Hyatt Category Changes & Off-Peak/Peak Pricing Are Coming Soon – Consider Booking Now

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Back when we knew no better, Hyatt announced that they’d be implementing category changes for a bunch of their properties that would take place in March 2020.

To go along with that, they’d also introduce peak and off-peak pricing in addition to standard pricing for award bookings.

Well, something else significant happened in March 2020 which caused Hyatt to delay these changes. The changes were postponed until March 2021 and then postponed again until October 2021 for stays starting in March 2022.

The Pillars in Miami might be one of the properties going up a category

We’re awaiting confirmation from Hyatt as to the exact date we’ll see the change in pricing for stays from March 2022 along with a list of the properties changing category, but it’ll likely happen in the next few days.

As a result, it might be worth making some reservations now for stays you’re planning from March 2022 onwards. That’s because there could be some significant pricing changes at the property (or properties) you’re interested in.

For example, let’s say the hotel you’re interested in is currently a category 5 property. As things stand, that costs 20,000 points per night. If that hotel goes up to a category 6 property, its standard pricing will increase to 25,000 points per night. That’s not the worst case scenario though. If that property were to be peak priced during your dates, it’ll cost you 29,000 points per night. That’s a 45% increase in cost which is a significant difference.

It wouldn’t necessarily be as bad as that though. That’s because peak pricing isn’t the only change coming into play – off-peak pricing will become a thing too. If a property goes up from category 5 to category 6 but is subsequently priced at the off-peak rate, you’d pay 21,000 points per night which is only 1,000 points per night more than it is at its current category 5 rate. We don’t have any clue yet how widespread peak and off-peak pricing will be, but I have more faith in Hyatt to not play a lot of games with this compared to a company like Marriott.

For reference, here’s a table detailing the off-peak, standard and peak pricing levels:

World of Hyatt Peak Off-Peak Pricing
World of Hyatt peak & off-peak pricing

If you have a bunch of World of Hyatt points sitting in your account, making reservations now for potential stays from March 2022 onwards can make sense seeing as in the majority of cases you’ll be able to cancel without penalty and get your points back. If the hotel(s) you book subsequently get priced at the off-peak rate, you could cancel and rebook your stay to take advantage of that pricing discrepancy.

Side note: always be sure to check the cancellation terms for stays – even on award bookings. During large events, the cancellation policy for award bookings can be significantly more restrictive.

For example, I’d looked into booking a Hyatt property for the Kentucky Derby a couple of years ago. Despite wanting to make an award booking, the property would also have taken an immediate deposit for the entire cash cost of our stay which came to ~$3,000. We were booking the stay many months in advance, so we’d have had to float that $3,000 until after the event. If we cancelled the award booking, we’d have gotten the points back but would’ve lost the $3,000. Although we were fairly sure we wouldn’t need to book, I wasn’t willing to risk $3,000 and so we booked with a different chain instead. This certainly isn’t a common situation, but it’s one to keep an eye out for during periods of high demand where you might be expecting to see peak pricing come into play.

Speculative Transfers?

As mentioned above, if you have Hyatt points in your account already, making bookings now for March 2022 onward makes sense. However, what if you don’t have enough points in your Hyatt account but do have a healthy balance of Chase Ultimate Rewards points – should you speculatively transfer points?

Although we normally recommend not making speculative transfers from transferable currencies, this is a scenario where it could make sense – especially if you’d likely transfer Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt in the future anyway. With category changes and peak pricing leading to an increase of up to 90% in award costs per night (category 1 current pricing of 5,000 points per night going up to 9,500 points per night under category 2 peak pricing), a speculative transfer could save you a substantial number of points.

To me, there isn’t too much danger in making a speculative transfer provided it won’t leave you short of Ultimate Rewards for other travel you might want to book. If the property you book subsequently goes up in price – whether due to category changes and/or peak pricing – you’ve saved yourself points by booking now. If nothing changes, you simply have extra World of Hyatt points sitting in your account for future bookings. For Hyatt fans, you’d likely need those points anyway.

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[…] circulation rumors of Hyatt putting Peak and Off-Peak pricing into place sometime this month, it was best to get a reservation on the books considering I could cancel until […]

[…] on our Facebook page, we shared this post from Frequent Miler that indicates Hyatt is about to push the button on its award category changes and peak/off-peak […]

The Other Sam

I just spoke with a rep from World of Hyatt. She indicated the change would occur on 10/26, although I did not ask about a specific start date for peak and off-peak pricing. I’m not waiting that long to make 2022 bookings.

Last edited 1 month ago by The Other Sam
jEsse

Can you confirm This is for bookings of March 2022 onwards? I saw a post on doctor of credit which states oct 2022 onwards.

Christian

Any idea how much notice we’ll have on specific properties peak pricing dates?

NK3

Is that second paragraph true? OMAAT had a post yesterday saying that “Free night redemption rates will be identified as peak, standard, or off-peak as soon as nights are available for reservations (about 13 months in advance), and they won’t change once posted.” If that is true (big “if”), then that would argue against the World Series example.

Steve

I do wonder what times Hyatt will consider peak/off-peak and what controls corporate will set on hotels, if any. Will peak be a predictable period of time in a season? Or will it be “whenever we say it is,” like Marriott, i.e., days we have more/fewer rooms, so that in any given week, there is a day peak price, a day off-peak price, etc. In the end, I simply don’t believe this can be good for the consumer. I mean, sure, someone will get a good deal sometime, but mostly it will be frustrating.

DSK

Thanks guys. Had been holding off booking the Park Hyatt Zurich for summer 2022 until I had more Hyatt points, but saw your posts and realized if Europe in the summer isn’t peak, I don’t know what is. So, just transferred shortage from Chase to Hyatt (instant–like literally less than 10 seconds), booked on-line, and called to apply a suite upgrade I just earned two days ago. Easy!

Travelin'Dandy

My question is… are they changing the redemption rates in any way for using points for suite upgrades? that is currently my favorite way to use these points and if that isn’t changing then I’m not too worried about the dynamic pricing. is there any word on this?

Travelin'Dandy

and I mean using The cash and points option, not reserving a suite solely with points.