Hyatt Adding New Diamond Benefits, Including Elite Benefits For Friends

Hyatt has just announced some new elite benefits, which go live in the coming weeks. It’s great to see that hotels continue to invest in improving the guest experience for elite members, while the opposite seems true of airlines.

Guest of Honor elite benefits

Effective March 1, 2015

This is a really cool new benefit which shows Hyatt is really trying to extend hospitality between the traditional elite ranks. When you make a points booking for someone else as a Diamond member, that guest will receive all your elite benefits.

The benefit is described as follows:

Beginning March 1, members can extend their Diamond in-hotel benefits such as Regency Club or Grand Club access, free breakfast and late check out to family or friends when they transfer a free night stay using Hyatt Gold Passport points. By extending Diamond privileges to a members’ friends or family on an award stay, Hyatt is providing the warmest possible welcome and an extraordinary on-property experience.

This applies exclusively on points bookings, and not on paid rates or Points + Cash bookings (which means you can’t apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade on these reservations).

In practice you could often already get this by simply making a points booking in your name and adding someone else as an additional guest. That being said, it was always sort of unofficial and on a “your mileage may vary” basis. So it’s nice to see this benefit formalized.

But there’s one other awesome implication to this. Say you’re traveling with your family and need to book two rooms. Both rooms can now be eligible for Diamond benefits, including lounge access, breakfast, etc. That’s a huge benefit for people that frequently travel with their family. Huge. Otherwise if you book a second room for your stay, you wouldn’t receive elite benefits for that room.

Hyatt-Breakfast

Two United Club Passes for Diamond members

Effective March 1, 2015

While I think this isn’t quite as big of an improvement as the “Guest of Honor” benefit, Hyatt will be offering Diamond members two United Club passes annually, valid at any of the 45 United Clubs worldwide. This benefit is described as follows:

Beginning March 1, Diamond members will receive two complimentary United Club one-time passes annually. Diamond members will enjoy access to more than 45 United Club locations at airports served by United Airlines, with amenities that include complimentary bar service, light snacks, free Wi-Fi, conference room access and more. This benefit extends Hyatt’s hospitality beyond its hotels and ensures Diamond members are comfortable and productive throughout their entire travel journey.

I’ve been told that these should be sent out to existing Diamond members in the coming weeks, and in the future they’ll be sent with Diamond membership packets upon requalification each year.

Premium wifi for Platinum & Diamond members

Effective February 14, 2015

It’s rather fitting that this benefit kicks in as on Valentine’s Day, since I don’t think there’s anything in the world I love more than wifi. 😉

This has been the year of free wifi among the major hotel chains, which is great news. Late last year Marriott and Starwood announced that they would introduce free wifi for base members in their loyalty programs, though it came with some “strings,” like requiring that guests book directly with the hotel, as opposed to booking through a third party.

Hyatt one-upped the competition by offering free wifi for all guests globally, with no strings attached. You don’t have to be a member of their loyalty program, and it doesn’t matter where you booked. That’s a fantastic change.

Anyway, as part of that, Diamond and Platinum members will receive complimentary premium internet as of February 14, 2015. Many hotels have previously offered premium wifi options, so it’s nice to see that these charges are now officially waived for elite members.

This benefit is described as follows:

Beginning February 14, Diamond and Platinum members will receive premium Wi-Fi access (where available) in guestrooms and social spaces, such as lobbies and Hyatt-operated restaurants, at every Hyatt hotel worldwide. Access to a premium Wi-Fi experience ensures members work more efficiently when away from the home or office.

Hotel-Wifi

My thoughts on these changes

While I don’t consider any of these improvements to be game-changers, It’s nice to see Hyatt making positive changes, and it’s nice to see they’re focused on “genuine” hospitality. I particularly like the “Guest of Honor” benefit, which I think really gets at the heard of loyalty. If you’re a Diamond member you worked hard to earn those points, so it’s nice to be rewarded on those stays, regardless of whether you choose to redeem the points for yourself or for your friends or family.

Are there other benefits I’d like to see? Of course. I’d love to see Hyatt offer more incremental benefits beyond the 25 stay/50 night threshold for achieving Diamond status. And it would be nice if Hyatt enhanced Platinum benefits as well.

But I continue to be very happy with Hyatt, both in terms of the hotels themselves and the Gold Passport loyalty program. In my experience they’re a chain that under promises and over delivers, and I like that.

Are they as rewarding as they used to be in terms of promotions? Nope. But I also understand that hotels are full, and at the end of the day they’re running a business.

How do you feel about these Gold Passport changes?

Comments

  1. Other than potentially leading to overly crowded lounges, the Guest of Honor perk is a significant new GP Diamond benefit. If it is every rescinded, it would be because lounges got too crowded… 😉

  2. Neither of these two new benefits is too meaningful to this diamond. I like the free premium Internet but in most cases have found the standard to be just fine.

  3. Premium internet is a good move….especially in light of the shennanigans at Hilton where ‘free internet for all’ has often meant that elites no longer get fast internet and web speeds slow to a crawl

  4. The increasingly common distinction between “regular” and “premium” Internet is starting to look like the next frontier in scamming guests. In the past I have often been told by hotels not to bother with the premium option as their connection wasn’t fast enough to do any better than the regular connection anyway, but I wonder if now hotels will be intentionally throttling the free option to something unusable to force people to continue to choose the premium option.

  5. This has pretty much cemented my preference of Hyatt as my “small footprint” hotel chain of choice. It’s a very nice gesture for being loyal and I appreciate it.

  6. @ Bgriff — Definitely a valid point, and something that has frustrated me in the past as a Diamond member, where standard internet was slow and only the premium internet was a decent speed. That being said, I do believe Hyatt is acting in good faith here, so don’t think they’ll be worsening the quality of wifi to get people to “buy up” to premium.

  7. I want them to upgrade their membership card. Just received mine and it’s the cheapest looking card in the industry. Very tacky and not sexy at all…

  8. Ben, do you know if there’s a cap to the number of times you can transfer status to friends and family on a certain # of reservations per year? I can see this benefit being abused to a certain extent, given that Chase doesn’t let you transfer points for free to anyone else, but Hyatt does. Unless Hyatt caps the number of times per year you can do it.

  9. these are nice benefits, I just wish Hyatt had better properties. Not a single Hyatt property really excites me whereas Starwood has so many properties that I would love to stay at. Just with SPG points were as easy to accrue as Hyatt points.

  10. I have 4 nights booked at park hyatt tokyo, park hyatt maldives and park hyatt seoul. I am not a diamond member, but my brother is. Could I cancel these, get hyatt points redeposited, then transfer the points to my brother’s diamond account and have him rebook for me. The I would have the diamond benefits for these stays.

    -So my question is, does Hyatt allow me to transfer my points into my brothers account? I do this all the time with club carlson, transferring points between multiple accounts.

  11. @Shawn – I am not sure how this is difference from a straight transfer which @Lucky says is not allowed but it seems to me that it would achieve the same thing: Combine points (they use the word “transfer” in the T&C so I am sure “transfers” are allowed) 😉

    Here are the T&C:
    ———————-
    “Member may combine the necessary number of Hyatt Gold Passport points from their Hyatt Gold Passport account with those in one other specifically designated Hyatt
    Gold Passport account in order to have a sufficient number of points to redeem a particular award. A single member may only participate in a point combining transaction
    (transferring or receiving of points) once every 30 days. In order to combine Hyatt Gold Passport points, a member must have an active account and a Hyatt Gold Passport
    Point Combining Request Form must be completed and signed by both Hyatt Gold Passport members and submitted to Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service. Forms are
    available by calling 1-800-51 HYATT (1-800-51-49288) or by visiting goldpassport.com.

    Hyatt Gold Passport points may be combined into only one member’s account for redemption. Once issued in the designated member’s name, the member transferring
    the Hyatt Gold Passport points will relinquish all rights to the combined Hyatt Gold Passport points. Only the number of Hyatt Gold Passport points necessary to redeem
    the specific award for which the transfer is being requested may be combined.”

    —————-

    For more info, including a downloadable request form from which I copied the T&C above, go to: http://www.hyatt.com/gp/en/awards/combine_transfer.jsp

    You might have to do it 3 times a month apart for 3 different stays

  12. @DCS – Thanks for the comment. Yes, that is how I read it too. I downloaded the transfer form they have on the Hyatt website, and terms state same as your quote above.
    I do think I will have to do 3 separate transfers, 30 days apart though. But definitely worth getting free breakfast at Park Hyatt Tokyo, and Hyatt Maldives!
    Thanks,
    Shawn

  13. @Shawn – Glad it sounds like it’ll work out for you to enable you to enjoy the ‘legendary’ Hyatt breakfast. 😉

  14. lucky, im a diamond member and my sister isn’t. she is redeeming points from her account for me. will i get the diamond benefits?

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