Hyatt Gold Passport 2015 Award Chart Changes

Last year Hyatt Gold Passport made some pretty substantial changes to their award chart, whereby they added Category 7 redemption properties, which increased the cost of some of Hyatt’s most aspirational hotels.

On the plus side, Hyatt quickly followed that up with some new benefits, including the introduction of Points + Cash awards (whereby you can redeem part points and part cash for an award stay) and “My Elite Rate” (whereby elite members get 20% off stays at select properties).

In addition to all that, every year Hyatt adjusts some of the hotels in each category. The award redemption category that a hotel belongs to should reflect a combination of the average daily rate and occupancy, and obviously that can shift over time due to changes in travel trends, etc.

Anyway, the good news is that Hyatt isn’t making any actual changes to their award chart in the future (in other words, they’re not introducing a new category), though Hyatt Gold Passport has now announced which hotels will be shifting categories in 2015.

Gold-Passport-2015

These Gold Passport category shifts apply for bookings made on or after January 22, 2015. That means you can make bookings by that point for stays through January 21, 2016.

In this case, a total of 70 Hyatt properties are changing categories — 22 hotels are moving up a category, while 48 hotels are moving down a category.

Here are the 22 Hyatt hotels that are moving up a category for bookings made as of January 22, 2015:

Hyatt-2015-Hotel-Categories-1

I think the most noteworthy increases are:

  • Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo is shifting from a Category 3 to 4, which doesn’t really surprise me given how expensive paid rates at this property can be
  • Park Hyatt Seoul, which is my favorite Category 4 property, will finally be shifting to a Category 5 (which is unfortunate, since the free annual night from the Hyatt Visa Card will no longer be valid for it)
  • Andaz Amsterdam is shifting from a Category 5 to 6, which certainly makes redeeming points for it less of a no brainer
  • Park Hyatt Maldives is shifting from a Category 6 to 7, which isn’t surprising in the least given that paid rates here are $1,000+ per night

Grand-Hyatt-Sao-Paulo
Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo shifting from Category 3 to 4

Andaz-Amsterdam
Andaz Amsterdam shifting from Category 5 to 6

Then here are the 48 Hyatt hotels that are moving down a category for bookings made as of January 22, 2015:

Hyatt-2015-Hotel-Categories-2 Hyatt-2015-Hotel-Categories-3

It’s interesting to see how many limited service properties, as well as hotels in China and India, are going down in category. I can’t say there’s anything that really stands out to me on the list as being especially interesting or surprising. It is cool that the Park Hyatt Washington DC is going from a Category 6 to 5, though.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DC-16
Park Hyatt Washington DC shifting from Category 6 to 5

It’s also worth noting that if you book a stay at a hotel that’s going down a category before January 22, you’ll proactively receive the difference in points deposited into your Gold Passport account. Per the FAQ:

Any Free Night Award booked at a property, prior to 12:01 am CST, January 22, 2015, that is shifting to a lower category on January 22, 2015 and requires fewer points will receive an adjustment. Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service will proactively deposit the point difference into a member’s account. For example, a member with a Free Night Award booked before 12:01 am CST, January 22, 2015 for a Category 2 hotel for 8,000 points that is moving to a Category 1 hotel for 5,000 points on January 22, 2015 will receive 3,000 points returned to his/her account. Points will be deposited into a member’s account after January 22, 2015.

Bottom line

These are actually net positive changes, which are kind of surprising to see. More than twice as many hotels are going down a category than going up a category. With hotels full and the economy largely recovered, you’d think the trend would be towards higher hotel categories and not lower ones.

Just wait until you see the category adjustments from Marriott and Starwood — something tells me they won’t be nearly as positive.

How do you feel about Hyatt’s Gold Passport award chart changes? Are there any properties you’ve redeemed at that went up or down in category?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. The ONLY one here that I need to make a comment on is the Excalibur. That should be a Category 0. They should just give you points for walking in the door, let alone staying there.

  2. …and if anyone from the Andaz Amsterdam is watching this… At category 5, the hotel exceeded expectations. At category 6, they really need to make sure things are pretty perfect. Just a comment.

  3. This pretty much makes keeping the Hyatt credit card pointless since many category 4 hotels at a places I would like to visit will become category 5.

  4. It’s interesting that Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas is going from a 4 to a 5 when it doesn’t even open until June 1, 2015. I guess they expect high rates.

  5. i purchased hyatt gift card through a link provided by this site a few weeks ago. it’s a great deal. but there is a little glitch though fixable.
    i use hyatt app to get extra 1000 gold points when making reservations. however, the app won’t accept its gift card.
    so i called the reservation center and the rep told me i would still get that 1000 points if she made the reservation for me. so i did.
    i am happy to report that i got the extra 1000 points but i had to call the customer service again and she had to add the points manually. it’s wasn’t automatic. but at least they honored it.

  6. Timing is tough for me as I was planning to return the Maldives on January 2016. Can’t book flights until February. Will they allow changes after January 25 ( like they did before)

  7. LOL at the Excalibur moving up. Over the past week I’ve checked in there twice and promptly threw out the key and flew away. In about an hour I’m checking in there and actually staying the night :-(. The eyesore of the strip.

  8. @steven k: You don’t put the GC in at time of booking, you pay using it at checkout. Still secure the room with a CC like normal.

  9. I thought the same thing about Baha Mar, and this forced my hand into just now booking a night using the anniversary certificate!

  10. I note there is no hotel in manhattan where you can use your free night. Also that neither the Elite discount nor the points plus cash option is available at the union square, where I like to stay.

  11. HansGolden,
    yes, you are correct.
    those who want to use the gift card and still take advantage of extra 1000 points for using app should take the route i took.

  12. @HansGolden – maybe he was trying to book a prepaid rate. I suppose that would be much more complex, as one would still want to apply GC. Just a thought.

    @Raymond – if you can’t find more than $75 free room value out of your annual renewal fee in the entire Hyatt “empire”, then you’re right. You ought to just plain cancel your card. That’ll teach ’em.

  13. @Lucky, what room type can I get using my suite upgrade at the Park Hyatt Maldives since I don’t see suites in their room type?

  14. @john don’t think you can use a DSU at ph Maldives. Think you have to pay for that. Planning on doing that myself.

  15. Park Hyatt DC is my favorite domestic hotel. Though I usually get upgraded to a suite. Surprised its going to a 5 but that’s great, a hidden gem

  16. Some higher-end properties in East Asia such as GH Macau, PH Seoul, HR Dongguan, GH Taipei, and PH Maldives are up while many US lower-end properties are down. I think Hyatt is forecasting the booming of higher spending visitors from China?

  17. Hyatt French Quarter moving down from 5 to 4 is definitely notable. It’s a great hotel – I recently stayed there twice. Location is great, and although it’s in the Quarter it’s still quiet. Since rates can balloon during weekends given all the events that happen in New Orleans, this can be a great value. The fact that I can now use the free annual credit card night at this property is very exciting news.

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