We all knew that Hyatt was going to devalue their program in the near future. Most of the other hotel programs had major adjustments over the last year or so, and Hyatt’s chart provided extremely good value for the points so it makes sense. They Hyatt devaluation will be effective starting January 7th, 2014.
This devaluation, however, is quite mild in my opinion. It’s not nearly as bad as Hilton’s butchering of their chart or United’s recent Halloween Award Chart massacre.
Let’s look at the changes in one big chart:
Here’s a quick summary of what exactly changed:
- There is a new Category 7 that includes only the following Park Hyatt hotels: Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich. These are priced at 30K per night instead of 22K.
- Categories 5 and 6 hotels have increased by 2K and 3K points per night, respectively.
- There were no changes to Category 1-4 hotels.
- Club and Suite nights have increased more substantially.
Again, this is really not that bad. Sure, any devaluation sucks for us as consumers, but let’s not kid ourselves. We knew a devaluation was coming, and while the creation of a new Category 7 isn’t great, it only includes 6 hotels at the moment. Similarly, the increases in Category 5 and 6 hotels (2K-3K per night) is only a marginal increase. The fact that Hyatt didn’t even touch Categories 1-4 is a huge relief as well.
With that being said, there are 38 hotels that are changing categories (this happens on a regular basis). 21 hotels are moving up a category while 17 are moving down. The ones that really hurt here are the ones moving from category 4 to 5 or 5 to 6. You can see a full list of the properties that are changing categories, as well as the official announcement from Hyatt, here.
When to Book
If you book before January 7th, 2014, you will be subject to the old rates. So as I always recommend, book ASAP. Now that a devaluation has been announced, everyone will be looking to use their points up – this will mean there will be less standard availability at popular hotels, making it harder to use your points. Book as soon as you can, but definitely book before January 7th, 2014.
On the old chart you can get up to 4 nights in a Regency/Grand Club room for 3K points and a suite for 6K points. This will now become 3K per night for Regency/Grand Club and 6K per night for Suites. This is pretty significant percentage-wise, but I don’t think many people take advantage of these compared to the standard redemptions listed above.
As for the Hyatt Credit Card from Chase, you can bet that your free nights will also be valid at the new Category 7 properties, but it hasn’t been 100% confirmed yet.
Next up in the devaluation queue is American Airlines and US Airways, since the two have settled their lawsuit with the government. US Airways will leave Star Alliance over the next few months to join Oneworld, and you can bet that minor award chart changes will happen at that time. This will likely be followed by a more substantial change in award charts. Hopefully it won’t be anything like United, but brace yourselves for the worst.
Also…if you haven’t noticed, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points have decreased in value SIGNIFICANTLY over the past couple of weeks. I plan to post on this in the coming weeks with suggestions for the future.