Some vacation time and a very busy work schedule have kept me from checking my progress on hotel status at the halfway point of the year. Now that I’ve had a moment to catch up, I’m fairly pleased with where I sit at the midpoint. My goal was to retain both Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status and Starwood Preferred Guest Platinum status. I had a secondary goal of keeping my Starwood Ambassador who takes pretty good care of our family. 100 nights with Starwood would be a tall tale along with 25 stays/50 nights with Hyatt.
I’ve been trying to book the majority of my revenue stays with Hyatt because their lifetime status is tied to a spending threshold, not a number of nights. Starwood allows award night to count towards lifetime status, so most of our vacations are going there.
I like both of these programs combined. Neither is the biggest, but both have aspirational properties. Hyatt is strong in some areas, Starwood in others. While some corporate travelers need to have Hilton or a Marriott in their rotation, I’m lucky enough that all the cities I visit for business have either a Hyatt or Starwood.
So, where do I stand?
Starwood Preferred Guest:
I started the year out better than I would have expected. I needed 25 stays or 50 nights to retain Platinum.
I already crossed the 50 night plateau, earning me Platinum for another year. Technically, I had less than 50 nights at the end of June but there’s an award stay from my recent vacation to Italy (stay tuned for all the details on that trip) included in the above numbers.
As far as lifetime Platinum status, that appears to be in hand now. The requirements are 10 years as a Platinum member and 500 nights. As of today, I have 8 years as a Platinum and 466 nights. If I hit 100 nights to retain my Ambassador this year I’ll have the 500 nights completed and will just need to keep Platinum the next two years.
Hyatt Gold Passport:
Similar to Starwood Platinum status, Diamond status with Hyatt Gold Passport requires 25 stays or 50 nights. At the mid-year point, I’m in sight of the finish line.
I have 3 stays in August which will finish up my Diamond qualifications for the year. It will still leave me shy of 50 nights but cover the 25 stays, with another 25 nights or so with Hyatt by the end of the year.
Hyatt’s lifetime status is a bigger challenge. The only thing that counts towards lifetime status is cold, hard cash. $200,000 worth, to be exact, or 1 million base points. As of now, I’m past the halfway point at 550,000. To say that I can see the finish line here would be a gross overstatement, especially considering Hyatt could change the qualifications to be more competitive in the next couple of years. The last conversation I had with Hyatt executives about 6 months ago seemed to indicate this wasn’t on the radar for the next year or two. But, I probably have a solid 3 years worth of travel to hit 1 million base points.
I value my Hyatt Diamond status most highly of all, more than Starwood Platinum. The delivery of promised benefits by Hyatt is exceptional, whereas I still struggle with items like suite upgrades at SPG, even with their new-ish Suite Night Awards. My Starwood Ambassador adds a ton of value and I look likely to hit 100 nights again this year but I’m not sure how many more years I’ll be able to put up numbers like that. I don’t like using words like “always” and “never”, but if I didn’t have my SPG Ambassador looking after me, I highly doubt I’d make the push to 100 nights.
So, there you have it. I’m pretty happy at the halfway mark. I’ve achieved one of my 3 goals, will have Hyatt Diamond sewed up in a couple weeks to take care of another, and have a good path towards 100 nights to achieve all 3.
Lifetime status, something I value highly, looks to be a lock for SPG now, while I still have some work to do on Hyatt. Why is lifetime status so important to me? Simple. At some point, this crazy carousel of business travel will slow down and I’ll be able to enjoy more time with my family. When it does, I want to be able to enjoy these benefits I spent so much time away from home earning.
What are your hotel status plans this year? How is your progress?