Hyatt is making a pretty massive change to their award chart and following Marriott’s suite by adding both peak and off-peak rates. The good news is that the standard rates are not changing at all, but if you typically travel during peak dates, this will require you to redeem more points.
This change will not take place until March 2020 and all reservations made prior to that date will not be impacted. However, if the stay happens to fall during an off-peak award, Hyatt will automatically re-price your award for you at the lower number of points required. Tip: Make as many reservations as you can within the next 3-4 months.
For me personally, this is definitely a negative change. With a 6- and 3-year old at home, we are now bound to the school vacation calendar more than we were used to. While we will still take a few days off from school here and there, we are finding ourselves traveling more during peak dates, such as December break. Fortunately, I’ll still be able to lock in our December vacation for 2020 before the change takes affect, but after that, I’ll have to get used to spending more.
Now, for those who have more flexibility in their plans, you might not see a change at all. And actually, you might actually find yourself spending less points than you normally would. We will not fully know the burden of this change until March, but hopefully Hyatt ends up being very fare with their tier levels. My biggest concern is that more dates end up being peak vs. off-peak dates, although it might vary depending on the specific hotel. I can foresee the Hyatt Maldives, for example, always being in the “peak” category. There’s also a good chance that the Hyatt’s throughout the Caribbean are “peak” dates for the entire winter. But I hope I am wrong on both guesses.
Additional impacts on the Hyatt award chard
The all-inclusive properties are also seeing the peak vs. off-peak impact at both the number of points required for a free night stay and when adding on an extra guest. For stays at the Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara properties, using points includes two guests, but then you pay more points for every guest 3 and older. For each additional guest, you’ll now pay 1,500-2,000 points less during an off-peak stay and 1,500-2,000 points more during peak dates. Note: Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Cancun, Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Cap Cana and Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Rose Hall are at the category 2 levels. Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos and Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta are at the category 1 levels.
My family loves Hyatt’s all-inclusive properties, especially the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. This means instead of it costing us 25,000 points a night, plus 12,500 points per guest during Christmas time, we will be looking at 29,000 points, plus 14,500 points per extra guest. For our family of four, that is an extra 8,000 points per night which is quite significant.
For those who typically redeem their points for Points + Cash redemption, the Hyatt award chart will still include the same 50% off rate, but the points redeemed will also include peak and off-peak dates.
Using your points for upgraded rooms to the Regency Club Lounge is also changing.
And for those that want to stay at any of Hyatt’s Miraval properties, you’ll continue to see the impact there as well.
Hyatt free night certificates just got more valuable
The one “good” thing about this change is that if you have a Hyatt free night certificate, you’ll still be able to redeem it at the top tier category even if it is during a peak time frame. You can earn a category 1-4 free night certificate annually with the Hyatt credit card, after reaching a certain milestone and with brand explorer awards. You can also earn a category 1-7 free night certificate by hitting the 60 night milestone. If you typically travel during peak times, these free night certificates might have just gotten more valuable.
We always get incredible value out of our free night certificate so I am glad to see that the overall change will not impact our usage going forward.
- Related: 10 Tips to Using Hyatt Certificates
The one “positive” change
With this announcement, there is one slight positive outcome. You’ll now get 50% more value when you use your points towards U.S. dollar credits for dining, spa, in-room purchases, etc. Now, you’ll be getting between 1 to 1.53 cent per point redemption. Since I value Hyatt points at around 2 cents per point, I personally do not think this is a great value, but for those who value them closer to the 1.5 cent per point mark, this could be a good opportunity for hefty room charges. This change will take place on January 29, 2020.
I personally see this change as a negative “enhancement” all around. I will make sure to lock in some peak vacation dates prior to the change taking place, especially since Hyatt allows you to book 13 months in advance. This means you should be able to book vacations through around April 2021, which means you should be in the clear for Spring Break 2021. If you are low on points and you want to lock in that lower rate, you actually might find purchasing Hyatt points a good option, especially since they are currently offering a 40% bonus.
Hopefully this is the only change we see for awhile from Hyatt, but I do expect category re-adjustments to happen again at the beginning of the New Year. Hopefully, those re-adjustments are not too massive.
Earn up to 50,000 bonus points — Earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, plus an additional 25,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Receive a category 1-4 free night certificate every cardmember year.