It’s not quite Faster Free Nights, but it’s a pretty good promo.
Members can earn a free night for every 5 nights they stay during the promo period or bonus points. The free nights are limited to properties that are category 4 or below:
Choose Free Nights
Earn a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel worldwide after every five nights. Enjoy four free nights after you stay a maximum of 20 nights. Redeem free nights with no blackout dates through July 31, 2014.
If you’re not sure whether you’ll have an award stay during that time period at a Category 1-4 property, you can also choose to earn points:
This portion of the promo is a carbon copy of their fall promo, New Possibilities. I didn’t think the fall promo was terribly generous, but at the top two tiers (15 and 20 nights) the bonuses of 30,000 and 50,000 points, respectively are a nice bounty.
This is the second promo in a row that doesn’t contain a bonus for Hyatt Visa cardholders, something they had done for a number of promos in the past. 2 in a row makes me think that the Hyatt Visa bonuses are on the shelf for at least a while, which makes holding that card a bit less valuable, though likely still worth it for some.
Registration begins on January 9, 2014. There’s no registration link yet, but I’ll be sure to share one when there is. The promo will run from January 15, 2014 until April 30, 2014. That means averaging 5 nights a month will max you out on this promo. You also need to use the free nights by July 31, 2014.
I’m likely to choose points but I really do applaud Hyatt for bringing back a free night option. I think that in order to make that the “preferred path” for this promo, they would have either had to reduce the number of paid nights needed (maybe from 5 to 4) to earn a free stay or increase the category restrictions to include category 5. They also could have extended the expiration to the end of August to allow people to have more flexibility for summer planning.
5 paid nights earns you one free night worth up to at least 15,000 points (category 4 price). In theory, if you maxed out at 4 free nights in a category 4, that would be worth 60,000 points versus 50,000 points for maxing out the points option in the promo. But, that requires to redeem at exactly a category 4 for 4 nights. Any less than that (or breakage for not being able to redeem) would make points the preferred path. That means each of us will need to sit down and consider our travel plans before embarking on this promo. One way or the other, I expect to hit the max of 20 nights.
It’s still early, but I would certainly say this is the best of the promos released and certainly better than Starwood Preferred Guest’s promo. Hotel promos have been less powerful over the past 18 months due to rising occupancy and daily rates, so the strength of the bonus isn’t terribly surprising. It’s probably a bit more valuable than I would expect at this time based on the 2014 forecast for the hotel industry.