When Hyatt added a new rewards category 7 and made other (negative) changes to the Gold Passport program a year ago, they introduced a couple of positive features as well:
- Cash and points awards
- 20% off rates for elite members (subject to availability)
Cash and points was a permanent feature of the program, and a really good value for category 2 through 6 hotels. Unlike traditional award nights, as well, the rates are paid rates and eligible to use Diamond Suite Upgrades on, plus earn stay and night credit towards elite status and promotional earning.
No More ‘My Elite Rate’ in 2015
The 20% off ‘My Elite Rate’ didn’t make much sense to me, and I’m not surprised to learn that it will not be coming back for 2015.
Whereas I used to sometimes wind up booking AAA rates at 10% off (and often might even have to consider the Hyatt Daily Rate or 10% off prepaid rates in other regions of the world) I’d book these 20% rates as well. Targeted at elites already considering Hyatt, it struck me that they were cannibalizing their own business. They must have both had a different theory of what would happen, and learned that it didn’t work the way they’d hoped to stimulate incremental business.
Guaranteed Bed Type for all Guests, But No More Points for Non-Compliance
Hyatt is revising its bed type guarantee policy. Currently only elites get a guarantee that they’ll receive the bed type that they book. A hotel failing to provide the guaranteed bed type is good for 5000 points compensation.
Effective January 1 all guests will be guaranteed the bed type they reserve… but there’s no longer a built-in compensation arrangement arrangement if they don’t.
Hyatt says that fewer than 0.1% of elites failed to receive a confirmed bed type, so it’s not as though many points will be lost here. However the ‘stick’ of having to pay out compensation helps ensure that hotels come through on the commitment. It will be interesting to see how well Hyatt does delivering on the promise now that it’s being made to all guests and after the removal of a penalty for non-compliance.
Put another way, we’ll learn what the value of a guarantee is that isn’t paired with a credible commitment mechanism.
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