One Incredible Hyatt Redemption Value is Going Away, Proving Why Their Program Beats All Others

For most readers this is the most minor change imaginable, barely worth noting, but it is symbolically significant I think and tells a lot about the difference in hotel loyalty programs so I’ve decided to highlight it in a standalone post (I first just included it as a bullet in today’s minor notes / list of links).

Hyatt shared that Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest will jump from redemption category 2 up to category 5 on July 30. There’s still time to score a room at the lower price for future stays.

Credit: Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest

The current redemption price of 8000 points per night is an absolute bargain.

Room rates here vary widely, for instance two different dates I picked varied by as much as 100%. Redemptions are even a deal at the cheaper rate here, but are almost unheard of with Hyatt points at the higher one.

What’s striking though is that Hyatt proactively shared the change of redemption category of one single hotel, in Budapest, Hungary.

I love that they’re proactively announcing this and hope they continue to do so with similar changes, what a stark and refreshing difference from other hotel loyalty programs. Hyatt (1) actually has redemption prices they share in advance with members, (2) offers good value for many of their redemptions, especially when room rates are high, and (3) gives advance notice to members when those rates will change — not just the once a year shifts of more hotels, but even this short window of notice moving a single hotel.

Hilton of course introduced point ranges and then eliminated award charts altogether, and stopped announcing when hotels changed redemption prices so they’ve quietly crept up. IHG has eliminated charts, but mostly continues to price based on them. Marriott has said they’re introducing points ranges, but haven’t yet gotten the IT in place to do it and doesn’t share changes in category during the year (their annual changes, by the way, are pretty much always brutal).

This one Hyatt redemption category change – even though the move is not in members’ favor – speaks volumes in favor of Hyatt. In the meantime you may want to book this one amazing value property for future stays quickly.

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, 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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  1. On a pound-for-pound, property-for-property basis, Hyatt is the best and my favorite hotel chain. To paraphrase (the late) Will Rogers, I’ve never stayed at a Hyatt property that I didn’t like.

    Agree with Gary that their approach to raising award costs at properties like the Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest is fair, which makes them stand out (in a very positive way) vis-a-vis Marriott and Hilton.

  2. As a longtime SPG Plat100 Ambassador and now Marriott Ambassador, I would like to continue perpetuating the idea that Hyatt is best to as many as will listen. The more elites who leave Marriott for Hyatt, the better it continues to get for Ambassadors like me. Cheers!

  3. Hyatt definitely treats their loyalty members better than competing programs. But is it because they’re nice folks, or because they’re smaller and have to work harder to cultivate loyalty? There’s a long history in the travel business of the third tier players offering better loyalty programs. I make no moral judgments, but happily patronize businesses that give me a better deal.

  4. I stayed at the Parisi Udvar hotel a week after it opened. I knew it would not stay a category 2. Although the hotel was nice, the location does not showcase the best of the city. Also, the hotel had a desk for Viking River Cruises set up in the lobby, making me think it’s a jumping off part for river cruise folks. My husband and I appeared to be the youngest guests by 30 years during our stay because of this. To that point, the floors were quiet!

  5. I think Bill spelled a$$ wrong when he described himself. Tell Arne to stop giving you a lipstick budget while you’re at it.

  6. Bill, you have a great Ambassador, but it’s clear from FT that you are an outlier (which you should enjoy).

    Objectively, the Hyatt Globalist benefits blow away Marriott Ambassador, it’s not that close.

  7. Great if you planning to visit Budapest … otherwise, Hyatt been a disappointment since the huge devaluation of the WoH including playing games with award availability and upgrades, more than double required nights for top tier and small footprint!

  8. Gary–so many people say how wonderful WOH is, but in reality, Hyatt may be a great program if you are Globalist, but if you are Explorist or below, it really isn’t competitive with Marriott or Hilton. After several years as a Globalist level (formerly Diamond), I really can’t get above Explorist since Hyatt hotels are pretty limited in location compared with Marriott or Hilton. As an Explorist, I don’t get free breakfast unless either everyone gets free breakfast or I use a Club level upgrade. I would love to use a Club level upgrade (I have 8 of them remaining) except fewer and fewer Hyatts have Regency Clubs, and many of those that had them are eliminating them (which I only discovered accidentally). Add into the equation that all those certificates I can accumulate for cat 1-4 can’t be combined with Club level upgrades, so I need to pay for breakfast at full service Hyatts when I use those free room certificates. Yes, I know that I can get elite nights through the WOH credit card (which I have), but I earn 50% more points that can be used for Hyatt through FU/CSR than through the Hyatt credit card. I will requalify for Explorist this year, but kind of wondering if it is worth it going forward, considering I am Hilton Diamond through the AMEX credit card and Lifetime Titanium in Marriott. Don’t get me wrong–I like Hyatts–but I really wonder how many Hyatt fans are at a level below Globalist, and why few bloggers call Hyatt out about this.

  9. As one making the transition from Marriott to Hyatt (and have been at Explorist for a few months, Globalist soon) – sure, the Marriott 50 night level is better than the Hyatt 30 night level…but you also have more nights needed to get there. Using a co-brand credit card, you still need 35 nights w/Marriott, but with Hyatt (and assuming one puts $15K spend on it to get the second free night), you only need 19 nights. Club lounge passes are nice and can somewhat close the gap.

    The “Hyatt footprint is too small” argument is the same one I heard for years as a Starwood loyal, and I never had any issue w/800 nights over 8 years for finding properties I need. YMMV.

  10. I just used my free credit card night on this hotel for August. Didn’t even occur to me to check this hotels category until your post.

  11. Thank you for the heads up! I booked 5 nights next June to burn the rest of my Hyatt points. I will miss Hyatt and wish there were more of them.

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