Hyatt My Elite Rate Discontinued In 2015

Hyatt Gold Passport announced some award category shifts yesterday, which were a net positive. Hyatt wasn’t actually changing how many points are required for a free night in a particular category of hotel, but rather was changing which hotels belonged in which categories. 70 properties changes categories, with 22 going up and 48 going down. That’s pretty impressive, given how full hotel rooms are and how high rates are.

It seems there are some other minor changes Hyatt is making to the Gold Passport program for 2015.

Hyatt is discontinuing My Elite Rate

As part of the program changes for this year, Hyatt added My Elite Rate, whereby elite members can receive 20% off for hotel stays during select time periods. It was always based on availability and at the hotel’s discretion, so wasn’t a guarantee.

Hyatt-My-Elite-Rate-101
My Elite Rate will be discontinued in 2015

They said from the beginning that the benefit was only for 2014, so we had no reason to believe it would be extended beyond that. Presumably if it made sense for them in a quantifiable way they would have kept it around, though I assume the numbers on this were tricky.

How do they calculate which business generated through the My Elite Rate is actually incremental business, as opposed to them simply cannibalizing existing business? I’m guessing that’s the thought process they went through in deciding not to renew this.

Keep in mind that Hyatt also added Points + Cash redemptions last year, and I have no reason to believe that program will be modified.

Here’s how Hyatt explains the changes:

Points + Cash and My Elite Rate – Points + Cash has been very successful, and we are looking at ways to enhance it even further. Points + Cash was launched with the full intention of making it a permanent element of the loyalty program whereas My Elite Rate was launched as a beta test for the calendar year. At this point, we have chosen not to roll out My Elite Rate on a permanent basis, and it will not be available in 2015. While many members enjoyed My Elite Rate and were strong advocates for its continuation, the results from our beta test did not warrant a permanent roll out. We are currently working on a variety of new programs, and we will begin to share some of these initiatives in the first quarter.

 

Hyatt expanding bed type guarantee… sort of

Hyatt presently offers Platinum and Diamond members their guaranteed bed type on hotel stays. If they can’t guarantee the bed type, you receive points as compensation.

Hyatt is expanding this, and as of 2015 will be offering all Gold Passport members their guaranteed bed type. Unfortunately in the process they’re getting rid of the 5,000 point compensation when they don’t live up to their promise on that guarantee.

I’m a bit puzzled by this change. What’s a guarantee without some form of compensation when they don’t live up to it? Very unlike Hyatt, in my opinion.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DC-21
All Gold Passport members will be guaranteed their preferred bed type

Here’s how Hyatt explains the changes:

Bed Type Guarantee Policy – One thing that will be changing effective January 1, 2015 is the existing bed type guarantee policy. Today, this is applicable to elite members only, and members are awarded 5,000 bonus points if the reserved bed type is not available upon check-in.  Less than 0.1% of elite members did not receive their confirmed bed type – so in the future we’re guaranteeing that upon check-in all guests will receive the bed type confirmed, and there will no longer be any bonus points associated with non-compliance.

Bottom line

With hotels as full as they are, few program changes are great news, as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t expect hotel chains to be adding a whole lot of benefits, given that they don’t need to use loyalty programs to get heads in beds.

Hyatt Gold Passport is my favorite hotel loyalty program, along with Starwood Preferred Guest. They do a great job of managing expectations, which I really value.

My one complaint, if you want to call it that, is that Hyatt doesn’t really offer any incremental benefits beyond earning Diamond status. I should end the year with about 150 nights at Hyatt. Meanwhile Starwood offers incremental benefits for 75 nights and 100 nights. It would be nice to get something for triple qualifying for Diamond.

Still, I do love Hyatt Gold Passport. And here’s to hoping they continue to have among the best promos in the industry next year.

Will any of these changes impact your decision to stay at Hyatt properties?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

Comments

  1. I stayed several nights at Hyatt last year through the MER, and I loved their properties. But, I won’t be staying with them again, or SPG, if the rates continue to be substantially higher than Marriott or Hilton. No corporate discounts or posh corporate travel lifestyle for me. So, Hyatt will stand to lose my business.

  2. That’s awful news! Most of my Hyatt stays from 2014 are from the My Elite Rate. Sad that they’re discontinuing it. 🙁

  3. Losing MER is a huge bummer given generally high Hyatt rates (compared to, say, Starwood). I’d thought they’d at least try to keep it around but make it more like P+C where hotels can have some flexibility to offer it or not.

    Very confused about the bed type guarantee. Removing any sort of compensation defeats the whole purpose of this policy.

  4. @ Miro — Technically you only get the bonus points if it’s closed due to capacity or on weekends. You don’t get the points if it’s closed for renovation.

  5. Well they technically do have Courtesy Cards, although it’s not a published level. Maybe you’ll even make it with almost half a year spent in their property world wide.

  6. A positive change would have been for them to implement online points and cash bookings. If IHG and their crappy IT can do it, Hyatt should be able to.

  7. I feel the same about hilton as I’m staying over 100 nights this year – talking with a agent -she says that will probably change sooner then later and hilton will offer something but she wouldn’t say what

  8. I love hyatt & am diamond, but absolutely the best change they could make is counting points stays for elite credit. They would win all of my business from APG, and many friends feel the same way.

  9. @Lucky wrote: “Hyatt Gold Passport announced some award category shifts yesterday, which were a net positive.”

    I am not sure how simply moving 70 of some 500 hotels (14%) up (~4%) or down (~10%) the categories is a “net positive”. At best, it is a wash, unless the view is that Hyatt could have increased the rates, which they did not but, then again, neither has any other major hotel program…at least not that I have seen.

    On the other hand, the other announced changes are yet more erosion of benefits. The demise of the very popular My Elite Rate is a big negative, as is the demise of the “bed type guarantee policy” for elites, which resulted in one getting 5K bonus points if the guarantee were not honored. To call the new guarantee an “expansion” of the policy is, indeed, a “puzzle” …

    Overall, a significant negative.

  10. @cj wrote: “I feel the same about hilton as I’m staying over 100 nights this year – talking with a agent -she says that will probably change sooner then later and hilton will offer something but she wouldn’t say what.”

    I never do more than about 35 nights at Hilton properties before I make Diamond on base points (the only program that offers this option for elite qualification). What keeps me staying at Hilton properties even after I have requalified for Diamond is their policy of unlimited suite upgrades for Diamonds even on REWARD stays. Can’t beat that!

    @m wrote: “I love hyatt & am diamond, but absolutely the best change they could make is counting points stays for elite credit. They would win all of my business from [S]PG, and many friends feel the same way.”

    Well, you can just join that much maligned but outstanding program for some of us in the know… Hilton Honors! As I just stated above, they are the only hotel program that offers the option to qualify for elite on points, in addition to the usual metrics of nights or stays. This year I requalified for HH Diamond back in July with 121K points (120K required), at which point at I had completed just 7 stays and 30 nights. That’s right, I requalified for HH Diamond with after only 7 stays and 30 nights because the stays were relatively long at moderately priced hotels, which enabled me to accumulate 121K base points.

  11. The elimination of MER is sort of puzzling. I guess the logic to me behind it was that it made your customers book on the Hyatt website instead of a third party website, thus eliminating any commission. I guess the alternative way to incentivize not having to pay a commission for elite members is to just not offer a better rate but offer all the other elite perks only if you book though official channels.

  12. Wait so there is no bed type guarantee? What do you get if they don’t have your bed type? A free night? It’s not really a guarantee unless you are guaranteed and get something in return if they don’t fulfill it?

  13. @Lucky: “What am I missing? More hotels costing fewer points rather than more is a net positive, no?”

    What you missed was the big story of this announcement and, like almost all the bloggers who seem infatuated with Hyatt, tried to put a happy face on yet another erosion of benefit at GP, which was the real story. Fortunately, most commenters saw this for it was it.

    The demise of MER, which was almost universally loved, and defanging of the “bed type guarantee” policy, which you called an “expansion” should have been called for what they are: significant lost of benefits. By comparison, a few anonymous hotels changing categories was not a story in the scheme of things, but you needed some good news. If the promised January 2015 “enhancements” are like just those announced, simply saying that this is a net positive because things could have been worse may not be enough… 😉

  14. Nick says on December 11, 2014 at 9:03 am said: “Wait so there is no bed type guarantee? What do you get if they don’t have your bed type? A free night? It’s not really a guarantee unless you are guaranteed and get something in return if they don’t fulfill it?”

    Confused? That is really an “EXPANSION” of benefit Hyatt style. You defang a benefit and make it accessible to everyone… Soon, this sneakily eroded benefit would become something else about Hyatt that, according to awed bloggers, is the “best in the business.” 😉

  15. @ Nick — Correct, it’s a “guarantee,” but if it’s not fulfilled then there’s no penalty for the hotel.

  16. @Lucky
    I fail to see the humor, but glad to provide some comic relief since the strain by bloggers trying to spin the latest erosion of GP program benefits by Hyatt into a positive has been palpable…

    BTW, what is a “guarantee” worth if nothing happens when it is not honored? Exactly, “nothing”! So, why not just come out and say that the “bed type guarantee” is a GP benefit no more?

  17. @ DCS — Totally agree with you on the second point, and I called them out on it.

    That being said, I still value GUARANTEED late check-out more than my guaranteed bed type. I know, something you wouldn’t be familiar with at Hilton!

  18. @Lucky
    On my second point on “bed type guarantee”, you were puzzled but still called it a benefit “expansion” when it was actually the opposite…;-)

    As for the GUARANTEED late checkout, now you’re the one being funny. Any Hilton Honors elite, but especially a Diamond, who makes a timely request for a late checkout, but is refused at a property that is not clearly filled to capacity should report that property directly to Hilton’s highest management. Late checkout is one of those benefits that cost the property nothing but can contribute to ensuring continued loyalty, so that most savvy property managers usually approve it without a thought. I take late checkout at Hilton as a guaranteed perk, which I have in fact never been denied, so I do not worry about it. Relatedly, it is why the demise of Hyatt’s “bed type guarantee” is just a boneheaded decision. It reportedly affected only 0.1% of elites, meaning that it cost Hyatt very little and should thus have been kept simply for making a good gesture on the rare occasions when it might be needed to appease elites and ensure their continued loyalty…

    Everything that Hyatt GP people doe shows that they are novices compared to folks that run the other major hotel loyalty programs. You think that you like Hyatt’s loyalty program but are mistaken. What you really like is Hyatt the hotel chain, just as I do. For sustained and predictable loyalty and elite perks, one needs to look at the more mature hotel programs and mine is HHonors!

  19. You’ll love me even more after I unshackle you from the “Cult of Hyatt” practiced by almost every loyalty blogger, so that you may truly appreciate what you love so much about Hyatt: the tastefully done properties with service that is second to none, which have nothing to do with Gold Passport, but have everything to do with Hyatt, the company. One is a subpar “loyalty” program, the other is a stellar, world-class hotel chain and company.

    I frequently stay at Hyatt properties (mainly in N and SE Asia) and have found the experience to be very enjoyable each and every time and Gold Passport had nothing to do with it because I am just a GP Platinum — an elite status in name-only. What that means is that I enjoy staying at Hyatt properties without getting or expecting any perks except for those that I pay for. It is in fact, the only US-based chain where I would do that.

    In two weeks, including Xmas day, I will be at Hyatt Regency & Casino in Manila doing a 3-night stay (1 free nite thanks to the Hyatt-Chase CC, and 2 nites as C&P), and in early January ’15, I will be doing my second stay in as many years at Park Hyatt Siem Reap (a C&P stay) in the Kingdom of Cambodia…a great property. So, I know Hyatt, I know GP, I know Hilton and I know HHonors, which allows me to say that HHnors is the more rewarding loyalty program, by far, because, unlike GP, which is still “experimenting” with different things, HHonors is mature, sure-footed and consistent.

    See you ’round campus!

  20. Make that “…mine won’t BE as uncomfortable as yours…”

    Can some type of post editing be implemented here?!

  21. As Hyatt Diamond member my stays jumped 50% in 2014 because of the Elite rate. It was so convenient
    flexible and less restrictive than advance purchase rates. Business commitments constantly change so I never use advance purchase but Elite rate was perfect. The number of stays I make this year will certainly drop without the Elite rate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *