After Hyatt’s category change quasi-announcement (a very mild one, IMO), Hyatt reached out to me today to inform me of some upcoming announcements for 2015. They’re not all positive, and one is a bit of a stinger. Quoting from Hyatt:
Points + Cash and My Elite Rate – Points + Cash has been very successful, and we are looking at ways to enhance it even further. Points + Cash was launched with the full intention of making it a permanent element of the loyalty program whereas My Elite Rate was launched as a beta test for the calendar year. At this point, we have chosen not to roll out My Elite Rate on a permanent basis, and it will not be available in 2015. While many members enjoyed My Elite Rate and were strong advocates for its continuation, the results from our beta test did not warrant a permanent roll out. We are currently working on a variety of new programs, and we will begin to share some of these initiatives in the first quarter.
I’m really disappointed to see My Elite Rate going away. I used this frequently throughout the year. I also hypothesized that this was a play for Hyatt to get more control of their reservation book and pay less money to OTAs. Ultimately, it looks like it didn’t move the needle enough to stick around for 2015.
As expected, Points & Cash is here to stay. This was a solid enhancement to compete with SPG’s very successful Cash & Points product. I’ve asked my contact to clarify if there’s any update on a timeline for booking these awards online, which would alleviate needing to call to inquire about availability. I’ve always found Hyatt’s phone support to be very helpful, but I’d prefer the flexibility to book online.
They’re also making a small change to bed-type guarantees:
Bed Type Guarantee Policy – One thing that will be changing effective January 1, 2015 is the existing bed type guarantee policy. Today, this is applicable to elite members only, and members are awarded 5,000 bonus points if the reserved bed type is not available upon check-in. Less than 0.1% of elite members did not receive their confirmed bed type – so in the future we’re guaranteeing that upon check-in all guests will receive the bed type confirmed, and there will no longer be any bonus points associated with non-compliance.
It doesn’t surprise me that they would phase out this bonus point opportunity, given that I’ve never been denied my confirmed bed type. On the flip side, guaranteeing bed types for all guests (not just elites) is a plus.
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
Losing My Elite Rate is a bummer. That being said, I don’t think I’m being biased when I say I’m happy Hyatt is willing to experiment with enhancements like this as opposed to just copying their competition or staying complacent. I’d be happier if it was continuing, but Points & Cash was a welcome addition. I’ll hope for more in 2015.
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