Last week I wrote that week that Hyatt was expected to make big changes to cash and points awards and introduce premium suite awards. Hyatt has now done so. There are more details to these changes — and more changes — than had been previously reported.
Hyatt Introducing Premium Suite Awards and Upgrades
Hyatt’s upgrade benefits are the best in the industry. They are the only major program that lets top tier elites confirm upgrades to suites at time of booking when any standard suite is available, rather than waiting until check-in. In addition standard suites that are available at check-in are in the upgrade pool for Globalists too.
Neither Hilton nor IHG Rewards Club offer upgrades to suites in the terms of their programs. Marriott offers upgrades to available standard suites at check-in only.
In addition Hyatt has the best suite redemption offering, allowing members to spend about 60% more points for a standard suite than a regular room. IHG doesn’t offer suite redemption benefits at all. Hilton charges for suites based on the price of the suite, with points prices effectively paying in cash.
Hyatt is going a step further making premium suites available to members for free night redemption, on cash and points redemptions, and redeeming points for upgrades starting November 1.
Here’s Hyatt’s award chart with new premium room awards:
|Hotel Category||Standard Room Points Per Night||Club Room Points Per Night||Standard Suite Points Per Night||Premium Suite Points Per Night|
|* Miraval redemptions cost 20,000 additional points for 2nd guest.|
Here’s Hyatt’s upgrade chart with new premium room awards:
|Room Upgrade Award||Points Per Night|
|Premium Suite Upgrade||9,000|
In addition Hyatt is eliminating the minimum stay requirement for suite redemptions.
Splash Suite at the Andaz 5th Avenue
I’ve asked Hyatt to clarify several things about their new premium suite redemptions and upgrades.
- What is the definition of a premium suite?
- If a premium suite is available for purchase does a hotel have to make it available on points the way they do with standard suites?
- Is there any way to access premium suites with Globalist confirmed suite upgrades, or is this planned as points redemptions only as it appears?
- Do all hotels which offer premium suites have to make those available, or is it on a hotel-by-hotel or opt-in basis?
- Are there changes to the program terms and conditions and if so what are they?
For someone like me who values the accommodations I’m in, who wants access to suites, and that has more points than available leisure time to use them these changes have the potential to be huge and to make stays really special.
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Cash and Points Awards Becoming 50% Points, 50% Cash
Today hotels receive the cash portion of a cash and points award, plus about a third of the hotel’s average daily rate from Hyatt. However unlike standard awards when a hotel is considered full they do not get extra compensation for the room.
These awards work on a fixed chart basis. You pay half the usual number of points along with a fixed cash co-pay to book a cash and points award if it’s available. It’s a great value at category 2 through 6 hotels, and not very good for categories 1 and 7:
Hyatt confirms that effective November 1 they are changing cash and points to be 50% of the number of points for a free night award (as it is today) plus 50% of the cash rate.
Standard room cash and points awards are being introduced for MGM Resort Destinations in Las Vegas and Hyatt Residence Club resorts as well. And cash and points is being extended to suites, premium suites, and to redemptions at Miraval.
|Hotel Category||Standard Room Cash & Points||Standard Suite Cash & Points||Premium Suite Cash & Points|
|1||2,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||4,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||5,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|2||4,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||6,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||8,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|3||6,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||10,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||12,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|4||7,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||12,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||15,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|5||10,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||16,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||20,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|6||12,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||20,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||25,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|7||15,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||24,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||30,000 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|Miraval Resorts||22,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard rooms||37,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for standard suites||52,500 + 50% of the Standard Rate for premium suites|
|* Miraval redemptions cost 10,000 additional points for 2nd guest.|
It’s nice for those looking to book paid nights in suites to be able to reduce the cost with points, however this change eliminates the ability to get ‘outsized value’ from cash and points for standard rooms, where you would redeem a cash and points award when room rates are high yet the hotel is still offering inventory.
Moreover it’s egregious to announce these changes October 23 to go into effect November 1. Members save up points for years with the hope of using their points for special trips. Changing pricing on awards with one week’s notice represents a fundamental violation of trust for a loyalty program.
While it’s true that you could never bank on cash and points being available at a specific property on a given night, that’s no different from an airline changing price on its saver awards without notice whatsoever.
Loyalty programs are (1) based on trust, and (2) intertemporal. They ask members to engage in an activity in advance, and promise benefits in exchange later. Changing the deal with only one week’s notice to members is a deplorable practice that cannot be criticized enough — even when benefits are being added at the same time.
Elimination of United Club Passes for Globalists
Hyatt’s top elite tier comes with 2 United club passes. Presumably United was interested in this deal as a way of recruiting frequent business travel customers to the airline. That deal is ending. Earning or re-qualifying for status will no longer provide United lounge passes next year.
Members earning or re-qualifying for Globalist status will still receive 2 club passes this year. I received mine last week.