I have used quite a few hotel points redemptions this month and a recent reader question got me thinking why is Hyatt the only program out of the big four that doesn’t offer any discount on multi-night bookings!?
Both Marriott Rewards and Hilton Honors offer the 5th Night Free feature when redeeming points and IHG offers the 4th Night Free for IHG Premier credit cardholders.
What does Hyatt offer their members when redeeming points for multiple nights? Nothing.
In the past, I usually argued that Hyatt has a very reasonable award chart compared to especially Hilton but also Marriott so not offering the 5th night free was somehow reasonable.
In the meanwhile, however, Hyatt has made several changes to the World of Hyatt program including introducing seasonal award pricing while also hiking up the rates at many aspirational properties.
Hyatt is now charging you a considerable amount of points more when staying at randomly selected peak/high demand season dates which equals a severe devaluation of the program.
At the same time World of Hyatt has continued to provide extremely lackluster promotions and at the moment not offering a general promotion at all.
Here is one 5 night redemption I made at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver for next month:
I spend 60,000 points for 5 nights at the Hyatt Regency which I considered a pretty decent redemption considering the current price at that hotel ($410 per night – crazy!).
Nevertheless, that Hyatt is the only property chain that wouldn’t provide a multi-night discount. Why is that?
Here is an example of a 5-night reservation I had for this week at the AC Hotel Seoul Gangnam reserved for 80,000 Marriott points:
This was excellent as one night at this AC ran 230,000 KRW, however, I did end up canceling the reservation and amending it to a one night stay as the hotel refused to upgrade to a suite (“We don’t upgrade to suites, it’s the hotels rule!”). The room was way too small to stay in for five days but the point is that the 5th night free would have been great value on an already decent redemption option.
I filed a complaint with Marriott against the property for not honoring the suite upgrade benefit and went back to the Aloft Myeongdong where I got one of their great Breezy Suites for the whole week. That was a paid stay though as the rate was low.
With IHG I previously reserved hotels such as the Intercontinental Tokyo with the 4th Night Free benefit:
So coming back to the question on hand: Why isn’t Hyatt providing anything similar?
The answer is, that nobody knows and most likely it’s just arrogance and their impression that they don’t have to do it for some reason.
As I mentioned before, the attractiveness of World of Hyatt isn’t really there anymore especially if you earn your points through hotel stays and associated revenue rather than credit card transactions.
The earning rate for Hyatt hotel revenue is absolutely minimal (5 points per US$ spent plus elite bonus). As a Globalist with a 35% bonus that’s 6.75 points per US$ 1 spent with the chain. That’s $4,450 spent pre-tax to get 30k points which would be enough for one night at the Park Hyatt Tokyo during non-peak season. About 30 nights’ worth of revenue in my case.
When you scale this up to a multi-night redemption you do the math how many points you need and how much revenue Hyatt properties would earn from that. Is it too much to ask from Hyatt to add a discount for 4/5 night redemptions?
It further drives down the redemption value and forces the customer to hunt even harder for decent redemption options, making it more difficult to get value out of the program. Recently I found it more worthwhile to use points at hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Vancouver that only require ~12k per night while featuring high headline rates instead of using them for example at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. While PHT is my favorite property in the Hyatt chain I can almost always pay $400 incl Tax for one night there rather than use 30,000+ points.
Unfortunately, World of Hyatt is still the only program of the Big 4 that doesn’t offer members a discount on award bookings of 4/5 nights.
The program appears to suffer from a case of excessive overconfidence, based on the assumption that it performs and provides way above the industry standard. It might have done so in the past but that’s no longer the case. Hyatt has cut too deep into the core of the program and is too stingy with promotions.
World of Hyatt has almost become a program mainly focused on Chase credit card customers who collect points through the Hyatt Visa credit card and Chase Ultimate Rewards. The points earned from customers through actual hotels stays don’t seem to matter much anymore and it’s not Hyatt’s priority to reward these actual hotel customers.
Do you still like World of Hyatt and get good value out of the program?