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TPG reader ALEXANDERGLD tweeted:
“@thepointsguy with the Hyatt devaluation effective 1/7, if I book my hotel reservations now for 8/2014 which valuation will it fall under?”
Alex is asking about the recent announcement by Hyatt that it would be revising its award chart starting January 7, 2014. You can find out all the official details here, but the gist of it is that award prices are increasing in Categories 5-6 and a new Category 7 is being added. Here are the increases by category.
Categories 1-4: No change
Category 5: 2,000 points to 20,000 points per night
Category 6: 3,000 points to 25,000 points per night
Category 7: New, but 8,000 more points from what the hotels that are included would previously require to 30,000 points per night.
The new Category 7 will have just six Park Hyatt properties: Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich, that are jumping from Category 6 to Category 7 and will require 8,000 more points per night after the devaluation (30,000 instead of 22,000) – and the one Alex is interested in is one of them.
However, if he makes his reservation by January 6, 2014, he will still be able to book at the current rates and save himself 8,000 points per night, even on bookings made for reservations after the devaluation date. However, if he changes his reservation in the future, he’ll have to book at the new, higher rate – though you can change your reservation at current rates up until February 15, 2014. So I’d encourage him to book his award as soon as possible, and definitely by January 6, to lock in the current rates. Most award stays are refundable (just make sure you know the cutoff date), so I’d recommend booking stays that you might have in the future so you can avoid the new inflated rates.
As a reminder, the devaluation also means 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
For handy reference, here is a list of other upcoming devaluations and when you need to book your awards at current levels by.
Alaska: Awards booked on or after January 14, 2014, will be higher.
Delta: February 1, 2014 for booking certain awards, and then on award tickets for travel booked June 1, 2014, or after.
Southwest: Starting March 31, 2014, Rapid Rewards members will need to redeem 70 points per $1 instead of 60 points per $1.
United: Redemption levels will rise for tickets booked on or after February 1, 2014.
Hilton: Discontinuing Points + Fixed miles after January 6, 2014.
Hyatt: Award prices on reservations booked on or after January 7, 2014, will be higher.
For more information, check out my post on the Top 10 Ways to Offset Recent Loyalty Program Devaluations