New American-Hyatt Partnership: Double Dip When You Fly or Stay and Fast Track Elite Status

Six years ago Starwood and Delta launched Crossover Rewards, offering customers of each program benefits and additional points-earning when traveling with the other. Starwood viewed this as successful enough that they launched a similar program with Emirates about two years later and then another one with China Eastern a couple of years after that.

After Starwood partnered with Delta, Marriott quickly hooked up with United. That partnership survived Marriott’s Starwood acquisition, while Starwood’s close airline partnerships were jettisoned.

Hyatt’s loyalty program is now largely run by ex-Starwood executives. They believe in these partnerships. Meanwhile American has toyed around with the idea of something like this for many years. Starwood and Marriott had full dance cards. IHG Rewards Club is a tough fit for an elite program.

When Hilton started handing out Diamond status to American Executive Platinums I thought the two programs might hook up more formally, assuming that Hyatt’s footprint was too small to match with the world’s largest airline. That turned out to be incorrect. The writing was very much on the wall of course when Hyatt tested more than once offering bonus American Airlines miles for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House stays.

American and Hyatt have announced a partnership. It doesn’t yet appear to have a name, but it’s similar to what Starwood executives built for Crossover Rewards.

  • American elites will earn 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent with Hyatt
  • Hyatt elites will earn 1 Hyatt point per dollar spent on American flights
  • American Airlines ConciergeKey members receive World of Hyatt Globalist status
  • Each program is offering status challenges to elites from the other program

They haven’t announced a launch date yet when members will be able to link their American AAdvantage and World of Hyatt accounts, or details on status challenges — what elite levels members of each program will be able to have temporarily while they travel to retain their new status.

As an American Executive Platinum I will be thrilled to earn bonus Hyatt points for the tickets I’m buying anyway, and as a Hyatt Globalist I’ll be equally pleased to earn additional American miles for the nights I’m staying anyway.

Personally an extra point per dollar spent, a 20% bonus on top of base points in each program, isn’t likely to sway my choice of airlines or hotels but the data from these partnerships suggest that overall they can move the needle. They need to, because they’re expensive to offer.

An American Executive Platinum spending $15,000 on tickets earns enough Hyatt points for a free category 4 room night each year, while a Hyatt elite spending $10,000 picks up 10,000 AAdvantage miles as well. For me this partnership should be worth an easy extra 25,000 points per year with little extra effort.

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. Obviously a good thing. I’m not sure why Hyatt likes to announce these partnerships before they figure out all the details, though! As a customer of both brands, I’m ready to participate in the promotion. But there’s nothing yet that I can actually do.

  2. Is the expectation that the status matching will be a one-time challenge/match sort of thing (with the exception of ConciergeKey -> Globalist that appears, from the above, to be ongoing)?

    As a one-time thing it’s interesting, but less useful, albeit understandable. Would be nice as AA EXP to be matched to Explorist each year, but not counting on it.

    Cheers.

  3. I know someone will tell me that I’m missing the point, but regardless of this promotion:

    I refuse to go back to AA (no matter how much I’m a Hyatt devotee).

    Hyatt chose the worst of the US3 to partner with.

  4. This would be a lot more compelling if actual status on AA was offered. Even Marriott offers silver status on United to elites. Something similar would really cement this program.

  5. Snooze…even if I love WOH I still dislike AA enough to avoid them. Throwing a few points my way will not change my habits in AA’s favor.

  6. I ‘ll connect my two accounts… maybe it’ll give me a few more AA miles that I struggle to use when I stay at Hyatt’s. Otherwise, it’ll take a lot more than this to get me to fly AA. Now maybe if Hyatt offered free cancelations of your Hyatt reservations when you’re AA flight is canceled or horribly delayed and you can’t make it to your destination…. or offered discounted rates when your AA flight is canceled and you’re stranded somewhere…. now this might be something. Otherwise, I’ll pass.

  7. Would be nice if we could transfer miles to Hyatt or vice versa. I have a few AA miles I haven’t used since I’m flying on SW most times.

  8. American has Hyatt. United has Marriott. Since Delta lost SPG, can we expect them to get back on the ‘crossover’ bandwagon and cozy up to Hilton any time soon? That wouldn’t be the worst.

  9. I’m with @Christian (separate Christian). Top tier American elites get top tier Hyatt benefits. Top tier Hyatt elites get nothing. Not true, Globalists get a lot more competition for suite upgrades.

  10. Where do I link the accounts? I went to AA’s website and could not find anything related to Hyatt apart from a Seattle Hyatt vacation package offer…

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