How to Navigate Hyatt Award Categories

Filtering your hotel searches by category can help you find properties within your range of Hyatt points.

Christie OlsenAugust 10, 2020
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The World of Hyatt loyalty program provides lots of opportunities to redeem points for stays at hotels and resorts across the globe. Properties ranging from convenient airport locations to five-star Park Hyatt hotels are divided into categories that determine how many points you need for an award night. Navigating these categories can be challenging, so here are some tips to keep in mind when embarking on your journey into World of Hyatt redemption categories.

What are Hyatt award categories?

Every World of Hyatt property falls into a category, from 1 through 8. The higher the category, the more points you need to redeem an award night.

Generally speaking, a hotel’s category is determined by variables like location, type of property and demand. Upscale brands like Park Hyatt and Hyatt Regency, as well as hotels in desirable locations, are usually in categories 5 through 8.

As an example, if you’re planning a trip to Miami, you could choose a Category 2 property like Hyatt Place Miami Airport-East, located across from the international airport. If a glamorous boutique hotel in Miami’s South Beach is more your style, a Category 5 property such as The Plymouth South Beach could be your choice.

How to find a hotel that fits your points budget

With some hotel loyalty programs, it can be difficult to find properties where you’ll have enough points for an award stay. You have to keep searching for different dates or cities in a hit-or-miss strategy to find a room in your points budget.

But Hyatt has a better way — if you know where to look. Starting at the "Use Your Rewards" page, you can find a helpful tool that lets you search for hotels by category. Click "Explore the Map" and you’ll see "Filters" in the top right-hand corner of the page. Click on it to sort properties by hotel brand, amenities, and most helpful for award night searches, categories with the number of points you need for a stay in each category clearly displayed.

Category changes

This year, World of Hyatt recategorized 217 properties, changing the number of points required for a free night at some hotels. On the bright side, the number of points you need in each category didn't increase. Among the hotels that changed categories, some moved up one notch into a higher class requiring more points. Some places dropped one category.

The changes started March 22. Bookings made before that date stay the same if the hotel’s category moved up. But if you’re lucky enough to have booked a stay with points at a hotel that moved to a lower category, you’ll get refunded the difference in points. These changes should have roughly an equal number of winners and losers, as 117 properties moved into a higher award category and 100 places went down.

Peak and off-peak pricing

Right now, the number of points required to stay at your chosen World of Hyatt property doesn’t go up or down based on time of year or demand. Next year, that will change when World of Hyatt starts using peak and off-peak pricing. In every category, hotels and resorts will have three redemption levels: off-peak, standard and peak. This dynamic pricing will apply across room offerings including standard rooms, standard suites, premium suites, Regency/Grand Club, all Points + Cash rooms, all-inclusive resorts and Miraval resorts.

  • Standard: Points will follow the current structure, starting at 5,000 points per night.

  • Peak: More points are required when hotels are busiest, starting at 6,500 per night.

  • Off-peak: Fewer points are needed when hotels are less busy, offering the best value, starting at 3,500 points per night.

To browse the number of points you’ll need starting in 2021 for rooms of every type and in every category, see the new charts here.

Once the individual properties post the peak and off-peak redemption levels, these won’t change. So you don’t have to worry about a sudden surge in demand (say, for a convention) hurting your travel plans.

The bottom line

World of Hyatt points can take you almost anywhere you want to go. But getting the most out of them means understanding how that room redemption you want is priced now and in the future.

Photo courtesy of Hyatt.

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