World of Hyatt rolled out earlier this week. This is Hyatt’s effort to shift how they look at loyalty and ultimately reward their members. Folks at the lower levels of elite status in the new program probably aren’t quite as happy as they were during the Gold Passport days. But, business travelers have reasons to like the changes. Road warriors who spend 60 nights or more with Hyatt will enjoy benefits they didn’t previously.
I’ve previously covered those changes. But, a quick recap of new top-tier benefits:
- Complimentary upgrades to standard suites (subject to availability at check-in).
- A concierge to help with bookings and other travel-related needs.
- The Diamond suite upgrades (now Globalist suite upgrades) are now eligible for award reservations, where they used to just be applicable on paid bookings.
- A free night at any Hyatt hotel in the world every year when they re-qualify.
That last point is a bit contentious for some. It replaces a benefit where guests earned welcome amenities each time they checked in to a hotel. One of the amenity choices was bonus points, which the guest could spend as they see fit. Now, Hyatt issues nights that expire within 120 days, creating more of an urgency to use these nights before they expire.
They will allow you to transfer those nights to a friend or family member and extend your Guest of Honor benefits for them. I’d still prefer the nights had a 1-year expiration. But, if Hyatt is somewhat flexible (they have been in the past) with expiration, this might not be a pain point.
The complimentary suite upgrade benefit is one that I’ve already seen unofficially applied. I’ve been lucky to earn more than my fair share of suite upgrades over the years. I expect some teething here as properties get used to applying this under a more transparent system.
Lifetime Status Changes
Hyatt had one of the most exclusive lifetime status programs prior to the World of Hyatt rollout. You needed to earn 1 million base points. The only way to do that was to spend $200,000 at Hyatt hotels, though there was a small loophole back in the day. That’s a pretty steep hurdle. However, the reports of Lifetime Diamond status were quite amazing. Lots of special treatment from properties, plenty of upgrades.
Fast forward to World of Hyatt. I was a bit disappointed to learn that the requirement to be in the program 10 years was going away. This was totally personal on my part, as I’ve been getting very close to lifetime status (more on this in a future post). The spending requirement remained the same.
This post via View From the Wing makes me ecstatic about Lifetime Globalist. We already knew that Lifetime Globalist members would earn the free night at any Hyatt hotel each year along with 4 suite upgrade awards. But, they’re really creating an incentive for lifetime members to keep committing their business to Hyatt:
If a Lifetime Globalist completes sixty (60) Tier-Qualifying Nights or earns one hundred thousand (100,000) Base Points in a Calendar Year, (s)he will earn a second Category 1-7 Free Night Award and a second set of four (4) Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards for that year.
That means a Lifetime Globalist who also stays 60 nights earns 2 free nights and 8 suite upgrade awards each year they do so. I might never stay in a regular room again at a full-service Hyatt…..
The Final Two Pennies
I think this is a smart addition by Hyatt. I already have lifetime Platinum status with Starwood Preferred Guest. There are benefits I can earn each year. Those include SPG’s version of suite upgrades if I commit to 50 nights. However, I let all my SPG suite night awards expire last year. I can earn another year with our SPG Ambassador if I spend 100 nights. But, those benefits pale in comparison to what Hyatt is offering for staying active in the program.
Let’s face it, once there are no more goals to achieve I get a bit of a wandering eye when it comes to loyalty. I discussed that recently as it related to my plans for 2017 hotel loyalty. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t pursue a new level of elite status. With this most recent change, Hyatt is giving me plenty of incentive to keep my loyalty where it is.
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