Kudos to Hyatt for delivering some good news after weeks of devaluation nonsense from the major programs. Starting January 7, 2014 (the same day the Gold Passport devaluation takes effect), Hyatt will introduce some positive changes that will counteract some of the negatives of D-day:
Points + Cash. Programs like Starwood, IHG, and even Hilton offer points + cash for those times when you don’t quite have enough points for a redemption. Some people choose points + cash to stretch their award balances further. Whether this option presents a good value really depends on the cash rate of the hotel and your own budget.
|Hotel Category||Points Required for Standard Rooms||Points + Cash Required for Standard Rooms
|1||5,000||2,500 + $50 USD|
|2||8,000||4,000 + $55 USD|
|3||12,000||6,000 + $75 USD|
|4||15,000||7,500 + $100 USD|
|5||20,000||10,000 + $125 USD|
|6||25,000||12,500 + $150 USD|
|7||30,000||15,000 + $300 USD|
Thinking of a few hotels in each category and being familiar with their rates, I don’t anticipate that I’ll be using Hyatt’s Points + Cash option any time soon. That is, of course, unless I hit it big in the affiliate game and decide $300 per night is a great way to “upgrade” a 15,000 nightly redemption to the Category 7 Park Hyatt hotel. Keep in mind that these rates apply to standard rooms only.
20% Discount for Gold Passport Elites. Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members will receive 20% off the Hyatt Daily rate on standard rooms. This is actually a nice year-round benefit, and certainly a nice incentive for mattress running. The benefits for Diamond members were already generous, but this is especially great for Platinum members.
Extended Inactivity Period. Currently, members forfeit their point balances and face account closure after 12 months of inactivity. Starting January 7, the inactivity period will be extended to 24 months. I don’t like the idea of point expiration/account closures to begin with, but at least this is a step towards making that policy a bit more fair for customers.
What are your thoughts on Hyatt’s attempt to balance the devaluation out with new benefits?
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