Why I COULD BE Excited for Hyatt’s Category 8 (Hear Me Out!)

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If you’ve missed the news, Doctor of Credit reported that Hyatt is adding a Category 8 that will cost 40,000 points a night. There was initially some mass panic but a Hyatt rep has since confirmed to Ed from the Pizza In Motion blog that the new tier is only for the Small Luxury Hotels partnership announced earlier this year.  Booking an SLH hotel would cost 40,000 points (category 8) under the new tier system. The rep said that no Hyatt brand hotels would go in the new Category 8 tier.

If we trust that statement as accurate (and to be fair, we have a lot of reason from past devaluations by ALL hotel chains to be fearful that, at some point in the future, they change this and allow Hyatts to increase in price – which is a *valid fear*) then it’s no different than the pricing for Mirval, which is 45,000 points a night. It’s just not a “category” per se. It’s got its own redemption table.

I will say that if the intent is not to ever add Hyatt branded hotels into Category 8, perhaps an SLH category, like Mirval, would have made more sense and looked less like a hidden planned devaluation.

How could this be good?

Well, as a baseline I enjoy getting 2 cents plus per Hyatt point on redemptions. I can transfer points in from Chase where I earn up to 3x points on travel and dining spend. If I get 2c per Hyatt point after transferring, that is a net effective 6% + cash back on travel and dining.

I recently stayed at an SLH hotel in Corsica. It was beautiful – and expensive. Luckily we stayed 4 nights and used my Citi Prestige for the 4th night free. But it showed me that these are great hotels to consider when I can’t use points.

And so the bigger point is that SLH has some mega-luxury properties. If we assume (and we have to wait and see) that we will be able to use 40,000 Hyatt points for a base room at any SLH hotel, this could be great for high end escapes. For a random day in December, look at some of the SLH rates:

In fairness, I collect points to spend on luxury I wouldn’t pay for. And because of the fixed point nature, at 40,000 points a night, this will absolutely work for extravagant stays.

If this hotel in St Barths allows redemptions at 40,000 points a night, that would be 7 cents a point in value – or a 21% rebate on my Chase travel and dining spend! Of course, this price may not be for what they will consider a standard room. Hyatt may not offer redemptions at all SLH properties. We don’t know yet.

But let’s wait and see. It may not be all bad.

What do you think? Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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