Hyatt Announces Gold Passport Points Devaluation

by on November 11, 2013 · 23 comments

in Hyatt

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Last week, I wrote up my predictions for future airline mile and hotel point devaluations and one of the programs I mentioned was Hyatt Gold Passport, which has to be one of the best values out there with top-tier redemptions requiring just 22,000 points – a system that was just too good to be true. Well, turns out that Hyatt feels the same way because they announced via this FlyerTalk thread that Gold Passport would be revamping its award chart and raising award night requirements starting January 7, 2014.


You can find out all the official details here, but here’s what VP of Hyatt Gold Passport Jeff Zidell had to say:

“Dear FlyerTalkers,

As you know, Hyatt and the Hyatt Gold Passport program continue to grow and evolve, and from time to time we need to make programmatic changes. We don’t take these decisions lightly, and we do our very best to make sure that we communicate changes as quickly as possible to minimize the impact on your future travel plans. Today, I wanted to let you know about a set of Award Chart changes that will take place on January 7, 2014.

We are introducing a new Category 7, which includes six Park Hyatt hotels in Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich, and requires 30,000 points. We are also changing the number of points required to redeem a Free Night Award for standard rooms and upgraded rooms in select categories.

In addition, 38 hotels are shifting between categories. This includes 21 hotels moving to a higher category and 17 hotels moving to a lower category. Existing reservations for stays starting January 7, 2014, will receive a refund for the point difference if the hotel moved to a lower category.
Lastly, the points required to upgrade your paid stay to a Regency®/Grand Club® room or suite will now be on a per-night basis.

As always, we will continue to make redemption as easy as possible with no blackout dates. And if we have a standard room available at any location, on any day of the year, you’re more than welcome to reserve it with your Hyatt Gold Passport points.

Please navigate to this url for more information……t-changes.html

I wish you safe travels.

With my warmest personal regards,

Jeff Zidell
Senior Vice President, Hyatt Gold Passport”

There is so much bad news here!

First, let’s take a look at the award charts. Here is the current one:

Hyatt old chartAnd here is the new one:

Hyatt new chartAs you can see, the announcement didn’t contain the whole story. In addition to adding a new top-tier 7 category, award nights in category 5 will jump from 18,000 points per night to 20,000 points per night and those in category 6 will now be 25,000 points per night instead of 22,000 points per night.

So here are the increases in points on standard room award nights by category:

Categories 1-4: No change
Category 5: 2,000 points
Category 6: 3,000 points
Category 7: New, but 8,000 points from what the hotels that are included would previously require.

The newly-refurbished Park Hyatt is located on Sydney's historic The Rocks area.

Want to stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney – it’ll be 8,000 more points per night now!

In terms of premium rooms and suites, those in categories 2-6 will also now require many more points for award nights – in some cases just 1,000 more points per night, but in others, up to 7,000 points per night as in the case of Category 6 suites.

It will also cost you more points to redeem for premium rooms or suites on paid stays – right now you can get up to 4 nights in a Regency/Grand Club room for just 3,000 points and a suite for just 6,000 points – another too-good-to-be-true value that Hyatt is clamping down on by starting to require 3,000 points per night for Club rooms and 6,000 points per night for suites - a devaluation of up to 75%!

Before we all get hysterical, let’s take a look at what this actually means, though. Category 5 award nights are just 2,000 points more, Category 6 nights are 3,000 points more and then there are only 6 hotels (albeit some of my favorite Park Hyatts including the ones in Milan, Paris, Tokyo and Zurich, and the Sydney one where I plan to stay next year – thank goodness I already booked my room!) jumping up to Category 7 – so it could have been much worse.

Here are the hotels moving up/down categories:

Hyatt House Chicago/Naperville/Warrenville 2 1
Hyatt Place Chicago Warrenville/Naperville 2 1
Hyatt Place Cincinnati-Northeast 2 1
Hyatt Place Dallas/Grapevine 2 1
Hyatt Place Fort Worth/Cityview 2 1
Hyatt Place San Antonio Airport/Quarry Market 2 1
Hyatt Place San Antonio-Northwest/Medical Center 2 1
Hyatt Place Columbus/OSU 1 2
Hyatt Place Dallas/Arlington/Grand Prairie 1 2
Hyatt Place Dublin/Pleasanton 1 2
Hyatt Place San Antonio North/Stone Oak 1 2
Hyatt North Houston 3 2
Hyatt Regency Incheon 3 2
Grand Hyatt Jakarta 2 3
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo 2 3
Hyatt Place New Orleans Convention Center 2 3
Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishwaka 2 3
Hyatt Place West Palm Beach 2 3
Hyatt Regency Osaka 2 3
Park Hyatt Chennai 4 3
Park Hyatt Hyderabad 4 3
Grand Hyatt Melbourne 3 4
Hyatt Regency Cambridge 3 4
Hyatt Regency Louisville 3 4
Hyatt Regency Perth 3 4
Hyatt Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi 5 4
Hyatt Regency Changbaishan 5 4
Andaz West Hollywood 4 5
Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile 4 5
Hyatt Place New York/Midtown South 4 5
Park Hyatt Melbourne 4 5
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa 6 5
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe 6 5
Hyatt Regency Maui 6 5
Park Hyatt Changbaishan 6 5
Andaz Liverpool Street London 5 6
Hyatt 48 Lex 5 6
Hyatt Union Square New York 5 6
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek 6 7
Park Hyatt Milan 6 7
Park Hyatt Paris Vendome 6 7
Park Hyatt Sydney 6 7
Park Hyatt Tokyo 6 7
Park Hyatt Zurich 6 7

Book Award Stays Now

So you have until January 6, 2014 to book at the current rates, and I’d encourage you to do so since, if your hotel moves down a category, you’ll be credited with the difference, whereas if the hotel moves up a category you can still book at the current rate until then. You can also change your reservation at the current rate until February 15, so there’s a little bit of breathing room there.

Hyatt Credit Card Questions

If you have the Hyatt Visa from Chase, you get 2 free nights as a sign-up bonus and you should still be able to use those at any Hyatt including the new Category 7 ones, but that has not been definitively confirmed. Your cardholder anniversary Category 1-4 free night will remain the same, but if you’re thinking of booking booking a current Category 4 hotel that’s going to move up to Category 5, like the Andaz West Hollywood or Park Hyatt Melbourne – do so before January 7 since after that they will not be eligible properties.

Voicing Concerns

Chase is a major partner of Hyatt and pays for the points it distributes to cardholders, so they have a big stake in the value of the Gold Passport program, and it’s important that you let the bank know that these devaluations really impact consumers. Hopefully they will relay that negative feedback to Hyatt, and possibly effect some positive change.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Diane

    Given the number of good hotels that are no longer eligible for the category 1-4 free night, do you still think the Hyatt card is worth it?

  • Brian Kavanaugh

    Well you can look at it a lot of ways.

    One being that if someone wants to experience their top end properties, such as sydney or tokyo, the company with so many ancillary entry level assets has every right to charge a premium. I think they are just against cherry picking, which is a practice unfortunately if I can get away with it, I’ll use. It’s probably more about keeping their “own” special. It’s odd in this space that you can’t play them off of each other. The Ritz and Hyatt and so on establish a very high end, and then it flows on from there.

  • RakSiam

    There are plenty of nice Hyatts in cat 1-4 that would certainly cost more than the annual fee. So as long as those places fall within your travel plans I think it’s still worthwhile as far as the anniversary bonus goes. I am a bit bummed though because I have been playing along with Chase and their quarterly spend bonuses. Now those points are potentially worth a bit less.

  • Jason Arroyo

    Just tweeted to Chase, United, and Hyatt to voice my disappointment. I hope you can take a minute to do the same.

  • Mike

    Where this really hurts me personally is I would use the Hyatt Chase card free redemption on Hyatt Place Midtown stays in Manhattan yearly. Now with Hyatt moving that to a Cat 5, there are zero hotels in Manhattan that are below Cat 5 making the free night redemption even more worthless, especially considering the lack of overall Hyatt properties compared to the competition in general.

    What a serious blow to Chase all around coupled with the United deval.

  • Mark

    With all of the devaluations that have gone on this year, the way ahead as I see it is to continue to look for the sweet spots in each loyalty program (where the cents per point/mile is highest). Think last minute award availability in a city that has some major event going on when the cash price for a hotel jumps up but the point redemption rate does not, like in Austin during SXSW or a weekend football game. Hyatt’s aspirational properties will become more aspirational due to the devaluation, but the best we can do now is to try and maximize the seasonal and targeted promotions going on and make it work while the loyalty programs tighten the screws across the board.

  • usuallycorrect

    PointsGuy do you still feel that nobody in these programs listens to you?
    Yet these guys make the effort to log into expertflyer to make the announcement!

    Seriously, you (and some other members of the blogosphere & the Points-Industrial Complex [PIC]) have truly good intentions but you also help pave the way for this stuff to happen.

    But don’t get me wrong, you do a GREAT job and you’ve made my whole points strategy better, but please take a longer term view. Overall, I’m super thankful to you and for your blog.

    Still, ultimately, you make some grumblings, but keep on cheerleading & collecting those credit card referral payments. (And help more people play the game, which is good for you but bad for us already in the game of course. :) Not does it really hurt you when people need more points, more credit cards, and more deals.)

    Don’t help them out by softening up the public, saying things like “these are definitely undervalued and ripe for a change”, then the change comes and you say “I predicted it!” Not exactly.

    There’s a famous cover of the economist called $5 oil, talking about how the price of oil was heading to the gutter. All the oil-producing states read that article, and thought “oh geez, we better get it together.” Sometimes the media has real power, and all you guys in the P.I.C. shouldn’t underestimate yours. I’ve worked with corporations at the highest levels and you’d be shocked how flying-blind, trend-reliant, and copycatting they can be.

    Keep up the good work, with a slight re-alignment. And talk to your friends about it too. :)

  • dennisdoubleday

    Ha, ha, I’m sure the Beaver Creek Hyatt is really nice, but this sentence struck me as funny in a “Sesame Street One of These Things is Not Like the Other” way….

    “We are introducing a new Category 7, which includes six Park Hyatt hotels in Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich”

  • Dee

    Hubby and I have over 25 nights booked with Hyatt points between now and April 2014… holidays with the family, long weekend in The Big Easy, taking our kids to Seoul and Beijing. Phew! Hubby teases me about booking so far in advance. But glad I did.

  • Joe

    Ouch. Really hurting a planned trip to Australia.

    Two related questions:

    1) Seems like the annual dividend from sapphire preferred will not be in time to help out with this, right?

    2) Do the two free nights from Hyatt card come only after the first three months? What if one spends $1,000 after the first month?

  • jack

    Totally agree correct. As soon as the bloggers point out the “sweet spot” of any program, you can bet it will soon be gone. Stop the damn seminars, tv interviews, and magazine quotes. You’re digging your own graves, but I know you all are trying to get rich before it happens.

  • Kristi

    They post right after you spend $1000.

  • Jason

    “One of These Things is Not Like the Other”… Good point, you are right about that.

  • Matt

    Good effort on the chart but how about some column titles so we know which hotels are moving up and which are moving down!?!?!

  • dovertime

    Although travel bloggers do post about deals and “sweet spots,” the bloggers themselves don’t reach the masses. People who stay at some of these properties have the $$$ to stay at the properties. Hotels and airlines are devaluing their points, not because travel bloggers pointed out “sweet spots,” but because the current economic conditions allow them to do so. It’s in each loyalty program’s Form 10-K. Read through the American Airlines 10-K and you’ll see multiple snippets that state that they have the ability to change the valuation of their air miles at any time. They can also release as much or as little space as possible. You cannot blame The Points Guy for bringing this to their attention. I would like to think that their CPA’s and financial advisers knew about the crazy deals LONG before TPG and other travel bloggers were posting about them!

  • Sean

    What a coincidence that a week after you post top 10 deals that are too good to be true, this happens. I am not saying that the post caused this, but it begs the logical question how much influence do blogs and travel forums have in this ordeal. Seems like we have repeated this notion that Hyatt redemptions were too good to be true. Well it seems that Hyatt was listening.

  • Evan Salama

    I’ve recommended the Sapphire Preferred card to no less than 8 people who have gotten it (through your link Brian too!) and this is horrid. Yes, the cost of business goes up and I get that but the amount is a slap in the face. I’ve called chase and told them how unhappy I am and that I will be switching a bulk of my spending to my Starwood card.

  • jMori

    These changes are too bad. I am Diamond member but would now switch to starwoods. Although surprised that they didn’t include maldives into cat7.

  • Fred Haymin

    It’s silly to tell us, on one hand, to give feedback online and on social media (presumably because someone is listening). Then, the next moment to tell us, “don’t worry about when this blog says points are due for devaluation,” since nobody listens to this little ole blog anyway.

  • Kianis

    Totally agree – sent Chase an email via the secure link given above. Probably won’t make much difference. When I applied for the card, Hyatt Lex 48 was a catagory 4 as well…now won’t even be able to use the free night at the Hyatt Place Midtown….

  • Lisa

    You make so much money of your advertisers, and while your blog is helpful, you and others like you, created, sustained and will maintain these devaluations until they are similar to the Hilton properties. Eventually none of these hotel chains will take care of their repeat guests in a manner that makes going out of your way to stay at, lets say, a Hyatt, not even worth staying at or being a return guest. Shame on you, and its too late to do anything about it as nothing will change.

  • Matt

    I don’t seem to see it enough, but the Barclay’s Arrival+ credit card is fantastic, and simple. You earn 2 points for every $1 you spend on EVERYTHING. You redeem your points at 1 point = $0.01 directly on their online banking website as long as it is redeemed toward travel you have done in the last 90 days. additionally, they credit you 10% of your points back when you redeem them, so if you do the math, you’re getting a 2.22% money back anytime you use the card. This is hard to find anywhere. They do however have at $89 annual fee.

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