We knew it was too good to last. It was inevitable. And the day has come. Big changes to the World of Hyatt award chart start in March 2020.
Think March Madness but instead of basketball it’s travel hackers.
As with the famous basketball tournament, some will emerge as winners while others as losers.
I can keep lamenting the changes, (can you tell I am not that excited), instead I’ve put on a black dress and I’m mourning for what was the best and generous hotel award chart.
Enough crying, here are the big changes to the World of Hyatt award chart.
- Big Changes to World of Hyatt Award Chart
- World of Hyatt Award Chart
- Suite Award Chart
- Premium Suite Award Chart
- Points + Cash Award Chart Change
- Regency/Grand Club Award Chart
- All-Inclusive Award Chart
- Miraval Award Chart
- When are Off-Peak and Peak Times
- Dining and Spa Award Chart
- What You Should Do Now
Big Changes to World of Hyatt Award Chart
If you have any Hyatt stays planned for next year, now is the time to book your hotel Because every, I repeat EVERY Hyatt hotel could cost more. Here’s why…
The World of Hyatt has taken a cue from the airlines. Starting in March 2020, instead of a single redemption value based on hotel category, free night award rates will vary depending on when you’re traveling.
Point redemptions will fall into off-peak, standard or peak rates with rates starting at 3,500 a night up to 45,000 points a night.
This change affects all award charts: free night awards, standard suite awards, premium suite awards, Points + Cash redemptions, Regency/Grand Club free night awards, and all-inclusive hotels. Each has its own award chart.
With the new changes, it’s important to prevent your hotel points from expiring.
Pro-tip: Room upgrades using points on paid nights will not change.
World of Hyatt Award Chart
The new World of Hyatt award chart starts in March 2020. At this time the exact date in March is unknown. Historically, it’s been around the middle of the month. Once Hyatt has announced the exact date I’ll update this post.
All free night awards will be a fixed rate: off-peak, standard, or peak. Before using points for free nights here’s what you need to know before you redeem points for hotel stays. Be sure you know when you should use points and when to pay cash.
During off-peak times you’ll need fewer points for a free night, anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 points. The exact amount varies depending on the hotel category.
Category 1 and 2 hotels will cost 3,500 points instead of 5,000 and 8,000 points per night. This is a 1,500 point per night savings.
Booking a Category 3, 4, and 5 hotels will cost 3,000 points less. So 9,000 points, 12,000 points, and 17,000 points.
Category 6 hotels will cost 21,000 points, a savings of 4,000 points.
While Category 7 and 8 hotels during off-peak times will cost 5,000 fewer points: 25,000 and 35,000 points.
The standard World of Hyatt award chart hasn’t changed.
Free nights begin at 5,000 per night and cost up to 40,000 per night depending on the hotel category.
Pro-tip: Use the drop-down menu in the select hotel category box to search for all the hotels in each category.
When using points for free nights during peak times, you’ll pay more points.
Rates start at 6,500 points per night and cost to 45,000 points per night.
As of now, the World of Hyatt has guaranteed that you will never pay more than 5,000 points more than the standard point amount when booking free nights during peak times.
Pro-tip: There won’t be any changes to the use of Category 1 to 4 free night awards. Off-peak, standard, and peak times will not affect the use of your free night from the World of Hyatt credit card, milestone awards, or brand explorer rewards.
Suite Award Chart
The cost of using points for a suite award is also changing in March 2020.
Instead of a set amount of points to book a suite depending on the category hotel, you’ll pay either off-peak, standard, or peak rates.
Same policy as with free night awards. The hotels can determine which dates are off-peak, standard, and peak.
Premium Suite Award Chart
The Premium suite award chart will also reflect the three-tier system: off-peak, standard, or peak.
While there is a 5,000 point cap on standard awards including suite awards, there’s no such cap on premium suite awards.
During peak time you’ll pay between 3,000 to 10,000 more points per night.
Points + Cash Award Chart Change
The Points + Cash award chart will also change and offer three redemption levels: off-peak, standard, and peak.
With Points + Cash rates, you pay 50% of the cash rate + 50% of the point rate. So you get to save on how many points you have to use and on the cash cost of the room or suite upgrade.
Pro-tip: It can make more sense to pay cash or use all points instead of using half points and half cash. It can be cheaper to buy Hyatt points.
Regency/Grand Club Award Chart
The three-tiered award chart affects upgrading to a Regency/Grand Club room for non-Globalists.
Not all Hyatt hotels have a lounge and some Regency or Grand Club are better than others. International clubs have a larger selection of food and drinks. So if you have to pay for a club upgrade you should make sure the club is worth using your points.
Pro-tip: Those club upgrade awards from reaching milestones may become more valuable especially if used during peak times.
All-Inclusive Award Chart
Depending on your travel dates you could pay less points at Hyatt all-inclusive hotels.
Using points for all-inclusive resorts are a great value because you get your accommodations, food, and drinks for free. I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Ziva Cancun and the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana and am looking forward to staying at some of the other hotels.
Hyatt all-inclusives are now defined as a Category 1 or Category 2 all-inclusive hotel.
Category 1 Hyatt All-Inclusive Hotels
- Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
- Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
Category 2 Hyatt All-Inclusive Hotels
- Hyatt Zilara Cancun
- Hyatt Ziva Cancun
- Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana
- Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana
- Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Miraval Award Chart
Using points at Miraval resorts changes in March 2020 and are subject to the three-tiered award chart.
At Miraval when using points, you also get a $175 per person daily resort credit that you can use for spa services and optional activities.
We LOVED staying at Miraval Arizona. They gave us a free upgrade to The Retreat, a 3 bedroom luxury home. Totally worth the points!
Pro-tip: Hopefully Miraval continues to offer a 50% rebate on points during the summer. With off-peak award pricing and a 50% rebate, you’d only pay 28,750 points per night for 2 people.
When are Off-Peak and Peak Times
There’s isn’t a set calendar of off-peak and peak dates. Each area (geographic market as Hyatt calls it) determines their off-peak, standard, and peak times for each day award nights are available.
So some areas like Hawaii might have a great number of peak dates than Kansas.
Most of the nights available to book on points for each hotel will be at standard rates.
But here’s the important part…
Minimum Required Number of Off-Peak Nights
Hotels aren’t required to have a minimum number of off-peak nights. This means hotels can have 0 off-peak nights. There’s no guarantee or requirement that a hotel have any off-peak nights.
So if you think you’re going to get a cheap off-peak stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives for only 25,000 points per night it’s probably not going to happen. But you never know…
Maximum Number of Peak Nights
Nor are they restricted from a maximum number of peak nights.
This means a hotel can have almost as many free nights designated as peak nights as they do standard nights.
Yeah, I don’t like this loophole either.
Dining and Spa Award Chart
One positive change is the dining and spa award chart.
You’ll get more value using points for for dining and spa credit starting January 29, 2020.
Points can be used for dining at hotel restaurants, spa services at a Hyatt hotel, in-room purchases, taxes and gratuities.
This generally isn’t a good use of points. But if your Hyatt points are going to expire and you don’t have a way to earn more Hyatt points then it could be worth cashing out for credits.
Pro-tip: You can’t use points for alcohol purchases in some areas.
What You Should Do Now
You should book any future Hyatt stays now.
As with previous award chart changes, bookings made prior to March 2020 for travel after that date will not be negatively affected by the new award chart. They will be honored at current existing rates.
If your travel dates qualify for off-peak pricing you will get a refund of the point difference.
Pro-tip: After March 2020, any changes you make to existing reservations are subject to the new award chart.
Big changes to World of Hyatt Award chart go into effect in March 2020.
Instead of a standard award chart with one rate for free nights at each category Hyatt hotel, a three-tiered system goes into place.
Point redemptions will be based on off-peak, standard, or peak rates.
This change affects all World of Hyatt award charts: free night awards, standard suite awards, premium suite awards, Points + Cash redemptions, Regency/Grand Club free night awards, and all-inclusive hotels. The only exception is room upgardes. Room upgrades using points won’t change.
I’m not entirely thrilled about these changes. But it was bound to happen and it could have been worse. Normally I book last minute travel but with the new award chart, I’m going to start booking my 2020 Hyatt stays now.
What are your thoughts about the award chart changes?
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Featured photo courtesy: Tom Pumford via Unsplash