Today Amol (@pointstopointb) tweeted a link that Hyatt was going to devalue.
The new chart is here:
Essentially, the new dreaded category 7 is here. Of course, it includes all the aspirational properties, including PH Tokyo, Sydney, Beaver Creek, Milan, Paris, and Zurich. They’ve also taken a bunch of nice hotels and moved them up a category. Wonderful (not).
To standard rooms:
- Categories 1 – 4: No Change
- Category 5: 2,000 points from 18k to 20k
- Category 6: 3,000 points from 22k to 25k
- Category 7 (new) is 30k points
This is the old award chart:
The biggest changes are for base room redemptions for the top-tier hotels. The category 6 hotels move up to the category 7 hotels, which means that a night at the Park Hyatt Vendome goes from 22,000 points to 30,000 points. That’s an increase of… 36%!
Suites for top tier aspirational hotels also go kaput. A suite at current cat 6 hotels goes from 33,000 points to 48,000 points! That’s a devaluation of 45%!!!
There’s also some category creep. The website has the complete list, which you can access here.
Here are some partly aspirational hotels which I like that are going up (not a complete list) 🙁 :
From (5 to 6)
- Hyatt 48 Lex
- Andaz Liverpool London
These hotels go from 18,000 points to 25,000, which is a 38% increase!
From (4 to 5):
- Andaz West Hollywood
- Park Hyatt Melbourne
These hotels go from 15,000 to 20,000 points, which is a 33% increase!
All reservations booked through January 6, 2014, will follow the current Award Chart. Existing reservations for stays starting January 7, 2014, will receive a refund for the point difference if the hotel moved to a lower category and will be honored as booked if the hotel moved to a higher category.
This means, you have to book BEFORE January 6th (for any dates in the summer of 2014, for instance) for the award to be at the old prices. Start booking NOW!
What do I think? I don’t think they’re great. The problem is, especially with these devaluations, are that the sweet spots or aspirational properties are getting weeded out. For example, here is the Category 6 list of hotels:
I wouldn’t want to burn 22,000 points (right now) for the Park Hyatt Washington or the Hyatt Regency London if I could burn them at a $600+ property like PH Milan or Paris. So while the devaluation certainly seems reasonable, the category creep + the increase in points in each category do not. Obviously at the end of the day, there’s still value, but gone will be the days of 22,000 points for $600+ hotels.
The problem with Hyatt (especially for me) is that I have pretty much no interest in redeeming for lower category hotels, which are not affected significantly. So while on average Hyatt points devalue probably around 10% on average, I think it’s more like 35% on aspirational redemptions and 0% on “everyday” redemptions. This looks just like United, which killed the award prices for first class partner awards, while barely touching coach redemptions.
So, it looks like Ultimate Rewards is going to less just around 20-30% of it’s value in two months for aspirational redemptions, following the disastrous United devaluation.