Hyatt Postpones Program Updates, Tweaks Hotel Award Categories, Extends Point and Award Validity

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Update: Since publishing, Hyatt dropped the award rate for 12 properties as noted below. Also, Hyatt has delayed the implementation of peak/off peak pricing until mid-October 2021

In case you need another reason to jump on the World of Hyatt bandwagon, Hyatt just announced another round of positive program updates. There are three big pieces of news in this latest round

First, Hyatt is setting a date for the launch of off-peak/peak award redemption program. Second, Hyatt is further extending point expiration dates, free night awards, and suite night awards. Third, the hotel award category adjustments scheduled for March 2021 will no longer occur, except for a few select properties.

Park Hyatt Sydney

Peak and Off-Peak Award Pricing

When Hyatt first announced its new peak/off-peak pricing, they intended to roll it out on March 22, 2020. But, that didn't happen. Hyatt decided that it wouldn't make sense to make such a drastic amid an international pandemic. (I wish the folks at United would have recognized this too.) At the time, Hyatt announced that it would delay this introduction until an unspecified time in 2021.

Now, we have a solid timeline. For now, Hyatt will launch peak pricing in July 2021. That means that World of Hyatt point redemptions will remain at the standard pricing level through June 2021.

Hyatt Hotel Award Category Updates

Hotel programs generally adjust award pricing based on recent demand for hotels. But, given the current travel climate, recent demand isn't a great barometer for what future award pricing should be. Hyatt seems to realize that it will take a while to find its equilibrium. In the meantime, it's postponing any further adjustments to award pricing until 2022. Having firm award pricing for the next 1.5 years is customer-friendly, but it also makes sense for Hyatt.

Award rates at the Grand Hyatt Vail are decreasing in late October 2020.
Grand Hyatt Vail

Select Hotel Award Category Adjustments

There are 16 properties that Hyatt is moving forward with a change in the award price. Of these, 12 are price reductions. That means Hyatt is only increasing the award price of four hotels in total.

On October 29, 2020, Hyatt will lower the award category for the following hotels

  1. Stonebridge Inn, A Destination Hotel (category 5 to 4)
  2. Wailea Grand Champions Villas, A Destination Residence (category 6 to 5)
  3. Wailea Ekahi Village, A Destination Residence (category 6 to 5)
  4. Lichenhearth, A Destination Residence (category 6 to 5)
  5. Parker New York (category 6 to 5)
  6. Wailea Ekolu Village, A Destination Residence (category 6 to 5)
  7. Grand Hyatt Vail (category 7 to 6)
  8. Mauna Lani Point, A Destination Residence (category 7 to 6)
  9. Wailea Elua Village, A Destination Residence (category 8 to 7)
  10. Kaanapali Alii, A Destination Residence (category 8 to 7)
  11. Vail Residences at Cascade Village, A Destination Residence (category 8 to 7)
  12. The Lodge at Spruce Peak, A Destination Hotel (category 8 to 7)

In mid-March 2021 (date TBD), the following hotels will increase by one category:

  1. Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport (category 2 to 3)
  2. Hyatt House Nashville/Downtown-SoBro (category 4 to 5)
  3. Mar Monte Hotel part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt (category 4 to 5)
  4. Park Hyatt Aviara (category 5 to 6)

General Impressions on the Changes

Overall, a lot of Hyatt ‘Destination' properties—particularly in Hawaii—will be cheaper starting at the end of October. Also, with the drop, the Stonebridge Inn in Aspen Colorado will now be eligible for Hyatt Category 1–4 Free Night Awards that cardholders of the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) receive on every cardmember anniversary.

World of Hyatt Credit Card
World of Hyatt Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • Up to 9X points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4X points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2X points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1X point per $1 everywhere else

Unfortunately for me and my fellow Californians, three of our local California Hyatt properties will increase in price. However, given that both the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad and the Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara have recently undergone significant renovations, this isn't necessarily surprising.

The Grand Hyatt Vail will drop from category 7 to 6
Grand Hyatt Vail

Further Postponing Point and Award Expirations

If you have awards piling up in your account, you may have been worried that they'd expire before you had a chance to use them. Thankfully, Hyatt has relieved that stress, confirming that you'll have the opportunity to use them for well over another year. Surely conditions will have improved by then (right?!)

Stack with Other Hyatt Promotions

These announcements pair nicely with the long list of generous promotions Hyatt has already announced, including:

  • The Hyatt Bonus Journeys Promotion — Earn up to quadruple points on stays through January 4, 2021.
  • 15–25% Rebate on Award Stays Registered members can receive a 15–25% rebate on all free night awards through January 4, 2021.
  • Free Parking — Receive free parking (including self-parking and valet) on all award stays through January 4, 2021.
  • Triple Points on Dining — Earn triple base points on all dining purchases made at Hyatt properties (even when you aren't staying) through January 4, 2021.
  • Earn Double Elite Nights For every elite night earned through the Bonus Journeys Promotion, members will also earn one elite qualifying night towards 2021 elite status.

Final Thoughts

Hyatt has absolutely crushed the competition in terms of taking care of its loyalty members in the wake of COVID-19. Nearly all of today's announcements positively serve their customers, making me even happier to choose Hyatt for my next stay.

If you haven't hopped on the bandwagon with us, there's still time. Learn more about the World of Hyatt program and check out the Hyatt co-branded credit card that grants elite status and a free night each year.

How do you feel about Hyatt's latest round of extensions?

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  • Lorena Martínez says:

    I am happy with the Marriott policy because it is a comprehensive policy, which will benefit its followers in one way or another. Makes you want to continue in the program. Other hotels and airlines should follow suit and try to collaborate with the public in a situation as difficult as the pandemic.

  • This is definitely the top hotel loyalty program unlike Marriott or IHG. Hilton is somewhere in the middle. Both Marriott and IHG do not take care of their loyal members at all.

  • I have 4 club lounge awards that I haven’t used and I was worried that they would go to waste. Now there is more chance for me to use them. Is there a list of Hyatt Hotels that have club lounges? Some of the difficulty in using them stems from the fact that they aren’t in all Hyatts.

  • Great customer service move here delaying changes to benefit the customer. As all hotels and airlines or anyone with loyalty programs should do during the pandemic.

  • One of the many reasons that I love Hyatt!

  • There were actually lots of hotels moving down a category I was interested in. Which would have been even better with the 15/25% discount promo on award nights and/or off-peak pricing applying.

    It certainly makes sense that Hyatt wouldn’t want to make massive changes, but in fact it’s not necessarily customer-friendly…

  • This is another reminder why UR points are worth more than MR point, at least in the hotel category for another couple years.

  • Wow. This is great news. My wife and I still have 4 certs to use in addition to pilings we used to book a stay at Ziva Cancun back in June that we had to cancel. I’m definitely a fan of Hyatt now.

  • Travelfreek says:

    I really like Hyatt for so many reasons. I like the layout of their hotels – efficient and comfortable. I like their customer friendly ways and their value for the points! This is great news as I was wondering how to get the free nights used in 3 mos.