November is a bad time of reminder for all of us who loved the old Hyatt Gold Passport program. Two years ago, Hyatt made the switch to the World of Hyatt program which, even as a Hyatt loyalist, I would have to say was off to a really bad start. However, Hyatt has made great strides to returning the program to being a really great one.
Is Hyatt About to Devalue Points+Cash Redemptions?
For people that want to stretch their points out with Hyatt, Points+Cash are great redemptions. But, that fantastic value may be coming to an end, and it may be very soon.
Richard Kerr at TPG wrote today from a connected source that this is a change that is going to come as of November 1 and here is how it would be implemented: instead of the P+C redemptions being at fixed point and cash amounts, the points would remain fixed by category but the cash would be 50% of the rate of the room. In other words, it would become a dynamic cash component that is reduced by 50% from redeeming points.
It Should Not Be a Surprise
As someone who makes most of their reservations as Points+Cash reservations, I am very unhappy at the mere mention of this change! At the same time, I have to say I am not completely surprised.
Hyatt’s Points+Cash redemptions can be such great deals that you can actually get more value from them than you can buying Hyatt points when they go on sale (for the mid categories). Not only that, but P+C reservations count for suite upgrades, elite credit, promotional credit during promo periods, and they can drastically reduce the cost of mid-tier hotels that can be much more expensive.
I am sure this change would take place because of pressure from actual hotels. Points+Cash redemptions are not a great deal for the hotel itself. What Hyatt is reimbursing them at is nowhere near what they would be able to get from charging the regular rate, for many hotels.
It Would Change Redemption Plans for Many
For example, my most frequent hotel is a Category 2 and that means it is 4,000 points and $55 per night. There have been some nights that I have redeemed these redemptions when the cash cost was between $230 and $250 per night. Under the new program, that would cost me the same 4,000 points and $115 – $125. That is a big increase in cost and huge decrease in the value from these redemptions.
At that point, it is just a better value to redeem the 8,000 points for a free night. The problem is that I don’t generate a ton of Hyatt points. Instead, I transfer them from Ultimate Rewards. But, I really don’t like to do that either since there are so many great uses for UR points – United, Marriott, IHG, Singapore, Southwest, etc.
Some Good News?
However, it appears that Hyatt may try to balance this out by also introducing the ability to redeem points for premium suites, which are currently not even redeemable with Globalist suite upgrades. See the post for more on this. I would not hold my breath too much on this one, however, since these type of redemptions are very easy for the hotels to play with (like some hotels throw a couch in a room and call it a “suite” for upgrades).
What do you think? Is this a devaluation that would sour you on Hyatt?