World of Hyatt launches a new points promo – but also a lot of category changes

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Hyatt giveth and Hyatt taketh away.  The launch of a decent World of Hyatt points promotion last week came on the heels of Hyatt’s annual category changes.

That said …. the list of category changes is genuinely neutral for once.  There are reductions at good hotels in London, New York and Dubai for example.

Hyatt 2019 category changes

Hyatt’s new bonus points promotion

Let’s start with the bonus points offer first, which is impressively simple.

You will receive 1,000 bonus World of Hyatt points per night 

The bonus is increased to 1,500 bonus points at the budget Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands

Bonus is valid at all brands including Small Luxury Hotels of the World and M Life casino partner hotels

Bonus starts with your SECOND stay after registration – you get nothing for your first stay

Bonus is valid on reward nights as well as cash nights

Valid for stays until 15th May

Registration ends 31st March

I value a World of Hyatt point at 1p, although in reality you will do better at prime hotels in peak period.  With no Hyatt costing more than 30,000 points, you are clearly going to get far more than 1p at, say, Park Hyatt New York at peak periods.

Assuming 1p per point means that the bonus is worth £10 per night.   More impressively, stay in the budget Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands and you will get £15 of points per night.  This could be worth 25%+ of your room rate.

Having reward nights count is an extra bonus, as it basically means a discount of 1,000 to 1,500 points per night on your redemptions.

What I don’t like is that it only starts on your 2nd stay (I will lose 2,000 points on an upcoming Park Hyatt Hamburg visit) and that registration ends early on 31st March, which just seems petty.

Overall, this is a good promotionPark Hyatt is the most luxurious hotel chain owned by a major brand in my view and Hyatt points have always been a good way of redeeming at very plush properties.

The only problem is the usual Hyatt problem – it has a small footprint in Europe and you can’t top up your points via a UK credit card or transfers from American Express Membership Rewards.  The only cost effective top-up is to buy Hyatt points (link here) during one of their occasional bonus points offers.

You can register for the new World of Hyatt bonus points promo on their website here.

Hyatt 2019 category changes

Hyatt’s 2019 category changes are not as bad as I thought 

World of Hyatt has announced a large number of category moves, taking effect from 18th March.

You can see the full list of changes here.

259 hotels are moving, which is around a third of the core chain.  This compares to around 5% of Marriott hotels which are changing category this year.

To be fair to Hyatt, the split is almost exactly 50/50 in terms of hotels moving up and hotels moving down.

The changes are modest with no hotel moving by more than one category.  The top price remains 30,000 points per night.  The 40,000 points bracket is reserved for some Small Luxury Hotels of the World partner hotels.

A few over-generous redemptions are being tweaked in Hyatt’s favour:

Park Hyatt Mallorca goes up to Category 6 and will be 25,000 points per night

Park Hyatt Hamburg goes up to Category 5 and will be 20,000 points per night

Park Hyatt Maldives goes up to Category 7 and will be 30,000 points per night

These were all too cheap before.  It will STILL make sense to book these hotels by buying Hyatt points during a promotion rather than paying cash – this is what I am doing at Park Hyatt Hamburg in April when I am over for an aviation trade show.

There are some attractive drops too.  I would highlight:

The two Hyatt Place hotels at Heathrow which fall to Category 2 and will be 8,000 points per night

Hyatt Regency Dubai (the older one) falls to Category 2 and will be 8,000 points per night

Hyatt Regency Jersey City (the hotel above the PATH station which gets you to World Trade Centre in one stop) falls to Category 4 and 15,000 points per night

Andaz Liverpool Street falls to Category 5 and 20,000 points per night, which is a good deal for a recently refurbished London hotel at peak periods

Andaz Wall Street, which has a good reputation in New York, falls to Category 5 and will be 20,000 points per night

Hyatt Place Dubai Al Rigga, which I reviewed positively here, falls to Category 1 and becomes exceptionally cheap at 5,000 points per night

If you have an existing reward booking at a hotel which is falling in price, Hyatt will automatically refund the difference after 18th March.  You do NOT need to cancel and rebook.

Whilst your personal view of the changes will depend on where you normally redeem, it is – by a long way – the most neutral set of changes we’ve seen this year.

Remember that we’ve also covered the upcoming Marriott Bonvoy changes from 5th March and the upcoming Radisson Rewards changes from 1st March.  IHG Rewards Club has already implemented its 2019 category moves.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Bits: BA launches its BOAC 747, Osaka deal, £100 Emirates / Amex credit, 20% bonus buying Etihad miles
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Comments

  1. As usual, the promotion doesn’t show in the “promotions” section of the relevant hotel chain’s app.

    Why these international companies’ marketing departments can’t be remotely joined up is beyond me.

  2. Just discovered that the Hyatt Resort and Spa in Edinburgh is in a new development called Edinburgh Marina, and is due to open next year. While the Waterfront is indeed being much developed I would advise anybody considering this hotel to think twice. There is little in the vicinity of the hotel, it is in an area of the city known to have problems from time to time, a taxi to the city centre will cost £15-20, bus ride will be about 30 minutes and the advertised tram stop is on a line extension that has yet to be approved and will likely take a few years to build when it is.

  3. Michael_S says:

    Is there a good reason why hyatt doesn’t have a credit card in UK or at a minimum doesn’t partner with amex for convertibility of MR points? Clearly there’s demand and they see that. Small footprint in Europe does not seem a good excuse to me as there are many redemption options more accessible from Europe than US (such as Maldives). Rob, any insight?

    • No insight. I know Mark McGoey who ran World of Hyatt for Europe for 5 years and he operated in a weird way – he deliberately avoids working with sites like us (slightly bizarre given our UK readership is bigger than all other UK business travel and frequent flyer sites combined) and has no interest in card partnerships or anything like that. I’m not even sure what he did all day 🙂

      We had a bizarre evening in Vienna a couple of years ago where there were a group of us talking to him (including David who posts on here occasionally) trying to persuade him that working with the business travel media was a good way of selling rooms to business travellers. He wasn’t convinced.

      He is now back in Chicago with Hyatt. No idea if he was replaced as ‘man who promotes World of Hyatt in Europe by not promoting them’ or if the job has disappeared.

      My personal view is that they should ignore the fact they run successful cards in the US and just accept they will never run one in Europe and should just do an Amex MR partnership. As Hyatt sells points at 1p each during their regular sales, doing a 1:1 transfer rate with Amex (who would pay close to 1p per point, as they do with BA and Virgin) looks like a no-brainer to me.

  4. Nigel the pensioner says:

    Andaz Liverpool St was superb when it first opened and then with time, slipped downwards. The last time I went was probably nearly 5 years ago and it was far from luxurious and so I’ve not been back – even to the cocktail bar! Has it all improved under Hyatt?
    Im not sure that I would agree that Park Hyatt is the best chain hotel brand……St Regis (thinking for example Bora Bora) are pretty fine places!

    • Andaz had a full refurb in the last couple of years, I had a tour.

      St Regis is, in general, a dump. Doha was one of the worst luxury stays I ever had. The original NYC one is very faded (but location is good). The Dubai one, before it was rebranded a few weeks ago, was terrible. Istanbul, however, is amazing.

      They either take old hotels and stick the name on the front ‘because it is old’ (without doing the work required to bring the interior up to scratch) or – mainly in the Middle East – they do ‘faux luxury’ where it looks posh but things will literally come away in your hand and the service is terrible.

      I’m not saying that they can’t get it right at times – let’s see how the new Venice one goes – but you need to be careful. Even the key differentiator – butler service – is generally only offered in a tiny handful of suites at most hotels, whereas the original in New York has this with every room.

      If you read the GENUINE luxury hotel guides, eg Gallivanters Guide, Park Hyatt is the only hotel that is part of a multi-brand group which ever comes onto their radar.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        I was curious so I googled Gallivanter’s Guide and looked at their example issues.

        Between the poorly constructed sentences, bad grammar, truly terrible formatting (it’s 2019 in printed magazine world now – learn how to merge photos and text effectively – and don’t start new articles on the last 3 lines of a page!), I can’t believe anyone pays for this … and at a cost of £15/month – that’s nearly £2 PER PAGE of text!

        They are of course not be in exactly the same subject area, but to be honest, even Tripadvisor contains better content in the luxury hotel review department, while HFP (cost per page: exactly 0) blows it out of the water.

        • You underestimate it. They have as much influence in the luxury hotel industry as Kim Kardashian has in the fashion industry. A good word from them and you are full for the rest of the year.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Fair enough – the world works in ways I don’t understand as squirrel brains are so small they only weigh 6 grams. I would still expect a GCSE student to format a document better than that…. 😀 😀

  5. Other than the points, are there any benefits of booking SLH hotels via Hyatt vs SLH itself?

    • Yes, quite a bit – but the rates via Hyatt are often higher.

      Complimentary continental breakfast
      Complimentary Wi-Fi
      Early check-in 12:00pm (based on availability)
      Late check-out 2:00pm (based on availability)
      Room upgrade to the next category up (based on availability)

  6. Just returned from Hyatt House in Naples Fl. It was an ok hotel in a good location, rooms were average, pool was nice.

    I wish the points added up to 25% of the room rate, waaayy below that in peak snow bird season.

  7. Don’t like the change at all. All of the affected properties in Japan went up! All of them! Huge impact on my annual Japan trip.

  8. Chris Adams says:

    OT…which Intercontinental is best in Tokyo? They have similar pricing for April when I am looking to book. The Strings looks handy for train links to NRT and heading south on the Shinkansen.

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