Hyatt Gold Passport has been the most member friendly program the past few years regarding notification of changes to award categories for hotels. Hyatt has given members six weeks notice that 17 hotels, about 3% of Hyatt brand hotels globally, will change category on February 7, 2013.
Seven hotels increase category level on February 7, 2013.
Overall to only see seven Hyatt hotels rise in award category is a good outlook for 2013.
Hyatt House San Ramon is a San Francisco Far East Bay Area hotel and these I-680 corporate corridor hotels are generally high-priced during weekdays.
Hyatt House San Ramon Jan 15-18 is $553.30 after tax for a nonrefundable rate or 15,000 points for a 3-night award stay. That is an astounding $37 per 1,000 points value for Hyatt Golf Passport points. After Feb 7 the value on the Category 2 award drops to $23 per 1,000 points which is an average redemption value. This hotel is an example of the great savings found in some areas where business hotel rates drive the price up too high for leisure travelers. Points are handy in a place like this.
Hyatt Santa Barbara is a vacation location and California tourism is growing now along with hotel rates. Changing from category 3 at 12,000 points to category 4 at 15,000 points is not unexpected.
Hyatt 48LEX New York rising from category 4 to 5 makes this hotel unavailable the Hyatt Visa anniversary free night certificate only valid for category 1 to 4 hotels.
10 Hotels Drop in Award Category on February 7, 2013
The two Park Hyatt hotels stand out here. Park Hyatt Toronto drops to category 4 making this hotel available for Hyatt Visa free night certificate.
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort is the southern California Carlsbad beach resort that rebranded from Four Seasons a couple years ago. Dropping to category 5 reduces this hotel award by 4,000 points per night. Rates in San Diego area appear to me to have dropped in 2012. What’s up with that change? San Francisco has seen one of the strongest rate increases in the country this year.
Hyatt has a comprehensive FAQ regarding the impact of hotel category changes on award reservations. Hyatt handles the changes in a member-friendly way. The charts above come from the FAQ page.
Here are key components:
What are the current point redemption values for each free night award category?
Category 1 = 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
Category 2 = 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
Category 3 = 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
Category 4 = 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
Category 5 = 18,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
Category 6 = 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points
For free night award redemption reservations made before February 7, 2013, which award chart will be effective?
All free night award redemptions booked before February 7, 2013 will follow the current Award Chart. For example, if you book an award night prior to February 7, 2013 for a stay that occurs on February 7, 2013 or after, the current Award Chart will apply. Any free night award redemptions booked on February 7, 2013 or after will follow the new Award Chart.
How will award nights booked prior to February 7, 2013 be impacted if the hotel I am staying at now requires more or fewer points?
Redemptions for Hotels Moving to a Higher Category
Any award night booked at a property prior to February 7, 2013 that is shifting to a higher category on February 7, 2013 and requires more points will not be affected.
Reservations will remain in place at the original point level. For example, an award night booked at a Category 1 hotel for 5,000 points before February 7, 2013 that is moving to a Category 2 hotel for 8,000 points on February 7, 2013, will remain at 5,000 points.
Redemptions for Hotels Moving to a Lower Category
A member who books an award night at a property prior to February 7, 2013 that is shifting to a lower category on February 7, 2013 and requires fewer points will receive an adjustment. Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account.
For example, a member with an award night booked before February 7, 2013 for a Category 2 hotel for 8,000 points that is moving to a Category 1 hotel for 5,000 points on February 7, 2013, will receive 3,000 points returned to his/her account. Points will be deposited into a member’s account after February 7, 2013.
After February 7, 2013, how will Hyatt handle modifications to existing reservations?
Any award night reservations booked before February 7, 2013, for dates after February 7, 2013, can be modified through March 15, 2013 – following the terms of the current Award Chart. Any modifications made to these reservations after March 15, 2013 will follow the terms of the new Award Chart, effective February 7, 2013.