A slate of major changes are coming to Hyatt's points program next month, including the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing for award stays, changing rates at more than 200 properties, and more.
These changes aren't unexpected. Hyatt warned last year it would shake up how it prices award stays – with slightly higher rates during busy times and slightly lower rates in slower periods. And hotel chains annually reshuffle their award charts to change up how many points a free night will cost.
But now we have a date: March 22. That's when the new peak and off-peak award rates will take effect. And it's also when Hyatt will officially change the points required to book free nights at 217 different properties: 117 will go up, while another 100 will move down.
Meanwhile, Hyatt has added nearly 50 more Small and Luxury Hotels of the World properties to its growing portfolio. And you don't have to wait a month on these – they're bookable with Hyatt points today.
Keep reading for a breakdown of all these changes.
Peak, Off-Peak Pricing Goes Live March 22
If you ask us, there's no hotel chain points program more valuable than Hyatt, thanks to some unbelievably low award rates to book free nights at its properties.
Today, award rates for a free night stay don't change no matter when you go. It's always 5,000 points per night for the lowest-tier Category 1 hotels (think Hyatt Place) and up to 40,000 World of Hyatt points for top-tier Category 8 properties. But soon, a stay during busy peak travel periods could cost more points – or less during off-peak times.
And now we know exactly when that change takes effect. Hyatt announced Wednesday that peak and off-peak pricing will go live Sunday, March 22 – right at 8 a.m. CST. Here's what the new award chart will look like.
These changes will also apply to Hyatt's outstanding all-inclusive resorts scattered across Mexico and the Caribbean, which are currently between 20,000-25,000 points per night. A free night's stay could drop as low as 17,000 points during off-peak times – or jump as high as 29,000 points during busy periods.
It's a page out of Marriott's book, which adopted this variable pricing model in 2019. Hilton Honors has long employed variable pricing for its own properties. In Hyatt's case, there's a silver lining.
You've still got more than a month to book award stays before this new pricing model takes effect – for stays all the way out to April 2021, in some cases. Hyatt says it will automatically refund any member who books a free night with points that drops to an off-peak rate after the change takes effect – and members won't be forced to pay more if their booking changes to a higher-priced peak period.
Bottom line: Make any Hyatt award bookings before these changes take place.
Hyatt says that peak and off-peak periods will not change from the time hotel reservations open, roughly 13 months in advance. That means Hyatt won't constantly tweak the award rates to charge more over time – what you see immediately is what you'll get. That's far more customer-friendly than most hotel chains handle it.
Hyatt will set the off-peak, standard, and peak period schedules by geographic area – not individually by property. So while price increases may sting, it should at least be fairly consistent.
Still, this stings. Hyatt has stood out for years because of its low, predictable award rates. A free night at a basic Hyatt starts at 5,000 points per night. A night at a ritzy hotel like the Park Hyatt Tokyo or Park Hyatt New York will cost you 30,000 Hyatt points, every time.
That predictability will soon disappear. And only time will tell how generous – or stingy – Hyatt is with how it defines “peak” and “off-peak.”
Changing Categories At 217 Hyatt Properties
A new year brings some new pricing for a handful of properties at every hotel chain. Now it's Hyatt's turn.
Hyatt unveiled its latest round of changes on Wednesday, with 217 Hyatt properties on the move. In all, 117 Hyatt hotels will soon cost more points, while another 100 properties will soon require fewer points.
But just as with peak pricing, these changes won’t take place until March 22 at 8 a.m. CST. That means you’ve got more than a month to book more than 100 different properties before the price increases. On the flip side, Hyatt says it will refund members who book any of the 100 hotels before the price drops.
In all, these category changes are fairly mild – especially compared to the monstrous shuffling from Marriott last week. There’s good news and bad news, especially if you’re trying to use a free night certificate from the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Here's a look at a few properties that will soon cost more points – you'll want to book these hotels before the higher price kicks in on March 22.
- Hyatt Regency Tokyo: increases from 12,000 points per night (category 3) to 15,000 points (category 4)
- Hyatt House Nashville Downtown: increases from 15,000 points per night (category 4) to 20,000 points (category 5)
- Park Hyatt Saigon: increases from 15,000 points per night (category 4) to 20,000 points (category 5)
- Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica: increases from 20,000 points per night (category 5) to 25,000 points (category 6)
- Grand Hyatt Tokyo: increases from 25,000 points per night (category 6) to 30,000 points (category 7)
- Andaz Fifth Avenue New York City: increases from 25,000 points per night (category 6) to 30,000 points (category 7)
Meanwhile, 100 properties will cost you fewer points as of March 22. It's important to note that Hyatt will refund the difference if you book one of these properties before the rate drops.
- Grand Hyatt Dubai: drops from 15,000 points per night (category 4) to 12,000 points (category 3)
- Park Hyatt Melbourne: drops from 20,000 points per night (category 5) to 15,000 points (category 4)
- Park Hyatt Mallorca: drops from 25,000 points per night (category 6) to 20,000 points (category 5)
- Park Hyatt Chicago: drops from 25,000 points per night (category 6) to 20,000 points (category 5)
- Cape Fahn Hotel Koh Samui: drops from 30,00 points per night (category 7) to 25,000 points (category 6)
Some of these changes have big ramifications for how you can use one of the best perks of the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card: a free night at a Hyatt property each year on your cardmember anniversary. But not just any hotel makes the cut – these anniversary nights must be at a category 1-4 property.
Read our full breakdown of all 217 Hyatt hotels on the move this year, and how it might affect your free award stay.
Some new hotels have been added to the fold of Category 4 and under properties. But unfortunately, even more have been removed.
Click Here to learn more about the World of Hyatt Card.
48 More SLH Properties in the Fold
The big knock against Hyatt is that its network of hotels is a fraction the size of giants like Marriott or Hilton. But they've been changing that in an exciting way by adding more and more Small and Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH). And that just continues.
Hyatt announced Wednesday it added another 48 SLH properties to its portfolio. Hyatt now has more than 350 SLH properties where you can book a free night stay with Hyatt points – or earn points on a paid stay booked through Hyatt. That includes outstanding Alila properties and this slew of new additions like:
- The Sukhothai Bangkok in Bangkok, Thailand
- Hotel Villa Franca in Positano, Italy
- MarBella Nido Suite Hotel and Villas in Corfu, Greece
- Villa Geba in Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
- Hotel Vestibul Palace in Split, Croatia
- Casa Angelina Lifestyle in Amalfi Coast, Italy
…and more than 40 other new properties. Some of these properties are bookable for as few as 12,000 Hyatt points per night while others top out at 40,000 Hyatt points per night.
This slew of changes at Hyatt is a classic “good news, bad news” situation. Unfortunately, peak and off-peak pricing could cost you an additional 5,000 points per night – adding a layer of unpredictability to using ultra-valuable Hyatt points. And while there are some bright spots in how hotels are shifting categories, there are just as many downsides.
But on the bright side, Hyatt is giving members more than a month to take advantage of the best deals before these changes take effect on March 22. Don't wait, book soon!