World of Hyatt has announced two significant changes to its awards program that take effect in 2020.
From 29 January 2020, members will get greater value when redeeming points for dining and spa credit. From March 2020 (an exact date hasn’t been given), however, World of Hyatt will introduce peak and off-peak redemption pricing across its portfolio.
How are rates changing?
Hyatt is keeping its current eight category redemption chart, but from March 2020, each category will have peak and off-peak pricing. This affects all redemptions: standard rooms, club rooms, standard suites, premium suites and Points + Cash. It will not affect room upgrade awards.
Here’s how the redemption rates will change from March 2020. As a reminder, all awards currently follow “standard” pricing, regardless of time of year.
How are peak and off peak dates decided?
Hyatt has provided the following additional information:
- If the redemption amount for a night on an existing award reservation is lowered to Off-peak in March, we’ll automatically refund the point difference, and if it goes to Peak, you won’t be charged any more points.
- Points + Cash will also offer Off-peak and Peak point redemption. The cash required will still be 50% of the rate.
- Free nights in suites will also be offered at Off-peak and Peak redemption.
- You’ll have plenty of time to plan ahead. Redemption rates for free nights will be announced as soon as nights are available for reservations (usually 13 months in advance), and won’t change once posted. A new online calendar will help you plan (coming soon).
- Hotel award categories aren’t changing – there are still 8.
The good news is that unlike Marriott Bonvoy’s peak pricing, Hyatt’s peak dates won’t change once posted. That is- if 1 December 2021 is an off-peak date, it’ll stay an off-peak date. Under Marriott’s system, peak dates are revised each month, so there’s no knowing for sure whether a date that’s currently off-peak will still be by the time you book.
Also, existing reservations will be honored at the rate they were booked at, regardless if they subsequently become peak after March 2020. If you change your dates, however, the award will reprice to the new rate.
The bad news is that there’s no minimum or maximum number of nights a hotel can designate as peak or off-peak. That said, as per the FAQ, “the majority of days will be set to standard each year”.
What’s happening to dining & spa awards?
It’s currently possible to redeem World of Hyatt points for dining and spa credits, but the rates are very poor, giving an average of 0.5-0.8 US cents per point.
From 29 January 2020, Hyatt will improve the value of these redemptions:
|Credit||Current Cost||From 29 Jan 2020||Value/Point|
|US$10||2,000||1,000||0.5 → 1.0|
|US$25||5,000||2,500||0.5 → 1.0|
|US$50||10,000||5,000||0.5 → 1.0|
|US$75||12,000||7,500||0.63 → 1.0|
|US$100||15,000||8,000||0.67 → 1.25|
|US$150||20,000||12,000||0.75 → 1.25|
|US$250||32,000||20,000||0.78 → 1.25|
|US$500||60,000||35,000||0.83 → 1.43|
|US$1,000||120,000||65,000||0.83 → 1.54|
I’d still rather save my points for room redemptions, although dining and spa awards are at least better value now.
It’s not possible to earn World of Hyatt points through credit cards in Singapore, but you can buy them when they go on sale (or maybe hold a wedding there?). Hyatt is currently offering a 40% bonus on points purchases until 1 January 2020, which represents an opportunity to buy points and redeem hotel stays below their cash rates.
The quantum of change (for standard rooms) is 5,000 points at most, which isn’t terrible in the grand scheme of things. However, that’s still US$85 more per night, assuming you buy points at 1.71 US cents each (the current sales price).
If you have travel plans in 2020, you’ll definitely want to lock them in before peak pricing goes into effect.