World of Hyatt Premium Redemption Changes
World of Hyatt came on to the scene earlier this year with a lot of noise. For most customers it was a devaluation of what was once a very generous program. I suppose for a select few it is more rewarding, but I see World of Hyatt as an overall loss compared to Gold Passport.
One of the bright spots I suppose in the change was that Hyatt’s award chart stayed the same at 7 categories as follows:
While the benefits and elite qualifying had stayed the same, at least it wasn’t going to cost more for awards. (For the record they have added 3 tiers over the past decade.) Unfortunately, that may soon be changing. Hyatt recently added Miraval to their portfolio. Miraval is a pricey all-inclusive wellness resort in Arizona and Hyatt has decided to create an entirely new price for it. On their award page it has its own section. And it’s expensive!
How did this happen? Well, according to View from the Wing, Hyatt changed their terms and conditions to allow them to opt-out certain properties from the category 1-7 system. They actually seem to have changed the terms relating to their free night certificates, but it spells out that Hyatt can opt properties out of the category system.
Category 1-7 Free Night Award is not valid at M life Resorts or any property that is not included by Hyatt (in its sole discretion) in the category 1-7 classification system.
What Does This Mean?
Well, I suspect Hyatt will say that Miraval is a unique property and one that warranted its own price. They will probably also say that they have no immediate plans to change any other properties. The problem is that they can and they probably will eventually. High priced properties like the Park Hyatt Maldives are unique as well and no doubt would be an attractive target for this new rule.
While this doesn’t spell complete doom for high-end Hyatt redemptions, we can clearly see that Hyatt is giving themselves maximum flexibility with how they price properties. Over time every rewards program devalues and I suspect this will eventually lead to an increase in cost at the company’s highest priced properties.
What are your thoughts?