If you haven’t heard, today Hyatt’s award chart has increased for several properties with its addition of Category 7 hotels (30,000 points per night). Also, Category 5 hotels increased from 18K to 20K and Category 6 hotels increased from 22K to 25K points per night. I debated quite a bit about speculatively booking hotels for future stays to lock in the old rates. However, I did not book any future Hyatt stays because of the following reasons:
- I am only a Hyatt Platinum member. I was a Hyatt Diamond member for most of 2012 and beginning of 2013. It was great value to use Hyatt points to stay at Hyatt hotels as a Diamond member because of the lounge access, breakfast, extra amenities, and better service all around. Now that I am just a Platinum member, I only get free internet and 2PM checkout, which isn’t anything too special. Third party hotels offer those benefits plus free breakfast often.
- Booking Hyatt hotels require transferring Ultimate Rewards points. There isn’t any quick way of earning Hyatt points other than staying at Hyatt hotels or racking up points with Chase Ink, Sapphire, and Freedom. Although you can get good value transferring UR points to Hyatt, I find that Ultimate Rewards points have the best value when redeeming for business or first class international travel. There are many options to stay at cheap hotels or use other hotel points for lodging, but not too many options when flying business or first class. I would rather save my UR than transfer to Hyatt.
- 22,000 Hyatt points for top tier hotel may not be practical. Ok this is a bit hypocritical because I’ve used my Hyatt points on Park Hyatt Paris (as a Diamond), but if you value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, then in a way you are spending $330 for a night at a hotel. I could book almost 3 nights at an Airbnb or third party hotel for $330! I’m out most of the day anyways, so a hotel can be seen as just a place to stay. Occasionally, I do like a nice hotel though. Hope you get my point here.
Those are my reasons on why I did not book any future Hyatt stays. For me, the sweet spot for Hyatt is Category 3 or 4. I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Taipei for 12,000 Hyatt points (+3,000 Regency Club upgrade) and it was in a great location and had a nice room. I value my Hyatt points at about 1.4 cents, so spending 15,000 Hyatt points per night is about $210. I’m willing to spend about $200 for a decent hotel in a good location.
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