Hyatt Gold Passport will introduce Points + Cash awards on January 7, 2014 for all seven award categories. Best of all is Points + Cash awards will qualify for Hyatt Gold Passport promotions and elite credits. This is the main development of an announcement with two other new benefits launching Jan 7.
January 7, 2014 Hyatt Gold Passport program changes: (Hyatt website link)
- Cash & Points Awards (elite qualifying stays and nights). Capacity controlled.
- 20% discount My Elite Rate available for Platinum and Diamond members. Discount based on Hyatt Daily Rate. Capacity controlled.
- 24-month points expiration extended from 12 months.
Points + Cash Awards
Hyatt has published an award table for Points + Cash requiring 50% points of a standard room award + a cash component from $50 to $300.
Call 1-800-228-3360 in the U.S. or Canada or your nearest Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center to book your nights with Points + Cash.
Points + Cash awards are not available at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva or Mlife properties.
The major drawback of Hyatt’s Points + Cash is the inability to book these rates online.
Primary benefits of Points + Cash awards is these award stays:
- Earn Hyatt Gold Passport promotion credit as “eligible” stays.
- Earn elite qualifying credit as “eligible” stays.
- Earn base points on the cash portion of a Points + Cash award stay.
Only the Points + Cash award stays will be elite-qualifying stays. Hyatt Standard Award stays will not count for elite credit as they do with Choice, Hilton, IHG and Starwood. Hyatt is following the Club Carlson model in this respect with Points + Cash awards and not Standard Awards earning points and elite credit.
4. If a member chooses to receive Hyatt Gold Passport points for his/her stay, such member will earn five Hyatt Gold Passport points for each whole U.S. dollar or U.S. dollar equivalent spent by the member on Eligible Rates. An “Eligible Rate” shall be defined as any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to rates found on hyatt.com, the Hyatt Daily Rate, Volume Account Rates, AAA and Senior Citizen rates and Points + Cash awards. A portion of an Eligible Rate may reflect taxes, service charges, gratuities, and third-party charges for certain included items, and those costs may not be eligible for Hyatt Gold Passport points. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays,
Hyatt Gold Passport T&C – Earning Gold Passport Points as a Registered Guest
The Hyatt Gold Passport program offers two elite membership tiers – Platinum and Diamond.
1. To receive credit toward Hyatt Gold Passport tier status, a member must pay an Eligible Rate for at least one night of their stay. A stay is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at one property. Back-to-back stays within a 24-hour period at a single Hyatt are considered one stay. A member will not receive Hyatt Gold Passport credit toward tier status or toward any promotion for the nights the member pays an Ineligible Rate. A Hyatt Gold Passport member will only receive eligible tier credit for qualifying stays or nights after the member completes their stay and is checked out of the hotel.
Hyatt Gold Passport T&C – Platinum and Diamond Membership
9. Points + Cash awards are subject to availability and reservations using these awards must be made in advance by calling a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center. Member must pay the Points + Cash rate and redeem required point value to redeem award. Room rate is based on double occupancy and standard guestroom accommodations, unless otherwise noted. Limited number of rooms may be allocated for these awards, and availability may vary by hotel. Points + Cash awards are not valid at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva or M life resorts. Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events.
Hyatt Gold Passport T&C – Redeeming Points for Hyatt Gold Passport Awards
Points + Cash is essentially a way to save 50% of points by paying a cash component to buy the points of a standard award. The added benefit being the cash portion paid for the award stay earns 5 points/$1, elite bonus points, and counts as an eligible stay, thereby earning elite credit and stay/night credit for Hyatt Gold Passport seasonal promotions.
Cash & Points Awards are like buying discount points from Hyatt
- Category 1: $50 saves 2,500 points = $20.00/1,000 points copay.
- Category 2: $55 saves 4,000 points = $13.75/1,000 points copay.
- Category 3: $75 saves 6,000 points = $12.50/1,000 points copay.
- Category 4: $100 saves 7,500 points = $13.33/1,000 points copay.
- Category 5: $125 saves 10,000 points = $12.50/1,000 points copay.
- Category 6: $150 saves 12,500 points = $12.00/1,000 points copay.
- Category 7: $300 saves 15,000 points = $20.00/1,000 points copay.
Category 3-6 hotel Points + Cash awards are the sweet spot in this chart.
Category 1 and 7 is essentially paying $20 per 1,000 points. This may still be a big discount compared to the published rate, however, $20 per 1,000 points is the common discount price on the regular price to buy points from Hyatt during their periodic sales each year. While the price of points is not a bargain on Category 1 or 7 hotels, the ability to book numerous Points + Cash stays throughout the year is a better savings opportunity than buying 40,000 points per year. And there is now more incentive to buy Hyatt points, even at the $24 per 1,000 points price, to book Points + Cash stays that earn elite credit, promotional credit and points on cash portion paid.
The advantage of Hyatt Points + Cash Awards is the ability to stretch your points for more award nights.
4. Can I book Points + Cash awards online?
No, Points + Cash awards can only be booked by calling 1-800-228-3360 in the U.S. and Canada or a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center.
5. When will the points portion of a Points + Cash award be taken out of my Hyatt Gold Passport account?
The points portion of a Points + Cash award will be taken out of a Hyatt Gold Passport account at the time of booking.
6. If I cancel my Points + Cash award will the points be deposited back into my account?
Yes, if a Points + Cash award reservation is cancelled, in accordance with the hotel’s cancellation policy, the points used will be returned into the member’s Hyatt Gold Passport account.
7. When will I be charged the cash portion of a Points + Cash award?
The cash portion of a Points + Cash award will be charged directly to the member by the hotel at the time of checkout.
My Elite Rate should be equivalent to what are now Advanced Purchase rates for members and provide a better discount than 10% AAA rate discounts.
My Elite Rate 20% discount for Platinum and Gold members
Once you’re logged in to your Hyatt Gold Passport account on hyatt.com, look for the My Elite Rate or simply request it when you book a reservation through a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center. The My Elite Rate must be booked at the time of reservation. These rates will be available January 7, 2014.
Is the My Elite Rate an Eligible Rate?
Yes, the My Elite Rate is an Eligible Rate, and members can earn points for this rate as well as credit toward elite tier status and promotions. New 2014 Hyatt Benefits FAQ.
24-Month Points Expiration
Hyatt Gold Passport is increasing the number of months that an account may have no activity before being closed from twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) months. Starting January 7, 2014, an account that accrues no activity for 24 consecutive months will be closed and all Hyatt Gold Passport points in that account will be forfeited. The earliest that an account can be closed under this new policy is January 7, 2016.
9. How can I maintain an active Hyatt Gold Passport account?
There are a number of ways to keep your membership active:
- Earn or redeem Hyatt Gold Passport points via authorized means, including for stays at Hyatt hotels and resorts, dining and spa treatments, and stays at participating M life properties
- Purchase or combine points, transfer Free Night Awards or convert points to miles
- Maintain a Hyatt Credit Card account
- Earn credits with a Travel Partner or receive M life Tier Credits for stays at a Hyatt property.
Points expiration is generally not too much a concern for most hotel loyalty programs. I went several years without any Marriott Rewards account activity and never lost my points or account.
Hilton has closed my account once before for inactivity even though I had earned and burned over 2,000,000 HHonors points in the prior decade.
My last Hilton stay was December 2012 at Conrad Miami and Hilton HHonors sent me an email three weeks ago saying I will lose all my points if I do not have activity by late December 2013.
Hyatt says no accounts will be closed prior to January 7, 2016. So check out ways to extend your account activity. The Hyatt Credit Card confers Platinum elite with the new benefit of 20% off rates in 2014. And Hyatt allows guests to earn points for dining and spa charges at many participating Hyatt Hotels, even when not a registered guest.
Overall View of Hyatt Gold Passport 2014 Changes
My thoughts on Hyatt changes are the Points + Cash awards will be a significant option for Hyatt Hotel stays to reduce the cost of some high-priced hotels. Points + Cash with the ability to earn promotion and elite credit is definitely a favorable award option over Standard Awards.
Bottom line is I view my Hyatt Gold Passport points as having more value in 2014 than they do now, despite the addition of category 7 and an increase in price for category 5 and 6 award nights.
Related Post: Hyatt Gold Passport 2014 Award Chart Changes adds category 7 and raises points cost (November 11, 2013).
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.