Hyatt becomes the first major hotel chain to extend loyalty perks again

Oct 7, 2020

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues, the demand for travel is still significantly suppressed.

With fewer people travelling, airlines and hotels have been busy making customer-friendly adjustments to their loyalty programmes. At the outset of the pandemic, most travel companies extended elite status and associated benefits to 2021.

Roughly six months later, and we’re back for round two. In September, Delta became the first major U.S. carrier to announce a second round of extensions to loyalty benefits.

And on Tuesday, World of Hyatt becomes the first major global hotel chain to do the same. Let’s take a look at the details.

World of Hyatt extending point expiration

Hyatt points are typically forfeited if an account is inactive for 24 months. Previously, the chain announced that point expiration was suspended through 31 December 2020.

Now, Hyatt is tacking on six more months to use your points. With Tuesday’s announcement, point expiration has been extended through 30 June 2021.

Park Hyatt St. Kitts (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

This is great news for those with inactive accounts who’d like to use (and not lose) their points. As travel hopefully resumes, the six-month extension should give members enough time to use the points. If not, I’d imagine that Hyatt might further extend the point expiration.

Related: How to keep your points and miles from expiring

World of Hyatt extending awards

This is a big one.

World of Hyatt elites earn various club lounge access awards, suite night awards and free night certificates each year. These awards are some of the best in the business, so it’s no surprise that many readers have been wondering if Hyatt would extend them again.

And indeed, all awards with 2021 expirations will be extended.

Any unused club lounge access or suite night awards with 28 February 2021 expiration dates will be extended to 31 December 2021. In addition, all unused free night awards that were earned in 2020 with 2021 expiration dates will be extended to 31 December 2021. The certificate extension includes all free night awards, including those earned from promotional programs like the Brand Explorer challenge.

Park Hyatt St. Kitts (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Plus, as previously announced, all unused awards with expiration dates between 1 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 have already been extended to 31 December 2021.

These extensions will be generated by the loyalty programme – members do not need to do anything on their end. Unused club lounge and suite upgrade awards that expire in February 2021 and free night awards issued in 2020 with an expiration date before 31 December 2021 will be replaced with a new award beginning 20 November 2020. All other qualifying, unused awards will be updated by the 20th day of the month in which the award would have originally expired.

This move should bring peace of mind to most World of Hyatt Explorists and Globalists.

World of Hyatt status extensions

Earlier this year, World of Hyatt extended status for elite members without needing to spend a single night in a hotel. If you held status with Hyatt on 31 March 2020, your tier was automatically extended through 28 February 2022.

While the previously announced extensions are great for current elites, Tuesday’s news doesn’t include anything about earning status in 2021 for the 2022 programme year. It’s likely too early for Hyatt to make a call on whether they need to extend status again or lower the qualifying thresholds.

World of Hyatt award chart changes

Well before the pandemic, Hyatt was planning to introduce peak and off-peak pricing on 22 March 2020. Needless to say, Hyatt’s planned implementation date — at the height of the pandemic — wasn’t great.

In March, the chain announced that it would delay the tiered award pricing structure to the beginning of 2021. With January right around the corner, World of Hyatt has decided to give members another six months of the standard award chart. As such, peak and off-peak pricing has now been delayed to July 2021.

Of course, this date could continue getting pushed, depending on the status of the virus early next year.

In addition, most hotel chains make annual updates to award chart categories. Demand for some hotels change year-over-year, so the parent chain adjusts award categories to account for that. With only a few exceptions, World of Hyatt is suspending its 2021 hotel category award chart changes that typically occur each March.

Only 16 hotels will change category this cycle — 12 are going down and four are going up. You can find the full list of category changes here, but some highlights are below.

  • Stonebridge Inn, A Destination Hotel from category 5 to 4
  • Parker New York from category 6 to 5
  • Grand Hyatt Vail from category 7 to 6
  • Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport from category 2 to 3
  • Hyatt House Nashville / Downtown – SoBro from category 4 to 5
  • Mar Monte Hotel part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt from category 4 to 5
  • Park Hyatt Aviara from category 5 to 6

Related: Hyatt dropping award price of 12 hotels, further delaying peak pricing

World of Hyatt limited-time promotions

Tuesday’s loyalty extensions come as the chain is working hard to incentivize stays with multiple limited-time promotions.

Miraval Berkshires is a great use of Hyatt points (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

As part of the Bonus Journeys promo, World of Hyatt members can earn up to quadruple points starting with their first stay from 1 October 2020, to 4 January 2021. Plus, elite-qualifying nights earned during this period will count both in 2020 and in 2021.

In addition, the chain recently launched a Work from Hyatt package, a 15% to 25% discount on award nights and bonus points on dining at a local Hyatt hotel.

Bottom line

Hyatt has just become the first major hotel chain to extend loyalty benefits twice.

Point expiration and awards certificates have now been extended well in 2021. This move should hopefully give members enough time to use their benefits.

Plus, the chain is suspended most award chart changes. Off-peak and peak pricing is delayed to July 2021, and just 16 hotels are changing category this cycle.

Well, now it’s your turn, Hilton and Marriott.

Featured photo of the Ventana Big Sur by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

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