Hyatt Confirms Points + Cash Devaluation, Announces Additional Changes
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Last Friday, we were the first to break the news about an upcoming devaluation to Hyatt’s Points + Cash redemptions. Today, Hyatt has confirmed those Points + Cash changes, as well as the introduction of premium suite upgrades. However, the chain has also provided additional information about changes covering a wide range of properties and partnerships. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right down to the details.
Premium Suite Redemptions
Beginning November 1 at 11am Eastern, World of Hyatt members will be able to redeem points for premium suite award nights at double the points required for a standard room:
You can also upgrade from a paid night to a premium suite for 9,000 points per night, regardless of the category of hotel:
Finally, you can redeem points at Miraval Resorts for a free night in a premium suite at the following cost:
Points + Cash Changes
Also beginning on November 1, the cash surcharge on Points + Cash nights will become 50% of the standard room rate instead of a flat amount, in addition to a set amount of points by property category. You will also be able to get Points + Cash awards for standard rooms at MGM properties in Las Vegas and Hyatt Residence Club resorts, which was previously not a possibility. Here is the new Points + Cash chart:
The expansion of Points + Cash redemptions continues with standard suites, premium suites and Miraval Resorts all becoming available on November 1. Here’s the award chart for standard suite Points + Cash nights:
And here’s the award chart for premium suite Points + Cash nights:
Finally, here are the charts for Miraval Resorts Points + Cash redemptions in standard rooms, standard suites and premium suites:
It appears premium suite award nights, Points + Cash nights for standard or premium suites and Miraval Points + Cash nights will only be available through the World of Hyatt call center. In addition, there’s no longer a required minimum length of stay for free nights in suites.
Finally, the property limitations for suite upgrades appear to remain. Suite upgrades are not available at the following properties: Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Paris Madeleine, Hyatt Herald Square New York, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt City of Dreams Manila, Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara, Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami, Spirit Ridge at NK’MIP Resort, Hyatt Place, or Hyatt Residence Club hotels or resorts or M life Rewards destinations.
Suite Definitions and the Loss of United Club Passes
One additional change that wasn’t previously reported is bad news for Globalist members: Starting January 1, 2019, World of Hyatt Globalist members will no longer receive two United Club one-time passes upon achieving status by completing 60 qualifying nights or earning 100,000 base points. All existing passes will be honored through their expiration dates. Members can continue to earn miles with United Airlines for Hyatt hotel stays and convert World of Hyatt points to miles with MileagePlus.
There’s one final detail which answers one of our initial questions when we first reported the news last week, and it’s not good. At most Hyatt properties, once you get beyond a standard suite, the high tier suites can vary wildly in size and luxury, leaving it unclear as to how a “premium suite” is defined. But buried in the updated World of Hyatt terms and conditions is the following note:
“Points + Cash Awards are not valid for Standard Suites or Premium Suites at Hyatt Place hotels, M life Rewards destinations, or any of the Suite Award Ineligible Properties and are not valid for Premium Suites at Hyatt Residence Club resorts or at any hotel and resort that does not have Premium Suites (even if such hotel or resort has Specialty, Premier, Presidential or Diplomatic Suite or similar suite categories)” [emphasis added]
That last bit is the important part, where properties who indeed have higher-tier suites may protect them by naming them any of those other descriptive words. So if you’re looking for one of the best suites in the property, it still may not be available for award nights if the property decides it doesn’t want premium suites. This is exactly the kind of loophole Hyatt properties like to take advantage of when manipulating award space and protecting rooms from award redemptions.
Hyatt Points + Cash redemptions have been my favorite way to use Hyatt points and provided incredible value when revenue rates were high. In one week, that redemption avenue will be decimated. Expanding this devalued redemption avenue to Mlife, Hyatt Residence Club and Miraval Resorts appears like goodwill, but in reality, it won’t be a way to get the most value out of your Hyatt points moving forward.
Premium suite redemptions can be a great addition if properties adequately define and identify which suites will be eligible. Using 9,000 points per night — instead of paying double the points compared to a standard room — would be my recommended avenue to scoring yourself a great suite. I don’t see much to get excited about today, and losing my two annual visits to the Atlanta (ATL) United Club is really a final prod I could have done without.
Photo by RiverNorthPhotography / Getty Images.
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