World of Hyatt announced hotel award category changes for 259 hotels worldwide effective March 18, 2019 at 11:01pm CST. Overall the changes are even-handed with 130 hotels go up one category and 129 hotels go down one category.
For years I have railed about hotel loyalty programs depopulating their lowest award categories rather than redistributing hotels across their range of categories. These are the first changes I recall among Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott and SPG in past eight years where more hotels are moving into category 1 than moving out.
All in all, these changes look reasonable, even though I am disappointed to lose the last remaining category 4 hotel in San Francisco with Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf moving to category 5. That knocks out Hyatt’s downtown San Francisco options for a free night reward stay using Visa card and loyalty program e-certificates, which are limited to category 1-4 hotels. The trade-off for California is San Diego sees two hotels move from category 5 to category 4.
Since Hyatt’s website shows the hotels changing award category arranged geographically, my focus is showing readers the changes organized by award category.
18 World of Hyatt Category 1 Hotels Moving up to Category 2 on March 18, 2019
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52 World of Hyatt Category 2 Hotels Moving Down to Category 1 on March 18, 2019
39 World of Hyatt Category 2 Hotels Moving Up to Category 3 on March 18, 2019
36 World of Hyatt Category 3 Hotels Moving Down to Category 2 on March 18, 2019
34 World of Hyatt Category 3 Hotels Moving Up to Category 4 on March 18, 2019
23 World of Hyatt Category 4 Hotels Moving Down to Category 3 on March 18, 2019
18 World of Hyatt Category 4 Hotels Moving Up to Category 5 on March 18, 2019
These hotels are important to look over and decide if you want to use any category 4 limited free night certificates for a reservation before March 18, 2019. These are certificates earned for Hyatt Visa anniversary and for stays at 5 different Hyatt brands during the year.
I am sad to see Hyatt Regency Amsterdam rise to category 5. That was one of the best deals for me for a free night certificate.
World of Hyatt category 4 to 5 is a rough change due to these 18 hotels requiring 33% more points as a category 5 at 20,000 points per award night.
12 World of Hyatt Category 5 Hotels Moving Down to Category 4 on March 18, 2019
Best news for me is seeing two hotels in San Diego drop down to category 4. For many people the addition of Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach in Hawaii will be a great opportunity for certificates or 15,000 points reward nights.
17 World of Hyatt Category 5 Hotels Moving Up to Category 6 on March 18, 2019
6 World of Hyatt Category 6 Hotels Moving Down to Category 5 on March 18, 2019
Great news for visitors to New York City with 3 hotels dropping by 5,000 points.
4 World of Hyatt Category 6 Hotels Moving Up to Category 7 on March 18, 2019
All free night award and Points + Cash redemptions booked before 11:01 pm CST on Monday, March 18 will follow the current award chart, even if the hotel is shifting to a higher category that will require more points for reservations booked on or after March 18. Any free night award and Points + Cash redemptions booked on Monday, March 18 at 11:01 pm CST or after will follow the new award chart.
No Need to Rebook Existing Reservations for Hotels Dropping in Award Category
For members who have existing reservations for nights after March 18 at any hotels moving to a lower award category that will require fewer World of Hyatt points, Hyatt will proactively refund the point difference. Points will be refunded in members’ accounts starting on Tuesday, March 19. Once changes go into effect on Monday, March 18 at 11:01 pm CST, any adjustments made to existing reservations will follow the terms of the new award chart.