Every year Hyatt makes some adjustments to the award categories of their hotels. In other words, they’re not changing the number of points required for a free night in a specific category of hotel, but rather are adjusting which hotel is in which category.
Hotel categories are intended to reflect the average nightly rate and occupancy of a specific hotel, and understandably, those factors change over time, either due to local economies, hotel capacity in a particular cities, etc.
Hyatt’s last award chart category changes were in January 2015, so this year the changes are coming much later than usual.
Hyatt has just announced their 2016 award category changes, which kick in for bookings made as of August 1, 2016. You can lock in bookings now for stays after August 1 at the old rates, and similarly you can be refunded the difference in points after August 1 for stays after that date.
In total, 50 hotels are going up in category, and 56 hotels are going down in category. Hyatt has 650+ properties globally, so that means the category of ~15% of hotels is changing, though net the category of 0.5% of hotels is decreasing.
As a reminder, here’s the Hyatt Gold Passport award chart:
The following 50 hotels will be increasing in award category for bookings as of August 1, 2016:
Meanwhile the following 56 hotels will be decreasing in award category for bookings as of August 1, 2016:
When I saw the above changes I let out a sigh of relief, as I don’t consider any of the above to be “game changers.” Hyatt made some significant changes to their award chart in 2014, where they added a new Category 7 redemption, requiring 30,000 points per night (previously the most expensive redemption was 22,000 points per night). It’s nice to see that with these changes, no more hotels were added to that category.
As you can see above, a vast majority of the properties going up in price are limited service properties in the US. Meanwhile a lot of international limited service properties, as well as a good number of international properties in China and India, are going down in price.
Which properties stick out to me most among those going up in category?
- The Grand Hyatt Incheon and Grand Hyatt Santiago are going from Category 2 to Category 3, which isn’t too surprising, as the categories always seemed a bit low
- The Grand Hyatt DFW, one of the world’s best airport hotels, is going from a Category 3 to Category 4 property
- The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is going from a Category 4 to Category 5 property, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, given how expensive of a hotel market San Francisco is
The Grand Hyatt Santiago is going from a Category 2 to Category 3 property
The Grand Hyatt Incheon is going from a Category 2 to Category 3 property
As far as properties going down in price go:
- The Park Hyatt Chennai is going from a Category 2 to Category 1 property, making it the only Park Hyatt in the world to be the lowest redemption category
- The Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is going from a Category 4 to Category 3 property, which only seems fair, given that Kuala Lumpur is a pretty cheap hotel market
- The Hyatt Centric South Beach is going from a Category 6 to Category 4 property, which represents a significant drop
The Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur is going from a Category 4 to Category 3 property
Everyone is impacted by these types of award chart changes in different ways, since we all redeem points at different properties. In this instance I view the changes as a wash. And that’s awesome, because usually I get scared when I see hotels adjusting categories, since I assume the changes will be negative.
What do you make of Hyatt’s 2016 award category adjustments?
Hell of a deal on the GH Kuala Lumpur. I found it to be about as nice as the PH Shanghai.
If you book before August 1 and then need to change dates after August 1 are you forced into paying the higher category? Also, what's the longest single booking allowed? Could I book for 30 days (but I'm a Diamond guest) and then reduce number of nights to desired amount as my trip dates approach?
@ Mark -- If you change the dates later I believe they'll charge you the new rates. Also, if you book a long stay now and then shorten it, I believe it would have to be canceled and rebooked at the new rates, but I could be mistaken. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Its bad for the San Fran Bay Area, with increases in HYATT Regency SFO and Hyatt House Emeryville and Santa Clara: all were great deals at Category 2
Hmm, I may be headed back to South Beach next winter!
Grand Hyatt Hill Country Resort moving to a four is great for a Chase Hyatt annual night
Thanks for sharing - I had never seen the points rate for selecting a suite in an awards chart before!
A bit off topic but if Categories are linked to room prices then here's a bit of an anomaly.
Cat 4 Hyatt in Chicago - Hyatt Place Chicago/River North is 15,000 points but only $199 (Oct 3)
Cat 3 Hyatt in Chicago - Hyatt Place Downtown the Loop is 12,000 points but $252
Pretty much any date you chose the Cat 3 hotel is more expensive but cheaper in points.
Dave: Likewise, the 6 to 4 jump and 5 to 4 jumps are also very relevant. Really nice to have a Miami Beach Hyatt option available for free nights and under Cat6
I hate to be that guy but Chandan is right.
The cat 4 to 5 jump (esp HR SF) is especially relevant for those with the Chase Hyatt card
I hate to be that guy, but a number of properties in India and China are going down in price....
prices are going down**** for India n china . U have a typo there