What Does Hyatt Platinum Status Really Get You Anymore?

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status is my favorite top tier hotel status, along with Starwood Platinum. I mean, I’m staying in the below room thanks to my status as I write this, so what’s not to love? 😉

Park-Hyatt-Abu-Dhabi

The way I see it, there are two downsides to the Gold Passport program on the elite status front:

  • There aren’t any marginal benefits for over-qualifying for Diamond status, unlike with Starwood (which offers additional points and Your24 after 75 nights, and Ambassador after 100 nights — not that I value either of those perks immensely, but it’s something)
  • Their only other elite tier is Platinum, which is really more like elite status-light… and that’s even more so the case as of this month

I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about whether Hyatt will be adding any Platinum benefits soon. That’s a reasonable question given that:

With that in mind, what are the published Gold Passport Platinum benefits nowadays?

  • Achieve rewards faster with a 15% point bonus when choosing points
  • Enjoy a preferred room including rooms on higher floors or larger rooms, based on availability upon arrival
  • Stay connected with complimentary in-room Internet access
  • Expedite check-in at a dedicated area for elite members
  • Ensure a room is always available with our 72-hour guarantee
  • Extend your stay until 2:00 p.m. with a late check out request
  • Book reservations through an exclusive Platinum line

In practice which of those benefits are actually valuable? The 15% points bonus is nice, “preferred rooms” are good (though each hotel interprets that benefit differently), and elite check-in is nice in theory (though not well enforced at many properties). The rest of the benefits don’t hold much value, in my opinion.

Park-Hyatt-Seoul-09
As a Platinum member receive an upgrade to a deluxe room, like at the Park Hyatt Seoul

At the same time, Platinum status only requires five stays or 15 nights per year. And for that matter everyone with Hyatt’s co-branded credit card gets the status. So the threshold to reach the status is low, though the benefits are really, really marginal.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s realistic for Hyatt to add free breakfast or something similar for Platinum members.

At the same time, I’d like to see Gold Passport get a bit creative:

  • Surely there’s value in either raising the elite qualification tier or introducing an additional tier, as there’s a market for those staying more than five times per year but less than 25 times per year
  • Providing incremental incentives to stay beyond the “traditional” elite thresholds would be nice

How do you feel about the value of Hyatt Platinum status nowadays? What perks would you like to see added?

Comments

  1. Hyatt platinum status has virtually no value anymore. Hyatt is great for award redemptions or if you can achieve Diamond, which you can’t even challenge for now. Gold status at HHonors is FAR more valuable. If possible all my paid stays are going to be at Hiltons when possible.

  2. If Hilton Gold and Marriott Gold can do it (and those are both attainable with credit cards as well), then Hyatt Platinum can do it — give us our free breakfast, dammit. 😉

  3. IMHO GP already devalued Platinum status last year (or was it the year before?) when they removed the threshold “awards” for stays. It used to be that for every five stays on your way toward qualifying for Diamond, Platinums would be able to pick a reward (which varied depending on which “tier” you had just achieved), such as 1,000 GP points, an on-property food/beverage welcome amenity, or even an upgrade to the club floor.

    Unfortunately, not everyone can achieve enough stays or nights to hit Diamond, but many do stay beyond the low threshold of 5 stays to qualify for Platinum, so it was nice to give people incentives to stay more. I know I certainly did; but once the threshold rewards went away, there was really less incentive to do so, unless Hyatt was running a good promotion (which they haven’t for awhile).

  4. Totally agree. I used to have Hyatt Platinum status but abandoned it as I just didn’t get value out of it. I have since shifted the majority of my hotel bookings to SPG and HHonors where I enjoy Gold status in both programs. I find that I get much better value out of status in both of these programs than I do out of Hyatt Platinum. This is one area where Hyatt really needs to step up their game in order to encourage incremental/additional bookings over the competition.

  5. It seems all bloggers have top status like Platinum or Diamond in their hotel reviews. I have no incentives to read about rooms or suites that the rest of us mortals probably won’t stay in.

    It’s like reading about the Kardashian’s life style and know you won’t live it.

  6. Any idea when a Diamond Challenge could be begun, that, upon success, would hold status through 2016? The Diamond Challenge may not be as great as previously, but it sure beats Platinum.

  7. I have Platinum status through the Hyatt credit card and agree that the status has become increasingly marginalized. I should say that I got an email from them last month stating that Platinum members will receive upgraded internet access now that everybody will have access to the basic wifi.

  8. I like my Platinum status, considering I’d never earn enough points in any program to make top-tier. I’m usually always upgraded to a nicer room, there’s always some sort of elite recognition and the late checkout comes in handy. As they say, it’s better than a stick in the eye.

  9. Would love to see something like complimentary in-room anenity, like cookies, fruit, or maybe free movie. Otherwise, I agree, Hyatt Plat has gone the way of Delta Silver.

  10. The most valuable aspect of Hyatt Plat went away when they did away with the “my elite rate.” I’ve got Plat through my UA Club card and the elite rate was the only reason I’d consider staying at a Hyatt as a Plat over Hilton where my Gold status actually has some value. Now that the elite rate is gone, I see no value in Hyatt Plat.

  11. While it’s marginal, it’s worth noting that Hyatt Platinums now get “premium” internet, which everyone used to have to pay for. It’s not much, but it’s something. I still wish they had an in-between status, as I would like breakfast, but won’t stay enough to earn Diamond unless I mattress run more than it’s really worth.

  12. Have to agreed with another commenter. If Hilton can give free breakfast, (and often a pretty elaborate one) just by virtue of the credit card, why can’t Hyatt? Hilton has treated us really well… would love to see more reviews of Hiltons.

  13. IME (which is admittedly relatively limited), Platinum is *worthless.*

    I never get any sort of upgrade, I’ve never checked in via a GP lane, the late check-out is usually a fight, and the only times I’ve tried to use the 72 hour guarantee, it’s either a resort or a special date.

    I have Platinum through my Mileage Plus Club Card, just like I have SPG Gold, Hilton Gold and Marriott Gold through various other affiliations.

    I ignore all of them. None of them provide sufficient value for me to change my booking patterns.

    Maybe, on balance I’m more likely to book with one of them than going independent or boutique, but I’m much more likely to book something through Virtuoso or Amex FHR than because of any loyalty programs.

    So, on balance, I guess Hyatt and I are getting what we pay for…

    Greg

  14. @ Ben — This is one of the reasons I won’t be renewing my Hyatt VISA card this year, after holding it many years. I’ll sign back up once I’m eligible for the 2 free nights.

  15. @garth said: “Gold status at HHonors is FAR more valuable. If possible all my paid stays are going to be at Hiltons when possible.”

    One of the problems with frequenting a “loyalty advocacy” blog like this one, where they make you drink a lot of Kool-Aid about how Hyatt or SPG is “the best in the business”, despite the fact that they have very small “footprint” (Hyatt is just 1/8th of Hilton) and are usually costlier than the other chains and thus less affordable, you often do not get to hear about the best stuff that other programs have to offer.

    Case in point: Although the blogosphere has be abuzz with this truly LUCRATIVE offer from HHonors:
    “Hilton HHonors Targeted Offers Started: 100,000 Bonus Points For Diamonds, Double & Triple Points & Gold Fast Track (Check & Post Your Offers)” (http://loyaltylobby.com/2015/02/02/hilton-hhonors-targeted-offers-started-100000-bonus-points-for-diamonds-double-triple-points-gold-fast-track-check-post-your-offers/), you would not know anything about it if this blog is your first and final stop because @Lucky said nothing about it since it is not Hyatt or SPG offering the goods.

    But, you are absolutely right. HHonors Gold is easily the “best second-tier elite status in the hotel loyalty business” 😉 Please click on the link above, read about what the buzz is about and then go check out your offer to see if you have been fast-tracked to HH Diamond!

  16. What hyatt really needs to do is make award stays qualifying, like Starwood. This is the absolute biggest disincentive to stay with hyatt in my experience. I would move 50 nites+/yr to hyatt if they counted points stays for elite credit. I know 8 colleagues who would do the same. This is where they are really missing out on additional business.

  17. Why on earth isn’t free breakfast “realistic” for these properties given that everyone from roach motels, trendy boutique hotels and low end chains like Fairfield/HolidayInnExpress provide perfectly good free breakfasts.

    No free breakfast (and previously no free wifi/no free parking) basically brings these supposedly “high end” brands lower in preference to me compared to other brands. I’d much rather stay in a Fairfield/Super8 motel than these places due to that simple reason.

  18. Add me to the chorus here agreeing that Hyatt Platinum is meaningless. I have the Hyatt visa card and it’s time to ditch it. My money follows SPG and Ritz Carlton as their hotels and affinity cards provide greater value, upgrades and rewards.

  19. For somebody like me where 80% of my nights are award nights (and most of those are at resorts), SPG is the only choice.

    I’ve found Hyatt (during diamond trial) to be extremely stingy on upgrades and other perks while on award stays (though by contrast very generous on paid stays)–and actually very upfront about the fact that it’s because I’m on an award stay in the case of Andaz Amsterdam–whereas SPG (as a Plat50) is slightly less generous on paid stays but equally generous on award stays as paid. I was 100% on several category suite upgrades from base level point reservations in 2014–all at aspirational type properties.

  20. I think Platinum Status has value in Vegas. Gold status with Mlife is very nice. Especially at the Monte Carlo which is the only casino I know that lets Golds use the VIP Lounge.

  21. I never understood why people attain top status in a loyalty program and then complain that they’re not being rewarded for stays beyond the qualification threshold. The status IS the reward, now that you’ve attained it, your incentive to keep staying is to get to use the benefits.

  22. @Stannis

    Why the clamoring for perks beyond qualification?

    Well, because despite claims on this blog and elsewhere that Hyatt has the “best suite upgrade policy in the business”, GP Diamonds receive ONLY 4 “confirmed” Diamond Suite Upgrades (DSU) a year. This means that after 4 stays, they would need to pay out of their own pocket in order to see the inside of a suite again, which is NOT a very strong incentive to keep staying at usually relatively pricier Hyatt properties after one makes GP Diamond. Moreover, even if a GP Diamond has a DSU, s/he cannot use it on a reward stay to get a suite upgrade — the ultimate top elite perk. Hence the clamoring for something else beyond qualification.

    By contrast, in mature programs like HHonors, Diamond suite upgrades are UNLIMITED, depending on AVAILABILITY, which is very good if one knows how to play the game; AND, HHonors Diamond suite upgrades are good even on AWARD stays. Therefore, HH Diamonds have the incentive to keep staying at Hilton properties: depending on availability, they can expect to keep getting suite upgrades, even on AWARD stays.

    You will not learn things like that on this site because it practices the “Cult of Hyatt [or SPG]”, which involves drinking and distributing too much of Hyatt (or SPG)-branded Kool-Aid, while saying comparatively very little about other good loyalty stuff that is available out there.

    It is called ‘brand advocacy’ blogging 😉

  23. @ Stannis — Yes and no. Except if you qualify year after year, the “reward” is the status the following year. To be clear, I wouldn’t necessarily find there to be a need for marginal benefits if you got the same elite benefits for all stays. But Hyatt, for example, offers four Diamond suite upgrades upon reaching Diamond, each of which can confirm a suite for up to seven nights. So potentially 28 of your 50 nights per year could be in suites. My issue is that there’s diminishing marginal return on stays. The more I stay, the less I’m rewarded, basically.

  24. @ Noa — To be clear, when I say it isn’t “realistic” I mean it’s not happening anytime soon. In theory anything is realistic, from free breakfast to all suite properties. But I think you’re overlooking the fact that loyalty programs and individual hotels often have very different interests. The hotel chains don’t own the individual hotels, but rather mostly just have management contracts for them.

    If they’re going to add a benefit which costs the hotel money and potentially takes revenue away from them, they’ll have to do a lot to justify it. And I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    The fact that it’s free at cheaper hotels doesn’t necessarily mean it makes business sense for it to be free at higher end hotels.

  25. Coincidently, I cancelled my Chase Hyatt card this week. Annual fee was due and I realized I had only stayed in a Hyatt once last year. The free night is nice but now only being available for 1-4 of 7 tiers degrades that. On the other side trying out SPG platinum. Received 1 suite upgrade out of 3 stays this year. Appreciated the free breakfast, though the 3 DC hotels I tried the breakfast weren’t great.

  26. @Lucky – it seems that Hyatt is actually going the other way on breakfast, even for Diamonds. I recently stayed at the Andaz Maui and they have already cut back on their (formerly amazing) breakfast offered to Diamonds (along with other slippage I noticed there from last year’s visit). I also stayed at the Park Hyatt Melbourne about a week after you and their breakfast was similarly “limited” to the continental buffet. As an HHonors Gold member, staying most recently at the Hilton in Cairns, I was upgraded to the Executive floor with full lounge access (continental breakfast; evening hors d’oeuvres and cocktails), as well as receiving complimentary buffet breakfast that was close to on-par with what we received at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. That feels like a far more substantial benefit than what Hyatt is offering, especially to Platinums, which seems to be an “equal” status.

  27. @ Garth — In fairness, that has always been the case at the PH Melbourne. I wouldn’t assume there’s any corporate change here, just a few properties that aren’t as generous as the others.

  28. Considering how rare full service Hyatt’s are it can take some serious effort to base yourself at one. In my experience the result is rarely worth the time and effort. I’d rather be based at a hotel that’s cheaper, closer, newer, or more interested in rewarding my loyalty. Most Hyatts I’ve visited acted like my status was a joke and it turns out they’re absolutely right. Hyatt has some amazing properties out there but that doesn’t change the fact that their status offerings are basically useless to me and do nothing to influence my decision making.

  29. @Lucky sez: “But Hyatt, for example, offers four Diamond suite upgrades upon reaching Diamond, each of which can confirm a suite for up to seven nights. So potentially 28 of your 50 nights per year could be in suites”

    Btw, what does a GP Diamond do if their stay needs to be more than 7-night long, say 10 nights; would they burn another DSU to remain in the suite? HHonors suite upgrades are good on stays of any duration. This past year, I was upgraded to a suite at Conrad Hong Kong on a 9-night stay; try that trick with a GP DSU…

    Anyway, we hear a lot about the 4 “confirmed” DSUs allowing up to 28 out 50 nights in suites. Now let’s put those 28 nights in perspective. Those 28 nights (out of the 50 needed to make Diamond) could be so expensive as to be prohibitive for many who play the mile/point game on their own dime. In fact, if I did 4 stays * 7 nights = 28 nights on revenue at a Hilton property with room rates that are comparable to those at Hyatt properties, I would earn enough “base points” to outright requalify my HH Diamond status at the end of the 28 nights based on spend alone — something that only HHonors allows. One the other hand, after spending a lot of money on those 28 nights, a GP Diamond would still need 22 more nights to requalify….

    That is the sort of calculus that goes into my rating of loyalty programs. Many programs out are filled with desirable and attractive features but one would not know about them if one gets their “advice” only from ‘brand advocacy’ bloggers…

  30. Agree that breakfast should be free, and you shouldn’t get charged $4.50 for the in-room Dasani. Is that really going to break Hyatt’s bank?

  31. How about some free agua …water…H2O….seriously…I get thirsty…need serious hydration…nothing like walking into an upgraded room with 2 bottles of water with $4.00 tags on each…oops there goes the class!

  32. Staying at Hyatt just to achieve this status doesn’t worth.
    Preferred rooms means nothing. I get exactly the same room everytime.
    There’s no lounge access or different threatment. Just the 15% bonus

    Here are some much better loyalty cards:

    Marriot
    SPG
    Le Club
    HHonnors
    IHG

    I stay on Hyatt just cause some hotels are nice but if there is a similar one from other chains I usually prefer.

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