There has been plenty of speculation going on in the industry and the suspicions have been confirmed - World of Hyatt members will be required to pay 'more' for free nights using Points + Cash from 01 November 2018. At the time of writing, there is a 40% bonus for World of Hyatt points and I highly recommend everyone to take advantage of this offer since this may be the last chance for you to take advantage of the current Points + Cash rates. On the bright side, members will also be able to use their points for free nights in premium suites and there will no longer be a minimum length of stay for free nights in suites.
Being able to use your World of Hyatt points for a free night in a premium suite is definitely a much-welcomed change since it opens up a lot of possibilities for non-elite members. It appears that premium suites cost twice as many points as a standard room on points redemption but this may be a good option for non-elites since premium suites are typically a lot bigger and they usually come with club access (which means breakfast will be included).
The most significant (and also the most detrimental) change in my opinion is the way Points + Cash will become. Right now Points + Cash rates have a fixed cash component and this makes it extremely worthwhile to redeem it various places where the room rates are high. I have already made a number of reservations for the Hyatt Regency Tokyo next year since this offers incredible value. Starting from 01 November 2018 however, the cash portion of Points + Cash rates will be based on the flexible daily rate (or the BAR). Paying 50% of the standard rate makes the Points + Cash option a lot less attractive and I am certainly not looking forward to that.
Members will continue to upgrade a qualifying paid night moving forward and they will soon have the option to upgrade to a premium suite using points at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts and Miraval for 9,000 World of Hyatt points a night. On the whole, the upcoming changes are not at all impressive (at least to us consumers) and I would be interested to see how this shifts the loyalty landscape in the coming months.