For those of you who keep up with this type of thing, Hyatt is changing their award chart tomorrow, January 7th. In my opinion, the changes aren't earth shattering like the crazy devaluation Hilton had last year where some redemptions went up by 90%+. Still, it's always a good idea to try and maximize your points, so I've decided to share a few tips on the best way of doing this.
Here's a list of all of the changes that Hyatt's making tomorrow. Some notable changes are that Category 5 hotels are going up from 18,000 points to 20,000 points, Category 6 hotels are going up from 22,000 to 25,000 points and the big change in the award chart: There will be a new Category 7 that includes the most expensive Park Hyatt properties redeemable for 30,000 points a night.
As promised, here are a few tips on how to maximize the most out of your Hyatt points before the devaluation tomorrow:
1. If you're looking to book nights at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo, Switzerland, Paris, Sydney, Zurich, Beaver Creek or Milan, do it now to avoid a 36% increase in points needed for those rooms. Thankfully, Hyatt will allow you to make changes to these reservations without paying the point differential until early February, so even if you have squishy vacation plans, it's going to pay to put something on the books. I've stayed at several of these Park Hyatt hotels and they are definitely world class. 22,000 points was an absolute bargain, so I'm a little sad but not very surprised to see these rates go up.
2. If you have a free anniversary night with your Chase Hyatt credit card, get on the horn and book that night now. Anniversary nights are only valid from categories 1-4 and several excellent hotels (Andaz West Hollywood, Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, Hyatt Place NYC Midtown and the Park Hyatt Melbourne) are going up from Category 4 to Category 5. I've stayed at all of these properties save the Park Hyatt in Melbourne and when you factor in the $75 annual fee for the card, this is a steal. Get in on these hotels while you still can.
3. I've found the sweet spot of the Hyatt program to be the Category 2 hotels, particularly those that are in developing countries. Many of the Category 2 hotels that I've found excellent value redeeming points for are going up to Category 3. This not only represents the biggest percentage increase between categories (50% increase from 8,000 to 12,000 points) but really cuts down on the cents per point you can get at some of these hotels. For example, the Grand Hyatt Jakarta is currently 8,000 points a night. A one night stay at the hotel in August goes for $387.20 at the Hyatt Daily Rate with all taxes included. This is currently a 4.8 cent per point redemption (CPM) which is a terrific redemption rate. After tomorrow, at 12,000 points, the rate will be 3.2 CPM's. Definitely not a bad redemption, but if you book by today, you're basically getting a 50% increase in the power of your points. Similarly, the Grand Hyatt Sao Paolo and the Hyatt Regency in Osaka are both going up from Category 2 to Category 3 and provide outsized point redemption values at the lower category.
I hope all of you have good luck redeeming your points before the devaluation!