three months — with the card’s 25% bonus on travel booked through Chase, that’s worth $1,250. But you could potentially get more through one of the bank’s transfer partners. The rewards you earn from the Ink Business Preferred Card can be transferred to 10 different airline partners including United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore and British Airways, as well as hotel partners Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott.

Unlike the other two Ink Business cards, you can use this card to transfer your rewards directly to airline miles and hotel points. Travelers may also like this card’s cellphone protection policy that will cover up to $600 per claim.

Read the review

Pros

  • 3x points on 5 different categories (up to $150,000)
  • Robust travel, purchase and cellphone protections
  • Ability to earn transferable points to use on travel partners
  • No additional charge for extra cards for additional authorized users

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Businesses that don't spend on the category bonuses won't benefit

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR21.49% - 28.49% Variable
  • Annual Fee$95
  • Sign Up Bonus 60,000World of Hyatt Points More Info

    Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent Dollar Equivalent: $1,020 (60,000 World of Hyatt Points * 0.017 base)

World of Hyatt offers extremely valuable rewards, and this credit card puts you on the fast track to enjoying some of the program’s preferred benefits. The card also offers a free night every year, as well as automatic Discoverist status, which is the program’s lowest status level. However, there is a path to earn up to Globalist status, depending on how much you spend on the card.

Overview

Among all of the top hotel rewards programs, World of Hyatt offers the most valuable rewards, and the World of Hyatt credit card puts you on the fast track to enjoying some of the program’s preferred benefits.

Pros

  • Hyatt has one of the most rewarding hotel loyalty programs around
  • Free night certificate at any Hyatt Category 1-4 property, awarded every year on your cardmember anniversary
  • Automatic Discoverist status, with an expedited path to higher tiers in the World of Hyatt loyalty program

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No high-end perks

How Can You Save On Overnight Parking Fees

In the vast majority of Hyatt hotels I've stayed in, I've had parking charges waived that ranged from $10 a night to as much as $50. With this perk, there's no reason you couldn't rent a car when you stay at a Hyatt property in major cities like New York or London.

Many hotels offer packages that include free parking, but usually at a slight premium to the standard rate. This difference in price could be much less than paying the standard rate for parking. 

Negotiate Your Rates

One trick is to negotiate parking into your room price. To do that, simply call the hotel directly and ask to speak to a manager (don’t call its corporate reservations line). Tell them you are considering making a new reservation, but are concerned about the parking charges.

Inform them that you’ll be happy to make the reservation right now if they're willing include parking in the standard price. And if you have elite status with the hotel, feel free to mention that, as it could have an influence. 

Look for Free Parking in the Neighborhood

Another strategy is to simply find free parking in the neighborhood. A little research could reveal that there’s free street parking nearby. In Denver where I live, as with many other large cities, there’s no charge for street parking from Saturday night until Monday morning.

While not free, there are also apps like Parking Panda that can help you find prepaid parking at greatly reduced prices. In fact, I once used Parking Panda to stay in my hotel’s parking lot for a fraction of what it normally charges guests. 

Thinking Outside the Box

Some hotels have rental car services in the hotel. If you can take a ride share or public transportation to the hotel, then you can rent the car in the hotel on days that you need it. In fact you might even be able to rent a new car each morning, return it in the evening and not have to pay any parking charges. 

The most important thing you can do to avoid parking charges is to simply ask to have these charges waived. A sympathetic front desk clerk is usually empowered to waive parking charges in order to assure guest satisfaction.

If a staff member asks you about your stay, say it’s going great, but you do have one problem that you wish the hotel could solve. Mention the parking charge, and offer a good reason for it to be removed. For example, you could say that parking is plentiful, or that there’s no public transportation options or that the price is unreasonable. 

Conversely, you could bring up any service problems that you’ve experienced, and ask if they might be willing to waive the parking charge as compensation. 

FAQs

  • You may get free valet parking with Globalist status when your Hyatt only offers valet parking. However, if the hotel offers both valet and standard parking, then you'll usually only get standard parking for free. Whether you decide to tip your valet is up to you.

  • Yes, Hyatt Globalists can get free parking when they book their award nights and have the parking charges billed to their room. The hotel will not cover your parking fees if you do not charge it to the room.

  • No, only those with Hyatt Globalist status can get free parking during their stay on their free award nights.

  • The cost of parking at a Hyatt hotel will vary depending on the location, but you can typically plan on paying between $10-$80 per night without Globalist status (which entitles you to free parking during your award stays). For example, self parking at the Park Hyatt New York is $80 per day. While parking at Hyatt Place Salt Lake City is $10 per day.

  • It can make financial sense to pay a higher room price for free parking when the cost of an upgrade is less than the price you'll pay for parking. Otherwise, unless you value having a "better" room with more amenities, you should not pay a higher rate just for free parking.

  • You may get free parking simply by asking for it. Keep in mind that the hotel is not obligated to honor your request, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Furthermore, you may increase the odds of free parking when you have some level of status with a particular hotel chain. For example, asking for free parking at a Hilton may yield positive results when you are a Hilton Honors member.

Bottom Line

When you’re getting an award night stay for free, or even when you’ve just got a great paid rate, having to pay for parking can ruin the entire equation. But once you achieve Hyatt Globalist status or successfully use another strategy to minimize or eliminate parking fees, you can enjoy your hotel stay without paying too much for your car to stay there as well.

JS

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist who specializes in covering credit cards, award travel and other areas of personal finance. As one of the nation’s leading experts in the credit card industry, Jason’s work has been featured at mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Business Insider.