REPORT: Hyatt Launching New Elite Program

Matthew Klint at Pen and Passport offers up a scoop on changes coming to Hyatt Gold Passport. He says details will be announced November 1 and go into effect March 17.

Hyatt Gold Passport currently:

  • Skews high end with its hotels, although has the smallest footprint of the major chains with only around 600 hotels.
  • Offers rewards for spending at its hotels that’s around middle of the pack.
  • But has the most generous top tier elite benefits, with 4 confirmed suite upgrades a year (not just ‘if available at check-in’), full restaurant breakfast for up to 4 registered guests when there’s no club lounge available (not just continental breakfast for 2), and 4pm late checkout.


Breakfast at the Hyatt Olive8 in Seattle

Here are 14 tricks and important things to know about the Hyatt Gold Passport program.

The upshot of these reported changes is that top tier elites won’t be able to qualify on stays alone anymore, and the night requirement is going up a bit, but this comes with even more benefits than Hyatt already offers.

  • Suites at check-in if available
  • More confirmed suite upgrades for overperforming top tier elites
  • Earned free nights in addition to points
  • Early check-in and waived resort fees


Water Villa at the Park Hyatt Hadahaa, Maldives

Meanwhile mid-tier status becomes harder to hit but comes with access to club lounges 4 times a year. Mid-tier status will be better but not as rewarding as comparable offerings from Marriott or Hilton.

Klint doesn’t source the information but I’m willing to bet it’s close to right. Recall that Hyatt’s CEO said they were working to rethink the program.

Details of the New Program

Bear in mind this hasn’t yet been confirmed by Hyatt. It remains a rumor albeit a credible one, and we should know for certain within days.

Hyatt Gold Passport becomes World of Hyatt. They’re introducing three elite tiers instead of two. You’ll still qualify based on nights, but they’re eliminating stays as a method of qualification and offering revenue instead.

Qualification MEMBER DISCOVERIST EXPLORIST GLOBALIST
Nights Required, or 0 10 30 60
Based Points Required 0 25000 50000 100000
Benefits
Point Bonus 0 10% 20% 30%
No Resort Fee On Award Nights On Award Nights On Award Nights On Award Nights & Eligible Paid Rates
Upgrade at Check-in N/A Higher Floor, Larger Room Best Room Excluding Club, Suites Best Room Including Standard Suites
Free Daily Bottle of Water N/A Yes Yes Yes
Lounge Access N/A N/A 4 Times Annually Yes
Complimentary Parking on Award Nights N/A N/A N/A Yes
Priority Early Check-in N/A N/A N/A Yes

Qualifying:: Klint writes that you can earn status on nights or base points which is really spend since the program offers 5 base points per dollar spent. Also that current top tier members only need 55 nights to make top tier in this new program rather than the full 60.

Suites for top tier elites: Klint writes that in addition to the 4 confirmed suite upgrades that Diamond members currently receive they’ll receive 1 additional confirmed suite upgrade for each 10 additional nights stayed beyond 60, up to 4 additional confirmed suite upgrades.

New perks: No resort fees, early check-in, and free parking on redemption stays. Early check-in isn’t guaranteed, which suggests it may be the same benefit as now — I was told back in 2011 that hotels are supposed to accommodate Diamonds with early check-in if possible.

Earned free nights: Klint says that Hyatt will provide a free night certificate valid up to category 4 after 30 nights in a year, and an uncapped free night certificate after 60 nights.

Outstanding Questions

These details are via Matthew and don’t mention late checkout, any potential changes to breakfast benefits (although I suspect there wouldn’t be) or check-in amenities. Current Platinum (mid-tier, comes with credit card) offers guaranteed 2pm late checkout excluding conference and resort properties and Diamonds get 4pm late checkout. And Diamonds also receive points or a food and beverage amenity at check-in.


Welcome Chocolates at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

There’s also not mention of how spend on the co-brand credit card helps earn status, or what benefit the United Club card (and legacy Continental Presidential Plus card) come with since those currently offer Platinum status.

I’m hopeful that Hyatt’s ‘Guest of Honor’ benefit continues where Diamonds can gift their status for a stay when gifting an award. Diamonds also currently get 2 United club passes each year.

Read the whole thing as they say. What do you think?

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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  1. […] Gary Leff, via Matthew Klint report rumors of Hyatt’s Gold Passport changes. I for one am not liking the changes. I’ve enjoyed the ability to qualify for top tier status via 25 stays vice 55 nights. I used to qualify for Marriott Platinum via nights, and it certainly got a bit much, at 75. This could also be an indication, that Hyatt, seeing the SPG-Marriott Merger, thinks the “qualify on stays” approach is going away. […]

Comments

  1. well, this is going to be interesting to say the least. I have been in the ‘My Hyatt Concierge” Program from inception which has been to me the best benefit of any program I am or ever have been in. But these numbers are high

    Looking at the upper qualification it’s up there ! Will be interesting to see how it works out.

  2. This year I did 25 stays 40 nights… It is too hard to find hyatts most of the time 🙁 Its not like marriott where if one marriott is full there is one in the next block. This is gonna make it harder. Oh well maybe I will have to do marriott + spg then 😛

  3. Any idea if one will be able to qualify for Diamond/Globalist for 2018 by staying 25 times by March 17, 2017….before the new program goes into effect?

  4. @ Gary — Surely if you re-qualify for Diamond this year, you get at least the current slate of benefits through February 2018, or are they gonna pull a no-notice Delta change? If they assign me and my SO to Explorist or Discoverist (we should both have 25 stays/27-28 nights in 2016), we won’t be staying at Hyatt’s anymore. We would be furious.

  5. The “upshot”? What’s up with language like that? I’m pretty sure about the following: that a large chunk of current Diamonds are going to be worse off due to these changes; and that the current herd of Diamonds, being what it is, hasn’t materially impacted my stays in a negative way.

    And what I’d pay to know if Hyatt plans to announce this in a couple of weeks with the expectation of this being a way of signaling to Marriott/Starwood what they can get away with doing too.

    Welcome to most current Hyatt Diamonds ending up a lot like the Hyatt Platinums of yesteryear when Hyatt Platinums got Platinum Extra certificates.

  6. Gene,

    They will almost certainly try to placate the current herd of qualifying/re-qualifying Diamonds by not hitting them all too fast and too hard. So you’ll get until 2018 with the benefits earned from stays this year.

  7. This stinks. In my mind the only somewhat redeeming things they could do is:

    1) don’t up award prices/create new categories.

    2) make award stays count as qualifying nights like Starwood.

    Also it should be 50 nights to requalify for existing Diamonds not 55, reducing by only 5 nights is kind of a slap in the face to existing/long time Diamonds.

  8. Please Hyatt just don’t touch the Guest Of Honor. My partner and I will definitely move our business to another program.

  9. If my diamond status is same next year I believe I will hit the higher tier in 2018. We plan a lot of family vacations for 2018 and with c/c nites should be able to hit the 60 nites. My SO will be thrilled that we won’t be hotel hopping for stay credits anymore. If I’m not thrilled with changes on 11/1 I will look to change my reservations to Marriott/spg

  10. 60 nights or $20k spend to get to the highest tier? It’s hard for me to find a Hyatt in a lot of cities. I’ve gone out of my way to reach stay at Hyatt, even if that meant driver further or change the plan to reach Diamond next year with 26 stays and 43 nights. Looks like this is the last year for Diamond with Hyatt. I’m sure business travelers won’t complain but I think most of us who have some business but not enough to reach elite status try to mix personal travel to reach the status.

    I would like to find out if there will be additional Hyatt Visa benefits for stays/nights for spend. No mention of confirmed suite upgrades, even as a top tier?? just at check in? I always thought Hyatt would devalue their Diamond benefits.. but this is a drastic cut for my type of traveler.

  11. Despite being touted by travel bloggers as the most you.name.it hotel loyalty program, HGP has been, at best, a work in progress (WIP), at worst, a joke.

    What is one to make of the latest attempt by the WIP to find its footing? We’ll just have to wait for the details, but the first thing that comes to mind is that having bit more than they could and getting a terrible indigestion as a result, this is an attempt to undo some of the damage: they want to dramatically thin the ranks of their top elites. HGP Diamond had reached a point where anyone and their dog who wanted it got it, without even trying. This is to try to restore some shine to the top elite level — first thin it and then make it tougher to achieve. I bet we won’t be seeing status match offers to that level. The just-created second level will be for that.

    The second thing that comes to mind is that they are trying a hybrid system or model, likely on the way to transitioning to the more mature model used by HH and MR 😉

    G’day!

  12. I’m currently enjoying my Presidential Suite at GH SF. I’m just going to defer worrying about this as we know all good things come to an end or at least have their terms and conditions modified.

  13. This is the worst points news of the year for me, and I will run Marriott/SPG next year if true. I contort all sorts of travel to stay at Hyatts–why even bother? There is a friggin Marriott on every block, and I can redeem their points literally anywhere I want to go internationally, plus to dozens of airlines (at least for the time being).

  14. I’ll miss Diamond this year by a few nights, clearly now not worth it to me to mattress run. These changes will push me out of the Diamond range for good, disappointing since 2017 I was poised for Diamond again. Guess I’ll look at Marriott and see what my options are.

  15. Love my diamond status! Great questions above! My # 1 question will be if I stay 25 times between Dec and March does that extend my status for another year? #2, Can credit card spend count as base points?

  16. Been Diamond for 10 years. Usually around 25 to 30 stays a year and I go OUT OF MY WAY to stay at a Hyatt because I love the benefits of their Diamond Membership. Always have to justify it at work. Before this I was Starwood Platinum, so it looks like that is where I am headed back to.

  17. But most important! Will award nights count – as they currently do for Starwood- which is the weakest part of Hyatt in my opinion. I know many people who would make Hyatt their main chain if they started counting award/all-points stays toward status. With such an already small footprint, it makes no sense to make customers have to choose between earning status or using their hard-earned points. Points-and-cash is just a bandaid.

  18. This is a huge downgrading of the program – with its “Based Points Required”, it essentially moving towards revenue based status. Am I wrong to calculate that a member has to spend $20K before betting top tier status??? And for 60 nights, meaning spending $334 per night!!! How many members can accomplish this?

    Not good news any way you look at it!

  19. Even with the details confirmed, my initial take remains. Having bitten more than they could chew with their last botched status match and getting a terrible indigestion as a result, World of Hyatt (WOH!) appears to be designed to undo some of the damage, by dramatically thinning the rank of top elites. HGP Diamond had reached the point where anyone and their dog who wanted it got it, without even trying. With WOH!, they are trying to restore some shine to the top elite level — first thin it and then make it tougher to achieve. I bet we won’t be seeing status match offers to that level. The just-created second level will be for that.

    The second thing that came to mind and seems confirmed was that WOH! is a hybrid system or model, likely on the way to transitioning to the more mature model used by HH and MR when WOH! — yet another WIP — proves to be cumbersome

  20. I LOVE this new program. Great job Hyatt

    As a Diamond customer for more than 15 years (and nearly a Diamond for life), I have to deal with competition of basic salesguys for suite upgrades who do 25 stays a year in cheap Hyatts and want to spend mileage in fancy location after.
    Hyatt (like Delta) will now reward the REAL big spenders and not the opportunists.
    The Downgrade of Visa Credit Card holder to level 1 instead of level 2 is also great news to reward the real good clients like us and not internet loopholes trackers

    I just wish that Hyatt develop more luxury proprieties in Europe and Asia as the network is still a little weak

  21. Its going to hurt their business. Face it you have to be bit a bit sad if you stay at a Hyatt and think you are having a top level Hotel experience no matter how good the hotel is you can guarantee that a better Hotel is within a mile. Also the lack of EU and Asia coverage is a real problem for travelers. Personally I cant remember taking a suite upgrade in years because I couldn’t notice the difference. They are a good business chain that’s it. They were good because of the Gold Passport, if I cant get in the lounge they can go **** themselves. Marriott and SPG will be laughing themselves stupid

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