Those that follow my blog know that I’ve been a HyattHomerTM for a number of years now. They consistently deliver great service and benefits to me. They’ve done so for a number of years. Their lifetime status is one of the hardest to achieve among the major chains. Unlike chains like SPG, award nights don’t boost your total. Lots of nights at cheap properties don’t boost your total. Only cold, hard cash boosts your total. Earning 1 million base points (by spending $200,000 at Hyatt hotels) was the only way to earn Lifetime Diamond status.
I was a devoted Starwood Preferred Guest fan for many years. I crossed the finish line for lifetime status with SPG last year, something I was hoping to lock up prior to the merger with Marriott. With the merger finalized, there have been plenty of positive announcements for SPG fans. Since then, Marriott has slowed down on the merger front. There’s been no clear indication that SPG lifetime status will be honored by Marriott, though I expect that to be confirmed at some point.
Hyatt has been going through some changes lately, rolling out the new World of Hyatt program earlier this month. I wasn’t 100% sure how lifetime status would be affected by these changes. I was really close to finishing off lifetime status with Hyatt and would have been upset if the goal posts got moved further away. Luckily, the standards to qualify actually got a bit easier, as they removed the requirement to be a member of the program for 10 years.
At the same time, they also made lifetime status even more valuable than I originally thought. Folks who earn lifetime Globalist status AND qualify for Globalist the old-fashioned way (with 60 nights in hotels) will get 2 sets up upgrade certificates and an extra free night at any Hyatt hotel in the world.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had a number of opportunities to pay for rooms for staff members traveling with me over the years. I did the same thing on family trips. That, plus a busier travel schedule than I would have preferred over the past half-dozen years put me at the cusp of lifetime status just as Hyatt was rolling out the new program. This was the lifetime status I really wanted to tuck under my belt.
I ended up at the Hyatt Regency Denver, a place I’ve stayed more than 100 nights at over the years. I had some stays a few days prior that had just finished posting, which meant I would finish up lifetime status where I started. The Hyatt Regency Denver was the first hotel I stayed at as a business traveler about 8 years ago. It was the service there that convinced me to qualify for Diamond status and ultimately to move a huge chunk of business from SPG to Hyatt.
It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that the hotel knew I was qualifying for lifetime status that evening. After all, I didn’t really expect that someone was actively tracking my progress. My Hyatt Private Line Agent knew I was close. I’m guessing she was the one who alerted the hotel, because it was pretty clear they knew.
I was upgraded to a beautiful suite. I’ve been very fortunate with upgrades at that property, so that wasn’t really the thing that tipped me off. However, this was.
There was a nice note from the general manager of the hotel congratulating me on hitting lifetime status. And, there was one heck of a feast for one person. My only regret? That my wife and kids weren’t there to help me finish the meal, especially since they’ve sacrificed quite a bit of time away from me over the years.
Now that I’ve finished off lifetime
Diamond Globalist status with Hyatt, I’ve got a bit of time to reflect on what’s next. After hitting the milestone with Starwood Prefered Guest last year, I’m behind my normal pace for bookings with them. So far, that’s a product of where I’ve been staying. Hyatt is generally my first choice if they have a property in the market. In markets with no Hyatt, there’s also frequently no SPG property.
My entire thesis behind lifetime status was to have these benefits for when I got finished with this crazy merry-go-round of business travel. I’m glad to have the achievement completed and to have it survive a major change to the program. I won’t be changing where my primary loyalty lies. Hyatt has earned my business consistently every year for quite some time. The recent changes to the program are a net positive me. Most of all, though, I have faith that Hyatt will continue to deliver on what they promise. That’s most important to me, even more so than fancy rooms and extra points.
I might be considering which chain to make my backup. I’ll be writing about my feelings on hotel loyalty in the future, and asking for your help with that decision. In the meantime, though, doesn’t this look cool?
Valid through Lifetime. I like the sound of that.
The post Finishing Off Lifetime Hyatt Globalist Status! was published first on Pizza in Motion