In yet another devaluation of the season, Hyatt has finally
updated devalued their award chart for the coming year. Why not? It seems to be what all the cool kids are doing. 🙁
Hyatt has kept constant for a while now. Yes, they change categories for different hotels every so often but no matter what happened, you were still able to redeem 22,000 points for the top hotels anytime. There were no peak season prices so the points required for the different categories was constant. This all meant that their chart was ripe for a devaluation. So, how bad is it?
This devaluation (or, maybe as they would prefer, an industry standardization) actually comes with a multi-prong sting:
- An increase in required points for certain categories
- Another category added for top tier properties
- A bump in category for many hotels
- A decrease in category for many hotels (this is actually a good thing!)
- A hike in points required for upgrades
As you can see, it looks like they went for the whole smash all at once. This sure beats the incremental disappointment!
Hyatt used to have (and actually will have until January 7, 2014) 6 award categories. After January 7, 2014, this number will increase to 7 award categories. The seventh category will include 6 of Hyatt’s top tier hotels. Categories 5 and 6 will see a point increase for standard rooms and all categories will see point increases for Club rooms and Suites. In addition, 21 hotels will move up in category and 17 will decrease.
To view the hotels that are changing categories, go here for the full list.
Here are some of what I consider to be the most notable changes:
Hotels that will no longer be eligible for the Chase Hyatt card anniversary night (must be used for hotels from Category 1-4)
- Andaz West Hollywood – Category 4 to 5
- Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile – Category 4 to 5
- Hyatt Place New York/Midtown South – Category 4 to 5
- Park Hyatt Melbourne – Category 4 to 5
Hotels that will now be eligible for the Chase Hyatt card anniversary night
- Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi – Category 5 to 4
- Hyatt Regency Changbaishan – Category 5 to 4
Hotels that are now in Category 7 (requiring 30,000 points per night instead of 22,000)
- Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
- Park Hyatt Milan
- Park Hyatt Paris Vendome
- Park Hyatt Sydney
- Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Park Hyatt Zurich
Hyatt had one of the most generous plans in place for upgrades to suites on paid stays – for stays up to 4 nights, you could use 6,000 points for the whole stay to upgrade to a suite. With the increase, you will now need to use 6,000 points per night to upgrade to a suite! That is pretty significant for those who use this upgrade process! For me, I never find myself in a situation to use it as I normally do not stay at Hyatts on paid stays (when I do, it is normally only for one night anyway). I have also found Hyatt to be most kind in extending upgrades to me as a Platinum (which is the status that everyone has that holds the Chase Hyatt card).
Is there any good news to be had with this devaluation? Yes (in light of the devaluation, not necessarily because of the devaluation)! Here are some of the silver linings to be found.
Effective Date of Bookings
We actually have until January 7 to make bookings for as far in the future as the booking engine will allow! This is a good thing – the award changes do not kick in immediately nor do they kick in for stays after January 6. This means we have almost two months to make bookings for the next year. In addition, per Gary at View from the Wing, you will have until February 15 to make changes to existing reservations without paying the increased points that may be required.
Chase Hyatt Credit Card
The Chase Hyatt credit card just became a lot more valuable as this card gives two free nights at any Hyatt regardless of category. Also, unlike the Citi Hilton Reserve card, these nights can be used on any available night of the week (the Citi Hilton Reserve nights can only be used on weekends).
No Change for Mid-Range Hotels
Most marathons are going to be closer to the mid-range to lower range Hyatts (in the range of Category 1-4). These categories have been left unchanged (except for Club rooms and Suites) so you can still book away at these hotels. That is definitely a positive! Thank you for leaving these alone, Hyatt!
While no one likes a devaluation, this Hyatt devaluation wasn’t as devastating as it could have been. It has been a long time coming (Wyndham, SPG, Marriott, and Hilton all devalued their points and programs earlier this year) and they have gone easy on the changes that impact a majority of people. If you have wanted to book some of the more aspirational Hyatt properties, now is the time to do that. Even though you have until January 7 to book them, with six top tier Hyatt’s making huge changes at that time, there will be a mad rush to book the available nights at these six hotels. If they were on your radar, get booking!