My Hyatt Devaluation Questions Answered Directly & My Thoughts On The Changes

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Hyatt Peak Non Peak Pricing Questions

My Hyatt Peak & Non Peak Pricing Questions Answered

Yesterday some big news came out of World of Hyatt, and as is most news these days, it wasn’t good. There is a devaluation on the horizon.  And even if it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, or others have done, it made the program less valuable nonetheless. There was still some confusion around the changes as well, at least for me.  So I reached out to my contact with my Hyatt peak & non peak pricing questions and got some answers.  I will share those with you as well as my thoughts on the changes.

Hyatt Peak & Non Peak Pricing Questions

Here are the questions and answers:

Does World of Hyatt or the individual hotels decide what is considered peak, non peak etc? 

Peak, Standard and Off-peak designated days are set centrally – they are not set by the individual hotels.

Will every hotel have at least some non peak pricing? 

Each day available for award night redemption will be designated as either Off-peak, Standard or Peak, as set by each geographic market. There are no minimum or maximum number of nights that a property can designate as Peak or Off-Peak point redemption periods. However, the majority of days will be set to Standard each year.

Is there a cap on how many days a hotel can show peak pricing? 

See above response.

Can you mix peak and non peak pricing in the same booking?  

Yes, each day will have its designated value and members will be able to book a combination of either Off-peak, Standard or Peak.

Will you be able to use free night certificates during peak season? 

Category 1-4 free night awards earned through the World of Hyatt Credit Card or for hitting certain thresh holds for qualifying nights/ number of brands remain applicable during all point requirement periods.

Will suite upgrades work the same for Globalists on peak and non peak bookings? 


Will peak pricing lead to more rooms available in places that make them notoriously difficult to book like the Andaz Maui? 

These changes are structured to better align with hotel demand. Therefore, we anticipate this to create more flexibility for members to use their points for award nights during preferred Off-peak periods, which would create more availability during Peak or Standard periods.

Hyatt Peak Non Peak Pricing Questions

My Thoughts On These Answers & The Changes Overall

We got some good info there and I appreciate my World of Hyatt contact being willing to answer them and did it so promptly.  Now let’s break this down into the good and the bad.

The Good

The thing that sticks out most to me is that free night certificates just became more valuable.  There are tons of ways to earn them even if they can be annoying to redeem and come with certain restrictions.  They are now the golden ticket to booking a hotel whenever you want and not worrying about pricing. I think this is a reason most everyone who values Hyatt should put $15,000 in spend on their World of Hyatt credit card to get that 2nd free night.

I like that World of Hyatt will control the calendar even though they don’t own most of the hotels.  This will eliminate those hotels that like to play games with award availability from putting everything at peak pricing etc. I also like that the geographical area is deemed non peak or standard etc. instead of a hotel by hotel approach.  This should open up some opportunity at their best hotels in each area.

I also hope this leads to more availability at their hardest to book properties like the Andaz Maui.  It sounds like that could be the case but we won’t know for sure for a few months.

Lastly, if you live in an area deemed non peak at the end of the year, hello Midwest, it could be a little cheaper next year for mattress runs.

Hyatt Peak Non Peak Pricing Questions

The Bad

The thing that I hate the most is that there are no limitations to peak pricing.  And there are no mandatory minimums on non peak pricing. I know Hyatt says that most nights will stay at standard nights.  And I am sure that is the case across the entire portfolio but that probably won’t be the case for popular areas.  I could see Hawaii being peak pricing for half the year or more etc.  It will be interesting to see what the most popular areas look like come March.

Something that goes in line with having no limitations is that it will be more difficult to plan vacations far in advance.  You won’t be able to tell the pricing for sure until a year out and what kind of points you need to squirrel away.  I guess you could just base everything off of peak pricing to be on the safe side though.

The lower tier categories will get hit the hardest.  I spend about half of my nights each year in a category one or two hotels and rarely stay above a category 4.  Peak pricing for category one hotels is a 30% increase.  It is a 25% increase for category 2 hotels and 20% for category 4 hotels.  Those are some big increases for me personally if there is a lot of peak pricing out there.

Ultimate Rewards are now less valuable and that makes my decision to put Amex Membership Rewards above them that much clearer.

Final Thoughts

What I loved most about the World of Hyatt program is that it was static.  I honestly would have preferred something like a 10% increase across the board and a static award chart.  That makes it easier to know what you are getting and what you need to budget for stays.

That may be me overreacting because there will be some value with non-peak awards but I doubt they will be that prevalent anywhere we want to go. My guess is that this will be a 15%+ devaluation to the most popular areas.  Hopefully they hold off on doing another massive re-categorization of their hotels.  That would pour salt in the wound for sure! Hopefully this answered some of your Hyatt peak and non peak pricing questions.

What are your thoughts on the changes?  What is the best thing to come out of this and the worst thing?  Let’s discuss it in the comments.

Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. I’m still unsure about the logic of many of the categories in the first place. Hyatt Place Mishawaka, Indiana as a Cat 4 us astounding. I recently paid $69 for the property and it was worth about that much.

  2. My opinion is there will be peak and standard across most nights. Off peak will not be common, thats my guess. Shawn and other podcasters talked about possible Hyatt changes. I would not be surprised to see more as we move forward.

    • Only thing for sure in this game is that everything changes 🙂

      I agree I think we will see mostly standard and peak pricing.

  3. These “answers” make NO sense whatsoever . . .

    First we have
    “Peak, Standard and Off-peak designated days are set centrally – they are not set by the individual hotels”

    But then,
    “There are no minimum or maximum number of nights that a property can designate as Peak or Off-Peak point redemption periods.

    How can a property designate peak or off-peak periods if this is NOT set by individual hotels? The first sentence contradicts the second.

    Then we have,
    “However, the majority of days will be set to Standard each year”

    If there is no maximum number of nights a property can set as Peak, then that could be 365, no?
    So how can the majority be set to Standard? If that were true then the max of Peak and Non-Peak combined would be limited to 182 nights. Which of course contradicts the previous statement.

    Terrible response!

    • They are saying there is no set amount a property can be designated as peak or non peak. That designation is done by Hyatt not by the hotel and that sentence isn’t suggesting it is done by the hotel.

      The majority of stays will be standard is talking about across the Hyatt brand.

      Hotel 1 – 60 non peak or peak days
      Hotel 2 – 180 peak or non peak days
      Hotel 3 – 200 peak or non peak days

      Of the 1095 days only 440 would be non standard – a majority of the days would be standard and there was no limit.

      Hope that helps you.

  4. Awesome. Thank you for your wonderful advice. Mark, we’ll be in Vegas 30th-3rd. Can you meet up sometime?
    Are you doing freemont for ny?
    Lunch on me?

  5. In your opinion what is the best hotel program to obtain status with? I’m currently Hyatt Globalist and I like the ease of getting points with the 5x Ink at OS stores which of course convert to Hyatt points.

    • I still think Hyatt is the best program to have status with…these changes don’t affect status really at all. And as long as they are a 1 to 1 UR transfer partner the program will have value. I use Hilton as my other option since you can get meaningful status for paying $95 a year with their Surpass card. I think that is the best combo out there as far as status goes.

  6. I recently bought points as those are very valuable at the high end properties. However, I feel like they just stuck a knife in me.

    Of the 3 big hotel brands Hilton charges the most points for even a low level hotel. However, Hilton gives more points for spending on their cards making those points easier to mass. Marriott is now following Hilton in pricing their hotels higher and higher, yet those Marriott points are a bit harder to mass. Hyatt looks to be following Hilton and Marriott and soon will not be the darling for so many of us. They will only be shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Hilton is by far the easiest to amass via their credit cards and they give the best payouts on cash stays too (up to 40x with bonuses) and is a reason I can stomach their high prices.

      I think as long as Hyatt and UR remain a 1 to 1 transfer they will always be useful. If that ever changes then they would be in some serious trouble.

    • That is the risk in buying points. I have never done it. I am in miles and points a long time.
      The only way it works for you is if you bought the points and immediately made bookings. You can try to dispute the charges with them. The small print says they can do whatever they wish but you can try to fight it if you spent alot of money.

    • I don’t think even then it will be great. That is assuming that you will see as much Non peak as you will peak which I doubt will be the case. If they split it evenly then I could see that being the case but I think there will be far more peak pricing than non peak pricing.

      • And I think most of the best hotels will not have any non peak pricing which will be a net negative.

        • Exactly why I think their higher cat props will be more negatively impacted than their lower, throwing %s aside. Certainly has happened that direction with RC & SR with Marriott.

          • I think it is going to be a mix because it is by area and not by hotel like Marriott is.

  7. Our favorite leisure redemption hotel is the Grand Hyatt Kauai, my first thought at seeing these changes is that we’ll have to shell out even more points now since that place could be Peak for the majority of the year. Now we wait and see what March looks like.

  8. “that makes my decision to put Amex Membership Rewards above them that much clearer” – will you share your strategy of how using MRs will lead to more valuable hotel (not flight) redemptions for you than URs?

    • I linked to the article above that shows my reasoning behind placing MR above UR. Doesn’t mean I won’t still collect UR but also doesn’t mean that they are not more valuable. Getting 3 to 1 Hilton transfer bonuses brings me as much value as Hyatt will with these changes too…so I guess there it is 😉


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