Ben recently asked what was Hyatt thinking with the match. Even as someone who clearly benefited from the match, I’m surprised by how generous the initial terms were. Mid-tier status (SPG Gold) for top-tier status (Hyatt Diamond) was enough to make me act immediately when I saw the offer.
Clearly I wasn’t alone since Hyatt received more than 10,000 status match requests.
@JonoH I apologize, we have had over 10,000 requests and are working around the clock as quickly as we can! ^BP
— Hyatt Concierge (@HyattConcierge) November 24, 2015
Current Match Opportunities
Hyatt has since revised the offer to be more reasonable. Based on recent reports, mid-tier status at SPG, Marriott, Hilton and IHG all match to Hyatt Platinum instead of Diamond. Top tiers can still match to Diamond.
I’ve seen conflicting reports about the exact terms of the match offer right now for top-tier elites. Your best bet if you’re a top-tier elite is to Direct Message @HyattConcierge on Twitter.
I think this is still a no-brainer for top tiers. Full Diamond status until 2017 including Diamond Suite Upgrades is outstanding.
For mid-tier travelers, this could still make sense. Hyatt Platinum definitely offers fewer benefits. I’ve been Platinum for years because of the Hyatt Credit Card. But, I’ve paid the annual fee for the free night at a category 1-4 property, not the status.
My experience with Platinum has been that it’s better than nothing, but not exactly something to write home about. If I was starting from scratch and looking for Platinum status, I’d probably apply for the card, which also comes with two free nights at any Hyatt property after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Now that we’ve caught up on the match terms and updates, the real question for people who matched is what should we do with our new status?
Should I Reconsider My Maldives Trip?
In the comments of my of my post about being matched, reader Bill asked how this would impact my existing trip to the Maldives.
It’s a good question because part of my analysis on whether the Park Hyatt Maldives is worth it included the fact I was only Platinum.
Now as a Diamond, I can count on free breakfast and a space available upgrade to a park pool villa.
I had to think about this a bit before coming to the conclusion Diamond is not enough for me to change my mind this time.
One reason is I have a non-refundable deposit at Gili. More importantly for us, the seaplane transfer is still a huge barrier. We’d potentially lose an entire day getting back and forth from the resort after arriving in Male. I’m sticking with Gili.
I’m Absolutely Rethinking Other Trips
While I won’t be changing our confirmed plans for the Maldives, this match has thrown pretty much all of our other travel planning out the window.
While I had a pretty firm idea of which SPG properties we’d be staying at on some future trips, I’m now reevaluating to see if Hyatt is a better option. I already know the answer is yes for a couple of trips.
My travel style might change too. Where I normally like to stay on the move bouncing from city to city on a trip, Diamond status encourages maximizing the value of the DSUs by staying in one place for a longer period of time.
And for our trips that only exist as a concept or idea – we might have a region of the world or a specific airline redemption in mind – I’m spending a lot of time understanding where Hyatt’s footprint is the strongest. I’ll probably pester Ben and Tiffany about which properties are “can’t miss” hotels.
Finally, we’re already discussing adding a trip or two because the DSUs would make a couple of family vacations more affordable and more enjoyable.
These are exactly the kinds of choices Hyatt wants travelers to make with the match. And while my status is only a week old, I’m working to figure out how difficult it would be to maintain the status beyond February 2017 when the match expires.
Another fun part about this match is it’s prompted me to dig deeper into Hyatt’s program. While I know enough about the program to have a basic understanding of the cash and points system and the award levels for each category, the math all changes with the addition of the DSUs.
I planned on using some Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a transfer to Singapore. I’ll probably keep those points at Chase and potentially use them at Hyatt. If I go ahead with the Singapore transfer, I’ll use Citi ThankYou points instead.
The status match has huge implications for travelers who were matched to Diamond. It’s made me reconsider pretty much everything about my future travel plans and forced my out of my SPG comfort zone. From where I go to how long I’m there to what kind of points I use, my future travel calculus all changed about a week ago when I was matched to Hyatt Diamond.