Hyatt Suspends Points Expiration, Delays Peak Award Pricing, Provides Cancellation Options

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Note: This post was updated on April 2, 2020 to reflect Hyatt's extended flexible cancellation policies. This post was updated April 3, 2020 to reflect Hyatt's extended pause on point expiration.

The world of travel is changing by the minute due to the coronavirus outbreak. Hyatt is responding by rolling out major policy changes around points expiration, award pricing, and reservations that make life easier for World of Hyatt members and all Hyatt customers. As you think through current and future travel plans, here is what you need to know about the changes that Hyatt is making.

World of Hyatt Changes

Suspending Loss of Points

World of Hyatt points are typically forfeited after 24 months without activity in your account. On March 13, Hyatt announced that points will not be forfeited for inactivity through December 31, 2020 [originally May 31, 2020]. So, if you were looking for ways to generate activity to save your points, you have some more time to do so.

Award Chart Changes Postponed to 2021

In December, Hyatt announced that it would launch peak and off-peak award pricing. These were supposed to take effect on March 22, 2020. The move to peak and off-peak point redemptions will be postponed until 2021. Hyatt says that they will provide advance notice before launching peak and off-peak point redemptions for stay dates in 2021 and beyond.

Hyatt had also announced category changes that were supposed to take effect on March 22, 2020. This was supposed to cover over 200 properties but almost all of those category changes are on hold now. Only a handful of changes seem to be moving forward and are listed below.

  • Park Hyatt Mallorca: Category 6 to Category 5
  • Hyatt Centric Park City: Category 6 to Category 7
  • Park Hyatt Shenzhen: Category 4 to Category 5
  • Alila Yangshuo: Category 4 to Category 5
  • Park Hyatt Ningbo: Category 3 to Category 4

We have not seen any details about when the other category changes may be revisited. Given all the turmoil, I wouldn't be surprised if future category changes don't mirror the original plans.

Elite Qualifications and Benefits

World of Hyatt is extending elite tier status and award expiration dates for qualifying members who reside in Asia Pacific. The new expiration date for status will be February 28, 2022. The new expiration date for earned awards set to expire in 2020 will be December 31, 2021.

So far these changes are only for World of Hyatt Elites in the Asia Pacific region. However, with circumstances changing as quickly as they are, I wouldn't be surprised if more exceptions are made for those outside the region. For updates and details, you can visit the World of Hyatt COVID-19 FAQs.

Hyatt Reservations

Change and Cancellation Fees

Reservations for stays starting anytime between March 14 and June 30, 2020 [originally April 30, 2020] can be changed or canceled for free up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival. This includes Advance Purchase Rate reservations. Reservations must have been booked by April 1, 2020 to qualify.

New Reservations

Hyatt is offering a similar cancellation policy for any new reservation made between March 13 and June 30, 2020 [originally April 30, 2020] for any future arrival date. When you book between these dates, you can change or cancel any new reservation—including Advanced Purchase Rates—up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival. With this much flexibility, now might be a good time to pencil in some plans for later this year.

Bonus Points for Non-Refundable Reservations

Hyatt also is giving an alternative for Advance Purchase Rate non-refundable reservations made directly with Hyatt on or before March 8, 2020 for arrivals between May 1 and June 30, 2020. If you do not travel on your prepaid stay, you can choose to receive 10,000 World of Hyatt Bonus Points. That's enough points to redeem for a free night in a Category 2 with a couple of thousand points to spare! If you aren't already a World of Hyatt member, you can signup and then arrange to collect the points. To act on this offer, call or email Hyatt for help.

Our Take

Hyatt has been proactive about providing timely and traveler-friendly policy updates. While current travel plans are uncertain for most of us, Hyatt is making it easier to change current plans and is providing some needed optimism around planning for the future.

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Comments

  • As of last night, I was able to cancel and rebook a free credit card night. However, it must still be used by the expiration of June 2, 20/20. I feel sure they will adjust going forward as needed.

  • Good news from Hyatt in suspending the expiration of miles. Hopefully others will follow rather than the current new practise of extending expiration dates.

  • I hope all the airlines follow this decision. In this period of time this attitudes will always be appreciated by the consumers.

  • I hope they offer the status extension to everyone. It is no longer just those in the Asia Pacific region whose travel is being affected.

  • That’s just the start of something big from hotels to get travelers back.

  • You got me excited in seeing points don’t expire and while true, I was thinking it was more like United just announcing that miles don’t expire and not in the sense of extending an olive branch for COVID19 stuff. Don’t get me wrong, this is still great though.

  • well this virus thing has everybody guessing about what’s going on including the hotels

  • It seems like the travel industry is making allowances for very small windows of time. I understand the information we have available is changing daily and that they may be reticent to extend change windows to larger periods of time due to the uncertainty surrounding this virus; but there should also be provisions for the people who planned way ahead of this outbreak and prepaid months ago and not just for the people who booked immediately prior to or during the outbreak.

  • This is a company that knows how to treat its customers during trying times. People will remember this positively when the corona virus is a fading memory. Which hopefully will be sooner rather than later.

  • This is why i prefer Hyatt over Marriott

  • Thank you for going over Hyatts current exceptions. I have not gone over what the hotels have done quite as much as airline. So this is nice to know. I am curious about how to address their elite status issue. I wonder if they’ll update for Europe, US, etc. Or if they’ll take another route. IHG has lowered how much elites need to requalify.

  • I hope all hotel and airlines changes do the same thing, in times of crisis, we should support each others

  • After seeing the (lack of) support from Marriott with my last year of travel, I wish I had started with Hyatt a lot earlier. They really do things right.

  • Thank you Hyatt, with actions like this, I will be your customer forever, I´m wondering what the other hotel brand could do

  • I think it is a matter of time until all the hotels do the same thing

  • Juan Ignacio says:

    I hope all the airlines do the same thing, it will be nice for all passengers. It is a bad time for airlines and hotels.

  • Chloe's mum says:

    We (no status) have just over 10K Hyatt points due to expire in a few months and they are not likely to get used by 31 May 2020. What would be the best way to preserve these points for use, say by the end of this year? Thanks!

    • Bill from Maine says:

      Why not make a reservation a few days before the new expiration date. I believe (please correct me if I’m wrong) you can make a reservation a year or close to a year in advance of your stay. I also would consider buying 1,000 points in order to preserve the 10K points you currently own.

      • Chloe's mum says:

        @Bill from Maine
        Thanks for the suggestion on how to preserve our Hyatt 10K points due to expire on 31st May 2020 (extended by Hyatt) – making a reservation a year in advance, or buy 1,000 points.

    • Does Hyatt have a shopping portal? You should be able to transfer points over to reset activity if you hold a CSP or CSR or as a last resort, you could buy the minimum number of points. That won’t be the best value but if it’s no points or save your points for a small fee, it’s worth buying points to keep them all (unless you won’t use them again and go through this excercise again. If that’s the case, you’re better off just cutting your losses).

    • AW probably has a post for every major reward program and how to avoid their points expiration. Here’s a link for their Hyatt article, which covers many ways to stop them from expiring: https://awardwallet.com/blog/world-hyatt-points-expire/

  • Hopefully all other brands could do exactly the same, with this viral situation, all travel industry is in jeopardy

  • joshua schenk says:

    I completely agree with all the comments that all the airlines frequent flyer and hotel point programs would be wise to extend or eliminate the expiration time.

  • Glad Hyatt took the leap to suspend expiry policies. Hope this sets the standards for other hotel chains as many others have mentioned as well!

  • Great news from hyatt! Lets see if the rest will follow and if Hyatt will now match the recent moves by hilton!

  • I’m glad they are taking it seriously

  • Thank you, I didn’t know that Hyatt had also suspended it

  • Hyatt should follow the footsteps of Hilton. The example has been set.

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