Hyatt Peak Award Pricing Launches March 22, 2020

Filed Under: Hyatt
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Update: World of Hyatt has postponed these changes until 2021.

World of Hyatt is my favorite hotel loyalty program, and Globalist with them is my favorite top tier status. The program has maintained its value pretty well, though over time they have announced some changes.

In early December I wrote about how Hyatt will be introducing peak and off-peak award pricing as of March 2020, though at the time the exact date for this change hadn’t been revealed. We now have the exact details.

Hyatt Introducing Peak & Off-Peak Awards

I hinted at this in my post earlier about Hyatt’s award category changes for 2020, but as a reminder, peak and off-peak award pricing is coming to World of Hyatt as of 8:00AM CT on March 22, 2020.

Under this structure there will be three points redemption values:

  • Off-peak: Fewer points will be required during off-peak times, starting at 3,500 points per night
  • Standard: Points required during standard redemption periods will follow today’s point requirements, starting at 5,000 points per night
  • Peak: When hotels are the busiest, more points will be required for a free night, starting at 6,500 points per night

Award redemption rates are going up during peak periods

Hyatt’s New Peak & Off-Peak Award Charts

With these changes, we’re seeing peak and off-peak redemption rates introduced for free night redemptions for standard rooms, club rooms, standard suites, premium suites, and Points + Cash. On top of that, this variable pricing will also be introduced for all-inclusive properties, including Miraval.

The only types of awards that won’t see peak & off-peak pricing are room upgrades, to either club rooms or suites.

Let’s take a look at the new award charts:

New Redemption Rates For Standard Rooms

For standard room free night redemptions, we’re seeing a minimum difference of 1,500 points and a maximum difference of 5,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates:

Category 13,5005,0006,500
Category 26,5008,0009,500
Category 39,00012,00015,000
Category 412,00015,00018,000
Category 517,00020,00023,000
Category 621,00025,00029,000
Category 725,00030,00035,000
Category 835,00040,00045,000

New Redemption Rates For Club Rooms

For club room free night redemptions, we’re seeing a minimum difference of 1,500 points and a maximum difference of 5,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates:

Category 15,5007,0008,500
Category 210,50012,00013,500
Category 314,00017,00020,000
Category 418,00021,00024,000
Category 524,00027,00030,000
Category 629,00033,00037,000
Category 734,00039,00044,000
Category 845,00050,00055,000

New Redemption Rates For Standard Suites

For standard suite free night redemptions, we’re seeing a minimum difference of 1,500 points and a maximum difference of 5,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates:

Category 16,5008,0009,500
Category 211,50013,00014,500
Category 317,00020,00023,000
Category 421,00024,00027,000
Category 529,00032,00035,000
Category 636,00040,00044,000
Category 743,00048,00053,000
Category 856,00061,00066,000

New Redemption Rates For Premium Suites

For premium suite free night redemptions, we’re seeing a minimum difference of 3,000 points and a maximum difference of 10,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates:

Category 17,00010,00013,000
Category 213,00016,00019,000
Category 318,00024,00030,000
Category 424,00030,00036,000
Category 534,00040,00046,000
Category 642,00050,00058,000
Category 750,00060,00070,000
Category 870,00080,00090,000

New Redemption Rates For All-Inclusive Properties

For standard rooms at all-inclusive properties, we’re seeing a minimum difference of 3,000 points and a maximum difference of 4,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates, plus a difference of 1,500-2,000 points for an extra guest:

Category 117,00020,00023,000
Extra Person8,50010,00011,500
Category 221,00025,00029,000
Extra Person10,50012,50014,500

Meanwhile for standard suites at all-inclusive properties, we’re seeing a difference of 5,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates, plus a difference of 1,500-2,000 points for an extra guest:

Category 127,00032,00037,000
Extra Person8,50010,00011,500
Category 235,00040,00045,000
Extra Person10,50012,50014,500

New Redemption Rates For Miraval

For Miraval properties, we’re seeing a difference of 5,000-10,000 points for peak and off-peak redemptions compared to standard rates, plus a difference of 2,000-2,500 points for an extra guest:

Standard Room40,00045,00050,000
Extra Person17,50020,00022,000
Standard Suite65,00075,00085,000
Extra Person17,50020,00022,000
Premium Suite95,000105,000115,000
Extra Person17,50020,00022,000

How Will Peak & Off-Peak Dates Be Regulated?

Hyatt tells me:

  • Free night redemption rates will be identified as peak, standard, or off-peak as soon as nights are available for reservations (about 13 months in advance), and they won’t change once posted (unlike Marriott, where it’s dynamic)
  • The decision for peak and off-peak pricing is based on the geographic market, meaning that all properties within the same market will adhere to the same calendar
  • There is no minimum or maximum number of nights that a property can designate as peak or off-peak
  • The majority of days will be set to standard redemption rates each year
  • Hyatt will be introducing a calendar where members can look at award rates over a longer period of time

Hyatt isn’t doing much to regulate peak and off-peak dates

What Happens To Existing Reservations?

If a World of Hyatt member has an existing award booking for a night that changes to off-peak in March 2020, they will receive an automatic refund of the points difference. Meanwhile members won’t be charged if their existing award booking changes to peak.

If you change an award after the system goes into effect, you’ll be charged at the new award rates.

What Happens To Free Night Certificates?

Currently Hyatt issues category-specific free night certificates, some of which are valid at 1-4, 1-7, etc. These will continue to be valid at those categories, even in peak season.

Why Is Hyatt Making These Changes?

In case anyone is wondering what’s in it for World of Hyatt to switch to peak and off-peak pricing, this all comes down to the economics of hotel loyalty programs.

While Hyatt manages their portfolio of hotels, they don’t actually own a vast majority of them, but rather the hotels have individual owners, with individual profit goals.

When you redeem points at a Hyatt property, the amount that the hotel is reimbursed by the loyalty program can vary greatly:

  • If the hotel is full (or nearly full) and you’re potentially displacing a “paid” guest, World of Hyatt compensates the hotel right around the average daily rate
  • If the hotel isn’t full (and therefore you’re just occupying a room that would have otherwise been empty), World of Hyatt reimburses the hotel at a much lower cost, just a bit above the marginal cost

While peak and off-peak pricing will probably loosely reflect the seasonality of hotels, I expect it to largely reflect Hyatt’s redemption costs, which are much more about occupancy levels than rates at a given hotel.

Hyatt’s redemption rates are way higher when a hotel is full

Dining & Spa Awards Have Become More Valuable

This was also announced back in December, and is already active. As of January 29, 2020, World of Hyatt improved the value proposition of their dining and spa awards.

Specifically, you can redeem World of Hyatt points for US dollar credits towards dining, spa, and in-room purchases.

Historically this hasn’t been a good value at all. I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, and the best value proposition was being able to redeem 120,000 World of Hyatt points for a $1,000 credit. That’s like getting just ~0.83 cents per Hyatt point.

With this new program, you’re able to redeem World of Hyatt points for anywhere from 1-1.54 cents each towards spa and dining credits.

For example, you’re able to redeem 1,000 points for a $10 credit, and 65,000 points for a $1,000 credit. On the high end that’s really good, as you’re getting 1.54 cents of value per World of Hyatt point.

Being able to redeem Hyatt points towards on-property expenses right around where I value them is a solid opportunity.

Redeem points at an efficient rate for on-property benefits

Here’s the new dining and spa award chart:

Points RequiredU.S. Dollar CreditValue Per Point
1,000$101.0 Cents
2,500$251.0 Cents
5,000$501.0 Cents
7,500$751.0 Cents
8,000$1001.25 Cents
12,000$1501.25 Cents
20,000$2501.25 Cents
35,000$5001.43 Cents
65,000$1,0001.54 Cents

My Take On These Changes

It goes without saying that Hyatt’s introduction of peak and off-peak pricing will be bad news for most members. Those maximizing their hotel points are often redeeming in peak season, since that’s when you get the most value.

While this is unarguably a negative development, dare I say that I think things could have been worse? I redeem for standard room free night awards most often, and those are going up by 5,000 points per night at most.

That’s not great, though I also feel like things could have been worse. I’ll certainly still get value from World of Hyatt.

I think my bigger issue is that Hyatt isn’t regulating how many nights can be peak and off-peak. Obviously I’m concerned that some hotels will just have peak dates for half the year, standard rates the other half of the year, and no off-peak dates.

But we’ll have to wait and see how it’s implemented. I find that most Hyatt hotels act in good faith, so I don’t think that will happen, but you never know…

World of Hyatt is still a great program, in my opinion

Earning Hyatt Points Is Still Easy

One of the reasons that I find World of Hyatt to be so valuable is because of how easy the points are to come by.

First of all there are lots of credit cards that potentially earn them. In addition to being able to earn World of Hyatt points with The World of Hyatt Credit Card (review), you can also transfer over points from Ultimate Rewards. Being able to efficiently transfer credit card points to Hyatt makes a world of difference.

Earn Hyatt points

See this post for everything you need to know about earning Hyatt points with credit cards.

On top of that, Hyatt often has bonuses or discounts on purchased points. For example, right now you can purchase Hyatt points for ~1.8 cents each thanks to a 25% discount.

Bottom Line

Hyatt is introducing peak award pricing as of March 22, 2020, which is ultimately bad news. The most popular redemption periods will go up in price, while we’ll see the cost of some (less popular) redemptions go down.

Also as of that day, World of Hyatt will be making their 2020 category changes, as we’ll see the cost of 217 World of Hyatt properties change, with 117 going up in price, and 100 going down in price.

I do feel like changes could have been worse, though who knows what else will eventually come from World of Hyatt.

On the plus side, being able to redeem Hyatt points for over 1.5 cents each in some cases towards on-property dining and spa credits is an opportunity that many may find valuable.

What do you make of these World of Hyatt changes?

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  1. Excited for the Andaz Maui to have 181 peak days, one off-peak day, and 183 standard days where no award space is available!

  2. One slight clarification. You write, “I’m concerned that some hotels will just choose to be peak for half the year, and have no off-peak dates.”

    It’s Hyatt that determines which dates are peak (based largely on their expectations about occupancy and therefore cost to the program, as you observe), not individual hotels making the decision.

  3. Compared to how this could have been implemented, I think this is pretty fair. And it’s very gracious to refund points if you’ve booked higher then off-peak while not demanding more points if you’ve booked and are paying less than peak.

  4. How do the dining and spa credits work? Can you apply WOH points to hotel charges at checkout, or is it something done before or after that?


  5. The decision for peak and off-peak pricing is based on the geographic market, meaning that all properties within the same market will adhere to the same calendar

    There is no minimum or maximum number of nights that a property can designate as peak or off-peak

    The majority of days will be set to standard redemption rates each year

    The first two points can’t both be true. If the calendar is being determined geographically, then individual properties are not designating peak and off-peak days. Also, points two and three can’t both be true since point three establishes a maximum for peak and off-peak together of 182 days (or, just less than half the year).

  6. @ Raylan — I followed up on this, and certificates will continue to be valid at the same category hotels, even in peak season. Great question, and thanks for asking it.

  7. “–There is no minimum or maximum number of nights that a property can designate as peak or off-peak
    –The majority of days will be set to standard redemption rates each year”

    That is contradictory. Assuming the second bullet is accurate, the max nights would be 182 per year.

  8. @ AJK — I can read. I am asking about an award I book today for, say, next May. Is it possible that the Standard price offered yesterday is Peak today?

  9. While I don’t love it, I have a lot more trust in Hyatt than say, oh I don’t know, Marriott to do right.

    Making their certs valid on peak Cat 4 is a good sign. Unlike, you know, Marriott, who screwed us with the 35k point cap.

  10. @ Gene:

    Obviously. But it isn’t a “no-notice change” if (i) no change occurs until March 2020 (i.e., there is no peak/off-peak until then), and (ii), more appropriately in your hypothetical, in March 2020, they’re going to refund you if it goes down or decline to charge you if it goes up.

  11. Every time I see a headline with Hyatt in the title, I get a little squeamish. Glad to see these changes are fair and reasonable. Agree with some previous comments – very glad they are keeping Cat 1-4 certs to be based on category and not point cost (looking at you, Marriott).

  12. It would only be fair if they also fix the award inventory/standard suite availability game played by various properties…

  13. Using Florida/Hawaii as an example, why wouldn’t Hyatt have half the year at high season and the rest of the year at standard (by one day, so they hold true to their point that majority of nights will be standard). It makes sense right, since there’s never really a low season in Florida or Hawaii, only high and standard.

    Most people aren’t redeeming points in low season, but rather other times of year when they actually want to travel for leisure and save money by using points. This is nothing more than a devaluation for those that travel peak season.

    And for those that do travel for leisure in low season, are they really going to take advantage of low point costs in Chicago during winter…or are they just going to book a room for the $100 a night that rates typically are during that time.

  14. This change is not excessive or unreasonable. The basic promises and benefits of the WoH program are still in place. And actually, this may simply formalize something that I’ve occasionally noticed at properties like the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai and the Huntington Beach Hyatt Resort & Spa. Sometimes when I’ve searched awards availability around very busy weekends, I’ve been offered an awards room, but it has required a greater-than-normal amount of points to book.

    That all said, my advice to the World of Hyatt administrators is that the great strength of its program vs. competing hotel loyaly programs is its consistency. As a Hyatt credit card customer, I know what the points I earn will be worth. That understanding encourages me to spend money on my Hyatt credit card. As someone who stays a lot of nights in Hyatt hotels, I know what that loyalty will earn me. That encourages me to spend more night in Hyatt hotels: I derive real value from my stays. I think everyone wins if the rules are understandable and if the program is consistent in its rewards and expectations.

  15. @Gary Leff – I can’t seem to find where it says that Hyatt themselves will determine which dates are peak? I know it says it’s based upon geography, but that could also mean that, for example, all Tokyo area hotels meet and decide which days are peak, rather than Hyatt. Can you please confirm where you saw that? I may have just missed it, thanks!

    Also – as others in this thread are saying: these changes are not that bad (and they even softened the blow with points back if your existing award stay becomes off-peak with the change). With all these changes to World of Hyatt, new partnerships, and purchases, I figured we’d see an award chart massacre. I still find Hyatt to have the best bang for your buck as far as redeeming *only* 30k points for some extremely aspirational hotels. Still a big Hyatt loyalist!

  16. @Kendor when you saw the greater-than-normal amount of points to book a room you were probably being offered a club room or suite as that was all the hotel had available. It’s not the hotel playing games. Hyatt hotels have never been able to play games with point redemption *cost*. Availability, yes, but cost, no.

  17. So many lemmings here are ok with yet another devaluation. This renders the the Hyatt CC useless imo. The race to the bottom for points programs continues. The golden age of travel hacking is over.

  18. With Marriott, I’m seeing most weekend nights are priced at peak. If that’ll be the case with Hyatt too, then Hyatt Free Night Certificates just got more valuable post March 2020. (Too bad they always expire within 6-12 months)!

  19. Like many others say, the changes aren’t too upsetting and the peak prices are fairly reasonable – it’s not a crazy increase compared to standard awards. I also like to travel off season so actually this is pretty good news for me, means I’m going to use less points. Thanks for the comprehensive article!

  20. I use Hyatt points at Zilara, which is arguably the best use of points if you have interest in all inclusive (25k points for 2 people for a 600/nt room). SO this devaluation is no bueno

  21. May seem fair if you have a points earning card but they’ve not released their credit card to UK customers so this is just making it even harder for UK customers.

  22. Super sez: @”I still find Hyatt to have the best bang for your buck as far as redeeming *only* 30k points for some extremely aspirational hotels. ”

    Would you believe that your “*only* 30K” WoH points are no different than redeeming *only* about 95K HH points “for some extremely aspirational hotels”? Got another reason for claiming “Hyatt to have the best bang for your buck”? 😉

  23. 1. Could have been much much worse.

    2. @MR. The new redemption option at 1.54cpm for on property expenses essentially creates a floor value around 1.5c. I for one really welcome this option and it almost outweighs the negative changes of the peak pricing.

    3. For those saying travel hacking is dead. Just remember, we are in the golden age of points generating for spend. Chase offering 3x on Reserve and 5x on Ink Biz makes it so easy to accumulate Hyatt points.

  24. “Down goes Hyatt—he’s down—not getting up—it’s over”. Ding ding ding. Whatever shall we do now?

  25. This is fine with me. I try to avoid the high season anyway because I hate tourists and kids. I’m looking forward to some off-peak rates.

  26. Is there any means to find category and peak/standard/off-peak lists from Hyatt? I have to assume these are set on a specific date so do they have charts that will highlight how to find these?

  27. This stinks. Marriott is terrible. This sounds very Marriott like.

    I don’t really care about a single certificate. I want value above the standard chase portal redemption rate.

  28. I just booked 8 nights in 3 different hotels in Japan for the first 2 weeks in March using points. Good to know they won’t jack up the points required.

  29. Ben: Don’t forget to take this development into account when calculating the Hyatt Points values. It can devalue the Hyatt Points values greatly. I am thinking of using up my points before March that they introducing this change.

  30. This really isn’t a big deal. I mean, yes, your points will be worth less, but it’s really a minor devaluation in my opinion when comparing peak to standard nights. Heck, maybe you’ll get luck and get an off peak night.

  31. For instance, if you look at a Category 4 hotel going for, normally, $250 per night. Then it’s 1.4 vs 1.7 cpp. Still a decent redemption rate (unless you’re a CSR user).

    But I’m staying at a couple Hyatt’s in Tokyo in March and my valuation is well over 3cpp for each. This minor devaluation ain’t going to make me upset.

  32. 3,500 pt off-peak means people who are short of the 60 nights can “pay points” to hit their status for the year. If say, 10 nights short, 35,000 points (or $525) can get you up to the highest status level if you can find it. Cha-ching!

  33. So just to be clear at check out I could request 65000 points deducted from my account to get the $1000 credit ? Or does it work a different way? Thanks

  34. @Ben, yes one could do that. There was a great piece from Miles to Memories earlier today, which explained the hacking you can do if you have the WoH credit card. After March 22, you have the opportunity to earn exactly 20 elite qualifying nights for 2,000 WoH points a night if max out the current promotion. It is not easy though, because you need to have more than one category 1 hotels near you that are priced at off-peak rates of 3,500 per night and you will receive a 1,500 bonus per stay. So you need to book one night stays and then move properties since consecutive nights, even when booked separately, don’t count as multiple stays.

    @Lucky, not even my Globalist Concierge could answer my question and told me she would get back to me with an answer as soon as possible, but maybe you know. Let’s hypothetically say that I have booked a category 4 standard hotel today for 15,000 but that hotel will move to category 3 on March 22nd. I should be refunded the difference of 3,000 points. However, what if Hyatt on March 22nd also determined that I am staying during a peak period? Will I still receive 3,000 points back because I booked a “standard rate”, which is now lower or will I not receive any points back because a category 3 hotel also is 15,000 during peak days?

  35. @HChris – suppose it’ll depend on what regions/times are off-peak, but I have 5 or so that are Cat 1 and maybe 15 mins or less out of my way on my daily commute. I’ll be very tempted to level up, depending on where I am in my qualification at both 2k and 3.5k.

  36. Is there a date when Hyatt will release its peak/off-peak calendar — other than on March 22? In other words, will be get an opportunity to book peak days at current prices before then?

  37. @ iahphx. Bingo. I absolutely want to know this as well. Super important to know this in advance of March 22. @lucky Can you find this out from Hyatt?

  38. Only one person noticed the biggest devaluation here… all inclusive properties getting hit with a fairly hefty ~10k for extra person charge. That did not exist before, the Ziva in Cabo I left yesterday is going from 20k to 30k for most normal people who have a guest. Is it going to 50k for a man with a wife and two kids? That would be very bad.

  39. This “hobby” has lost its allure for me. Closing cards, burning the points I have left, and going cash back. It’s been fun. But, not fun anymore. To everyone else, keep on keeping on. I’m tired of it.

  40. @HChris that piece on Miles to Memories was horribly misleading. Almost no WoH members have the (geographic) ability to switch among different “off peak” Cat 1 hotels in the same weekend.

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