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I have spent much of the last week firming up travel plans for the next year in part because I like having things planned out well in advance, and in part because some of my miles and points are about to be worth less thanks to some impending devaluations. I don’t like seeing how much my point balances have dropped due to my recent booking frenzy, but I do like knowing that I am milking the points for all they are worth before it will take more of them to get where I want to be. The next devaluation to kick in is Hyatt Gold Passport as their award chart changes are effective tomorrow, January 7th.
I covered all the details about the devaluation first here with the important bad news, then here with some of the positive changes they are making. I’ll recap the stuff you need to act on ASAP here, but read the linked posts for full details.
There are no changes for standard 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 and will include Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome, Park Hyatt Milan, Park Hyatt Zurich, and Park Hyatt Sydney for 30,000 points per night.
- Suite and Club awards are getting more expensive in all categories except Category 1.
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.
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. If you are looking to use the annual free co-branded credit card night that is good for a Cat 1-4 hotel, be aware that Andaz West Hollywood, Hyatt Chicago Mag Mile, Hyatt Place New York Midtown, and Park Hyatt Melbourne are all moving from a Cat 4 to a Cat 5 so you won’t be able to use them to book rooms at those hotels past tomorrow.
Make Bookings Now!
I highly recommend you do what I have been doing and make Hyatt award and suite bookings now. Check the cancellation rules for each property, but you can usually cancel with no penalty until pretty close to the reservation date, so lock something in now even if you aren’t 100% on your plans. Their calendar goes out one year, so you can make bookings through the beginning of 2015. Just recently I have made reservations made for Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome that is going from 22k to 30k points, Grand Hyatt Kauai that is going from 22k to 25k points, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek that is going from 22k to 30k points, and am toying around with several others. I will err on the side of booking by today, and back out of the ones I don’t need a little later down the line. I am saving myself tens of thousands of Hyatt points by acting now instead of in a couple of months.
Transfer Points In:
If you are running short on Hyatt Gold Passport points remember you can transfer them in from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and cards like the Ink Bold, Ink Plus, and Sapphire Preferred at a 1:1 ratio. Transfers should happen almost immediately, but don’t wait until later in the day in case there is a slight delay for some reason.
Adjust Reservations at Old Rates Until February 15th:
Hyatt will allow adjustments to existing award reservations at the old award chart rates through February 15th. I have gotten confirmation from Hyatt that permissible modification include extending or shortening a stay, but I can’t say 100% if it means you can move the dates of your trip completely, though I am hopeful you can. I know some are making reservations they are unsure of as a series of one night stays in case they end up needing just a portion of the stay.
Any modifications to Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Award Night reservations that cause an award reissue cannot be redeemed for hotels that moved from a Category 1-4 to Category 5 or 6 as of January 7, 2014.
I’ll post more about the enhancements that also kick in tomorrow after I get some hands-on experience with them…especially the cash and points reservations. Until then, book and book quickly! What properties have you been locking in?