Why Hyatt’s award pricing update was my favorite loyalty program change of 2022

It’s almost never exciting news when a company announces changes to their loyalty program. While most travel awards enthusiasts expect regular devaluations of their favorite award redemptions, the news of this happening isn’t usually greeted with open arms. In turn, my mantra has always been to “earn and burn” my points as much as possible because I know if I hold onto them for too long I will eventually need more points to redeem.

When World of Hyatt announced that it would be moving from a standard award table (where each night in the same category costs the same number of points) to peak, standard, and off-peak rates, the change was not well received. Many, including myself, thought this might mean that most nights are billed at peak rates and there are few standard or secondary transit points.

I’m glad that wasn’t the case. Because of this, World of Hyatt’s award pricing change was my favorite update of 2022.

Course of introduction of peak and off-peak prices

Hyatt originally announced news of a change in peak and off-peak rates back in 2019, due to roll out in 2020.

However, the hotel group delayed the introduction of the new prices due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ultimately, these price changes went into effect in October 2021 for stays beginning in March 2022. Here’s a look at Hyatt’s award table:

hotel category Low tariff points per night Standard points per night Peak points per night
1 3,500. 5,000. 6,500.
2 6,500. 8,000. 9,500.
3 9,000. 12,000. 15,000.
4 12,000. 15,000. 18,000.
5 17,000. 20,000. 23,000.
6 21,000. 25,000. 29,000.
7 25,000. 30,000. 35,000.
8th 35,000. 40,000. 45,000.

Unfortunately, there was another Hyatt devaluation in March 2022 when many hotels switched categories, with 70 hotels moving to higher categories. This change hit some of the more sophisticated hotels particularly hard, with nine hotels being moved from Category 7 to Category 8.

With the move to peak and off-peak rates, Hyatt said most hotel award nights would still be offered at standard rates, but I know I wasn’t alone in my initial skepticism.

See also: TPG Special Analysis: How Hyatt’s Peak and Off-peak Rates Changed Average Premium Rates

expansion points further

The Andaz Costa Rica. SOMMER HULL/THE POINTS GUY

The best result of the rate update is that I’ve been able to further extend my points by booking award nights on off-peak days. If I use fewer points to book off-peak award nights, I can redeem more or stay longer.

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I’m fortunate to usually have some flexibility in my travel plans – either in terms of dates or destination. I was able to maximize this flexibility by using Hyatt’s points calendar to find dates with off-peak rates. The only bad thing about the calendar is that just because it shows an off-peak point rate doesn’t mean there’s availability. If a hotel I’m looking at doesn’t have off-peak rates or availability at the time I want to travel, I either look for other dates or a different destination.

I decided to travel to Costa Rica during the rainy season this year, which luckily coincided with off-peak rates at some Hyatt hotels. I booked two nights at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort on the Papagayo Peninsula and three nights at the Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa, both Category 5 hotels, for 17,000 points per night. Even though it was the rainy season, cash rates for these hotels were still around $350-$500 per night at the time of booking (and rising as stay dates approached), which meant that with those redemptions, I was able to beat TPG’s rating for beat Hyatt points.

Also see: 9 budgeting strategies to get the most out of your points and miles

Requalification for Globalist

I received the Globalist in 2021 thanks to the Hyatt promotion that allowed a reduced qualification of 30 nights. I knew I wouldn’t have enough stays from my travels this year to reach 60 nights organically, but I wanted to remain a Globalist throughout 2023. So it was time to get creative.

I’m fortunate to have a few Hyatt Place Category 1 hotels near where I live, and since award nights count toward earning status, I’ve tried to do a few stays with mattresses. A quick look at the bonus calendar showed many night weaks with 3,500 points. Some of these great value award nights helped me close the gap in stays I needed to re-qualify for Globalist.

I could even combine off-peak nights with promotions. For example, in early 2022, Hyatt had a bonus travel promotion where members earned 2,022 points for every two qualifying nights. And Hyatt credit cardholders could also earn 1,000 points for every night in 10 eligible cities. Several Hyatt Place Category 1 hotels in my area qualified for the additional 1,000 points per night. So I booked two off-peak nights for 7,000 points and got back 4,022 points, bringing my cost for those stays to just under 1,500 points per night.

I may be doing something similar in the new year as Hyatt is offering a promotion starting January 2nd that allows cardholders to earn 1,000 points after staying two nights at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House through March 5th.

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Qualify for Hyatt Globalist Status

Book luxury hotels

The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY

I have not only benefited from booking off-peak nights in the lower class hotels. As someone who tries to maximize my points as much as possible, booking higher category hotels like Park Hyatts has always been a pleasure for me. So I haven’t done that very often in the past. But with the introduction of off-peak rate premiums, it’s become more palatable for me to afford these redemptions.

This year I booked stays at Park Hyatt St. Kitts and Park Hyatt Zurich, both Category 7 hotels, at a low rate of 25,000 points per night. Although I didn’t book it, I also found available off-peak nights for the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome category 8 – 35,000 points per night when the cash rate was over €1,500.

I look forward to finding and booking more quality hotels like this at off-peak award rates.

Also see: The Ultimate Guide to Redeeming Hyatt Points

bottom line

Changes to loyalty programs are usually greeted with apprehension and fear, but Hyatt’s update to peak and off-peak pricing was, somewhat surprisingly, a favorable change.

I still book award stays at standard rates when I have to, but have avoided premium rates on points. If I have free night coupons available, I try to redeem them for standard or premium rates instead of points.

While I don’t know what the future holds for Hyatt’s award pricing, I’m optimistic that this change will continue to be beneficial.

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