Six year look at Hyatt category changes 2009-2014

Hotel reward category determines how many points are needed for a free night using hotel loyalty points. This post looks at the shift in Hyatt Gold Passport hotels in hotel reward categories from 2009 to 2015.

When I started tracking the hotel reward category distribution of hotels in major hotel loyalty programs in 2008, Hyatt and Marriott had the most favorable hotel category distribution for low cost award nights at low category hotels. In 2009, I wrote an article comparing hotel category reward distribution across different hotel chains with a focus on Hyatt Gold Passport.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Hotels Redemption Category Hotel Distribution (Nov 6, 2009)

There were only five Hyatt Gold Passport reward categories in 2009 for 393 Hyatt brand hotels. There are seven categories in 2015 with 599 Hyatt brand hotels worldwide.

Hyatt Gold Passport 2015 category distribution

Great news: The proportion of category 1 hotels at 5,000 points per night has increased 25% from 18% of all Hyatt brand hotels worldwide in 2009 to 22.5% over the past five years. While the number of Hyatt brand hotels increased 50% from 393 to 599 hotels over the past five years, the number of category 1 hotels almost doubled from 71 hotels in 2009 to 135 hotels in 2015.

Bad news: Hyatt Gold Passport Category 2 hotels has dropped proportionally from 42% of 393 Hyatt Hotels in 2009 to 33% of 599 hotels in 2015. There are 200 category 2 hotels in 2015 with 34 more category 2 hotels in 2015 than the 166 hotels in 2009, yet the proportion of category 2 hotels has dropped. Category 1 and 2 hotels were over 60% of all Hyatt hotels in 2009 and that percentage has dropped slightly to 56% in 2015.

Good news: Hyatt added more than 200 hotels in the past five years and about 50% of those hotels are in category 1 and 2 where the total number of hotels grew from 237 hotels in 2009 to 335 hotels in 2015.

Category 3, 4 and 5 hotels in 2015 are not too different proportionally from 2009 when they comprised 40% of Hyatt brand hotels. In 2015 these three mid-tier categories hold nearly 38% of Hyatt brand hotels.

Category 6 and 7 are the major changes to the program since 2009 when these two Hyatt Gold Passport categories did not exist. Category 5 hotels were the highest category hotel reward in Hyatt Gold Passport at 15,000 points per night in 2009.

Category 5 held 25 hotels out of 393 hotels worldwide or 6.4% of Hyatt brand hotels in 2009.

In 2015, there are 39 hotels in Hyatt Gold Passport category 6 and category 7 hotel rewards for 6.5% of 599 hotels.

The distribution of hotels in Hyatt Gold Passport’s seven reward categories is not greatly different in 2015 than in 2009, with the caveat that category 7 hotels are 30,000 points per night and category 6 hotels are 25,000 points per night rather than 15,000 points as category 5 hotels. Many of the hotels in category 6 and category 7 today were category 5 hotels in 2009.

Hyatt Gold Passport Points + Cash rates are the biggest change to reward nights using points.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Gold Passport Category 7 and Points + Cash Awards begin today for 2014 (Jan 7, 2014)

Hyatt Gold Passport maintained consumer friendly category distribution over the past five years. Marriott Rewards as the other hotel loyalty program with a large proportion of hotels in low reward categories in 2009 may be a different story.

Marriott has made major shifts upward in Marriott Rewards hotel category distribution over the past three years. These changes have resulted in a huge devaluation in free night certificates earned for Marriott Rewards Visa card membership and MegaBonus free night certificates limited to either category 4 or category 5 hotels as many of these hotels have risen to category 5, 6 and 7. I’ll update the shift in Marriott Rewards hotel reward category distribution after the March 19 changes. I have a feeling the category distribution for Marriott will show noticeably different proportions in 2015 compared to 2009.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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