Hyatt’s Point + Cash Devaluation in Practice

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Doomsday is here with Hyatt’s new point + cash award chart. Going forward, all point + cash redemptions will no longer have a fixed cash component and instead you’ll pay 50% of the standard hotel rate. It is a massive devaluation of the award chart and a redemption which most people will no longer use (or if you do, the value which you are redeeming your points at will definitely not be favorable!).

I’ve been checking a few hotels to see what their Point + Cash rates are coming in at, and it seems like some properties are even worse than what we thought! Or, hopefully there is just a big glitch in the Hyatt back end system.

Example 1: Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica:

I checked a random date in early May and see the standard rate coming in at $595. Or, a member advanced purchase rate is significantly less at $509.

But if you want to use points, the Point + Cash redemption will cost you a whopping $438! Yes, you’ll save a little bit of money, but you still have to use 7,500 points! I value those points at around $150 and the cash difference is not even close! From what we were told, the cash amount is also supposed to be 50% off from the standard rate which is not even close to what is displayed — they are charging well over $100 more!This property also used to cost a fixed $100 for their cash portion, so this is a massive devaluation.

Example #2: Park Hyatt St. Kitts

I picked a random 4-night stay this December (prior to peak season beginning) and see that the standard rate is only $335 per night. Although, they are running a promotion where you get your 4th night free which means the average nightly rate is $252. Or, if you are not staying 4 nights exactly, the advance purchase rate is $268/night and there is actually a AAA rate at just $285/night. 

But since the 50% off cash portion for a point + cash redemption is for the standard rate, you’ll be paying $168 cash in addition to the 15,000 points redeemed. While the cash portion is significantly less than what you would have actually paid per the only award chart (it used to be that category 7 properties cost $300), you are only saving less than $90 by using the point + cash redemption vs. just paying for lowest possible price at the property. And I value 15,000 points to be worth around $300.

Now, if they would charge 50% off the lowest price available, then this would be a good option, but 50% off the standard rate is just ridiculous.

Example #3: Hyatt Place Bentonville, Arkansas

I picked a random date at the Hyatt Place in Bentonville since it is a category 1 property. A standard rate at this hotel is $139 a night on the random date I picked. Only $11 more than then advance purchase rate, although significantly more expensive than many corporate rates.

To redeem with points + cash, you’d instead only spend $70, which is definitely a lot less than the standard rate. And since I value 2,500 points to be worth around $50, you are definitely coming out slightly ahead than paying the lowest available rate. But with a real free night award only costing 5,000 points (and no cash amount), you 100% should redeem for full points over points + cash. In my valuation a free night at 5,000 points means the hotel is only costing $100 (based on my 2 cents per point valuation), while the points + cash valuation means the hotel is costing $120. And on top of that, you still need to pay taxes/fees on the cash amount.

This property also used to only require 2,500 points + $50, so the new award chart is costing you a lot more. 

Of course I could go on and on with various examples, but they’d just show the exact same result! I also do not see better cash + point availability and that was one of the goals with the new award chart. Hopefully we will not see another devaluation from Hyatt in awhile, but I do not have high hopes.

RIP Hyatt Cash + Points

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