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Last week I wrote about Hyatt’s point redemption devaluation come January 7, 2014. While I was not pleased about the changes (and am not still happy about), they just announced some positive enhancements to the program. While I’d still prefer no changes at all, there are definitely some benefits for everyone.
1. Hyatt is adding a Points + Cash award chart.
This is a great addition to the Hyatt program and something I’ve always loved about Starwood.
Essentially you can think of this is paying for half of the points required. So depending on how you value your Hyatt points will determine whether or not you should go for the Points + Cash option or the full points option.
- Category 1 and 7 hotels = Purchasing the points at 2 cents per point
- Category 2 hotels = Purchasing the points at 1.375 cents per point
- Category 3, 5, and 6 hotels = Purchasing the points at 1.125 cents per point
- Category 4 hotels = Purchasing the points at 1.33 cents per point
I personally would not “purchase” Hyatt points at 2 cents per point, so the Points + Cash option is definitely best for category 2-6 hotels. Unfortunately though, Cash + Point rooms are capacity controlled so they are not always available even if the full point option is. You also need to call Hyatt at 800-228-3360 to book the reservation as of right no they are not available online.
Even if you think purchasing these points at this rate is too high and would prefer the full points option, there are some benefits of Points + Cash over full points:
- Points + Cash reservations do earn elite stay credits and nights – this is great for those that are trying to earn status at Hyatt as reservations booked on full point awards do not receive nights/stays towards status
- You will earn points on the cash portion paid – still something to take into consideration when booking
- Diamond upgrades can be applied to Points + Cash reservations – this is huge as full point award reservations are not eligible for confirmed diamond upgrades
2. Exclusive 20% discounts
Platinum and Diamond members will be eligible to get 20% off the daily rate on any standard room. While sometimes there are much better rates available than the standard rate, this could bring the standard room rate to be the lowest one available. One of the good things about the standard rate is usually they have generous cancelation policies, unlike the advanced booking rate.
3. Membership will remain active for longer
Right now, Hyatt can close your account if there is no activity within the past 12 months. Hyatt will be changing that timing to 24 months. Of course keeping an account active is not too difficult to do, it is nice to know you do not have to think about it as often.