Hyatt is sharing that while they paused points expiration through December 31, 2021, they really do intend to start expiring points again after that. So for members who haven’t had activity in their account since 2019, it’s important to earn or redeem points by the end of the year.
Keeping points active isn’t limited to stays (paid or redemption out of the account), or even earning on dining at a hotel while not a guest or redeeming points on property for dining or spa charges. Transferring points in from another program (like Chase or Bilt) or buying 1000 points does the trick.
I have three broad views on this.
- It’s not hard to keep an account alive if you pay attention. Breakage is part of the economic model of the program. Without it, they’d likely makes cuts elsewhere – so I’m not sure I’d want to see expiring points change. And at 24 months Hyatt’s policy is on the generous end of hotel program expiration rules.
- However hotel programs generally are a bit anachronistic here. They’ve moved to tighten points expiration, for instance IHG and Marriott didn’t actually used to expire points. Meanwhile Delta, United, Southwest, and JetBlue don’t have expiring points at all.
- Programs should still be pausing expiration for their own good, albeit just a few months at a time. I’d extend expiration through March 2022. Many businesses delayed return to office with the rise of the Delta variant of the virus. For many business travel won’t restart until next year. Programs should monitor when their corporate accounts come back in earnest – including for international travel – and not expire member points until then.
There are, after all, a very limited number of Hyatts in Australia. Australians still can’t leave the country. And they don’t have the option of transferring Chase points into their account. This is a global program and travel hasn’t recovered everywhere the way it has for the U.S. and Mexico, Caribbean, and Latin America. It’s a bad idea to expire points just as members are about to get back on the road.
Hyatt’s plan to expire points again is a stark contrast to Hilton which says they won’t expire points in 2022. Of course Hilton also extended status and free night certificates again. We’re still waiting to hear from Marriott on their card certificate plan for next year and whether they’ll make any more pandemic accommodations.