Here are today’s changes:
1. Effective 01/07/14 you can use cash and points for an award.
Until 01/07 you can still book under the current chart. From 01/07 the new award chart will apply but you will be able to use cash and points, as follows:
The cash rates are…interesting.
The category 1 and 7 levels are effectively saving points at a confiscatory 2 cents a piece, not a good deal at all. At category 1 you’re buying back 2,500 points for $50. At category 7 you’re buying back 15,000 points for $300.
At hotels in categories 2-6 the value proposition is much better.
Category 2 buys back 4,000 of your points for $55 or 1.375 cents each.
Category 3 buys back 6,000 of your points for $75 or 1.25 cents each.
Category 4 buys back 7,500 of your points for $100 or 1.33 cents each.
Category 5 buys back 10,000 of your points for $125 or 1.25 cents each.
Category 6 buys back 12,500 of your points for $150 or 1.2 cents each.
It’s actually a bit more generous than that. Hyatt will give elite stay credit and award points for the cash portion of cash and point stays.
Base members earn 5 points per dollar, platinums earn 5.75 points per dollar and diamonds earn 6.5 points per dollar.
So on a category 6 award (at hotels like the Park Hyatt Maldives, Andaz 5th Avenue, Grand Hyatt Kauai, or Andaz Maui) a base member will earn back 750 points, a platinum member will earn back 863 points and a diamond member will earn back 975 points. For a base member that means the real rate is $150+11,750 points or a buyback of 13,250 points for $150 or 1.13 cents per point.
Considering that a night at the Park Hyatt Maldives can go for $1,500 with tax, there’s definitely still value in the program.
Of course these rates will likely be capacity controlled whereas the regular award rates have no capacity controls. And you’ll have to pickup the phone to book the cash and points awards.
2. Expiration policy
Effective 01/07/14 a 2 year expiration policy will start to be enforced. Earn or redeem points every 2 years and your points won’t expire.
The earliest an account can lost its points will be 01/07/16.
Transferring points from Chase will extend your account by 2 more years. In fact even combining points with another member will count as activity.
Hyatt has never expired points until now.
3. Discounts for elites
Effective 01/07/14 Hyatt Platinums and Diamonds will get 20% off the Hyatt Daily Rate for paid rooms.