Even before the arrival of Mark Vondrasek as the new head of loyalty at Hyatt, there was plenty of chatter about how they wanted to focus on experiences. One of the first announcements for the new World of Hyatt was an immersive food and tourist experience in Tokyo. Now, Hyatt has an additional suite of experiences that you can purchase or redeem points for. They’ve partnered with IfOnly for a set of excursions:
Book a private helicopter tour of Chicago, paired with dinner at an iconic Italian Restaurant; an afternoon with a zookeeper for behind-the-scenes access at the San Francisco Zoo; or backstage passes to the Broadway play Kinky Boots to meet the star of the show, in New York City.
Now through January 31, 2018, World of Hyatt members have the exclusive opportunity to take advantage of these Travel-worthy Experiences, while earning and redeeming World of Hyatt points through IfOnly.com. World of Hyatt members will earn 3 Bonus Points per every eligible U.S. dollar spent on Travel-worthy Experiences from World of Hyatt.
Here are a few examples of what you can buy/redeem points for:
My wife might go for Dancing With The Stars or Jillian Michaels. We’d both enjoy meeting the Mondavi family. As you can see, these excursions don’t come cheaply. The proceeds do benefit various charities. However, I think I’ll be contributing to the kids’ college funds before taking this plunge.
The Final Two Pennies
On it’s face, this seems like the sort of thing that supports the philosophy the new head of loyalty, Mark Vondrasek, shared with me last week. However, there are some concerns I have with the structure:
- This is 8/10ths of a penny per point if you’re redeeming Hyatt points. I value my Hyatt points at almost double this. That makes this a pretty bad points redemption. Please don’t redeem points unless you have a very big 7-figure balance and can’t figure out what to do with it. Alternatively, if you’re balance is that big, you can book a few suites at Park Hyatt Mallorca and I’ll come along and help you drink Champagne.
- These excursions are available to anyone with cash. One of the awesome things about SPG Moments is that they’re not generally available for cash. For example, my wife had a tennis lesson with Andre Agassi at the US Open a few years back. Awesome.
Bottom line here? I like that Hyatt is starting to think outside the traditional loyalty box. Many programs already offer experiences/excursions to reward their members. It’s nice to get 3 Hyatt points per dollar if you buy one of these packages. But, the pricing makes me feel much more like I’m participating in a charity auction ($5,000 for Jillian Michaels to make me cry for an hour???) as opposed to an exclusive collection of experiences that only my relationship with Hyatt gives me access to. The Tokyo experience I referenced earlier was much more what I hope to see.
I appreciate the effort and I’ll hope that future efforts strive to be more exclusive and rewarding.
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