World of Hyatt peak pricing coming on Oct. 26 — here’s everything you need to know

Oct 20, 2021

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World of Hyatt is the latest hotel loyalty program to join the industry trend of peak and off-peak pricing.

The news was first announced all the way back in December 2019, with an initial plan to introduce the new pricing system in March 2020. As the coronavirus pandemic largely halted travel that same month, the change was continually delayed … until now. World of Hyatt peak and off-peak pricing will officially roll out on Oct. 26, 2021.

As a refresher, this is a slightly more predictable form of dynamic award pricing. World of Hyatt’s award charts will now have three categories — peak, off-peak and standard — with varying set prices depending on the forecasted travel demand for that date at that property. This type of award pricing is also employed by Marriott Bonvoy.

Here’s a closer look at the changes and what to expect when they go into effect later this month for travel beginning on March 1, 2022.

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New details on dynamic pricing

(Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

Peak and off-peak pricing will affect stays booked from Oct. 26, 2021, for nights stayed from March 1, 2022, onwards.

It will be rolled out across almost all types of award nights, including standard rooms, premium suites, all-inclusive properties and Points + Cash awards. Thankfully, World of Hyatt will continue to maintain eight levels of award categories (Category 1 to Category 8) and no category changes were immediately announced.

Hyatt currently ties its free night certificates to hotel categories rather than point values (i.e. “valid at a Category 1-4 hotel”). Unlike with Marriott, free night awards will not be affected by the new dynamic pricing. You can continue to redeem your nights on peak, off-peak or standard dates so long as they fall under the certificate’s supported categories regardless of the number of points charged on that particular night within the category.

In a further show of goodwill by Hyatt, members with an existing redemption made before Oct. 26, 2021, will automatically be refunded the difference between a standard and off-peak night if their booking now falls on an off-peak date.

For a Category 7 or 8 property, this would be 5,000 points refunded per night. Pro tip: That means there is no downside to locking in your 2022 Hyatt award travel plans now.

Related: Everything you need to know about World of Hyatt

Hyatt’s new award rates

Here is what Hyatt’s forthcoming award chart will look like when peak and off-peak pricing begins next week for March 2022 travel and beyond.

Standard rooms

Off-peak (% change) Standard Peak (% change)
Category 1 3,500 (-30%) 5,000 6,500 (+30%)
Category 2 6,500 (-18.75%) 8,000 9,500 (+18.75%)
Category 3 9,000 (-25%) 12,000 15,000 (+25%)
Category 4 12,000 (-20%) 15,000 18,000 (+20%)
Category 5 17,000 (-15%) 20,000 23,000 (+15%)
Category 6 21,000 (-16%) 25,000 29,000 (+16%)
Category 7 25,000 (-16.67%) 30,000 35,000 (+16.67%)
Category 8 35,000 (-12.5%) 40,000 45,000 (+12.5%)

These prices appear pretty reasonable all things considered. The price changes for peak and off-peak balance out, meaning that if you book one peak award and one off-peak award at the same category of hotel, you’ll end up breaking even with the standard pricing.

Unfortunately for those who like to stretch points to the max, Hyatt’s Category 1 hotels will see the largest pricing percentage change on peak nights. “Awards starting at just 5,000 points a night” has always been one of Hyatt’s best selling points for budget travelers. The company can now technically advertise awards starting at just 3,500 points per night, but peak pricing of 6,500 points per night for a Category 1 hotel is a 30% jump. Of course, the opposite is true, a 30% reduction for the cheapest awards on off-peak nights is also a big percentage drop.

Related: The best Category 1 Hyatt hotels in the U.S.

Luxury travelers will be happy to know that Category 7 and 8 have the smallest percentage pricing changes, with +/- 16.67% and +/- 12.5% price differences, respectively. This means aspirational Category 7 properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt New York now start at just 25,000 points per night on off-peak dates.

By comparison, Marriott’s top-tier Category 7 and 8 redemptions have +/- 16.67% and +/-  17.65% peak and off-peak price differences, respectively. On the low-end, Category 1 Marriott properties have a peak and off-peak price difference of +/- 33.33%. This makes Hyatt’s peak pricing slightly better than Marriott’s when booking peak award nights.

Related: TPG Points Lab: How significant is Marriott’s new peak and off-peak pricing?

Suites

Hyatt is also adding peak and off-peak tiers to its multitude of other award charts, including suites. Thankfully, these changes are mostly the same or smaller than corresponding changes for standard night awards.

This can open up some nice redemption options. For example, if you’re able to find an off-peak night at the Park Hyatt Shanghai, you can book a premium suite in the 12th tallest building in the world for only a few thousand more points than a standard room at the Park Hyatt New York.

If you don’t have Hyatt Globalist elite status that normally gives you free breakfast and/or club access, booking a club room at a Hyatt Regency or Grand Hyatt can be a great value add to your award stay. These rates are also getting peak and off-peak treatment, but pricing roughly matches what we’ve seen from the other award charts.

Hyatt technically has separate award charts for its all-inclusive properties, like the Hyatt Ziva Cancun and the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana. In reality, these properties all line up as Category 5 or 6 hotels on the standard room award chart for double occupancy. You only need to pay attention to these prices when booking a standard suite or adding extra guests at these properties.

Last but not least, Points + Cash rates will continue to require 50% of the points for a standard room award and 50% of the standard cash rate. Here’s how many points that would be to book a standard room, a standard suite or a premium suite with Points + Cash.

Related: Your guide to maximizing redemptions with Hyatt

What to book before Oct. 26

We have a little over a week before these changes go into effect, so consider booking stays on or after March 1 now. There’s very little risk in doing this since you can cancel Hyatt award nights without penalty. Plus, you will be refunded for the difference if your stay happens to move to an off-peak date.

Grand Hyatt Kauai (Photo by Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Here are 10 of our favorite Hyatt properties for award travel that you should consider booking for 2022 travel before peak pricing rolls out in case the days you want cost more points beginning next week:

Bottom line

All in all, while we aren’t excited to see another loyalty program go in the direction of varying award prices based on travel dates, the changes aren’t horrible and will benefit some off-peak travelers. Still, some unanswered questions remain. These include: Who gets to decide when a hotel is peak or off-peak? How will these nights be balanced? And most importantly: how many nights will be considered peak at top properties?

It’s hardly surprising that Hyatt is following the industry-wide move toward dynamic pricing that’s employed by just about every other hotel loyalty program. That said, on whole, this is a devaluation for those who like to squeeze maximum value out of their points during peak travel times.

If you have your eye on an aspirational World of Hyatt redemption for next year, it’s best to book before Oct. 26 when peak pricing begins for stays from March 1, 2022, onwards. You should be able to book stays through most of November 2022 before the new award chart kicks in.

Featured image by Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino

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