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2019 World of Hyatt Category Changes to Take Effect March 18

Feb. 11, 2019
34 min read
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It's safe to say that 2019 has already been a year of hotel program devaluations. From Marriott's upcoming category changes to the IHG Rewards Club's award chart changes in January and Radisson Rewards' upcoming adjustments, many travelers have likely been left with trepidation any time a program announces new pricing for stays booked using points.

Well, the World of Hyatt program is now joining the fray, as it has released hotel category changes that will take effect March 18, 2019. While it looks like a relative wash between properties moving up and those moving down, a closer look reveals that we're facing yet another devaluation in the coming weeks.

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The Basics

Will your favorite Hyatt be increasing in cost? Photo by Summer Hull / TPG.

Let's start with the base information. These changes impact 259 hotels in the World of Hyatt program, with 130 hotels moving up one category and 129 moving down one category. It's worth noting that no properties are moving into the program's newest tier (Category 8), which is still reserved solely for select properties from the Small Luxury Hotels of the World partnership. In addition, all of the changes fall into Hyatt's brands, so no SLH properties are increasing or decreasing in price. Please see the end of this post for a full table of properties going up in price and a separate table for properties dropping in price, or you can download the Excel spreadsheet I created with the full list.

When you consider that there are currently 973 properties listed on Hyatt's website (including SLH), over 25% of them are changing categories, with a roughly even split between those going up and down.

Some other interesting numbers:

  • The average nightly price increase for the 130 properties going up a category is 3,900 points.
  • The average nightly price decrease for the 129 properties doing down a category is ~3,558 points.
  • The overall average nightly price change across the entire portfolio of Hyatt is +185.33 points.

The changes take effect for all stays booked on or after 11:01pm Central Time on Monday, March 18, 2019. This gives you exactly five weeks to lock in your stays at the current award rates for properties increasing in price. Note that Hyatt allows you to book roughly 13 months in advance, so you should be able to utilize current rates for stays through mid-April 2020. Again though, you must book before 11:01pm Central Time on March 18 to do so.

Keep in mind too that, as is often the case with these award chart adjustments, any changes to reservations after this date and time will be subject to the new award pricing, so you can't just redeem your points now and then firm up your plans later. You should do everything possible to finalize your dates before March 18.

However, one very nice aspect of these changes is that you won't need to rebook your reservations for hotels that are dropping a category. Here's the statement we received from Hyatt along these lines (emphasis mine):

"For members who have existing reservations for nights after March 18 at any hotels moving to a lower award category that will require fewer World of Hyatt points, we will proactively refund the point difference. Points will be refunded in members’ accounts starting on Tuesday, March 19."

This is a very user-friendly approach to these changes, as members shouldn't have to take any formal steps to get their points back.

Properties Increasing in Price

(Photo courtesy of Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica)
The Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica will soon require 20,000 points for a free night. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

As noted above, there are 130 properties increasing in price with these changes, including the following:

  • 18 are moving from Category 1 (5,000 points) to Category 2 (8,000 points).
  • 39 are moving from Category 2 (8,000 points) to Category 3 (12,000 points).
  • 34 are moving from Category 3 (12,000 points) to Category 4 (15,000 points).
  • 18 are moving from Category 4 (15,000 points) to Category 5 (20,000 points).
  • 17 are moving from Category 5 (20,000 points) to Category 6 (25,000 points).
  • 4 are moving from Category 6 (25,000 points) to Category 7 (30,000 points).

As you can see, the majority of properties undergoing increases fall into the lower tier of Hyatt's award chart; exactly 70% of them are Category 1-3. However, there are a couple of big implications with the other three categories, as we'll explore more fully below.

Properties Decreasing in Price

Almost exactly the same number of properties (129) are decreasing in price with these award category changes. Here's a breakdown of how these fall:

  • 52 are moving from Category 2 (8,000 points) to Category 1 (5,000 points).
  • 36 are moving from Category 3 (12,000 points) to Category 2 (8,000 points).
  • 23 are moving from Category 4 (15,000 points) to Category 3 (12,000 points).
  • 12 are moving from Category 5 (20,000 points) to Category 4 (15,000 points).
  • 6 are moving from Category 6 (25,000 points) to Category 5 (20,000 points).
  • None are moving from Category 7 to Category 6.

Once again, the bulk of these changes are clustered to the bottom, though it's even more pronounced here.

So what are the practical impacts of these changes? Let's take a closer look.

Free Night Certificates

You'll soon be able to use your free night certificates at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. Photo by Zach Honig / TPG.

One of the harder pills to swallow will apply to credit card holders. The World of Hyatt Credit Card (and the old Hyatt Credit Card, which is no longer available to new applicants) both offer a free night certificate every year upon renewal of the card, and this award is valid at Category 1-4 properties. Starting March 18, 2018, you have a net loss of six properties that are eligible for this perk. Even though that represents a tiny portion of the program's overall portfolio, there are still some very notable hotels shifting from Category 4 to Category 5:

Hyatt Coconut Point (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

I've personally redeemed a free night certificate at the Grand Hyatt Seattle in the past, and I've been eyeing the Andaz in Costa Rica for a while now. Losing the ability to use your certificates at these properties is a major blow to the value proposition on the card.

That being said, I do see some solid properties dropping from Category 5 to Category 4, thus making them eligible for these free night certificates:

Hyatt Centric Waikiki (Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

Again, a net loss of six hotels isn't too bad in the grand scheme of things, but if you were eyeing any of the 18 moving up to Category 5 as a possible target for your free night award, you'll be out of luck after March 18, 2019.

(Note: If you're expecting your free night certificate to arrive after March 18, you could try to book one of those properties now using points and then try to swap the points and the certificate at a later date. However, I'm almost certain that such a plan won't work, since that would likely be considered a change to an existing reservation and thus be subject to the new award rates).

Other Luxury Increases

The gorgeous Park Hyatt Mallorca is one property increasing in price. Photo by the author.
The gorgeous Park Hyatt Mallorca is one property increasing in price. Photo by the author.

There are some other notable properties that are jumping in price with these changes. While everyone has their own list of desirable Hyatts, here are the ones that jump out to me:

  • Park Hyatt Mallorca (Category 5 to 6): I had a phenomenal stay at this property with my family shortly after it opened in 2016, so I'm not surprised to see it moving up a category.
  • Andaz Maui (Category 6 to 7): This change is a bit of a head-scratcher. It's already notorious for restricting award availability and has relatively few rooms even classified as standard accommodations, so I'm not sure why it needed to jump to an even higher category.
  • Park Hyatt Maldives (Category 6 to 7): This change is one that many probably saw coming. There was general shock back in 2015 when it dropped down to Category 6, as paid rates typically start at $600+ per night. Picking up a massive, 165-square-meter villa for just 25,000 points per night was a terrific deal, so it's no surprise to see the increase.
Beach at Andaz Maui (photo by Sarah Silbert / The Points Guy)

Again, for a full list of these award changes, you can see the tables below or download the Excel spreadsheet I created to filter the properties or crunch the numbers in other ways.

Bottom Line

It's always nerve-wracking to learn about a hotel program's category changes, since it almost always means that award sweet spots are likely being devalued. That appears to be the case here with World of Hyatt, as many top properties are increasing in price. However, you have almost an equal number of hotels dropping in price, and the program is providing over a month's worth of notice. If you've been thinking about a trip to one of the properties jumping a category, now's the time to book before the new prices take effect on March 18.

Table of Properties Increasing in Price

HotelPrevious CategoryPrevious PriceNew CategoryNew Price
Hyatt House Atlanta Cobb Galleria15,00028,000
Hyatt House Dallas/Las Colinas15,00028,000
Hyatt House Fishkill/Poughkeepsie15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Atlanta/Cobb Galleria15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Boise/Downtown15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Cleveland/Lyndhurst/Legacy Village15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Cleveland/Westlake/Crocker Park15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Detroit/Royal Oak15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Fort Myers/At the Forum15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Lansing Eastwood Towne Center15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Novi15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Phoenix Chandler-Fashion Center15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Phoenix-Mesa15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Phoenix-North15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Phoenix/Gilbert15,00028,000
Hyatt Place Tempe/Phoenix Airport15,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Bali15,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Green Bay15,00028,000
Hyatt House Anchorage28,000312,000
Hyatt House Boston/Burlington28,000312,000
Hyatt House Chicago/Evanston28,000312,000
Hyatt House Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port28,000312,000
Hyatt House Morristown28,000312,000
Hyatt House Orlando Universal28,000312,000
Hyatt House Pleasant Hill28,000312,000
Hyatt House San Ramon28,000312,000
Hyatt House Scottsdale/Old Town28,000312,000
Hyatt House Seattle/Bellevue28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Ann Arbor28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Athens Downtown28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Biloxi28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Bloomington Indiana28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Boston/Medford28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Boulder/Pearl Street28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Champaign/Urbana28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Coconut Point28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Dublin/Pleasanton28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale 17th Street Convention Center28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Madison Downtown28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Manati28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Minneapolis Downtown28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Orlando/Universal28,000312,000
Hyatt Place San Jose/Downtown28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Saratoga/Malta28,000312,000
Hyatt Place Scottsdale/Old Town28,000312,000
Hyatt Place UC Davis28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Cartagena28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Fukuoka28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Morristown at HQP28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Moscow Petrovsky Park28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Saipan28,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Tashkent28,000312,000
Park Hyatt Mendoza28,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Fukuoka312,000415,000
Hyatt House at Anaheim Resort/Convention Center312,000415,000
Hyatt House Augusta Downtown312,000415,000
Hyatt House Belmont/Redwood Shores312,000415,000
Hyatt House Charleston/Historic District312,000415,000
Hyatt House Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area312,000415,000
Hyatt House Naples/5th Avenue312,000415,000
Hyatt House Pleasanton312,000415,000
Hyatt House San Jose/Silicon Valley312,000415,000
Hyatt House Santa Clara312,000415,000
Hyatt House Seattle Downtown312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Augusta312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Chicago – South/University Medical Center312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown-The Loop312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Delray Beach312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Long Island/East End312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Pittsburgh-North Shore312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Portland - Old Port312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Seattle/Downtown312,000415,000
Hyatt Place South Bend/Mishawaka312,000415,000
Hyatt Place State College312,000415,000
Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Bellevue312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Changbaishan312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Danang Resort and Spa312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Louisville312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Naha, Okinawa312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Sarasota312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country312,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center312,000415,000
Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo415,000520,000
Grand Hyatt DFW415,000520,000
Grand Hyatt Seattle415,000520,000
Hyatt at Olive 8415,000520,000
Hyatt Centric Fishermans Wharf SF415,000520,000
Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami415,000520,000
Hyatt House Virginia Beach/Oceanfront415,000520,000
Hyatt Place Dewey Beach415,000520,000
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Amsterdam415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Boston415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Cologne415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Guam415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui415,000520,000
Hyatt Regency Sochi415,000520,000
Park Hyatt Busan415,000520,000
Park Hyatt Hamburg415,000520,000
Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya520,000625,000
Andaz Napa520,000625,000
Carmelo Resort & Spa, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt520,000625,000
Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort520,000625,000
Hotel du Louvre520,000625,000
Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo520,000625,000
Hyatt Centric Park City520,000625,000
Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa520,000625,000
Hyatt Regency Kyoto520,000625,000
Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe520,000625,000
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa520,000625,000
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi520,000625,000
Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt Buenos Aires520,000625,000
Park Hyatt Jeddah Marina, Club and Spa520,000625,000
Park Hyatt Mallorca520,000625,000
Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay Resort520,000625,000
Park Hyatt Seoul520,000625,000
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort625,000730,000
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills625,000730,000
Hotel Martinez625,000730,000
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa625,000730,000

Table of Properties Decreasing in Price

HotelPrevious CategoryPrevious PriceNew CategoryNew Price
Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty28,00015,000
Hyatt House Hartford North/Windsor28,00015,000
Hyatt House Houston/Galleria28,00015,000
Hyatt House Mexico City Santa Fe28,00015,000
Hyatt House Philadelphia/Plymouth Meeting28,00015,000
Hyatt House Pleasant Grove28,00015,000
Hyatt House Shanghai Hongqioa CBD28,00015,000
Hyatt House Shanghai New Hongqiao28,00015,000
Hyatt House Shelton28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Austin Airport28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Baltimore/BWI Airport28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Baltimore/Owings Mills28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Bangkok Sukhumvit28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Cincinnati/Sharonville Convention Center28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Dubai/Al Rigga28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Dubai/Baniyas Square28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Fair Lawn/Paramus28,00015,000
Hyatt Centric Goa Candolim28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Houston Galleria28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Houston-Northwest/CY-Fair28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Houston/Sugar Land28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Lexington28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Milford/New Haven28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Nashville/Hendersonville28,00015,000
Hyatt Place North Charleston28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Phuket Patong28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Provo28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Lehi28,00015,000
Hyatt Place San Jose Pinares28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Sao Jose do Rio Preto28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Shanghai Hongqioa CBD28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Shanghai New Hongqiao28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Shanghai Tianshan Plaza28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Shenzhen Dongmen28,00015,000
Hyatt Place St George/Convention Center28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Yerevan28,00015,000
Hyatt Place Zhuhai Jinshi28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Belgrade28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Deerfield28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Delhi28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Dushanbe28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Fuzhou Cangshan28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Jinan28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Mumbai28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Shanghai Jiading28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Shenzhen Airport28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Wuhan Optics Valley28,00015,000
Hyatt Regency Wuxi28,00015,000
Grand Hyatt Amman312,00028,000
Grand Hyatt Bali312,00028,000
Grand Hyatt Changsha312,00028,000
Grand Hyatt Chengdu312,00028,000
Grand Hyatt Mumbai312,00028,000
Grand Hyatt Xi'an312,00028,000
Andaz Capital Gate, Abu Dhabi312,00028,000
Hyatt Centric Guatemala City312,00028,000
Hyatt Centric Levent Istanbul312,00028,000
Hyatt Centric Montevideo312,00028,000
Hyatt House San Diego/Carlsbad312,00028,000
Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport312,00028,000
Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor312,00028,000
Hyatt Place College Station312,00028,000
Hyatt Place Frankfurt Airport312,00028,000
Hyatt Place Houston/The Woodlands312,00028,000
Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport312,00028,000
Hyatt Place Marlborough Apex Center312,00028,000
Hyatt Place Melbourne, Essendon Fields312,00028,000
Hyatt Place West London Hayes312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Atlanta312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Baku312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Beijing Wangjing312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Bishkek312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Bloomington-Minneapolis312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Dubai312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Greenwich312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Houston312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Houston/Galleria312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Istanbul Atakoy312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport Newport Beach312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Paris Charles de Gaulle312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Perth312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Shanghai Global Harbor312,00028,000
Hyatt Regency Valencia312,00028,000
Jinmao Hotel Lijiang312,00028,000
Andaz Delhi415,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Beijing415,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok415,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Istanbul415,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Manila415,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro415,000312,000
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo415,000312,000
Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima415,000312,000
Hyatt Hotel Canberra - Park Hyatt415,000312,000
Hyatt on the Bund, Shanghai415,000312,000
Hyatt Place Page Lake Powell415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Chicago415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Hua Hin415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency La Jolla415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Mission Bay415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency New Orleans415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Orlando415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort415,000312,000
Hyatt Regency Trinidad415,000312,000
Park Hyatt Siem Reap415,000312,000
Spirit Ridge415,000312,000
Andaz San Diego520,000415,000
Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile520,000415,000
Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago520,000415,000
Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach520,000415,000
Hyatt House Jersey City520,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay520,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson520,000415,000
Hyatt Regency Kiev520,000415,000
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego520,000415,000
Park Hyatt Hangzhou520,000415,000
Park Hyatt Istanbul - Macka Palas520,000415,000
Park Hyatt Zanzibar520,000415,000
Andaz Liverpool Street London625,000520,000
Andaz Singapore625,000520,000
Andaz Wall Street625,000520,000
Grand Hyatt New York625,000520,000
Hyatt Centric La Rosiere625,000520,000
Hyatt Herald Square New York625,000520,000
Featured image by Hyatt Regency Maui (Summer Hull / 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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  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases