After promising to suspend changes to hotel categories, Hyatt will make changes to thecategory.

Gary Leff at the age of 11. March 2021.

In the fall, Hyatt announced that 15 hotels would change their redemption category, but otherwise announced that it would suspend hotel category changes through 2021.

It didn’t take long. They just added 11 hotels that are changing categories, 10 of them are on Thursday the 25th. March 2021, at 8:00 a.m. CDT, raise the buy-in price:

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Property Current New location
Hyatt Place Houston Downtown
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows
Park Hyatt Aviara
Hotel Mar Monte
Hyatt House Nashville/Downtown SoBo
Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico
Hyatt Regency Dharamshala Resort
Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport
Hyatt Place Delano
Hyatt Place Fair Lawn/Paramous
Hyatt Place Palm Bay/Melbourne

Park Hyatt Aviara

Exceptions for future travel occurring before 8:00 am. Central on Thursday, March 25, a lower price category applies. Existing reservations at the Hyatt Place Houston Downtown that have been downgraded in category will be upgraded starting Friday the 26th. March, automatically credited with the difference in points (no new reservation required).

This brings the total number of announced changes to 26 properties, which does not appear to be a suspension of category change. While there were many moves in 2019 (an equal number of properties moving up and down), only 9 hotels changed categories in 2018 (also a consistent year).

The odd thing here is that the purchasing categories are expected to fall quite sharply, is not expected to hold up or rise.

  • Average hotel rates determine the fee paid by the chain, and so World of Hyatt points are calculated by members.
  • Given the worst times in the industry’s history, we should see a significant downward correction in hotel categories.

Of course, Hyatt’s buyout structure is very similar to Starwood’s, and Starwood hasn’t cut back on its hotel categories after a disastrous 2009 either. Participants experience higher acquisition prices in the hotel industry in good times, but do not benefit from the decline in bad times.

And Hyatt is still planning to devalue with the introduction of peak and off-peak rates starting January 1. July 2021.

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Hyatt is the last major program to maintain true fixed prices on premium cards. This has been of great value to members. If prices are low, spend cash at the hotel. If they are high, you are wasting points. That way you get more value for your points.

Ultimately, I don’t see the point of raising the price of premiums in 10 hotels to change course and suspend category changes. And the introduction of high and low seasonal rates (peak and off-peak) means you’re much more likely to get an average value for your points compared to the value of the room, and much less likely to be overpriced. This is the real devaluation we can expect in July.

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