Hyatt Peak/Off-Peak Analysis

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As promised/threatened, Hyatt’s peak and off-peak award pricing is now live for stays beginning March 1, 2022 and beyond.  That means that instead of each hotel having a fixed award price at all times, the award price varies between off-peak, standard, and peak pricing.  Here’s the updated award chart:

This chart is not viewable via email, so please click through to view this post on the web. Click here.

An easy way to see when a property is priced off-peak, standard, or peak is with Hyatt’s new award calendar tool.  This shows the standard room award price in a calendar view.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t show whether awards are actually available or not, but it’s a quick way to find award pricing.  See this post for details: Hyatt Points Calendar Is Now Live & The Experience Is Mixed.

Since this new award pricing scheme has gone live, readers have written in to complain that their favorite hotels are nearly always peak priced; to point out great values where properties are frequently off-peak priced; or to point out other patterns they’ve found.  That’s great and helpful information (keep it coming!), but I wanted to look at this objectively.  How good or bad is the new pricing really?  Specifically, I sought to answer the following questions:

  • How often are peak and off-peak prices in effect compared to standard pricing?
  • On average, are point prices higher or lower than before?
  • Has the value of Hyatt points changed?  If so, by how much?

To answer these questions, I returned to the same set of hotels that I looked at in May 2021, when I posted: What are Hyatt points worth now, and once they add peak/off-peak pricing?  For that post I looked at award pricing and cash prices for three separate dates at 21 different Hyatt properties within the United States (3 hotels in each of these locations: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Seattle).  While it would be useful to look at award patterns beyond the U.S., for this analysis I decided to keep to the same set of hotels so that I could compare apples to apples.  By necessity, though, I had to choose new dates:

  • Weekday: Wednesday April 6th, 2022 (previous: Wednesday September 15th)
  • Weekend Day: Friday April 8th, 2022 (previous: Friday October 15th)
  • Holiday Weekend Day: Saturday April 16 for Easter weekend (previous: Friday July 2nd for July 4th weekend)

For each of the 21 hotels and 3 dates, I recorded both paid and cash rates.  In the few cases where a standard room award wasn’t available, I left the data blank for that hotel & date.  This only happened with two hotels on two dates each.  Both hotels happen to be in the Miami area.

How often are peak and off-peak prices in effect compared to standard pricing?

Award Price # Data Points Percent
Off-Peak 2 3.4%
Standard 45 76.3%
Peak 12 20.3%

The good news is that most of the time standard pricing is still in effect.  The bad news is that the rest of the time is dominated by peak pricing rather than off-peak.

Answer: I observed 20% peak pricing and 3% off-peak pricing

On average, are point prices higher or lower than before?

5/4/21 Analysis 10/28/21 Analysis
Mean Point Price 15,286 15,542
Median Point Price 15,000 15,000

As you can see above, the average (mean) point price in this dataset increased by a tiny amount (less than 2%) with the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing.  The median (middle value) hasn’t changed at all.

Answer: Average award prices are a tiny bit higher (2%)

Has the value of Hyatt points changed?  If so, by how much?

Between my May 4th analysis and this new one, the calculated average point value has gone up from 1.76 to 2.10 cents per point, and the median point value has risen from 1.65 to 1.9 cents per point.  That does not mean that the introduction of peak and off-peak pricing is the cause of the increased point values.  Instead, I believe this was caused by a general inflation of hotel prices.  In my May analysis, the average room rate was $261.  In the new analysis, the average room rate was $321.  That’s a 23% increase!  While hotel prices have risen a lot, Hyatt’s average award prices have only risen a only a very small amount (less than 2%, as shown above).  This has the combined effect of making points considerably more valuable.

A better option for identifying the effect of peak and off-peak awards is to calculate the value of points with the latest cash rates both with the new award pricing and with the assumption of the old standard pricing.  The latter tells us how much Hyatt points would be worth for April 2022 bookings if peak and off-peak pricing hadn’t been introduced.  Here are the results:

Observed Point Value
(Cents Per Point)
Point Value w/ Standard Award Pricing
Mean 2.1 2.2
Median 1.9 1.9
60th Percentile 2.0 2.0
70th Percentile 2.3 2.3
80th Percentile 2.6 2.7
90th Percentile 2.9 3.0
Minimum 1.2 1.2
Maximum 4.5 4.5

As you can see above, the average observed point value would have been slightly higher if peak and off-peak award pricing didn’t exist (2.1 vs. 2.2 cents per point).  Peak and off-peak pricing had no impact on the median observed value nor on the 60th or 70% percentile.  Once we get up to the 80th or 90th percentile, we see a very small disadvantage caused by peak & off-peak pricing.

Answer: On average, point values are a tiny bit lower due to peak pricing

Conclusion

As many have feared, we are seeing a lot more peak priced awards than off-peak, at least in the U.S.  That said, on average this has had only a tiny effect on award prices and an even smaller effect on the average value of our Hyatt points.  A much bigger observed trend is mostly unrelated to peak and off-peak pricing: hotel prices have soared and, since award prices have remained mostly stable, this has made Hyatt points much more valuable than before.  That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Hyatt hasn’t made any announcements yet about 2022 hotel category reassignments.  I think it’s inevitable that many of these overpriced hotels will go up by a category or two.  If so, that will bring Hyatt point values down and also devalue free night certificates since fewer hotels will qualify for category 1-4 or category 1-7 free nights.  In other words, if you were upset by the peak/off-peak devaluation, I suspect that you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  Hold onto your hat and book your awards soon.  I predict that a real devaluation is on its way.

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Sea Pea

Anybody noticing now since the covid is kinda over and prices are high that Hyatt isn’t accepting points on a lot of domestic locations?

[…] was that this would cause mild to moderate pain for Hyatt fans. Now we know how bad it is since Frequent Miler compared rates at several hotels over various dates and crunched the numbers for […]

[…] week has been all about Hyatt and Marriott devaluations. My own IN-DEPTH analysis of the new Hyatt Point Calendar for […]

Cavedweller

Greg
Good job of keeping infro on cards u don’t make $$$ on. Just got AAdvantage Aviator Card by Barclays for like the Fourth time in 10 years maybe.. The one I bt a Mcd’s $.99 coffee to get the 60K as in a RT to ATH ..
Sorry no profit to U but I looked to see if the Fools still did it Nuts..

John

Usefull stuff from Frequent Miler as usual.

One small point: It’s actually not really useful to compute medians.

From the definition of the median and Hyatt’s rule that “The majority of days are set to standard redemption rates each year” it follows the median must always equal the standard rate (if looking at full years).

That follows directly from the construction of the median. It is more useful to look at relative frequencies (# of off-peak/standard/peak) or the average in this case.

The mode is not gonna be useful, either, because Hyatt’s rule always guarantees the mode to equal the standard rate (again, if looking at years in their entirety).

Maurice

It would be interesting to do a comparison to these same hotels for summer 2022. I locked in a bunch of nights in Chicago for next August and the majority of the times I selected reflect peak pricing. Either way it is a good value compared to cash prices for summer 2022.

WR2

I think it’s better to look at # of days per year set at off peak or peak for a sample of hotels. I was looking to book Hyatt Place Bangkok, and I saw that only 2 random nights were off peak for all of next year, more were at peak but I didn’t count them.

Is 2 the minimum number of off peak nights required by Hyatt? Seems like a ridiculously low constraint. I doubt 2 random nights were sincerely thought by the hotel to be off peak, so seems to me that they just set two nights to check the box. In any case, it’s disappointing, since I thought Hyatt made it clear that hotels would be required to maintain a certain % of peak/off…but setting the requirement at 2 nights is just weak.

Reuben

My hope is with higher peak pricing there will be more availability during peak times. If that’s the case I’m fine with the changes.

Aloha808

Sounds like something Marriott Bonvoy would say. 😉

Sea Pea

Are hotel prices up because of the cost of goods and services or because of covid demand?

Abey

I’m just happy that how you didn’t go full dynamic like Marriott, they do have to keep up with the competition and so this is the minimum they could’ve done. Who’s with me ?

khatl

Great analysis.

For all my reservations next year, there was no change to redemption rates, except one where the redemption rates went down (which surprised me)

NK3

For me, of the 5 reservations I made before the dynamic prices kicked in, 2 are now standard and 3 are off peak. That may say more about me & my travel habits though.

Blue

My guess is there will be a massive category shift and after than the upshifting properties will widen their off-peak dates. Still a big devaluation effectively.

Travelin'Dandy

Will there be a hard date given in advance for the category changes as there was for the introduction of peak pricing?

Brant

Thanks to Hyatt’s new dynamic pricing, I was able to reserve the Park Hyatt Dubai, Aug. 22-29, 2022 for only 17,000 points per night. (119K total). This is not a great value, given that member rates start at $185 per night, however, I applied a Globalist suite upgrade and received a Park Terrace Suite with a cash price of $577 per night. Devaluation is never fun, but those with flexibility will continue to find hidden gems.

Anthony

Pay the cash rate then use the upgrade. Your wasting points otherwise.

C.D.

Probably worth noting that the dates you used are during spring break, which would normally be a peak time in many places (and probably explains the lack of availability in Miami)