One of the truly best values for hotel points are in bookings that combine a cash element along with some loyalty points. My first broad experience with this was SPG Cash & Points awards. A number of years ago Hyatt released their own version, calling it Points & Cash. As a general rule, the “price” for these reservations is cheaper than just using points. The awards are capacity controlled, so you won’t find them everywhere.
Hyatt Increasing Cash Portion Of Points & Cash
A few days ago Richard Kerr reported that Hyatt was planning to increase the cash portion of the Points & Cash bookings. Richard is pretty reliable with his information. I didn’t doubt his information when he reported it, but I was trying to find someone else to confirm the details. That and some family time kept me from posting more details.
The change, as it’s being described, is pretty significant in terms of “value”. I haven’t spent a ton of time with the data yet, but Richard reports the new standard will be “50% of the nightly standard rate”. Well, that number will vary widely by property. I have no idea if they will publish these in bands like the current chart ($50, $55, $75, etc) or whether we’ll see a cash portion of $122.73, for example. At any rate, I am certain that in most cases 50% of the nightly standard rate will be higher than the current cash portion of Points & Cash.
Well, a short time ago another blogger, Point Me To The Plane, reported that he received confirmation from a Hyatt hotel about the changes. It appears the hotel received the same information as the Richard Kerr’s source. The good news here is that the second source confirms that all existing bookings will be honored at the current prices. That means if you have any upcoming travel (or even potential travel) it’s time to get busy.
Book Some Hotels!
Assuming the rumors are true, we’ve got less than 2 weeks before these changes go into effect. That doesn’t leave a ton of time. Normally, when hotel programs make changes a couple of weeks is enough time to sketch together some plans. Unfortunately, Points & Cash rates are capacity controlled, so you need more than just planning. You need the right inventory to be available before the 1st of November.
Given that these increases could be substantial, my recommendation is to book what you can now. My experience with Points & Cash has been that the bookings are generally fully refundable until a couple of days prior. In the event you find something different, I still imagine the property would prefer the higher rate rumored to be coming. Bottom line, you shouldn’t have a problem canceling a booking now that’s a bit speculative.
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