Hyatt changed Points+Cash reward nights on Nov 1, 2018 from a fixed copay to a variable copay amount set at 50% of the Standard Flexible Rate. In most cases this increases the cost of Points+Cash reward nights at low level hotels as seen in my analysis of Category 1 and 2 hotels and category 3 and 4 hotels, where Standard Reward Nights generally provide the better redemption value for Hyatt points.
This article looks at Points+Cash reward nights for Hyatt category 5 hotels.
World of Hyatt Category 5 Hotels
Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile provides an example where the new Points+Cash reward chart provides a much lower copay amount for this category 5 hotel on a December date when rates are relatively low and the Standard rate is $145 per night.
Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile is a category 5 hotel at 20,000 points per night for a standard reward. This hotel has a very low midweek rate in early December 2018 when $148 all-in buys a King Bed High Floor room.
Contrast $148 to pay for the room and earn Hyatt points to 20,000 points per night for a Standard Reward night. Hyatt points redemption value is a very poor $7.40 per 1,000 points.
This is a bad deal as someone who wants to get about $20 or more per 1,000 Hyatt points I redeem for a hotel.
Hyatt Points+Cash is 10,000 points + $85.12 for a King Room with ADA Tub. I consider that a downgrade room to the High Floor King Room, although it might be that the ADA King is on a high floor too. Not enough information to determine.
Hyatt Points+Cash is even worse redemption value with 10,000 points only saving $63 for a redemption value of $6.30 per 1,000 points.
Bottom Line: For high category hotels where a low room rate results in a lower Points+Cash rate than previously offered in the old fixed copay award chart, the points redemption value is also low and likely too low to offer a good redemption value for your Hyatt points.
Hyatt Regency Chicago Magnificent Mile would have cost 10,000 points + $125 or $146.76 after tax under the old Points+Cash reward chart and is 10,000 points + $85.12 under the new 50% copay Points+Cash reward chart. The old chart was obviously a bad choice considering you would have paid 10,000 points to save $1.00 on the advance purchase room rate. The new chart is still a poor use of points to spend 10,000 points and save less than $7 per 1,000 points redeemed.
Hyatt Category 5 Park Hyatt Melbourne, Australia
Rates shown in images are US Dollars.
Hyatt Standard Rate King Bed = $307.97 USD.
Hyatt Points + Cash reward = 10,000 points + $153.99 USD.
In this example, the points redemption value is the same for both Points+Cash or Standard Reward at $15.40 per 1,000 points. That is a reasonable redemption value, but still lower than I would want for my Hyatt points.
Is there a Sweet Spot for Hyatt Points + Cash?
There is a range of room rates where the redemption value of points used for a Points+ Cash reward will hit $20 per 1,000 points.
A Standard room rate around $400 per night would mean a Points + Cash $200 copay and redeem 10,000 points to save about $200. This would be a more expensive room than last month when the copay would have been $125, but that is now irrelevant in the new World of Hyatt order.
Points + Cash award availability is the issue that may prevent this kind of redemption value. Two category 5 hotels I checked with room rates over $400 USD per night were Hyatt Regency Sydney, Australia and Park Hyatt Mallorca, Spain. Neither of these hotels offered Points+Cash reward nights on dates I checked when rates priced over $400 USD.
My general conclusion after examining hotels in Hyatt Categories 1-5 is Hyatt’s new Points+Cash Reward program is effectively a neutered reward option for good points value. Just about every hotel situation I have examined shows Hyatt Standard Rewards offer better redemption value than Points+Cash reward stays.