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Unfortunately Hyatt’s new award chart is in place with a higher number of points needed to redeem for a free night. However, On January 7 there were some new options put in place and Diamond members can actually reap many of the benefits.
First off, 17 hotels moved to a lower category, so if you booked at any of them, make sure to call Hyatt and get a refund on your points. A few of these hotels include the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach & Spa, Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, and Hyatt Regency Maui. When I called about some hotel rooms I booked they credited my account with the difference.
1. Points + Cash award chart
There will be a new Points + Cash award option, however are capacity controlled so might now always be available.
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. I personally hate having to call to make a reservation but oh well.
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; this means your stay will also count for any promotions!
- 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 (i.e, AAA, corporate rates, etc.), 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. I personally was able to find a few hotels where this 20% discount was much better than any other 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.
So overall, some nice enhancements, especially for Diamond members who can now apply their 4 suite upgrades to point + cash reservations. I also like the the point + cash reservations can earn points, count for status, and count for any promotions going on at the time. The 20% discount for platinum and diamond members is also great. Although, I’d still prefer the old award chart and no new “enhancements”, but it is what it is!