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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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