FlyerTalk’s official Hyatt lurker, Gold Passport Concierge, has just posted about upcoming changes to Hyatt’s award chart. Specifically, the award chart will change on June 4. Currently Hyatt only has five category of hotels, but they’ll be adding a sixth category, which will include 20 hotels. While a category five redemption used to cost 18,000 points per night, a category six redemption will cost 22,000 points per night, or a little over 20% more.
In total, 65 hotels will move to a lower category, while 89 hotels will move to a higher category (including those hotels moving to the new category six).
On the plus side, award reservations made for stays after June 4 for hotels that go down in category will be eligible for a points refund, and award reservations made by June 4 can be modified through September 2 without being charged the points premium if the hotel’s category goes up.
So of course these are negative changes overall. The best use of points is at high end hotels, which is where we’ll be hit the hardest. Hyatt’s program was just too good to be true, and I’d argue that even after the change it still is. So while I’m disappointed, I certainly can’t blame Hyatt for the change.
I can only hope that they won’t further devalue their award chart when they introduce their new co-branded credit card, which will massively increase the number of outstanding points. Oh, and I’d also hope that they won’t exclude category six hotels from “Faster Free Nights” promotions in the future.