Hyatt dropped a lot of major updates on us for this coming year. In fact, there are so many that I am doing separate posts on many of these updates so I can dive in a bit more and give you some more information. Unlike Marriott, these changes are definitely not all bad. So, let’s jump into these new World of Hyatt updates!
Major World of Hyatt Updates
The Date to Know!
First off, these award updates are all coming together on one day so you need to put this day on your calendar – March 22, 2020. To be even more specific, 8:00 am CDT on that day is when you will need to get any bookings in before changes take place.
The good news is that any changes that end up making your reservations cost less after that point will trigger an automatic refund between the points you paid and the new point amounts. So, no reason to hold off until after that day if a property is dropping.
Off-Peak and Peak Point Redemption
This was announced before (read the post here) and it will kick in on that March 22 date as well. Here is what Hyatt has re-iterated about these changes:
- We will introduce three point redemption values for free nights: Off-peak, Standard and Peak.
- This new structure will offer members more flexibility when redeeming points for free nights.
- Plus, free night point redemption will be identified as Peak, Standard or Off-Peak as soon as nights are available for reservations (usually 13 months in advance)
- They will not change once posted
While I prefer the current structure of one set rate per category, any one that travels during non-peak times may end up saving some points. We will have to see. I like that they will not be changing the structure once the date becomes available and that these changes will not be handled by the hotels themselves.
Thank you, Hyatt! Ever since they changed the structure for the Points+Cash rates, I don’t think I have booked one. This is because they tied the cash portion to 50% of the standard rate. This has made many places a bad deal for this since the standard rate is higher than what members would pay.
Fortunately, they have announced that they will be making this float more and it will now be a discount of between 50-70% of the Standard Rate. This will apply with the new off-peak/standard/peak redemption as well. My guess is that this is due to many members forsaking this rate option since it just really devalued points used this way.
In fact, I have advocated creating your own Points+Cash rate since then…
Hyatt Award Changes for 217 Hotels in 2020
I have a whole post on this coming up in just a few minutes so make sure you check that one! I will dive into the listings and have complete and sortable charts of which hotels are going up and which are going down. I also do some analysis on the property changes.
Here is a link if you want to see the list from Hyatt in the meantime. Here is a quick hit – no actual Hyatt property is moving to Category 8 and the list of up/down is split pretty close with 117 going up and 100 going down. I am actually pleased with some of them, especially an adjustment to some Seattle properties that had gone up in past changes.
New Small Luxury Hotels Joining Hyatt’s System
This is the first wave of properties from SLH to join up with Hyatt in 2020 and it is bringing almost 50 new properties for Hyatt members. Like I normally do, I will have a complete post on these properties coming out soon as well.
New Destination Hotels Joining Hyatt
Hyatt is continuing with the addition of the Destinations brand into the Hyatt portfolio. Unfortunately for those of us who like using points for stays, three of the four properties here will not be allowing redemptions. Hyatt says this is due to them being unique properties and it is because of this that they will have limited member benefits as well (like room upgrades, breakfast benefit, etc).
- Snowmass Homes Collection – Snowmass, Colorado (joined January 27, 2020; no redemption)
- The Residences of Laule’a – Waimea, Hawaii (joined January 27, 2020; no redemption)
- Suncadia Resort – Cle Elum, Washington (joining February 15, 2020; Category 5)
- Vacation Homes at Suncadia Resort – Cle Elum, Washington (joining February 15, 2020; no redemption)
This landing page will show their level of Hyatt participation on February 15.
This makes complete sense since the The Residences of Laule’a, for example, is a single unit in Hawaii that has 4 bedrooms, sleeps 10, and has 4,000 sq ft of living space. It would obviously be pointless to make this place available for award bookings. But, on the off chance that you will be paying for staying here, you will earn Hyatt points and those nights will count towards elite status, so that is something!
Whew, there is a lot here but we can look at it as mostly good news. We have award category changes that are not as drastic as other hotel programs, we have some new properties that we can start booking at with the SLH additions, we have increased value on Points+Cash redemptions and a little bit more.
On the downside, we also lose out on some properties that are going up but it isn’t a horrible change. Also, we now know when the new off-peak/peak program will come. I will reserve judgment on how good this may or may not be until we see the date ranges. My guess is that it will be something like a 60% negative/40% positive since there will likely be some guarded decisions regarding how they make these buckets available for off-peak/peak. Remember, once that is announced, it cannot be changed.