‘Tis the season for award chart adjustments and the Hyatt devaluation for 2014 is now public. Their new award chart for their Gold Passport program effective for bookings made after 6 January 2014 was published late today. The good news is that the changes aren’t too horrible in most cases. The bad news is that there are a couple properties and one specific award where the new chart really stinks.
The properties most significantly affected are six Park Hyatt hotels: Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich. These are now in a new Category 7 where the basic room redemption starts at 30,000 points, an increase of 36% over the old rate of 22,000 points. Suite bookings at these properties jump to 48,000 points, an increase of nearly 50% over the old rate of 33,000 points. Bad, but not horrible. Also, there are 38 hotels switching categories with 17 going down a level and 21 going up a level (plus the 6 moving to the new level 7). Again, not a horrible set of changes.
Finally, what I consider to probably be the most significant change is with respect to upgrade awards. The Suite Upgrade award has been a spectacular value in the Gold Passport program. At only 6,000 points for up to 4 nights in a suite from the Hyatt Daily Rate it was phenomenal. The new rules are much, much less so:
UPGRADES ON PAID STAYS
The points required to upgrade your paid stay to a Regency Club®/Grand Club® room or suite will be on a per-night basis. Regency Club/Grand Club upgrades will require 3,000 points per night, and suite upgrades will require 6,000 points per night.
That’s a lot more for suite upgrades, up to 300% more for a 4 night stay.
One really nice thing that Hyatt is doing is that they are going to proactively honor the lower rate for stays after 7 January 2014 at the properties where the rates are going down. They will also honor the old rates for future bookings without issue. They’re even giving a 5 week buffer, until 15 February 2014, for changes to be made against such bookings while still honoring the old rates. Some more details on that are available in questions 7 & 8 in the FAQ.
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The bloggers are much less outraged over this.
But, if you see the cost of a suite (that you get to AFTER getting off the plane on a F class that cos you 100% more), the prices went up 100%
It appears that many of those on the F class are now staying elsewhere as they have used up all their UR points, perhaps at Club Carlson or even the Holday Inn with a free night every year.
UR points have been heavily devalued now and the best card all round may be the 2% cash back card, using things like Blue Cash Amex for 5% backon gas and groceries.
The rest of the Hawkers Stall Cards are best used for sign up bonuses and then move on.
There are no awards which are 100% more, other than the upgrades (and those could be as much as 300% more!) so I’m not entirely sure what the point is you’re trying to make. The program still offers some decent values, though there are far fewer scenarios now where Chase UR->Hyatt does better than 2% cash back.
Still the Hyatt CC is a decent value proposition with the free night and the accelerated earnings if you happen to be staying at a Hyatt.
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