Hyatt’s New Discounted Rates for Elite Members Offer Great Value

Shortly after Hyatt annoucned the devaluation of some of their top end awards, they also announced new features of the program.

Yesterday 20% off rates for Gold Passport elite members went into effect.

They call it “My Elite Rate” and there is no special offer code, you just have to be a Platinum or Diamond Gold Passport elite member (Platinum is the level you get just for having their credit card) and search for rates on the Hyatt website.

These rates are 20% off the Hyatt Daily Rate and cancallable (not prepaid).

They are capacity-controlled, so not always available, but so far availability is looking quite good.

Normally on domestic reservations if I’m not booking a corporate rate, I’ll book AAA which is cancellable and gets me 10% off. (There’s also this 15% off code through January 31.)

So this is better, and one I’ll book a decent amount on paid stays.

For me where it really shines is international paid reservations, where if I’m not on a corporate rate I don’t have any discount at all. Then it’s truly 20% off what I might have to pay.

These rates are available only for standard rooms, and can be upgraded with Diamond confirmed upgrade instruments (Diamonds get four per year good for up to seven nights each).

Here’s a sample at the Hyatt Regency Austin. The AAA rate is the same as the Advance Purchase rate but is not prepaid. When I search for the AAA rate, though, the ‘My Elite Rate’ option disappears from the display.

At the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur the Advance Purchase rate is good for 15% off Hyatt Daily Rate, so the 20% off rate is only marginally better pricing — but it’s cancellable and I’m generally allergic to prepaid bookings. So for me this is great to have.

I admit to being a little bit perplexed by the new 20% off rate. It’s only for elites who are, for the most part, already booking stays with Hyatt. In my case this will just mean paying less for Hyatt stays that I would have otherwise booked at a higher price. They must have models that tell them they’ll capture more business with these capacity controlled rates, and that they won’t cannibalize existing revenue too much in the process. We’ll know based on whether the rate is around for 2015 or not!


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I’m a Platinum member through their credit card but not able to see My Elite Rate. Is it only available on certain dates or certain properties? Thanks.

  2. Gary: These are great, I was able to use a My Elite rate for a 4-night stay at the PH Tokyo for $379 a night AND was able to apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade to get into a Park Suite King, which was going for almost $1300 a night for my nights. Previously, I had it on a Hyatt daily rate for $469 a night so this was a huge savings and a great way to be able to save $ while still be able to use a confirmed upgrade.

  3. @Avu I am also a Plat member by the card and I see them just fine. They are capacity controlled so the dates you are looking at may not be available.

  4. I’m a Platinum member. I’m assuming that My Elite Rates are not eligible for the 3,000 per night (as of Jan. 7) upgrades to Regency/Grand Club rooms?? Is the Hyatt Daily Rate still required in order to use 3,000 points per night for the upgrade?

  5. I was looking at the Westin or Andaz in Napa, CA. Westin AAA was $194 ($174 + $20 resort fee). Andaz AAA was $224 but myElite Rate was $199. Andaz got my booking. I would have booked the Westin if no myElite rate at Andaz.

  6. Gary –

    I think you put your finger on how this works out for Hyatt when you pointed out that the rates are available to anyone with Platinum or above.

    There certainly will be some rate canibalization, but they’re also facing a situation where mid-tier elite status is incredibly easy to get. I have SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold and Hyatt Platinum, all through various FF and CC relationships, and would otherwise have no status at all (my travel patterns mean that I’m more often than not staying at hotels unaffiliated with any of those chains). If I have broadly similar status everywhere, and no particular mile generating reason to choose one of them, I’m going to pick based upon price/location/amenities of an individual hotel in the city I’m staying at, and essentially disregard the program status.

    I suspect I’m far from alone in this respect, and they’re trying to add something to move the needle.

    Greg

  7. From my perspective, the elite rates do provide another incentive to keep platinum status. Though it would seem that those inclined to maintain Diamond would do so regardless of the presence of these rates, given the added value of the other benefits.

  8. @Avu, in my case the website didn’t show the Elite Rate but when I called Hyatt Gold Passport Reservations they booked me at the Elite Rate (20% off the Daily Rate).

  9. Gary – My very first blog post. Gary: Thanks for all your insights; it’s been a tremendous help in getting better value from points and miles. I just have a thought in regards to Hyatt’s new “My Elite Rate”. In my limited opinion, this seems like a very shrewd business move by Hyatt in “devaluing” their points further, generate real income, and encourage the general public to push Chase UR points away from Hyatt’s books. (*This is based on 1 scenario, so your own circumstances will be different) Let me explain, as a diamond member I needed to reserve a room in SF Grand Hyatt (Cat 5) for Feb 7, 2014. I needed to make a choice between whether to redeem 20,000 points (Hyatt/ Chase UR – where most of all my Hyatt points comes from) or to pay cash – $229 Daily Rate, $206.10 at AAA discount, and now $183.20 at My Elite Rate. Before the devaluation on Jan 7, 2014 it was little bit more palatable to give up 18,000 UR points on Cat 5 hotels stay to get above $0.13 cents redemption rate (Lot higher in some cases). But now with this new My Elite Rate, redeeming 20,000 (UR points) to save $183.20 + tax = $213.10 making the value of UR point at $0.0107 seems very unattractive (devaluation – UR points are worth more then this, right! first shrewd move). This choice, either to pay $218.10 or 20,000 UR point all of sudden makes me think twice before redeeming my 20,000 UR points to save $213.10 @ $0.0107, I believe I can get a better value than $0.0107 for my UR point elsewhere*, so I opted to paid for my stay! (Second shrewd move – generating more real income for Hyatt). If this type of purchasing choice trend continues in my own travel, (YMMV) it will certainly encourage me to pay for my stay then to redeem UR points at close to a $0.0107. *This will encourage me to transfer my UR points away from Hyatt to other Chase UR partners to get better value! (third shrewd move) Maybe millions or billions of UR point won’t be redeemed at Hyatt in the future if more people believes UR points are worth more then what one can redeem at Hyatt @ $0.0107 (YMMV)) Now multiply this scenario by tens of thousands of rooms not being redeemed using but by cash! Nice move by Hyatt.
    This is just my thoughts doesn’t mean I am right but something to think about.

  10. Gary: Thanks for all your insights; it’s been a tremendous help in getting better value from points and miles. I just have a thought in regards to Hyatt’s new “My Elite Rate”. In my limited opinion, this seems like a very shrewd business move by Hyatt in “devaluing” their points further, generate real income, and encourage the general public to push Chase UR points away from Hyatt’s books.
    Following is based on single scenario and by no means consider as general rule; as always YMMV. So let me explain my thoughts, as a diamond member I needed to reserve a room in SF Grand Hyatt (Cat 5) for Feb 7, 2014. I needed to make a choice between whether to redeem 20,000 points (Hyatt/ Chase UR – where most of all my Hyatt points comes from) or to pay cash – $229 Daily Rate, $206.10 at AAA discount, and now $183.20 at My Elite Rate. Before the devaluation on Jan 7, 2014 it was little bit more palatable to give up 18,000 UR points on Cat 5 hotels stay to get above $0.13 cents redemption rate (Lot higher in some cases). But now with this new My Elite Rate, redeeming 20,000 (UR points) to save $183.20 + tax = $213.10 making the value of UR point at $0.0107 seems very unattractive (devaluation – UR points are worth more right! first shrewd move). This choice, to paid $218.10 or 20,000 UR point all of sudden makes me think twice before redeeming my 20,000 UR points to save $213.10 @ $0.0107, I believe I can get a better value than $0.0107 for my UR point elsewhere*, so I opted to paid for my stay! (Second shrewd move – generating more real income for Hyatt; my guess is more people will be paying the lower rates to book a room rather than redeeming UR points). If this type of purchasing choice trend continues at lease in my own travel, (YMMV) it will certainly encourage me to pay for my stay then to redeem UR points at close to a $0.0107. *This will encourage me to transfer my UR points away from Hyatt to other Chase UR partners to get better value! (third shrewd move – maybe millions or billions of UR point won’t be redeemed at Hyatt in the future if more people believes UR points are worth more then what one can redeem at Hyatt @ $0.0107 (YMMV)) Now multiply this scenario by tens of thousands of rooms not being redeemed using points but by cash! Nice move by Hyatt.
    This is just my thoughts doesn’t mean I am right but I thought I share.

  11. It may seem quite small, but everything helps – what I really like about booking this rate is that I do not have to enter my AAA or AARP number!

  12. Gary, count me with the others who see this as making a difference for many of us who do not necessarily prioritize Hyatt stays because we have similar status are other hotels. In fact, I could see instances, such as NYC business trips where I sometimes pay out of my own pocket, where I might opt for a Hyatt based on this even though I have better status at Hilton and Starwood.

    I wonder whether another factor is that this discount provides some folks with incentives to retain their Hyatt credit cards, since Platinum status comes with the cards, or even to get such cards to begin with.

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