In 2006 the top Hyatt redemption level was category 4. The Park Hyatts in Tokyo, Paris, and Sydney were only 15,000 points per night.
We got category 5 and 18,000 points per night for 2007. Then we got category 6 and 22000 points per night beginning June 2010.
Now, starting Tuesday we get a new category 7 at 30,000 points per night. Regency club and suite awards go up, confirmed upgrades get more expensive too.
Across the board, standard room nights go up just 4%. But as with the 2010 changes, the increased costs are more significant and concentrated at the very top-end of hotels.
So what should you do? Remember that most award nights are fully cancellable. So make any speculative bookings now. For those who like top-end hotels for their points, there’s no reason to have any points left in your account beginning January 7.
- Hyatt will let you book at the ‘old’ points rate up until January 7.
- You can make changes to those reservations — not just dates, but also adding or removing the number of nights in the reservation — through February 15.
So all you’re really locking in by making a reservation now is an option on a particular hotel. Make a booking at the Park Hyatt Paris, the Park Hyatt Sydney, the Park Hyatt Zurich just in case and then you’ve still got a bit more than a month to figure out when you want to stay there.
If you turn out not to want or use the reservation, you can cancel and get your points back.
If you turn out to need your points for something else, you can cancel and get your points back and make a different reservation later (at new points prices).
One reason you may want to spend points from January 7 onward is that we get cash and points awards starting tomorrow. These will not be searchable online. But these rates will count towards elite status and for promotional points-earning. They’re a good deal compared to booking award nights for category 2 through 6 hotels.
But there’s no reason to ‘save’ points for those, since you can cancel any booking you make today in order to fund the reservation you want to make tomorrow.
Let’s see whether we can all spend our point balances down as close to zero as possible, and lock in those great award night values!