Capital One increases the cost of Hyatt check certificate redemptions

While Capital One’s Venture Rewards credit card isn’t typically the most exciting credit card for mileage nuts, their recent sign up bonus of up to 110,000 points was tempting enough to get thousands of people to sign up.  You can redeem points towards covering travel expenses at a rate of one cent per point, though there were some other great opportunities out there as well.

One such opportunity was Hyatt’s $900 check certificates, which cost only 51,250 points, nearly doubling the value of points earned through this program. Unfortunately they raised the price of those redemptions almost overnight, from 51,250 points to 64,500 points per certificate.

While I have no personal stake in this since I didn’t apply for the card, it does seem a bit disappointing to issue a billion points to new members, only to quickly devalue one of the best deals. This is still a relatively good deal — offering close to 1.5 cents per point instead of one cent per point, but it’s not as good as it originally seemed. Regardless, given how ridiculously good the sign up bonus was, I doubt too many people will be complaining.

Hope most of you already had your points post and redeemed for the Hyatt certificates before the devaluation!


  1. Oh, this sucks. Been waiting a week for my points to credit and then the price goes up. Very disappointing

  2. @BostonFlyer — Yes

    Me + SO’s accounts are now cleaned out of points. Will close soon.

  3. wow… that’s terrible… i wasn’t planning on redeeming for this but i am going to email them and express my dismay with the situation and demand they give me 26,500 miles credit.
    we should all do this and see what happens!

  4. It was still a good deal. Even without the Hyatt offer, having $1100-2200 (Bus card or spouse) worth of travel credit to help re-qual for status is the 2nd best sign-up bonus this year. (100K BA is the best.)

  5. Yeah, this was going to be my #2 card (after SPG Amex) but this kind of change is the type of thing that might get it bumped altogether.

  6. They’ll give you a 1,500 mile “I’m Sorry” and that’s it. Better than nothing I suppose, but still disappointing.

  7. It’s just a shame they didn’t give more advance notice. Seems like a bit of a bait and switch to me.

  8. I have always been leery of Capital One viewing them as a get $300 airline ticket credited to your account kin of company. This devaluation makes me inclined to be sceptical of their offers. Lucky, I am surpised you did not sign up for the offer, as it was free. I was considering the offer, but then it expired while I was mulling it over.

  9. Funny, CapOne has joined those who they mock….

    unfortunately, I hadn’t ordered any certs yet, as I wasn’t quite sure how many to order given the expiry date.

  10. Capital One’s commercials are totally disingenuous. This is the latest in a long history of devaluations. And their customer service is among the worst (standard practice: Tell you a supervisor will call in an hour; then you never get a call). I did not apply for the 110,000 mile bonus because of this history of treating their customers poorly.

  11. Wells Fargo has two Hyatt gift certificates redemption levels.

    $50 gift certificate for 6,500 points

    $100 gift certificate for 10,000 points

  12. Expiration date (June 2012?) was the reason I only ordered 1. I was expecting price increase so I’m not too surprised.

  13. Again, its still a pretty great deal. Between your minimum spend, the 100,000 bonus and then the 10,000 bonus you’ll have 112,000 miles, giving you the $900 redemptions certs and 48k left over (just do another $1k spend and you’ll be at 50k). I can’t really complain much for getting a $900 Hyatt stay covered and at least another $500 in travel covered for normal spend. It seems foolish of me to bitch about getting $1400 in travel for free (btw – that $900 Hyatt cert is covering 5 days at the Andaz London next April!)

  14. Should have pulled the “trigger” on the Raffles certs @51.5 miles. No longer offered. I dislike the quick devaluation of the Hyatt, Ritz & Fairmont packages.

    Will burn Cap 1 miles & have spouse resume spending on Starwood card. Will cancel card before 12 months given past/present Cap 1 devaluations.

  15. I think the whole brouhaha is overblown.

    Yes, program run devaluations; I lived through the Citibank ThankYou program devaluation that went on for years. There the devaluation was right at the core of the program; not so here, IMO.

    Capital One Venture program promises two points per dollar, redeemable at 1 penny per point against future booked travel (through their portal) or retroactively against already purchased travel (any vendor). That’s their core proposition, and that hasn’t changed.

    These gift certificates were not being sensibly priced. They were oddballs as the only items that could be redeemed for where significantly more value than 1 cent per point could be realized. There was the odd pricing disparity between the consumer card pricing of these awards versus the business card pricing of these awards. I looked upon these as mis-priced merchandise. But there probably wasn’t wasn’t really enough redemption volume to generate any attention at Capital One until the wave of FlyerTalk posters came along.

    So now they’re slowly fixing the specific pricing error, adjusting price to the increased demand. Do I get angry at airlines when they correct errors in their mis-pricing of tickets? No. On the other hand, I would get angry if they tried to come after me with an existing ticket purchased at their erroneous but publicly offered price and try to charge me the difference between their old mistake price and their new “correct” price. Similarly, if Capital One tries to come after me for more points for my past redemptions, I would be quite angry. But that isn’t what’s happening here.

    So, I will continue to use my Capital One Venture cards. I will continue to consider them to be 2% cash back equivalent cards, with the occasional special sale or mistake pricing items that are worth snatching up when they come around for a brief amount of time. I will continue to be leery of maintaining too high a balance of points in this or any other programs, knowing that generally there is significant inflation of prices (or equivalent, devaluation of currency). And if Capital One takes away the redemption options that allow me to consider these cards equivalent to a 2% cash back card, or if some other card offers a better reward rate, then I’ll reconsider my usage.

    No need for righteous anger here.

  16. Pshuang: To clarify – Capital One had other programs prior to the Venture Program that suffered massive devaluations, and/or had hidden but costly restrictions. The current Venture program does sound like a pretty good cash-back deal. Hope you’re able to continue getting good value out of the Venture program, but don’t be surprised if they find a way to devalue it with little or no notice. I simply do not trust them – a sentiment that seems to be pretty common on this board.

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