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Yesterday I wrote about a major change with Hyatt’s Points + Cash award chart. Starting November 1st, the award chart is changing significantly and the amount of “cash” required for a Points + Cash redemption will be based on the standard rate. For every category, you’ll pay a fixed amount of points (which is staying the same as today’s award chart rate), plus 50% of the current standard rate. While we are not yet sure how this will change Points + Cash availability yet, hopefully it will open up some more redemption opportunities, but no guarantee. So here are some examples of the winners and losers with the new award chart. Spoiler alert: It is mostly losers!
Example 1: Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort
During peak dates, when points + cash is currently available, I found that the standard hotel price is around $600/night. With that being said, you can typically get the hotel for less then the standard price. At this particular hotel there is a “Winter Sale” rate which is significantly discounted at only $450 a night! Come November 1st, Cash + Points at this property would cost 10,000 points + $300! That is way more then the current rate of 10,000 points + $125 (if booked prior to November 1st). And with a lowest available rate of only $450, using points + cash wouldn’t be a great value as you’d still be paying $300! That means you’d essentially be using 10,000 points for a $150 savings which is much less then how I value my points. I’d instead prefer to spend 20,000 World of Hyatt points to redeem for a fully free night award – this would give me more then 2 cents per point value and it also means I wouldn’t have to pay the extra taxes and fees on top of the rate.
However, during off-peak dates, you can book this same hotel for just $220 a night (for the standard rate)! Using points + cash means the cash part would be just $110 instead of the current rate of $125. So a slightly better deal, although someone might prefer to just pay for the night instead of using points. Especially since you can find rates even less then the standard rates and the valuing on redeeming your points is very low.
Example 2: Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor
This category 4 property currently costs just 7,500 points + $100 a night for the points + cash redemption. During off-peak times, I actually found prices to be as low as $119 a night! While an incredibly low price for a Boston hotel, this puts the “cash” portion at just $59.50 a night once the new award chart kicks in. While this is significantly cheaper then today’s award chart, it is one of those redemptions you’d probably never redeem your points for anyways. Since the price is already pretty low, and you can even get it cheaper for $111/night if you are a AAA member, spending 7,500 World of Hyatt points to save around $50 is just a horrible redemption! This is valuing the points at less then a penny a point, something I’d never recommend doing!
And if you are looking at peak date, you will be spending significantly more on the cash portion. I put in a random summer date and found the standard rates to be around $269/night. This means the “cash” portion will cost you $134.50 instead of today’s current rate of $100.
As you can see, this is a pretty much a horrible change across the board for those who like to redeem for points + cash at Hyatt properties. While off-peak dates might reveal some less expensive cash options, most likely it is for a reservation where you might not have redeemed your points anyways due to a poor value. Remember, these changes take place November 1st so make sure to make all of your Points + Cash reservations within the next week!