How to Stretch Hyatt Points and Get Great Upgrades

Reader Christian asks,

I have a lot of Hyatt award nights booked for this fall in Asia and planned for next summer in Europe.

While building up my points, I’d intended to do a Diamond Challenge early this summer, to have the status for this year and next.

Now, with the Challenge effectively dead, I can (and likely will) get the Hyatt card later this year, but it only comes with Gold status.

I value breakfast and club access, but am a bit dubious as to whether Gold status will get me anywhere, especially in Europe. I don’t have the points to move up to a club room for more than a few nights. Any thoughts or ideas?

Hyatt used to hand out temporary Diamond status — complete with confirmed suite upgrades — pretty much for the asking.

They replaced that with a ‘challenge’ where you can get immediate Platinum status and your stays can accelerate you to Diamond. However you need to get a hotel, or Hyatt sales, to nominate you for this — it isn’t something most people are successful just calling up and asking for.

Note that ‘Gold’ is the base level of the program. US members can get the Hyatt Visa (note: best offer found by going through the process of making a reservation at Hyatt.com, you should be presented with an offer that gives you a $50 statement credit) and that comes with Platinum.

Platinum gives you 2pm late checkout at most hotels, bonus points, and premium internet. It may be some help in avoiding the bad rooms. But don’t count on club level, let alone suites, with Platinum.

Platinum status could be part of your excuse using these techniques to just ask for an upgrade. Or it could be part of your narrative as you try tipping for an upgrade.

Hyatt Gold Passport, however, offers really good value redeeming points for suites and for club rooms. The premiums they charge are substantially less than what it takes with other chains. At top hotels you’ll pay 30% – 35% more points for club access, and about 60% more for suites. So if you value those things it may be worth generating Hyatt points.

Plus if you get the Hyatt Visa, and your stays are in the next couple of months, you’ll get 20% of your points back. That may be the difference you need to fund those club rooms you want.

Also, if you’re booking base level rooms, member that cash and points awards count towards both elite status and promotion earning. Hyatt’s current promotion may be good for up to 65,000 points.

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. Many times, when I book a Hyatt award, I get an email with upgrade offers for discounted prices. I’ve gotten club rooms/access for $50/night instead if $100/night. I think that is a much better deal than the 7,000 extra points, especially if my adult kids are with us and we are 4 in a room.

    You might call and ask if you can get discounted club access. Sometimes the front desk has offered it to me when I’ve asked at check in.

    I do have the Chase Visa, so I don’t know if that helps to get cheap upgrades.

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