Update 3/27/23: Just a quick reminder that the affected Hyatt properties will be changing categories on March 28, 2023. That means there’s only a few hour left to lock in the lower pricing. Operators are standing by.
World of Hyatt has released a list of all the category changes they’ll be making for 2023 and overall, it’s not a pretty sight.
There are some bright spots. On balance, award redemptions outside of the US will go down and there’ll be more properties at which you can redeem category 1-4 free night certificates.
The negative changes outweigh the good though. On balance, award pricing in the US will be hiked quite sharply, fans of category 1 properties will have fewer locations to choose from and there’s a net 17 property loss where category 1-7 certificates can be used.
You can find the full list of Hyatt category changes here. These changes will be taking effect on March 28, 2023. If you have any existing reservations for properties that will be decreasing in price, Hyatt will proactively provide a points refund for the difference. If you have a reservation at a hotel that’ll be increasing in price, the cost of your existing reservation will be honored.
We’ll have a more in-depth analysis of these changes in the coming days, but here are some of the highlights and lowlights.
Category 1-4 free night certificates
33 hotels worldwide will be moving down a category to category 4, while 15 will be increasing to category 5. That means there’s a net gain of 18 properties where you can use category 1-4 free night certificates which, in theory, is great news.
The news isn’t so good if you want to use those domestically though. 7 hotels in the US are increasing in price, including the Hyatt Place Moab (which was category 2 only a couple of years ago), the Eliza Jane in New Orleans, Chicago Athletic Association and the Andaz San Diego. Only 3 properties are dropping to category 4, making this a net loss in the US of 4 hotels. One silver lining is that the Thompson Washington D.C. will be one of the hotels dropping to category 4.
Category 1 properties
For anyone (myself included) who likes stretching their points by booking category 1 hotels, you’ll soon have fewer options. 32 hotels will be going up from category 1 to 2, while only 13 will be going down from category 2 to 1 – a net decrease of 19 hotels.
Once again, US properties are getting hit disproportionately hard. Only 9 hotels will be decreasing to category 1, while 24 will increase from category 1 to 2, meaning 15 fewer properties in the US will be priced at the cheapest level.
Category 7 properties
When earning 60 elite night credits with World of Hyatt, you get a category 1-7 free night certificates. Unlike with the category 1-4 certificates, from March 28 you’ll have fewer hotels where you can redeem the category 1-7 certificates.
That’s because 28 hotels will be going up from category 7 to 8, while only 11 hotels will be making the journey in the other direction, thereby leading to a net decrease of 17 properties where the free night certificates can be used.
There are many notable properties going up in price, many of which Greg has stayed at and written reviews for, including three hotels in California – Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas, Carmel Valley Ranch and Hyatt Carmel Highlands – along with Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa and Wentworth Mansion.
Possibly the hardest hit collection of properties are all-inclusives. 46 of them will cost more for award nights, with a grand total of zero going down in price. Some of the increases are particularly harsh, with 8 of them jumping two categories and one of them – Secrets Impression Moxché – leaping three categories from C to F. That means the standard award pricing will go up from 25,000 points per night to a whopping 50,000 points per night.
Greg ran some numbers and found that in the Americas, prices are increasing by 20%. The rest of the world is actually seeing a decrease in award pricing by 5%, so if your travel plans lie outside of the Americas, these changes could benefit you.
What these category changes could hide is a stealth devaluation. Even if properties haven’t changed categories, they could reduce how many nights are priced at the off-peak level or increase how many are priced at the peak level.
Spreadsheet With Changes
Speaking of Greg running the numbers, he created a spreadsheet listing all the category changes and added filters to play around with the data. If you’d like it see all of the changes in an easy to sort and filter format, you can access that spreadsheet here. It’ll make you a copy of the sheet so that you can use the filters without it impacting or being impacted by other people doing the same thing.
If you were planning any travel over the course of the next year where Hyatt might meet your accommodation needs, be sure to check the list of category changes and lock in reservations at any of the hotels going up in price.
What do you make of these category changes? Will it have an impact on whether you apply for or keep the Hyatt credit card with its category 1-4 free night certificate, or whether to put $15k spend on the card for an additional free night cert? Let us know in the comments below.
I was on the fence about the Hyatt card but this made my decision to go another route.
I booked Secrets Moxche Playa Del Carmen for January 2024. After that i do not see myself spending a lot of money on the Hyatt card anymore. Hyatt Place Ann Arbor is becoming category 4! It is crazy inflated!
How did Kauai Hyatt fare? Anyone, Anyone?
Thanks for the heads up on this. I was able to book The Wentworth Mansion which has been an aspirational goal for me.
In case it’s helpful for others, don’t forget that with Hyatt you can book a full 13 months in advance. This was huge for me as I’ve locked in Wentworth for a visit to Charleston during the 2024 Credit One tennis tournament (which is held in April).
Another DP on the downside was that my Hyatt account was originally set up for me by an assistant with my shortened name instead of my full legal name. So it took a few days for Hyatt to update my name with proof and only then did the Chase UR transfer go through successfully to fund this trip (eventually it was an instant transfer). Good luck!
I had same name issue so I had to transfer points to P2 and open new Hyatt account in their name. Glad to hear it was only a few days to get name fixed!
If I remove 1 night from a reservation after 3/28, does it reprice the entire reservation to the new price?
Not sure what you mean. But let’s assume that you have a 3-night reservation currently on points and now you only need two of those three nights. Between now and 3/28, nothing is going to be re-priced in terms of the points: If the number of points required is going up, you will still only be “billed” the number of points on your reservation pre-3/28. If it is going down, the points difference will eventually be refunded to you. I.e., heads, you don’t lose; tails, you win.
The only “trick” here, especially if the points required is (are?) going up, is to make sure that in changing your reservation, that the room nights you want to keep are still available for points. So try a dummy booking and/or call in.
If what you mean is, after 3/28, if you change this reservation, then it is likely that, yeah, the nights that are left are going to be re-priced to you at the presumably higher price. What I mean is that the Hyatt computer reservation system is going to in effect treat this as a cancellation and a rebooking, even if billed as a “change.” One thing that I like about Hyatt is that their nightly cash prices are interdependent — Tuesday may be less if booked with Monday. What this means is that if Tuesday is $225 by itself and Monday is $175 by itself, you might get both together for $350. However, you could not then cancel out Monday and hold Tuesday at $175. It would go to $225. The implication for points nights is that things re-price when the “chain” gets broken, in this case, post 3-28.
But you might be able to get them to hold the older points price if you call in. I would think of that as salvage, not something to count on.
I’m not sure this is right. I think if you book 4 nights at 25k/nt now, and the rate increases after 3/28, when you contact Hyatt to shorten the reservation to 3 nights, you’ll just get a refund for the 4th night you booked. It’s not a ‘cancellation and a rebooking’ because they can shorten your reservation regardless of award space being currently available. Anyone else want to weigh in?
Not sure I disagree with you, the key words being “contact Hyatt.” If you do contact Hyatt, you’ll find out, and can pull out if things are not the way you describe them. But I would be wary, for the reasons I gave above, about doing this on-line and being confident it won’t blow up on you.
And, again, not to be argumentative in the personal sense, but it the sense of thinking it through, do the thought experiment as per above on removing one night from a reservation where the cash prices have gone up…
San Diego Andaz is basically not a redeemable location anyway; so it’s change is irrelevant.
[…] Hyatt Category Changes For 2023: Not A Pretty Sight […]
Is the purpose of going up in category to curb the amount of points users at the hotel you think? I always get the impression hotels don’t like points users that’s why they play games with inventory and accepting points. Is it just me or what do you think?
I have to ask, what is so great about secrets Moxche that warrants the big jump?
Once the rates actually increase, is the devaluation large enough y’all think there is a need to revisit the Hyatt RRV calculation?
I will check the RRVs again afterwards, but I don’t expect to see a change. Keep in mind that most Hyatt hotels are not changing category. And since I use the median rather than mean to calculate the RRV, a few changes near then endpoints shouldn’t alter the overall RRV.
Ack! The Hyatt Place in Normal IL is going from 1 to 2!!! (Amazing hopping on/off point for Amtrak riders) 🙁
Eh, doesn’t really change much for me other than made me stop procrastinating to book my night at the Grand Hotel Victoria. I’m actually pretty excited to see all the lower ratess for SLH properties in England and France. Sure, sad about the Chicago Athletic Association, but the Thompson and Centric are still there.
Yeah, a couple of attractive 5 to 4 shifts in France. Plus with HP and HH at CDG moving to cat 1 — and showing huge numbers of off-peak nights — we will soon be living in Roissy while we move between the other available properties.
Why do hotel programs have it in for Coastal Elites? Living in CA, the Hyatt category 1-4 certs are now similar to Marriott 35k certs, domestically only usable on the side of the highway and flyover country. Not pursuing 15k spend on Hyatt card next year. Debating canceling the card.
Agreed. Both Cat1-4 and Cat1-7 have very different values today than they did two years ago. Cat 1-4 have become unusable for a genuine USA vacation. Cat1-7 certs are usable but they are more challenging to come by than they’re worth.
No more Chase Hyatt spend for me after this year. They should issue Cat 1-5 certs, not 1-4.
Also, why is Hyatt still issuing Club level certs as for awards? What USA properties have (quality) clubs or lounges? They’ve all been permanently closed or maimed.
I went ahead and let globalist lapse, keeping diamond with Hilton and titanium with Marriott is effortless and the Delta between the experiences is starting to all shrink to the low end.
Although I am disappointed and I wish that this was not true I will offer a dissenting opinion. If a company cannot make money they will cut services or go out of business. Granted, I do not like paying more for a product but when I get service that overrides the higher price, im ok with it.
Hyatt treats globalist incredible. The Concierge department is outstanding in every way. It has not mattered who I talk to they are all very knowledgeable and customer service driven.
Our oldest daughter needed to have surgery in New York a few years ago. Our first call as a Marriott lifetime Titanium was to Marriott. Not only were they incensitive but they were predatory. They offered us a suite at a price higher than the standard rate listed on the internet.
Having no status with Hyatt I reached out to the GM at one of the few hyatt properties that we had prioviously stayed. Within an hour we got a call from the managers office for the Hyatt in New York. They were accommodating and understanding. As a result we stayed over 45 nights with that hotel in one year. When we were there everyone on staff treated us like family and went out of their way.
Since then Hyatt has been exceptional with customer service. They have gone out of their way to make trips special and they have come to our rescue when needed. We have stayed with Marriott a few times since then. I’m sad to say that each time we felt like we were imposing vs visiting family.
Am I happy about paying more points for a room? Not really. If I had a choice to pay less points and not having guaranteed breakfast for the family (more recentlyroom service breakfast with my wife), not have suite upgrade that you can use, not having the ability to make a guest of honor reservation to bless someone or being told your teenage kids be told they are not welcome with us in the lounge. I choose higher point redemptions and the incredible Concierge department. Ironically we had to change our Spring Break trip yesterday and they performed a miracle to accommodate us. Again, do I like the point changes no, but the service is something you can’t put a price on.
Good points. Hyatt Concierge (and customer service in general) provides me with a SIGNIFICANTLY better customer experience than Hilton Diamond or Marriott titanium.
My decades of experience have left me the following generalizations: Hyatt employees seem happy and customer focused. Hilton employees, in general, seem unhappy and mad I’m there. Marriott employees just seem numb.
Regarding WOH, Hyatt really needs to address the (phantom) club levels. Hyatt “awarding” unusable club certs to globalists for club levels that don’t exist is annoying (and seems disingenuous.)
And hotels getting cheaper are mostly overpriced SLH to begin with.
Can you easily add to the spreadsheet the brand of each hotel?
Unfortunately not – the details provided by Hyatt didn’t include the brands, so it would involve manually looking up each hotel which isn’t easily identifiable by its name (e.g. Hyatt Place, Hyatt Regency, etc.)
Additional observation leading up to this. Several hotels that are changing categories were not letting me book up to 13 months like usual. Many were showing no availability after August. Hoping it wasn’t Hyatt funny business. Anyone noticed the same thing?
This is a huge hit. Makes me reconsider being 100% loyal to Hyatt. Cat 4 Hyatt Places and the crazy AI increases just aren’t gonna do it.
for past two months I’ve been staying in Bali at the Grand Hyatt &
Park Hyatt – both category one hotels. It’s been amazing but too good to be true _ not surprised to see them move up
Based on what I took away from the RRV calcs, I wonder if these changes should result in a devaluation as RRV calcs here are primarily domestic? Or perhaps Hyatt is just raising cash prices domestically while slightly cutting non-domestically along with changing their award chart?
Also curious if it’s worth the brain damage to do RRV calcs separately for domestic and foreign hotels for all the hotel programs. The reason why is I keep on hearing how some hotel programs offer outsized value in certain countries which being fairly meh domestically (Choice? Pure Wyndham?). Also, as this article indicates, it looks like at least Hyatt is following the bookings by devaluing their domestic but giving a slight bump to their non-domestic, overall.
With how much hotel prices have increased over the last couple of years, it’s not too surprising to see award nights correspondingly increasing in price. I imagine the RRV would therefore be somewhat similar to before, but it would be interesting to see for sure once these changes have gone live.
I wouldn’t mind these changes so much if they would just let us top up certificates with Hyatt points. Continually removing category 4’s are making the 1-4 certificates just a throwaway perk rather than something worth striving for with Hyatt card spend.
and raise the ceiling on the 1-7 to include 8s
Typical sky is falling comments. The all inclusive chart was new, and you had to know it was too generous. Big cities have expensive hotels and cash prices are up. If you’re not expecting devaluation in this game you need a new game to play.
YIKES. This will definitely impact my credit card usage and loyalty to the Hyatt brand for my all inclusive vacations. This is over board, especially since there are many options. Looks like a great time to try Marriott vacations and a card with 2% straight cash back.
Way too much Hyatt…
What Marriott all-inclusive can you get for 30k let alone 50k per night? Sure, the increase catches your attention but the value is still superior to Hilton/Bonvoy/IHG IMO. Even the Secrets Impression Moxché at 50k is tough to beat.
This really hurts the Chase UR ecosystem.
Wow, this is a punch in the gut for sure. I am literally removing my Hyatt cards from my wallet as I read this. I will no longer pursue Globalist for 2024 and will switch my spend to an airline focus. I like independent boutique properties and happy to use my points for flights and pay for fun little properties moving forward.
I found it interesting / revealing to break down the all-inclusives – typical FM, excellent. It made me wonder about SLH – all the SLH properties I noticed went up. If all-inclusives went up and SLH went up, maybe the average Hyatt went down? Nah
Is there a link to all the properties being changed? Had my eyes on a property out west. Thanks for drawing attention to these changes.
Found it, https://world.hyatt.com/content/gp/en/landing/award-category-chart-updates.html
F’ing Beaver Creek is not Cat 8 with Grand Hyatt Vail just down the road. Love the s’mores though.
Exactly. GH Vail going up to 7 is a bigger hit. Thankfully I have a booking in for this month while it’s still a 6.
Oh well, 22 was the last year I cared.
I guess suites will become like domestic first class where the hotel sells it to me for cash
Well, we haven’t been Bonvoyed yet, but this one hurts a ton for all-inclusives, and domestic big cities.
I hate this move, but it was certainly inevitable. Spending 25,000 points on an $800 all inclusive hotel in the Caribbean was too good to be true.
That being said, I hope this prompts Hyatt to change their credit card, or to add an additional, more premium card. Paying $99/year for a card, with a very weak SUB and a weakened 1-4 award is going to stop making sense for a lot of people, and the incentive to spend is a lot less than it was.
A few thoughts:
This is definitely a bummer for my fellow all-inclusive lovers. 25,000 pts/night was the sweet spot for these properties. Now that most of them have jumped up to 40,000 pts/night, I don’t see myself going to them as much anymore.
Using the FNC for Cat 1-4 is going to be even harder to use now at major cities in the US. I’d like to see Chase/Hyatt move the FNC to Cat 1-5 but I’m doubtful that’ll happen.
Same. I’ve probably spent 80% of my Chase URs at Ziva resorts the past few years. This hurts.
The peak / off-peak point is significant. A significant number of hotels have dramatically reduced off-peak availability compared to peak in same-month 2022 vs. 2023 – as an example, Grand Hyatt Seoul and Jeju have tons of off-peak availability for March – May 2023, but none in April or May 2024. Sad for US redemptions and the program… once they neuter the elite benefits, I’m out.
I believe Hyatt releases award availability 13 months out? If so, April and May 2024 are beyond that time frame.