Recently, Hyatt announced changes to the World of Hyatt program with regards to points + cash redemptions starting November 1, 2018. If you are unfamiliar with points + cash, it was a great way to redeem points while paying for a hotel to preserve the amount of points you have and reduce your out of pocket costs. Over the years, we’ve used points + cash often through SPG (now Marriott) and Hyatt. Thankfully, Hyatt will still offer points + cash, but it might become more difficult to find those outstanding deals. In this post, we will share information about the World of Hyatt points + cash changes and some tips to help maximize value when using this type of redemption.
The Old Hyatt Points + Cash:
Under the old system, the number of points and cash per night for a standard room were determined by a chart based on the “Hotel Category”.
For us, we found we got the best value for hotel stays at category 1-5 hotels, especially in Asia where really luxurious hotels were categorized lower than what they would be in North America and Europe. The great thing was that our points + cash stays counted towards our World of Hyatt status before the program changed and allowed full point stays to be counted too.
The New Hyatt Points + Cash:
Starting November 1, Hyatt will offer points + cash redemptions for standard rooms, suites and premium suites. The number of points are determined by a chart based on the “Hotel Category” and the cash per night for a standard room, a standard suite or premium suite will be 50% of that room’s rate.
Tips to Book World of Hyatt Redemptions:
If anything, these changes will make the calculation to decide what the best value is a little more difficult. Here are a few tips to help you maximize your points + cash redemptions:
- Secure them prior to November 1, 2018: Points + cash redemptions are capacity controlled by the hotel but you might be lucky and be able to book your stays at the current rates now. This is what we did for our planned stay for the Park Hyatt Mallorca.
- Consider Seasonality: We often use points when the cost of rooms is high due to the fixed cash portion but now we foresee the cash portion going up significantly. The Hyatt Regency is Vancouver is a category 3 hotel and a free night is redeemable at 12,000 points if they release rooms. Under the old program, a points + cash stay would cost you 6,000 points + $75USD making it an outstanding deal during the summer when hotels fetch prices of $500USD or more. Based on the price of a standard room of $400, the new points + cash rate will be 6,000 points +$200USD. In this case, you may just want to redeem using points only.
- Hotels with Low Standard Rates: If you can find a hotel with a standard rate that’s close to what the rate was in the old program, you should still use points + cash, if you want. I think this will be possible for hotels in category 1-3 depending on the time of the year.
In the end, this is a devaluation: most points + cash redemptions will cost you more money starting November 1 than they did prior. That being said, it wasn’t always possible to find points + cash redemptions based on what was released by hotels. There will still be deals but there will be less of them.
I also foresee points + cash to end up being a thing of the past now that Starwood has merged with Marriott and that Marriott has done away with cash + points in the new program. As much as we appreciate the World of Hyatt program and have benefited from it, all these changes paired with a limited hotel network across the globe, we’ve been less loyal to Hyatt in the last 2 years and have moved to other programs. Let’s wait and see what changes, especially now that Hyatt has acquired Two Roads Hospitality and their 850+ hotels!
Have you ever used World of Hyatt points + cash stays? Will these changes make you more likely to use only points or give up on the World of Hyatt program?
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