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World of Hyatt award chart changes go into effect next week, here's what we're booking

March 18, 2022
8 min read
Photo of pool at Hyatt Centric Key West
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From generous resort fee and parking waivers to mouthwatering Globalist breakfasts, World of Hyatt has been a longtime favorite for TPG.

Unfortunately, Hyatt's upcoming category changes aren't good news in many cases, as they make it harder to get value from your points at many high-end properties. Category changes usually happen once a year, and they are the time when hotels will move from award one category basis to another.

This year, there are quite a few hotels moving from Category 4 to Category 5, making Category 1-4 certificates less valuable for many. Likewise, many Category 7 hotels are moving to Category 8, which puts some iconic properties like the Park Hyatt Paris outside the reach of the hotel's famous Category 1-7 certificates, which you can earn when you pass 60 elite nights as a World of Hyatt Globalist.

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These category changes go into effect March 22, so you should look through the list of changes now and lock in bookings at any hotels you're considering for a stay. If your plans change, you can always cancel in accordance with the hotel's policy and get your points back.

Here's what TPG's points and miles staff members have to say about what places they are booking now in preparation for the upcoming award chart changes:

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Andrew Kunesh, points & miles editor

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

As a longtime Marriott Bonvoy loyalist, the program's impending switch to dynamic pricing has me diversifying my hotel stays and earning with multiple programs. This includes World of Hyatt, where I've amassed a good stash of points over the past few months. I am disappointed in many of these category changes, but I don't think it's the end of the world. After all, there also are lots of Hyatt properties going down in price, especially in Europe.

That said, I am hoping to lock down a booking at the Park Hyatt Milan before March 22. This property is going from Category 7 to Category 8, which will bring it all the way up to 40,000 points for a standard award night.

The rooms look more modern than the Park Hyatt Paris I reviewed last year, though the lobby doesn't look quite as grand. Regardless, Milan is a new city for me, and I'm looking forward to experiencing one of its most luxurious hotels during a holiday visit. I am pushing for Globalist status this year too, so I may be able to enjoy what I've heard is an excellent free breakfast at the hotel. On top of this, the property is centrally located and near iconic monuments like the Sforzesco Castle and the Duomo di Milano.

Related: Planning a trip to Italy? Here’s how to get there on points and miles

Benji Stawski, senior reporter

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

My World of Hyatt balance is depleted at the time of writing, so I can't make many speculative bookings. That said, I was able to lock in a few nights at the Confidante Miami Beach for 12,000 to 18,000 points per night before it jumps to 17,000 to 23,000 points per night. I travel to Miami often and I typically get outsize value from my points at that property considering that cash rates often exceed $400 per night.

If I had some more points to burn, I'd try to lock in a stay at the Alila Ventana Big Sur as that's long been on my bucket list and will be moving up from a Category 7 to Category 8 property. That said, award space is already extremely tight there, so there's a good chance I wouldn't have even found availability had I had the points.

Related: The best ways to use your hotel points in Miami

Katie Genter, senior writer

The restaurant at Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel, in New York City. (Photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy)

I'm personally not all that upset about the upcoming Hyatt award chart changes. After all, I'm typically most interested in redeeming Hyatt points at Category 1 and 2 properties when I can do so at a high cents per point value. Even so, I've snagged a few fully-refundable award night stays for later this year.

I booked two short stays using Hyatt Category 1–4 reward night certificates at Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel. Once that property increases to Category 5, there won't be any Category 4 or lower World of Hyatt properties in Manhattan. If I had more Category 1–4 certificates to use and plans to visit the region, I'd consider booking some nights at the Park Hyatt Zanzibar before it jumps from Category 4 to 5.

I'm also planning to visit India this April, so I snagged a two-night stay at the Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty. This property has excellent reviews and looks like a great place for a centrally-located vacation. Although it's only jumping from Category 1 to Category 2, I opted to lock it down now. I'm still not 100% sure I'll visit Kochi on my trip to India, but it's looking likely now that I'm sitting on back-to-back Marriott and Hyatt reservations at appealing hotels in the city.

Finally, the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando will move from Category 3 to 4. My family stayed at this hotel several times while I was in high school and I had memorable experiences playing golf there. So, I may book a stay in the next few days to see if the property is everything I remember.

Related: Hyatt members, it’s time for another look at Vegas: How I earned an elite qualifying night for just $24

Kyle Olsen, points and miles reporter

(Photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy)

After Eric Rosen's visit to the Park Hyatt Sydney, I've had my eyes on the property, particularly because it will be moving from a Category 7 to Category 8 listing.

For those interested in viewing the infamous New Year's fireworks in Sydney harbor, the Park Hyatt Sydney is the place to go. You'll get a jaw-dropping redemption on your World of Hyatt points and be right in the middle of the action.

A five-night stay will set you back 175,000 World of Hyatt points.

(Screenshot from hyatt.com)

We value 175,000 World of Hyatt points at $2,975, which is no drop in the bucket. But, as alluded to, you'll be getting a fantastic redemption given the high cash rates.

(Screenshot from hyatt.com)

That same 5-night stay costs over $10,000. This means that you'll be getting 6.1 cents per World of Hyatt point, which is more than 3.5 times our current valuations.

By moving to a Category 8 property, assuming peak pricing for these dates prevails, the same stay will require 10,000 more points per night, bringing the total to 225,000 points for five nights.

Related: Australia is reopening: How to book a trip to Sydney with points and miles

Bottom line

(Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

Hyatt's category changes this year make it more difficult to get value from Category 1-4 certificates, and members who like Hyatt's signature Park Hyatt brand will have to fork over more points at seven iconic Park Hyatt properties.

Remember that Tuesday's deadline is the book-by-date, not the travel-by-date. This means you can book travel for later in the year at the current categories, provided you do that by March 22.

You can review the full list of the 146 hotels that are moving categories here. Now is especially the time to book at Hyatt properties moving to higher award categories.

Additional reporting by Benji Stawski and Katie Genter.

Featured image by Hyatt Centric Key West (Photo by Kyle Olsen/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases