Hyatt Announces Category Changes

Every year seems to bring hotel category changes. This is something that those of us collecting points have learned to dread, and we likely spend a few hours noting the changes in hotels where we have stayed or where we plan to stay in the near future.

Hyatt just announced its category changes for this year, which is taking effect on Dec. 13, 2017(How about some warning next time???)

Hyatt has some sweet spots in its redemptions for points. One of those is in the lowest category, which is typically a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House. Some others think you can get outsized value in some category 3-4 hotels, and category 4 is the highest you can use for the free stay with the credit card per year. As with most hotel redemption options, redeeming points in the top categories can be a steal or really expensive depending on the time of year.

Here are the redemption prices by category:

Category 1                5,000 points

Category 2                8,000 points

Category 3                12,000 points

Category 4                15,000 points

Category 5                20,000 points

Category 6                25,000 points

Category 7                30,000 points

This is where we grimace and worry about some previously good values getting more expensive. However, Hyatt has not overly killed us this year!

4 Hyatt hotels are going from a category 1 to category 2. 

Hyatt Place Shenzhen (in China)

Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Mary

Hyatt Place Orlando Airport

Hyatt Place St. Paul

2 Hyatt Hotels are moving from category 2 to category 3.

Hyatt Place Long Island City/New York City

Hyatt Place Augusta

1 Hyatt hotel is jumping two categories from category 2 to category 4.

Hyatt Place Santa Cruz in California.

1 Hyatt hotel is moving from category 6 to category 7. 

The Highlands Inn Carmel in California.Highlands Inn Carmel

Thoughts on hotels moving up in category:

This restructuring is certainly not as bad as most years, especially compared to other hotel groups. I wince when thinking of the Marriott announcement of hotel category changes, and that’s not how I felt about these changes. I definitely think these are fair changes in terms of pricing, especially during peak seasons.

As usual, more hotels are getting more expensive than hotels getting cheaper. While 8 are moving up, only 1 is moving down in category; however, this is a SIGNIFICANT hotel…….and if you have the Hyatt Credit Card through Chase, you should be very, very pleased!

Moving from category 6 to category 4:

The Confidante Hotel Miami BeachConfidante Miami Beach Confidante Miami Beach

Let’s talk about why this is such a big deal. The Hyatt Credit Card through Chase is such a steal for a credit with an annual fee($75) because of the yearly free night. The free night is only good for hotels in categories 1-4. Well, The Confidante just got moved to category 4 which opens up another option if staying at Miami Beach along with the Hyatt Centric. There is no comparison between these two hotels in my opinion, as The Confidante is oceanfront, has the awesome pool area, etc.

The Hyatt Credit Card through Chase is a good card to start gaining points if you like to stay at nicer hotels. Because the annual fee is more than offset with the free night per year, I consider losing money with this card impossible as long as you use your free night. And if you’re into traveling enough to read this article, you should have no problem using the free night.

Info about the card

-40,000 World of Hyatt points when spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. That’s enough points for 2 nights at a category 5 hotel, like this Hyatt in Clearwater Beach Florida!Hyatt Clearwater Beach

-Annual fee of $75 that posts each cardmember year

-Free night in category 1-4 hotel every year like the Andaz Savannah pictured belowAndaz Savannah

-Discoverist status as long as you have the card

-3x points per dollar spent at Hyatt

-2x points per dollar spent on restaurants, car rentals, and airline tickets purchased from the airline directly

-1x points on all other purchases.

As we expect, more hotels are moving up in category than hotels moving down in category. However, the hotel that moved down in category can get an outsized value if you have the Hyatt Credit card. Stay updated with hotel program category changes as the new year begins so that you can maximize your redemptions!