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Take a deep breath. Let’s get the Band-Aid ripped off quickly – as is pointed out here, Hyatt is devaluing their award chart effective January 7th by requiring more points for redemptions in Categories 5 and 6, as well as adding a 7th category for six Park Hyatt hotels. They are also increasing the number of points required for a suite or club room on an award stay in Categories 2-7, increasing the number of points required for a suite or club room upgrade on a paid reservation, and 27 hotels are going up a category (while 17 are going down in category). Exhale.
‘Tis the season for devaluations. Hyatt has been the pillar of stability recently in the world of miles and points. Being able to redeem 22,000 Hyatt points for a night at somewhere like the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome that often retails for close to $800 USD per night was phenomenal. It felt too good to last, and eventually it was. Hyatt is my family’s primary hotel program (with SPG a close second), so this one hits me squarely in the points pocketbook. Trust me, I’m sad, too. But, I get it. Points only devalue, and at least I can have solace in the fact that I have been making the most of Hyatt points as I go. Hopefully you have been able to do the same. Plus, this devaluation isn’t earth shattering for most of the Hyatt properties. Only six hotels are going up to Category 7, and for the most part, those are hotels that truly deserve to be there. Though of course I wish they weren’t. Now let’s get to the details…
Award Chart Changes:
- There are no changes for reward night redemptions for Categories 1 – 4.
- Category 5 awards are increasing from 18,000 to 20,000 points per night.
- Category 6 awards are increasing from 22,000 to 25,000 points per night.
- Category 7 is being introduced at 30,000 points per night. The hotels that will be category 7 are the Park Hyatt hotels in Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich.
- There are no changes for Category 1 suite and club redemptions.
- Category 2 Club Rooms increase from 10,000 to 12,000 points per night. Category 2 suite awards increase from 12,000 to 15,000 points per night.
- Category 3 Club Rooms increase from 15,000 to 17,000 points per night. Category 3 suite awards increase from 18,000 to 20,000 points per night.
- Category 4 Club Rooms increase from 18,000 to 21,000 points per night. Category 4 suite awards increase from 23,000 to 24,000 points per night.
- Category 5 Club Rooms increase from 22,000 to 27,000 points per night. Category 5 suite awards increase from 27,000 to 32,000 points per night.
- Category 6 Club Rooms increase from 27,000 to 33,000 points per night. Category 6 suite awards increase from 33,000 to 40,000 points per night.
- Category 7 Club Rooms will cost 39,000 points per night. Category 7 suite awards will cost 48,000 points per night.
Suite and Club Upgrades on Paid Nights:
- Upgrades to a club room increase from 3,000 points for a four night stay to 3,000 points per night.
- Upgrades to a suite increase from 6,000 points for a four night stay to 6,000 points per night.
Hotels Changing Category:
There are a total of 38 hotels changing category, of which 21 are going to a higher category, and 17 are going to a lower category.
|Hyatt House Chicago/Naperville/Warrenville||2||1|
|Hyatt Place Chicago Warrenville/Naperville||2||1|
|Hyatt Place Cincinnati-Northeast||2||1|
|Hyatt Place Dallas/Grapevine||2||1|
|Hyatt Place Fort Worth/Cityview||2||1|
|Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market||2||1|
|Hyatt Place San Antonio-Northwest/Medical Center||2||1|
|Hyatt Place Columbus/OSU||1||2|
|Hyatt Place Dallas/Arlington/Grand Prairie||1||2|
|Hyatt Place Dublin/Pleasanton||1||2|
|Hyatt Place San Antonio North/Stone Oak||1||2|
|Hyatt North Houston||3||2|
|Hyatt Regency Incheon||3||2|
|Grand Hyatt Jakarta||2||3|
|Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo||2||3|
|Hyatt Place New Orleans Convention Center||2||3|
|Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishwaka||2||3|
|Hyatt Place West Palm Beach||2||3|
|Hyatt Regency Osaka||2||3|
|Park Hyatt Chennai||4||3|
|Park Hyatt Hyderabad||4||3|
|Grand Hyatt Melbourne||3||4|
|Hyatt Regency Cambridge||3||4|
|Hyatt Regency Louisville||3||4|
|Hyatt Regency Perth||3||4|
|Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi||5||4|
|Hyatt Regency Changbaishan||5||4|
|Andaz West Hollywood||4||5|
|Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile||4||5|
|Hyatt Place New York/Midtown South||4||5|
|Park Hyatt Melbourne||4||5|
|Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa||6||5|
|Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe||6||5|
|Hyatt Regency Maui||6||5|
|Park Hyatt Changbaishan||6||5|
|Andaz Liverpool Street London||5||6|
|Hyatt 48 Lex||5||6|
|Hyatt Union Square New York||5||6|
|Park Hyatt Beaver Creek||6||7|
|Park Hyatt Milan||6||7|
|Park Hyatt Paris Vendome||6||7|
|Park Hyatt Sydney||6||7|
|Park Hyatt Tokyo||6||7|
|Park Hyatt Zurich||6||7|
Deadline to Book at Current Rates:
You have from now until January 6, 2014 to book using the current award chart. Hyatt’s booking calendar goes a year out, so this means you will be able to book stays through 2014 at the current rates before the rates change. If a hotel you are booked at after January 7th is going down in points cost then you will proactively get the difference credited to your Gold Passport account. If a hotel you book increases in points cost beginning January 7th then you have until February 15th to make changes to that itinerary under the old award chart. After that date, all modifications will be based on the new award chart.
Annual Credit Card Category 1-4 Award Night:
You have through January 6th to book your annual free night at a category 1-4 hotel (via the Hyatt credit card) using the current award chart. Starting January 7th, you will have to follow the current award chart using the hotels that are now in Category 4 or below. So if you want to use it to stay at the Andaz West Hollywood, Hyatt Chicago Mag Mile, Hyatt Place New York Midtown, or Park Hyatt Melbourne do it before January 7th as they are all moving from Category 4 to Category 5.
Hyatt Credit Card Sign-up Bonus Nights:
I have been told by Hyatt Gold Passport big wigs that the two nights you get when signing up for the Hyatt credit card will still be valid at any Hyatt world-wide, so the category changes and introduction of a 7th category won’t impact that sign-up bonus. In fact, it makes it absolutely the best way to get two “free nights” at the six Category 7 Park Hyatt properties.
Why is this happening:
Here is what I was told when I asked why they were making these changes: “We evaluate the chart every year, and every year we make adjustments. We never take the changes lightly, but we have to be sure we’re running our business responsibly. We continue to keep our focus on providing value for our members, and as always, we try to make redemption as easy as possible with no blackout dates.”
What to do now:
Obviously it is smart to lock in nights for 2014 at any hotel that is increasing in category before January 7th. There is no rush to get the Hyatt credit card since those sign-up bonus nights won’t be impacted by these changes. However, if you have Hyatt or Ultimate Reward points you want to use at Category 5 – 7 hotels, then start planning now. If you were already in redemption mode with the United devaluation, then maybe you can pair some Hyatt redemptions along your travels.
This devaluation is not at all reason to drain your Hyatt account just for the heck of it since Category 1 – 4 hotels aren’t changing, Category 5 prices increase by about 11%, Category 6 prices increase by 14%, and the Category 7 hotels that used to be Category 6 hotels do jump by almost 37%. That is where the real pain of the chart increases are, but while those Category 7 Park Hyatts are awesome, they aren’t where most families vacation on a regular basis.
You can still use points to stay there, and even at 30,000 points per night, you are likely still getting a good return for your points given the high cost per night for most of those properties. But if you ever redeem 30,000 Hyatt points per night to stay at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek outside of ski season I may bop you on the head since the off-season rates would rarely justify that.
More to come, but this is probably enough for now. Yes, Hyatt is devaluing. Most of us aren’t surprised, but that doesn’t make it any more exciting. At least it wasn’t worse, truly.