Posted by Ric Garrido

Hyatt Gold Passport will introduce Points + Cash awards on January 7, 2014 for all seven award categories. Best of all is Points + Cash awards will qualify for Hyatt Gold Passport promotions and elite credits. This is the main development of an announcement with two other new benefits launching Jan 7.

January 7, 2014 Hyatt Gold Passport program changes: (Hyatt website link)

  • Cash & Points Awards (elite qualifying stays and nights). Capacity controlled.
  • 20% discount My Elite Rate available for Platinum and Diamond members. Discount based on Hyatt Daily Rate. Capacity controlled.
  • 24-month points expiration extended from 12 months.

Points + Cash Awards

Hyatt has published an award table for Points + Cash requiring 50% points of a standard room award + a cash component from $50 to $300.

Hyatt points-cash

Call 1-800-228-3360 in the U.S. or Canada or your nearest Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center to book your nights with Points + Cash.

Points + Cash awards are not available at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva or Mlife properties.

The major drawback of Hyatt’s Points + Cash is the inability to book these rates online.

Primary benefits of Points + Cash awards is these award stays:

  • Earn Hyatt Gold Passport promotion credit as “eligible” stays.
  • Earn elite qualifying credit as “eligible” stays.
  • Earn base points on the cash portion of a Points + Cash award stay.

Only the Points + Cash award stays will be elite-qualifying stays. Hyatt Standard Award stays will not count for elite credit as they do with Choice, Hilton, IHG and Starwood. Hyatt is following the Club Carlson model in this respect with Points + Cash awards and not Standard Awards earning points and elite credit.

4. If a member chooses to receive Hyatt Gold Passport points for his/her stay, such member will earn five Hyatt Gold Passport points for each whole U.S. dollar or U.S. dollar equivalent spent by the member on Eligible Rates. An “Eligible Rate” shall be defined as any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to rates found on hyatt.com, the Hyatt Daily Rate, Volume Account Rates, AAA and Senior Citizen rates and Points + Cash awards. A portion of an Eligible Rate may reflect taxes, service charges, gratuities, and third-party charges for certain included items, and those costs may not be eligible for Hyatt Gold Passport points. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays,

Hyatt Gold Passport T&C – Earning Gold Passport Points as a Registered Guest

The Hyatt Gold Passport program offers two elite membership tiers – Platinum and Diamond.

1. To receive credit toward Hyatt Gold Passport tier status, a member must pay an Eligible Rate for at least one night of their stay. A stay is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at one property. Back-to-back stays within a 24-hour period at a single Hyatt are considered one stay. A member will not receive Hyatt Gold Passport credit toward tier status or toward any promotion for the nights the member pays an Ineligible Rate. A Hyatt Gold Passport member will only receive eligible tier credit for qualifying stays or nights after the member completes their stay and is checked out of the hotel.

Hyatt Gold Passport T&C – Platinum and Diamond Membership

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9. Points + Cash awards are subject to availability and reservations using these awards must be made in advance by calling a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center.  Member must pay the Points + Cash rate and redeem required point value to redeem award.  Room rate is based on double occupancy and standard guestroom accommodations, unless otherwise noted.  Limited number of rooms may be allocated for these awards, and availability may vary by hotel.  Points + Cash awards are not valid at Hyatt Zilara, Hyatt Ziva or M life resorts.  Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events.

Hyatt Gold Passport T&C – Redeeming Points for Hyatt Gold Passport Awards

Points + Cash is essentially a way to save 50% of points by paying a cash component to buy the points of a standard award. The added benefit being the cash portion paid for the award stay earns 5 points/$1, elite bonus points, and counts as an eligible stay, thereby earning elite credit and stay/night credit for Hyatt Gold Passport seasonal promotions.

Cash & Points Awards are like buying discount points from Hyatt

  • Category 1: $50 saves 2,500 points = $20.00/1,000 points copay.
  • Category 2: $55 saves 4,000 points = $13.75/1,000 points copay.
  • Category 3: $75 saves 6,000 points = $12.50/1,000 points copay.
  • Category 4: $100 saves 7,500 points = $13.33/1,000 points copay.
  • Category 5: $125 saves 10,000 points = $12.50/1,000 points copay.
  • Category 6: $150 saves 12,500 points = $12.00/1,000 points copay.
  • Category 7: $300 saves 15,000 points = $20.00/1,000 points copay.

Category 3-6 hotel Points + Cash awards are the sweet spot in this chart.

Category 1 and 7 is essentially paying $20 per 1,000 points. This may still be a big discount compared to the published rate, however, $20 per 1,000 points is the common discount price on the regular price to buy points from Hyatt during their periodic sales each year. While the price of points is not a bargain on Category 1 or 7 hotels, the ability to book numerous Points + Cash stays throughout the year is a better savings opportunity than buying 40,000 points per year. And there is now more incentive to buy Hyatt points, even at the $24 per 1,000 points price, to book Points + Cash stays that earn elite credit, promotional credit and points on cash portion paid.

The advantage of Hyatt Points + Cash Awards is the ability to stretch your points for more award nights.

FAQ for Hyatt Points + Cash Awards

4. Can I book Points + Cash awards online?
No, Points + Cash awards can only be booked by calling 1-800-228-3360 in the U.S. and Canada or a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center.

5. When will the points portion of a Points + Cash award be taken out of my Hyatt Gold Passport account?
The points portion of a Points + Cash award will be taken out of a Hyatt Gold Passport account at the time of booking.

6. If I cancel my Points + Cash award will the points be deposited back into my account?
Yes, if a Points + Cash award reservation is cancelled, in accordance with the hotel’s cancellation policy, the points used will be returned into the member’s Hyatt Gold Passport account.

7. When will I be charged the cash portion of a Points + Cash award?

The cash portion of a Points + Cash award will be charged directly to the member by the hotel at the time of checkout.

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My Elite Rate should be equivalent to what are now Advanced Purchase rates for members and provide a better discount than 10% AAA rate discounts.

My Elite Rate 20% discount for Platinum and Gold members

Once you’re logged in to your Hyatt Gold Passport account on hyatt.com, look for the My Elite Rate or simply request it when you book a reservation through a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center.  The My Elite Rate must be booked at the time of reservation. These rates will be available January 7, 2014.

Is the My Elite Rate an Eligible Rate?
Yes, the My Elite Rate is an Eligible Rate, and members can earn points for this rate as well as credit toward elite tier status and promotions. New 2014 Hyatt Benefits FAQ.

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24-Month Points Expiration

Hyatt Gold Passport is increasing the number of months that an account may have no activity before being closed from twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) months.   Starting January 7, 2014, an account that accrues no activity for 24 consecutive months will be closed and all Hyatt Gold Passport points in that account will be forfeited.  The earliest that an account can be closed under this new policy is January 7, 2016.

9. How can I maintain an active Hyatt Gold Passport account?
There are a number of ways to keep your membership active:

  • Earn or redeem Hyatt Gold Passport points via authorized means, including for stays at Hyatt hotels and resorts, dining and spa treatments, and stays at participating M life properties
  • Purchase or combine points, transfer Free Night Awards or convert points to miles
  • Maintain a Hyatt Credit Card account
  • Earn credits with a Travel Partner or receive M life Tier Credits for stays at a Hyatt property.

Hyatt FAQ

Points expiration is generally not too much a concern for most hotel loyalty programs. I went several years without any Marriott Rewards account activity and never lost my points or account.

Hilton has closed my account once before for inactivity even though I had earned and burned over 2,000,000 HHonors points in the prior decade.

My last Hilton stay was December 2012 at Conrad Miami and Hilton HHonors sent me an email three weeks ago saying I will lose all my points if I do not have activity by late December 2013.

Hyatt says no accounts will be closed prior to January 7, 2016. So check out ways to extend your account activity. The Hyatt Credit Card confers Platinum elite with the new benefit of 20% off rates in 2014. And Hyatt allows guests to earn points for dining and spa charges at many participating Hyatt Hotels, even when not a registered guest.

Overall View of Hyatt Gold Passport 2014 Changes

My thoughts on Hyatt changes are the Points + Cash awards will be a significant option for Hyatt Hotel stays to reduce the cost of some high-priced hotels. Points + Cash with the ability to earn promotion and elite credit is definitely a favorable award option over Standard Awards.

Bottom line is I view my Hyatt Gold Passport points as having more value in 2014 than they do now, despite the addition of category 7 and an increase in price for category 5 and 6 award nights.

Related Post: Hyatt Gold Passport 2014 Award Chart Changes adds category 7 and raises points cost (November 11, 2013).

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Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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9 Responses

  1. Ric, this is a very good news and I m happy HGP is offering these.

  2. Several of us bloggers had this information about Points + Cash Awards the weekend before last included in the email accompanying the Hyatt Award Category changes.

    The Hyatt information about Points + Cash was under embargo until Hyatt released announcement on FlyerTalk and other outlets the evening of Sunday, November 17.

  3. Ric, on a technical note — it looks like you’ve stopped offering full-text RSS feeds; now all we get is a short snippet introduction. I very much prefer reading via RSS, and would appreciate it if you’d consider turning it back on.

  4. @reader – I must have unintentionally changed the settings the weekend before last when I was adding pages.

    I’ll check that now.

  5. One of the best benefits of Hyatt GP if you book a paid rate, you can get a guaranteed upgrade at time of booking rather than a few days in advance like the sweet nights at SPG. You can do this 4 times each year and I believe it’s up to 5 nights each booking. So I’d really like to know if I can do points and miles AND get a confirmed upgrade at time of booking. This then creates a lot of value for me anyway since for a vacation trip I can 1) get a really nice room guaranteed with space for family too 2) have it could towards elite status 3) not pay full price. I’ve always been disappointed Hyatt wouldn’t do a confirmed upgrade on free nights that I use for vacations which is the only time I really care about the upgrades anyway. (Most of my travel is business and I don’t need a huge room then just for myself.)

  6. Most recent word from Hyatt Gold Passport is Diamond member suite upgrades will be allowed on Points + Cash stays.

  7. Not to be a downer, but these new perks likely won’t benefit frequent Hyatt guests

    Here’s my analysis:

    1. Expiration of points moving from 12 months to 24 months

    It’s sad to say this, but a benefit designed to help the occasional guest is bad for frequent guests. It means the GP point liability to Hyatt increases (which is awful enough with the introduction of the Hyatt Card), meaning that redemption levels are GUARANTEED to rise even more in the coming years. For anyone who doesn’t believe me, remember what happened to Delta.

    2. Exclusive 20% Discount for Platinum and Diamond Members

    This perk is perfectly designed by Hyatt to offset new benefit #1 in the eyes of frequent guests. The problem is that the Hyatt.com rate is always at least 10% lower than the Daily Rate, so just from the get-go you’re only saving 10%. Yes, I realize the .com rate is pre-paid, however AAA rates are often 15-25% below the Daily Rate and require no prepayment. I do hope this becomes a real benefit, but the pessimist in me thinks hotels will simply increase their Hyatt Daily Rate another 5% or so, so the actual ‘discount’ from Hyatt.com rate or AAA will be negligible or non-existant. (I would also guess that many of the frequent guests have corporate rates that are 20% or less than that Daily Rate.)

    3. Points + Cash

    This was a no-brainer for Hyatt to add on a year they’ve already announced a new Category 7 & significant point increases. Hyatt is clearly hoping that customers will see this as the offset to higher award redemptions and although Points+Cash may be beneficial for some, it will likely only be available at the hotel’s discretion. That’s because (likely the same as SPG), this rate is something the hotels can choose to offer to boost occupancy during low-times (approx. <70% occupancy) and have it automatically disappear during busy travel periods. The hotel–not Hyatt–is likely eating the lower rate here (and it will likely end up being roughly the same revenue to them as an award booking), so don't expect it to be widely available when you need it.

    Still waiting/hoping: Award stays to count toward elite qualification…

    I'm shocked that Hyatt isn't addressing the elephant in the room, which is that they STILL don't count award stays toward elite qualification. To my knowledge, all other major chains now offer this and adding the benefit literally costs them nothing to add this (something they love)! After hitting us over the head with the new Cat. 7, increasing the points for most redemptions & adding additional benefits tailored more to infrequent guests, why can't they add one that would clearly help us! For those that say it would increase the ranks of Diamond members, then why not require a member have a year (or even two) of Diamond status on revenue stays only before allowing award stays to count toward elite re-qualification? I know many people said the point devaluation was the last-straw for them. For me, it's this. Why continue to stay with Hyatt if I'm unsure if I'll have 18 or 30 stays the following year, when I can stay with another chain and know I'll at least be racking up stays toward lifetime status? (And don't get me started on the requirement for Hyatt's 'lifetime' program…)

  8. @Sean – I see Points + Cash as a major improvement to the Hyatt Gold Passport program for frequent guests. The other benefits are nothing major.

    My stays at Hyatt went way down due to the average cost of hotels in 2013.

    The addition of Points + Cash and the fact that they are eligible for elite credit will make a big difference for me.

    My primary concern is the high cost of hotels. I focus on discount rates. Hyatt has had few opportunities for good discount rates. Point + Cash is a major improvement.

    Category 7 hotels at 30,000 points per night is a negligible change for me. These are not the hotels where I am dying to stay.

    The fact that over 80% of Hyatt’s 540 hotels are in Category 1-4 means there will be lots of opportunities for significant rate discounts at Hyatt Hotels in 2014.

    Marriott does not count award stays for elite.

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