Wow! There’s big news out of Hyatt Hotels this morning in regards to their loyalty program. The current Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status is a favorite amongst bloggers and mileage geeks alike for its generosity. My guess is a good cross-section of those people won’t be happy with the changes, though it’s mostly good for me.
There were some leaks this morning about the changes, and Matthew Klint did a great job summarizing a big chunk of it:
I had the opportunity to hop on the phone with Jeff Zidell, who’s run Hyatt Gold Passport for the entire time I’ve been a loyalty member. He confirmed most of what Matthew reported on and shared a bunch more. He emphasized that they see this transition as supporting their core purpose. They want to create a community of travelers, where they have a window into the stories of their guests. They strive internally to bring a better experience to guests, and they see World of Hyatt as a way to do so.
He shared a handful of additional relevant details, and there will be more to come. I’m trying to get this all down in writing, so apologies if all of these aren’t 100% clear. Feel free to ask me questions. I’ll be following with my opinions later today or tomorrow (I’m on the road right now).
Earning Free Nights For Trying Different Brands
Hyatt wants you to experience their full portfolio of brands (10 right now?). Starting on March 1st, 2017 (not retroactively), World of Hyatt members can earn a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel for staying at 5 different brands. Members can earn a second free night for hitting an additional 5 different brands.
Resort Fees Become Much Less Noticeable For Elite Members
Hyatt says that resort fees weren’t charged on award stays previously, but it wasn’t a listed benefit of the program. I don’t actually recall if that’s been the case for my stays in the past. Going forward, all reward stays will be exempt from resort fees. Further, Globalist (previously Diamond) members will be exempt from resort fees on paid stays as well.
The breakfast benefit for Globalist members is fairly similar to the one offered to Diamond members now. There won’t be any bonus points when a club lounge is closed at a hotel. However, in hotels that don’t have a lounge open, the breakfast benefit is clarified as 2 adults and 2 children. That’s likely a plus in some properties where the benefit was enforced in a more nebulous fashion.
HUGE Annual Free Night Benefit
Going forward, no matter what tier status you had the year previously, you’ll have the opportunity to earn two free nights every year for achieving two tiers. These are independent of all other awards. Stay 30 nights and earn a free night at any Category 1-4 hotel. The only downside here is that the free night needs to be used within 120 days of earning it (actually stayed, not booked). Stay 60 nights and earn a free night at any Hyatt hotel (including Category 7). That’s a huge benefit when you consider hotels like Park Hyatt Vendome can range up to $1000 a night pretty easily.
Big Free Night Benefit For Globalist
On March 1st, 2017, anyone who qualifies for Globalist will receive a free night at any Hyatt hotel, including all Category 7 properties.
Globalist Members Will Have Access To A Concierge
Globalist members will have access to a new service called My Hyatt Concierge. Details are coming, but for now it means you’ll have a dedicated member of the reservations team to handle your bookings.
Suite Upgrade Awards Can Be Used On Award Stays
This one is huge. The current Diamond Suite Upgrade awards can only be used on paid stays (and points & cash). Going forward, award stays can be upgraded with a suite upgrade award as well.
Re-Qualifying For Globalist Will Be Easier
You’ll need 60 nights the first time you qualify for Globalist. In consecutive years, you’ll only need 55 nights.
Hyatt Will Be Doing Some Status Mapping
Folks who qualify for Diamond in 2016 with an expiration of February, 2018 will get Globalist status on March 1st, 2017. Platinum members with expiration in 2018 will be mapped to Explorist. Additionally, they’ll be looking at your activity in January and February of 2017 for folks who should qualify for a higher tier on March 1st.
Globalist Benefits At 70, 80, 90 and 100 Nights
Based on feedback from members, top-tier elites can continue to earn benefits. For each successive 10 nights they stay, they’ll be able to choose from 10,000 bonus points or an additional suite upgrade award.
Things That Stay The Same
- Late checkout stays the same for all members. Discoverist and Explorist get 2pm, Globalist gets 4pm guaranteed.
- Guest of honor benefits for Globalist continue.
- Annual United Club passes continue.
- Lounge access for Globalist is same as Diamond.
- Guaranteed room availability for elites continues.
- Member discounts of up to 10% off published rates.
But Wait, There’s More
No, I’m not selling Ginsu knives. I’m expecting to have further conversations with Hyatt to map out some details. And, I’ve got plenty of thoughts on the actual changes. But, I’ve got to pivot to a few other things. Promise I’ll get back with more later.