One of the key drivers of value for any particular hotel program is, perhaps ironically, the number and quality of the airline programs that it's linked to.
On the earning side, the more airline programs you can credit your hotel stays to, the better. And on the redemption side, the more options for converting hotel points into airline miles, the better.
That's because more travelers remain more focused on earning airline miles than hotel points. There are reasons to think the dominance of airline miles is eroding, but it's a slow process, and for now it's a fact of travel life.
So Hyatt's decision to sever ties with four airline programs on March 15 is a bit of a head scratcher.
The four programs: Aeroplan, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Frontier Airlines Early Returns, and US Airways Dividend Miles. Among North America programs, these are not the largest. And after the change, Hyatt will still have relationships with 31 airline programs, including those of American, Delta, Southwest, and United.
But the four affected programs do enjoy significant support, and their disappearance from Hyatt's partner roster will be a setback for many North American travelers.
What to do going forward? In the short term, convert your Gold Passport points into miles in the affected programs before the deadline, if that's your redemption preference.
Longer term, if the changes rankle, reassess your relationship with Hyatt. There may be a competing hotel program that boasts a better fit with your mileage-earning and conversion needs.
Reader Reality Check
Are these changes enough to cause you to reconsider your loyalty to Hyatt?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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