The other half of Hyatt’s Gold Passport updates for 2014

Remember last week when Hyatt adjusted their Gold Passport awards chart? It turns out that wasn’t the only change coming for the new program year. More changes were announced this past weekend as well.  On the plus side, these changes are mostly positive, the yin to counter the yang of last week’s news, I suppose.

Cash + Points

Want to stretch your points a bit further? Check out the new Cash + Points award chart.


At the top and bottom the rates are actually pretty bad (2cpm). In the middle the conversion is somewhat reasonable, in the 1.3 cents per point range.

There are a few other quirks about the C+P rates. For one thing, they count towards elite status qualification similar to a revenue stay. That’s a plus, though in other ways, such as not permitting suite upgrades to be applied, they are considered award nights. Apparently the rules about upgrades for Diamond members have changed since originally announced. Hyatt says one thing (no upgrades) and VFTW says another (yes, upgrades). Awesome. And in something of a hybrid, cancellation of a C+P stay inside the penalty window will see the cash portion forfeited and the points refunded. Finally, these bookings will only be available via the call center when the offering goes live in early January. Presumably they will eventually be integrated into the website but it just isn’t there yet. Like I said, quirky.

MyElite Rate

Want to save 20% off the Hyatt Daily Rate? All Platinum and Diamond elite members will now have that discount available to them when booking a standard room. Particularly for travelers who don’t have corporate discounts to use (and who don’t play that game) this is a nice bonus. A couple spot-checks I made suggest that this could end up being a real savings compared to various other approaches.

Points Expiry

Points will now expire after 24 months without activity. That’s an upgrade from the published 12 months currently but the rule isn’t actually enforced today so a bit of a mixed bag on this one.

Yin & Yang

Clearly I don’t work in marketing. Still, I like to think that I mostly understand that sort of stuff most of the time. Given those assumptions the way the changes were rolled out don’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It isn’t like these new plans were hatched in the intervening week so why not announce all the changes at once? The good news isn’t so great as to get lost in the discussion of the award chart devaluation and it isn’t like customers really like change so much that they want to have it happening with great frequency. I definitely don’t get that part of the announcement.

Anywho, like I said at the beginning, mostly good news. Not great news and not enough to convince me to shift my business, but it is enough to at least have me consider Hyatt a bit more for some upcoming stays with the 20% discount until my status expires.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Agree, Seth. I really can’t understand the stampede by your fellow BA bloggers to sing the praises of this relatively modest change. It really does seem that BA is the marketing arm of Hyatt!

    It’s also curious that none of them mention the woeful Hyatt IT department — shall we put an over / under on when C&P rates are actually bookable via the website? How about 2016? Remember, this is a group that can barely keep the Hyatt website up for a week!

    Most people won’t call to check / book these C&P rates. It’s just a lot of work. So until that functionality is added to the website, this is mostly window dressing in my opinion. Still can’t figure out why you would roll out the program when clearly the IT functionality isn’t ready.

  2. For what it’s worth, I asked Jeff Zidell why not just announce the award chart changes and the introduction of cash and points together.

    They talk a lot about authenticity and genuineness at Hyatt, and Jeff’s answer was that they didn’t want people to think they were trying to ‘put one over’ on anyone with the award chart devaluation (trying to position the thing as a mixed bag or ‘enhancement’).

    They wanted to share the news and take the heat for the devaluation and then let people evaluate the new things they were doing on the plus side on their own merits too.

    Again, for what it’s worth.

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