Effective January 7, 2014 Hyatt will be devaluing its reward program, for the most part at least.
First of all, Hyatt will be increasing some of the points requirements for a reward night. If you look at the reward chart on the FAQ, you will notice the following changes:
For a standard room, there are the following changes:
- Category 5: goes from 18,000 to 20,000 points per night
- Category 6: goes from 22,000 to 25,000 points per night
- Category 7: NEW 30,000 points per night
For Regency Club/Grand Club, there are the following changes:
- Category 3: goes from 15,000 to 17,000 points per night
- Category 4: goes from 18,000 to 21,000 points per night
- Category 5: goes from 22,000 to 27,000 points per night
- Category 6: goes from 27,000 to 33,000 points per night
- Category 7: NEW 39,000 points per night
Suite redemption also increase:
- Category 2: goes from 12,000 to 13,000 points per night
- Category 3: goes from 18,000 to 20,000 points per night
- Category 4: goes from 23,000 to 24,000 points per night
- Category 5: goes from 27,000 to 32,000 points per night
- Category 6: goes from 33,000 to 40,000 points per night
- Category 7: NEW 48,000 points per night
Some increases are more painful than others. If you know that you will be staying at a Hyatt, I would book your reward night before the January 7, 2014 before the devaluations hit.
Furthermore, you will notice that some hotels on the list either went up a category (thumbs down), but some hotels actually went down in category (thumbs up!). There does not seem to be any hotels in Canada that were affected by the category change.
Conclusion: This is not the first hotel program to be hit with a devaluation and it will not be the last. This is a good reminder for us not to hoard our points as they devalue over time. When you have enough points for a reward redemption, cash it in.
I also realize that devaluations such as these discourage some people from even bother collecting points to begin with. There can be a positive and/or negative effect to the industry for not collecting points. The positive is that if you end up staying at a local hotel that gives as better deal (rather than staying at one of these chains), then it should increase the competition to the industry because you are taking away business from the big chains.
However, if you end up staying at a chain and still don’t earn points, then the hotel chains are the ones who benefit because you paid without getting a benefit back that they were planning to give you anyway. So that’s a big win for the hotel.
At the very least, if you do not feel that you can earn points quick enough for any significant reward redemption, then I encourage you to donate the points to the charity of your choice!