Hyatt is out with its new summer promotion offering triple points on all stays of two nights or more, and they’ve announced they’re delaying the ‘high and low season redemption’ award chart devaluation by about three and a half more months. They’re also extending the pause on points expiration.
Triple Points On Stays Of 2 Nights Or More
Between July 20 and September 15, 2021, Hyatt will award triple points on stays of 2 nights or longer. All of Hyatt’s brands are included, along with MGM M life Rewards properties that are part of the Hyatt partnership and SLH hotels that are on board.
While I’m surprised to see nothing being awarded on single night stays (this isn’t triple points on longer stays but double on one night stays), this is a nice lucrative promotion compared to the double points offers you might see elsewhere and one I’ll take advantage of.
Registration will be required and will be available starting July 7, 2021. The maximum number of points earned during the promotion period for an individual member is 120,000.
Devaluation Delayed A Few More Months
Peak and off-peak redemption pricing (a big devaluation, as it’s been with other chains) was set to go into effect back on March 22, 2020. A week and a half before that deadline they put it off until 2021. The start of the pandemic would have been an awkward time to devalue, unless you’re United Airlines or Delta or IHG.
Last fall they shared their plan to impose this devaluation on July 1, 2021. But that’s not going to happen. Instead they’re going to implement this beginning in mid-October for stays in March 2022 onward.
Peak pricing will be an upcharge of 1500 to 5000 points depending on the category. Off peak pricing will be a discount of 1500 to 5000 points. Here’s the new free night award chart going into effect, then, in July 2021:
And since cash and points awards are 50% of the points and 50% of the prevailing cash rate, cash and points will see lower and higher points prices on off-peak and peak dates as well. Similarly cash and points and free night awards will have peak and off-peak for club redemptions, standard suite redemptions, and premium suite redemptions. Regency Club and Standard Suite awards have the same discounts and upcharges for off-peak and peak in each category as Free Night Awards.
Hotel chains generally have to pay more to hotels for the reward nights given to members when those hotels are full. So they want to charge members more for those nights. Hotel points-earning has been revenue-based for decades (the points you earn are based on how much you spend at a hotel). Now redemption is becoming much closer to revenue-based.
Hyatt is the last major program to retain true fixed award chart pricing. That provided great value to members. When rates are low you spend cash at a hotel. When they’re high you spend points. That way you get great value for your points.
Introducing high and low season pricing (peak and off-peak) means you’re much more likely to get average value for your points relative to the cost of a room, and much less likely to get outsized value. So Hyatt’s move is a real disappointment, though it’s seemed almost inevitable that they’d do what everyone else is doing to devalue.
Hopefully when Hyatt advances this change more hotels will be off-peak and very few will be peak. That doesn’t seem to be how similar moves have worked out at Marriott however. And Hyatt frames putting off the change as “More Time to Enjoy Points and Awards” so they’re sort of giving up the game here in what the change will mean.
Suspending Points Expiration
Hyatt suspending points expiration during the pandemic through the end of 2020, pushed that out to June 30, 2021 back int he fall, and has now extended the pause on points expiration through December 31, 2021.
The last thing a program wants is to take away a customer’s points (good for the balance sheet) when they’re not engaging with the program temporarily – due to the pandemic – but who are on the cusp of starting back up as business travel returns this fall. Pausing mileage expiration makes it possible to see who will come back, and they can always expire points later.
At the start of 2022 Hyatt will revert to its policy of expiring points in accounts that have been inactive for 24 months. (It’s easy to keep Hyatt accounts active before expiration resumes, a simple way is transferring in 1000 points from a Chase Ultimate Rewards account.)