The First Hyatt Promotion Of 2016 Is A Really Good One, Even If We Wish It Came Out Sooner

Hyatt took a bit of a different path from their competitors in the early part of 2016.  They chose not to run a promotion during the early months of the year.  This isn’t terribly surprising, given that both occupancy and average daily rate are up industry-wide. If hotels are full, there isn’t much need for hotel chains to bother giving away bonus points to customers to try to drive incremental bookings.

Those early winter months can be tough to fill hotels, given that there’s not a ton of leisure travel.  Hyatt must have felt comfortable enough to stand pat in the face of lukewarm promos from competitors like SPG.

They’ve now announced their first promo of 2016, and it’s much better than anything they released in 2015.  It was rumored first on One Mile at a Time, then confirmed by View From The Wing.  Here are the details of the promo:

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The promotion starts April 1 and runs until June 30, 2016.  To max this out you’d likely have to be a business traveler (or have a LOT of leisure travel scheduled) to average 8 nights a month.  But, the reward would certainly be worth it.

Recent Hyatt promotions have maxed out in the 50,000-65,000 point area, like the most recent summer promo they ran.  Where this promo excels compares to previous ones is both at the top and the bottom.

Where last summer’s promotion started at 15 nights, folks who commit to only 5 stays in the current promo earn a bonus of 1,000 points a night.  At the top end, you’re earning 3,000 extra points a night.

This promotion is certainly more generous than the current SPG promo, especially at the top end of 25 nights.  Unless you’re staying 2 or more nights at expensive SPG properties, you’ll be better off with 25 nights at Hyatt during this promo.  With SPG only offering 7,500 points as a bonus for 25 nights, you’d need to earn 50,000 points  from the “double Starpoints” part of the promo and/or pick up a whole bunch of the 250 points bonuses for specific cities.

On the flip side, 25 nights earns you 75,000 points with Hyatt regardless of your average rate.  75,000 points is enough for 5 nights at Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile.

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In fact, there are a healthy list of nice properties in Category 4 (all 15,000 points a night) that would give you a nice 5-night vacation if you maxed out this promo.

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The Final Two Pennies

I’m interested to see Hyatt trying to drive incremental bookings by adding tiers for 5 nights and 10 nights, something a few of the previous promos have left out.  This spring promo offers bonus earnings for both occasional and frequent travelers.

I prefer earning lots of bonus points to the Faster Free Nights Hyatt used to offer, but I understand why those promotions are popular.  They were easier to leverage to generate a bunch of free nights on cheap stays.  But in an environment where hotels are a lot more full than 5 years ago, this Hyatt promotion strikes me as more lucrative for most travelers than the current SPG one.

We shouldn’t regard this as a return to the salad days of hotel promos.  It’s unclear how many promos Hyatt will run this year after sitting out the first quarter.  And, I don’t think this is generous enough to move SPG or Marriott to drastically improve their next offering.

But, 75,000 is much better than a sharp stick in the eye.

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5 Comments

  1. I wish it had come out sooner – I’ve spent 12 nights so far this year staying at Hyatt Properties (I’m a leisure traveler, not a business traveler), and have no further reservations between now and September (when I will be spending another 4 nights at Hyatt properties)

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