Well, as some of us expected, one of the last popular loyalty programs with an untouched award chart has announced award chart changes. Hyatt has published some changes that will go into effect on January 7, 2014.
Here is the current Hyatt award chart that is valid until January 6, 2014:
Here is the new Hyatt award chart that will take effect January 7, 2014:
The current Hyatt award chart has six hotel categories, with the highest Category 6 hotel coming in at 22,000 points per night.
The new chart will see a new top-tier category (7) where six Park Hyatt hotels will now live.
Standard Room Redemption
The main changes for standard room redemption are coming at the top half of the award chart. Category 1-4 hotels see no change in this category.
Category 5, 6, and the new 7 are where the increases are realized.
- Category 5 standard room rate increases 2,000 points per night.
- Category 6 standard room rate increases 3,000 points per night.
- Category 7 standard room rate is 30,000 points per night (an increase from previous top-tier category 6’s 22K per night).
Regency Club / Grand Club Redemption
Increases almost across the board for this type of redemption, heavily weighted to the top categories.
- Category 1 club room rate stays the same.
- Category 2 club room rate increases by 2,000 points per night.
- Category 3 club room rate increases by 2,000 points per night.
- Category 4 club room rate increases by 3,000 points per night.
- Category 5 club room rate increases by 5,000 points per night.
- Category 6 club room rate increases by 6,000 points per night.
- Category 7 club room rate increases by 12,000 points per night (an increase from the previous top-tier category 6’s 27K per night).
Again, increases almost across the board, heavily in the higher categories.
- Category 1 suite rate stays the same.
- Category 2 suite rate increases by 1,000 points per night.
- Category 3 suite rate increases by 2,000 points per night.
- Category 4 suite rate increases by 1,000 points per night.
- Category 5 suite rate increases by 5,000 points per night.
- Category 6 suite rate increases by 7,000 points per night.
- Category 7 suite rate increases by 15,000 points per night (an increase from the previous top-tier category 6’s 33K per night).
Room Upgrades on Paid Stays
Currently, you can upgrade a paid stay in two ways:
- Regency/Grand Club® Upgrade for up to 4 nights = 3,000 points
- Suite Upgrade for up to 4 nights = 6,000 points
From January 7 and on, the new rate for upgrading paid stays will be as follows:
- Regency/Grand Club® Upgrade = 3,000 points PER NIGHT
- Suite Upgrade for up to 4 nights = 6,000 points PER NIGHT
No longer will the upgrade be for “up to 4 nights.” You will now have to pay a set amount of points per night.
This is probably one of the biggest losses in the whole award chart. It was something I used often.
Hotel Category Changes
In total, 38 hotels will be changing categories – 21 higher and 17 lower.
New Category 7 Hotels
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
- Park Hyatt Milan
- Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
- Park Hyatt Sydney
- Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Park Hyatt Zurich
You can book at the current award chart rate until January 6, 2014. You can modify these reservations until February 15, 2014.
My Thoughts & Advice
2013, the year of the devaluation. It is what it is, but it, of course, could have been worse. The United devaluation was still much worse than this.
This, along with the other aforementioned change, certainly does make Chase Ultimate Rewards points much less valuable, but they are still so easy to manufacture that I believe there is still great value in them.
If you have any plans that involve Hyatt for 2014, make sure you book your awards/upgrades by January 6, 2014. You can always modify those existing reservations until February 15, which is a gracious offer by Hyatt amid these negative changes.
If you were planning on staying at one of the hotels that will move to Category 7, you might want to consider booking those award stays before they eat up more of your Hyatt Gold Passport points.
I, for one, will be booking a few Hyatt awards before the deadline. We have a wedding in Hawaii next September so we want to check out the Andaz Maui. As a Category 6 hotel, I’d rather book it now at 22K points per night than after January 6 for 25K points per night.
Other than that, there isn’t much advice to give. Never rush to dump miles or points after news like this. Examine your situation and your future plans. If you see an opportunity to redeem your points at the better value, do so. If not, stay put. Redeeming points just for the sake of it may be more wasteful than booking at the new rates.