What I’m Giving My Readers for Christmas: 44,000 Hyatt Gold Passport Points!

First, before I open the separate official entry thread (not this post), let me describe what’s going on.

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a big fan of the Hyatt Gold Passport program, and really have been since spring of 2009 when they matched Starwood’s unique value proposition on award redmeption (if a standard room is available for purchase, you can redeem for it with points) and also introduced new elite benefits

  • They were first out of the gate with free internet, which chains generally have matched, though they offer it all elites

  • Guaranteed club level or free breakfast, no catch as catch can. Hilton is known for breakfast to be sure, but I’ve certainly enjoyed the Hyatt breakfast benefit more, such as last weekend’s room service breakfast at the Andaz 5th Avenue.

  • Most importantly, four confirmed suite upgrades per year — at booking, from any paid rate — for Diamond members. This is what won Hyatt Gold Passport a Loyalty Leadership Award at last month’s Frequent Traveler Awards (disclosure: I chair the Nominations Committee, and Loyalty Leadership Awards were selected by that committee).

Gold Passport, with last year’s changes and with their aggressive bonus offers like ‘stay 2, get a free night’ and the recent 10,000 bonus points for every five nights, has been the most rewarding program of late. By far.

Especially for elite members, but with their improved redemption ability they’ve even been one of the really good programs for general members. And with the introduction of their co-branded credit card which offers two free nights at any Hyatt (plus confirmed upgrades on paid stays for existing Platinums, and the free nights are free suite nights for Diamonds). Plus since the card comes with Platinum status for general members, cardholders get free internet at Hyatt properties. And the card also has no foreign currency transaction fees and is my favorite as a result for international travel (I’d rather earn the Hyatt points than British Airways miles, though the BA Visa also offers no foreign currency fees, a benefit that others are beginning to match). Though not my every day, all-spend credit card it’s certainly one of the best Visa products along with the Alaska Airlines Visa.

Anyway, since I’ve been a big advocate of the program for the past year and a half, I was thrilled when Hyatt’s PR rep reached out to me. See, though Hyatt has done a great deal to improve their value proposition for members my sense is that there’s not really enough general understanding of the changes they’ve made and how valuable their program has become. In some sense, that’s a marketer’s dream– an actually good product that’s underappreciated, much better than trying to market something which isn’t actually all that good…

So here’s the deal. What you’ll do is check out Hyatt’s Facebook page. They’ve been posting itineraries from their hotel property General Managers. Take a look at the page, see which one interests you most or which property you’d like to see an itinerary for. Maybe the Hyatt Regency Austin doesn’t appeal, but you’d like to see some discussion of activities near the Park Hyatt Aviara… you’ll hit the comments in the official entry post with the Hyatt you’re most interested in. And that will be your entry. One entry per person. I will select one winner at random and I will verify that the person randomnly selected only entered once.

I was surprised to find the Facebook page actually interesting, they’ve had Scott Carmichael answering questions. That’s Flyertalk’s ScottC, who is exceptionally knowledgeable, certainly about travel technology issues. When I needed to replace my camera earlier in the year Scott is the guy I asked for advice. (And the guy I asked for a camera recommendation a couple of years before that, too). So Hyatt seems to have made a real effort to make their page useful.

The contest will remain open until noon Eastern time on December 25. See? It really is a Christmas present to you!

And 44,000 points is enough for two free nights at any Hyatt in the World. Or you could stretch the points further and redeem for four nights in a club level room at the Hyatt Regency Auckland, Osaka, or Johannesburg.

Full disclosure.. when I gave away free nights at Hyatt Place properties they offered me Hyatt Place nights for myself as a thank you. I got them to agree to let me give those away to my readers as well, I didn’t keep anything for myself. Well, when Hyatt approached me about giving away points for the holidays they told me that they’d shoot me 22,000 points for my trouble (though I’d certainly have doen it for free, I love giving things of valuable to my readers). And I didn’t say no..

So coming up shortly will be the Official Entry Thread for this contest. Do not enter in this thread, it won’t count. But please ask any questions here, and I’ll do my best to answer. There aren’t really any official rules other than that this is being offered in the most generous spirit possible, I’ll do my best to manage it as fairly as possible as described above, and I’d ask folks to take this in the spirit in which it’s offered. Of course all ambiguities will be at my discretion to clarify, all of my interpretations are final, you agree to this by entering (gotta love adhesion contracts), etc.

Good luck and enjoy!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. @David I hadn’t added the link in this post, it’s not the entry thread and so I figured I’d just link to it when I posted the entry thread. But I’ve updated with a link, because you asked and it does rather make sense. 🙂 Thanks!

  2. last entry was from Phyllis, my wife, (for clarification – one entry per person), though same ip address – thanks Gary! – Edison

  3. Ive been Marriott Plat for years, but just dropped to Gold. The main benefit I’ll miss is 48 hour guaranteed availability.

    However, I bought a Presidential Plus membership card from CO/Chase to get access to CO/UA clubs (it was the least expensive way for me to buy club access) As a side benefit, it came with Hyatt Platinum, which has almost the same benefit (72 hours).

    I have to compare benefits programs (how many dollars in spend does it take to get a night at a top rated property and how many properties does it have at lower point costs compared to Marriott) but if they’re close I’ll probably switch.

    By the way, a separate benefit. When I stay at Marriott on a corporate master billed rate I don’t get points or credit for nights stayed (which is why I didn’t get Plat again). When I stay at Hyatt I get the same credit as if I paid. That’s nice.

  4. Thank you for this opportunity! The posted itinerary in Toronto sounds wonderful! I live on the front range in Colorado and we have had no snow yet this year- highly unusual. However, it leaves us craving the stuff- an icy visit to a cosmopolitan city like Toronto would be such a great, romantic getaway! Thanks again.

  5. Hyatt is the best. I’m a diamond and loved the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek. Met Anthony “Goose” Edwards in the hot tub with his kids.

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