Hyatt Announces Devaluations – Full Details…Any Upside?

Boy, it’s been a very cold fall so far from some of our favorite US based mileage / point programs. Hyatt unfortunately followed suit early this morning with changes announced to the crowd favorite Hyatt Gold Passport program. The amazing days of free night awards topping out at 22K points per night is over (admittedly this deal was amazingly generous at some of the more expensive properties with retail rates of $1000 – $1500 per night). The changes go into effect January 7, 2014. Stays made before then can be modified through February 15, 2014 at the old rates but will incur the new rates for any changes made after Feb. 15th.

Hyatt has at least been transparent and done a decent job of communicating the changes (on a Monday nonetheless) and has a full FAQ up on their site. Check out the full details below, but here are some of the biggest negatives:

Free Nights – Increases for Category 5 & 6 and a New Category 7
Category 5 – 18,000 -> 20,000 points per night
Category 6 – 22,000 -> 25,000 points per night
The NEW Category 7 – 30,000 points per night

Suite Redemtpions – No Longer Only a 50% Premium over Standard Redemptions
Category 2 suite – 12,000 -> 13,000 points per night
Category 3 suite – 18,000 -> 20,000 points per night
Category 4 suite – 23,000 -> 24,000 points per night
Category 5 suite – 27,000 -> 32,000 points per night
Category 6 suite – 33,000 -> 40,000 points per night
The NEW Category 7 suite – 48,000 points per night

This One Really Hurts…Upgrade Rates No Longer per Stay…but per Night
Upgrades used to be:
3,000 points -> Regency / Club Room per stay (4 nights or less regardless of the # of nights)
6,000 points -> Suite per stay (4 nights or less 4 nights or less regardless of the # of nights)

The new rates are 3,000 points per Regency / Club Room and 6,000 points per Suite upgrade…PER NIGHT

Hyatt Cardholder Pain
Anniversary nights for Chase Hyatt cardholders continue to be good on category 1-4 properties. However, several of the best redemptions for these free nights are moving from category 4 to 5. Remember to book by the deadlines mentioned above to take advantage of these properties.

Park Hyatt Melbourne, Andaz West Hollywood, Hyatt Place NYC, Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile

Good News – Well, not really good but at least status quo – The Park Hyatt Maldives maintains category 6 status and the Hyatt Regency Maui and Lake Tahoe drop from category 6 to category 5. It’s all worth mentioning that there are only six hotels in the new category 7. Guest will receive a points redeposit for any hotels going down in category after the new rates take effect.

Here’s the full FAQ from Hyatt:

1. What will change about the Hyatt Gold Passport® Award Chart, and when will those changes become effective?

Effective January 7, 2014, Hyatt Gold Passport will make four changes to the award chart.
1) Add a new Category 7 with six hotels at 30,000 points
2) Raise the point requirements for Categories 5 and 6
3) Raise the point requirements for Club and Suite Free Night Awards for categories 2 through 6
4) Change the point requirements from per stay to per night for Regency Club®/Grand Club® rooms and suite upgrades on paid nights

In addition, 38 hotels will shift categories.  21 hotels will move into a higher category and 17 hotels will move to a lower category.

2. What will the new award chart look like?

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 9.14.18 PM

3. How many hotels are shifting to a higher category?

27 hotels will move into a higher Award Category. Free Night Award redemptions at these hotels will require additional Hyatt Gold Passport points effective January 7, 2014:

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 9.15.24 PM

4. How many hotels are shifting to a lower category?

17 hotels will move into a lower Award Category. Free Night Award redemptions at these hotels will require fewer Hyatt Gold Passport points effective January 7, 2014:

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 9.16.04 PM

5. What is changing about redeeming points for room upgrades on paid stays?

Upgrades to a Regency Club® or Grand Club® room on paid nights will change from 3,000 points for up to a four night stay to 3,000 points per night. Upgrades to a suite on paid nights will change from 6,000 points for up to a four night stay to 6,000 points per night.

6. For Free Night Award redemption reservations made before January 7, 2014, which award chart will be effective?

All Free Night Award redemptions booked before January 7, 2014 will follow the current award chart. For example, if you book a Free Night Award prior to January 7, 2014 for a stay that occurs on January 7, 2014 or after, the current Award Chart will apply. Any Free Night Award redemption booked on January 7, 2014 or after will follow the new Award Chart.  The only exception is if a hotel is moving to a lower category.  See Question 7 for more information.

7. Will Free Night Awards booked prior to January 7, 2014 be impacted if the hotel I am staying at now requires more or fewer points?

Redemptions for Hotels Moving to a Higher Category 
Any Free Night Award booked prior to January 7, 2014, at a property that is shifting to a higher category on January 7, 2014 and thus would require more points will not be affected. Reservations will remain in place, and the number of points required will remain at the point level required at the time that the reservation was made. For example, a Free Night Award booked at a Category 1 hotel for 5,000 points before January 7, 2014 will still only require 5,000 points even if that hotel is moving to Category 2 and would thus require 8,000 points on or after January 7, 2014. Please note that modifications to this reservation will affect this.  See Question 8 below for more details.

Redemptions for Hotels Moving to a Lower Category 
Any Free Night Award booked prior to January 7, 2014, at a property that is shifting to a lower category on January 7, 2014 and thus would require fewer points will receive an adjustment. Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account. For example, a member with a Free Night Award booked before January 7, 2014 for a Category 2 hotel for 8,000 points will receive 3,000 points returned to his/her account if that hotel is moving to Category 1 and would thus only require 5,000 points on or after January 7, 2014. Points will be deposited into a member’s account after January 7, 2014. Please note that modifications to this reservation will affect this.  See Question 8 below for more details.

8. Starting January 7, 2014, how will modifications to existing reservations be handled?

Any Free Night Award reservation booked before January 7, 2014 for stays starting January 7, 2014 can be modified through February 15, 2014 – following the terms of the current Award Chart. Any modifications made to these reservations after February 15, 2014 will follow the terms of the new Award Chart, effective January 7, 2014. Any modifications to Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Award Night reservations that cause an award reissue cannot be redeemed for hotels that moved from a Category 1-4 to Category 5 or 6 as of January 7, 2014.

9. For Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Award Night redemption reservations made before January 7, 2014, which award chart will be effective?

All Hyatt Credit Card Anniversary Award Night redemptions booked before January 7, 2014 will follow the current Award Chart. For example, if you book an Anniversary Award  Night prior to January 7, 2014 for a stay that occurs on January 7, 2014 or after, the current Award Chart will apply. Any Anniversary Award Night redemption booked on January 7, 2014 or after will follow the new Award Chart. Hyatt Credit Cardmembers may continue to redeem Anniversary Award Nights for Category 1-4 hotels only.

Related Devaluations(hopefully no more bullets coming to this list for the next few months):

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  1. Not sure thst a free night in a cat 4 hotel makes this card worth keeping. Now that the sapphire has a chip it covers the Hyatt card on most fronts, and more.

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