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While it has been rumored for a few days, Hyatt has officially confirmed that they are fully changing how you can redeem points + cash for a “free” night stay. In the past, it has always been a fixed number of points plus a fixed amount of cash per hotel category. Now, going forward, you’ll still redeem a fixed number of points (which will stay the same per category), plus 50% of the current hotel rate. This is a HUGE change and depending on your situation may or may not work out in your best interest. For most, this will be a negative change.
Current Points + Cash Award Chart
This is the current award chart where you pay 50% of the full point redemption rate, plus a fixed amount of cash per night. Using Points + Cash is a great deal for category 2-6 hotels, although availability can be limited at many properties (blackout dates are allowed for Points + Cash redemption).
New Points + Cash Award Chart
This will be the new Points + Cash award chart starting November 1, 2018. All hotel reservations made prior to this date will stick with the old chart, but any new reservations or changes to an award reservation post November 1st will be booked with this new award chart.
With the new award chart, you’ll pay the same amount of points as the old award chart, but the amount you pay in cash will depend on the current standard rate at the property – which is 50% of the standard rate. While this is great for inexpensive hotel rooms, chances are you probably wouldn’t have used points anyways. For expensive hotel stays, using Cash + Points can still cost you a pretty penny, but worth it if you do not have enough points available to redeem for a full point reservation.
You Can Now Redeem Cash + Points on Suites!
You can now redeem cash + points on suites which is a huge improvement of the program and unique compared to other major hotel chains. Since there was no opportunity to redeem your points this was in the past, this is definitely an enhancement. You can actually redeem points for both a standard or premium suites although the suites defined as standard/premium will vary per hotel.
Points + Cash at Miraval Hotels
You’ll now also be able to use Points + Cash at Miraval hotels for a standard room, standard suite, and premium suite. This will also be 50% of the full reward hotel points + 50% cash of the standard rate.With any change, there will be winners and losers. Hopefully this change allows more Points + Cash availability to open up, although my gut says that this change is overall not in favor for Hyatt members. If you have any Point + Cash reservations you are looking to make, just make sure to do so by October 31st. If by chance the “cash” portion of the award goes down, you can always cancel and rebook (assuming you are within the cancelation policy).