Hyatt is changing their loyalty program effective March 1. Top tier elite status will be more rewarding:
- Upgrades at check-in will include standard suites if available
- It will be possible to earn more than just 4 confirmed suite upgrades a year, and those will be valid on award nights
- Top tier members will get a dedicated reservations representative (“My Hyatt Concierge”)
There are some other elements of the program that trade off, for instance giving up check-in amenities in favor of short-expiring free nights upon achieving status levels.
The biggest tradeoff with Hyatt’s program changes for many is that top tier status becomes harder to qualify for (although everyone who made elite status under the current rules will be grandfathered through February 2018).
Since the Hyatt program has the most lucrative top tier among the major hotel loyalty offerings, there are plenty of people considering whether it makes sense to try to get in under the wire with status before the rules change.
Hyatt Diamond Room Service Breakfast at the Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris
Once the new “World of Hyatt” revamp of the program starts March 31 the option to qualify for top tier status based on stays rather than nights goes away. The ability to earn stays and nights towards status with Hyatt’s co-brand credit card goes away as well.
But you can stay 25 times or 50 nights before the end of February and qualify for status under the current terms. That’s a lot of stays, and I bet many of them will be completed in Las Vegas bouncing back and forth between MGM hotel properties midweek, at the Hyatt Regency Lisle near Naperville, and at more rural limited service properties.
Do that in January and February and you have status for all of 2017 and all of 2018. And if you want, you can even use credit card spend that hits your Hyatt account by end of February to help get you there.
- Spend $20,000 and receive 2 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond status.
- Spend $40,000 and receive an additional 3 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond status.
View from the Park Hyatt Sydney
There’s one potential wrinkle in this plan, which was pointed out to me by Michael R. and echoed by One Mile at a Time commenter Ryan.
The terms and conditions of the Hyatt program, effective March 1, suggest you cannot get more than 4 suite upgrades on March 1. If you’ve requalified for Diamond status for next year you’ll get 4 confirmed suite upgrades March 1. If you requalify again at the beginning of 2017 what happens?
Receiving Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards. Upon achieving (or re-achieving) Globalist status by satisfying the Tier-Qualifying Night or Base Point accrual requirements detailed above, a Member will receive four (4) complimentary Room Upgrade Awards for suite accommodations (“Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards”). For Members who have received Globalist status for a multi-year term, additional Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards will not be awarded each Calendar Year upon elite status renewal (unless the Member otherwise re-achieves Globalist status by satisfying the Tier-Qualifying Night or Base Point accrual requirement). In no event will a Member receive more than four (4) Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards on the Effective Date of these Terms.
Living Room of Suite at the Park Hyatt Chennai
The concern is the last sentence, “In no event will a Member receive more than four (4) Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards on the Effective Date of these Terms.”
If a current Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member, whose status is going to expire in February 2018, does this mattress run and achieves Globalist status in January and February 2017 (valid through February 2019), do these terms mean they would get status but not more suite upgrades?
Here’s what I was told:
Member is already a Diamond through February 2018. They receive (4) suite upgrades on March 1, 2017.
If an existing Diamond member through February 2018 then requalifies for Globalist through February 2019 by having 60 nights based on a combination of stays / nights /credit card spend before the end of February 2017, this member will receive 4 Suite Upgrade Awards on March 1, 2017. Since this member has hit 60 nights in 2017, the member will not have the opportunity to earn more until hitting tier qualifications in 2018.
If an existing Diamond member through February 2018 requalifies for Diamond through February 2019 on a combination of stays / nights / credit card spend before the end of February 2017, this member will receive 4 Suite Upgrade Awards on March 1, 2017. In order to receive additional Suite Upgrade Awards, this member will need to reach 60 nights (including those from January and February) or 100,000 Base Points after March 1, 2017.
I tested with the Hyatt folks how it plays out in 3 different scenarios:
- If an existing Hyatt Diamond (through Feb 2018) achieves 60 nights by end of Feb 2017 they will receive 4 suite upgrades in March only. So be careful not to have 60 nights in January and February (which is possible – though unlikely – staying with Hyatt and earning 10 nights with credit card spend). Make sure you don’t cross 60 nights until after March 1.
- If an existing Hyatt Diamond achieves 25 stays but not 60 nights before end of February they will receive top tier Globalist status through Feb 2019 but will not receive additional suite upgrades until they do hit 60 nights.
- If someone who is not an existing Diamond – say no status at all – achieves Diamond for the first time before end of February 2017 through stays, but not nights, they will receive 4 suite upgrades upon achieving Diamond status but these will expire on February 28, 2017.
Then — since they will be Globalist at the time of the program transition on March 1 — they will receive 4 suite upgrade awards valid for one year.
And they would have the opportunity to receive 4 additional suite upgrade awards if they reach 60 nights or 100,000 base points in 2017.