The New World Of Hyatt Program: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Well, as someone who has long been loyal to Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest, I sure am feeling uncertain about the future. As I wrote about earlier, we’re seeing huge changes to Hyatt’s loyalty program next year, and on top of that we’ll likely see Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards merge in 2018. Suffice to say the hotel loyalty landscape is radically changing.

The last post I wrote about Hyatt’s new loyalty program was mostly about sharing the basics, so I figured in this post I’d follow-up with my thoughts on the new program. In no particular order, here’s what comes to mind when I see the program, including the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good: Not as bad as I expected

When I first heard there were Hyatt Gold Passport changes, I expected the worse. The reality is that hotel occupancy is high, so hotels don’t need to offer rewards to get heads into beds as they did during the recession.

Was Hyatt going to cut Diamond suite upgrades? Raise award rates? Increase the status requirements without additional benefits?

So I let out a sigh of relief when I actually saw the changes. They weren’t as bad as I was expecting, and for many members are actually extremely positive.

The ugly: World of Hyatt logo

Let’s start with the really ugly. This is the logo for Hyatt’s new loyalty program:

world-of-hyatt-1

Seriously, this is the best they could come up with? This has to be the worst logo I’ve seen for a project this major in a long time. When I first saw it I assumed it was a mistake.

Does anyone not think it looks like it was made in Paint in 30 seconds? I must be missing something…

The bad: World of Hyatt branding

Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist. Hotels always seem to be trying to cater to millennials, and this is no exception. The only problem is that, as usual, I don’t think this actually resonates with millennials. To me the names feel like a bunch of middle aged executives sat in a board room brainstorming based on their stereotypes of what they think millennials are like, rather than actually consulting them.

As Santastico said in the comments section of the last post:

The names chosen for the elite levels are the most ridiculous I ever seen. You can become a Globalist by staying 60 nights at the Hyatt Place in Omaha, NE. Well, I guess you cannot be more “global” than that, right? Was this a contest among summer interns to come up with stupid names?

So I’d love to hear what you guys think about the branding, but it doesn’t resonate with me.

Not that I think the precious metal levels we’ve been used to for so long are logical, but at least they were familiar.

The great: 55+ night members get an upgrade

Those staying 60+ nights per year (55+ nights per year if requalifying) are getting a nice upgrade in terms of status benefits. Globalist members are receiving the following upgrades in terms of perks:

  • Unlimited suite upgrades on all stays, subject to availability at check-in
  • Confirmed suite upgrade awards can now also be used on award stays
  • Every year Globalist members get a free night at a Category 1-4 property, plus a free night at a Category 1-7 property (if you max those out, they’re potentially worth up to 45,000 points)
  • Incremental benefits beyond 60 nights (for example, Diamond members earning 100 elite qualifying nights could choose to earn 40,000 bonus points or four additional confirmed suite upgrades)

There are three downgrades to status:

  • Diamond members will no longer receive a 1,000 point or food & beverage welcome amenity
  • Previously breakfast was valid for up to four registered guests, while now it’s valid for up to two adults and two kids; of course that’s only significant if you frequently book a single room with 3+ registered adult guests
  • Diamond members no longer get 2,500 bonus points when the club lounge is closed, though they continue to get free restaurant breakfast; that benefit has always been laughably generous, so I don’t blame Hyatt for cutting it

I’m most disappointed by the 1,000 point Diamond welcome amenity being eliminated, but I guess it further emphasizes that Hyatt is a lot more focused on how many nights you stay rather than how many stays you make.

But all things considered, I think almost everyone will agree that these changes are a net positive for 55+ night members.

Andaz-West-Hollywood-Hotel-14
Hyatt Globalist members can expect more suite upgrades

The good: free night certificates galore!

Explorist members get a free Category 1-4 free night every year upon qualifying for status. Globalist members earn that, plus a Category 1-7 free night every year upon qualifying for status.

Globalist members on March 1, 2017, will all get a free night at any Category 1-7 property just for being part of the program.

All members will earn a Category 1-4 free night after staying at five different brands, and another certificate after staying at another five different brands (meaning brands six through ten).

That’s potentially a lot of free nights. Just keep in mind that they expire after 120 days.

Park-Hyatt-Sydney
Hyatt Globalist members will be earning quite a few free nights

The bad: free nights still don’t count towards status

C’mon, Hyatt. Hilton, IHG, and Marriott all give elite nights towards status when you’re staying on an award. Hyatt is still only counting cash stays as well as Points + Cash stays towards status. Especially given Hyatt’s small global footprint, that’s something they should change.

The bad: no more credit card elite nights

I didn’t pick this up the first time around, but it seems that starting next year putting $40,000 of spend on Hyatt’s credit card will no longer get you 10 elite qualifying nights towards status. I find this to be a puzzling move. I understand Hyatt wants to raise the bar on qualifying for status a bit, but eliminating stays as a means of qualifying while also eliminating credit card qualifying nights seems harsh.

That’s especially true since many people who may have otherwise qualified on stays would have used this as a boost.

The ugly: Diamond members qualifying on stays

Understandably a lot of people aren’t happy about these changes. Specifically, those Diamond members qualifying for status on stays rather than nights. Stays will no longer be used as a method of status qualification. I suspect a majority of top tier elite members also qualify on nights, though I’m guessing in our community a disproportionate number of members qualify based on stays (after all, it’s all about maximizing value).

For those members, these changes suck. There’s no two ways about it. Hyatt has a small global footprint, and that’s more apparent than ever before now that Marriott and Starwood are merging. Earning status with Hyatt is hard, especially for those living outside the US, where there are even fewer Hyatt properties.

Being loyal to Hyatt takes effort. Being loyal to Hilton or Marriott doesn’t. In a way you’re being double penalized — not only are they raising qualification criteria, but they’re not letting you get an elite boost through their co-branded credit card, and still not providing elite nights on award stays.

Clearly Hyatt Gold Passport (soon “World of Hyatt”) has crunched the numbers, and has decided that they don’t mind losing those customers, unfortunately.

Bottom line

Ultimately the Hyatt Gold Passport changes sort of reflect the general trend in the loyalty program industry, where programs are valuing revenue over “loyalty.”

At the same time, unlike with the airlines, Hyatt is actually improving elite benefits for their most loyal customers. This change is good news for 55+ night per year members with some significant new benefits, as I’d argue that Hyatt’s program now definitely has the richest top tier elite benefits, assuming you can qualify.

However, I’m very disappointed that Hyatt eliminated the 1,000 point welcome amenity, which can cost members tens of thousands of points per year. Furthermore, I don’t like that they are no longer letting members earn elite qualifying nights through credit card spend. While it doesn’t personally impact me, that adds insult to injury to those who qualified for stays and might have tried to use this as a way to boost their earnings under the new program. If they’re going to raise elite requirements, it also seems reasonable to finally offer elite nights on free night stays as well.

It goes without saying that this is bad news for those qualifying on stays. It’s a shame because there are plenty of people who make 25 stays per year who are fiercely loyal to Hyatt. Hyatt will lose a lot of loyal members because of this. But I also see where they’re coming from, and at least commend them for the richer rewards for those qualifying.

Where do you stand on these Hyatt loyalty program changes? Let me know in the comments section, and/or vote in the below poll.

What is your impression of Hyatt's new loyalty program?

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Comments

  1. I, for one, am happy about these changes. Instead of taking away benefits for top tier customers, they increased them, while adding a higher night requirement. They could have just as easily left the stay requirement alone and reduced the benefits for top tier.

  2. “There are plenty of people who make 25 stays per year who are fiercely loyal to Hyatt.”

    This is me. It’s a bummer. But next year as a Globalist (for likely the only time) could be fun. Really wish award nights would count!

  3. The differentiator in Hyatt was their loyalty program. They’re gutting their program to be more inline with the big boys. The problem is, THEY AREN’T THE BIG BOYS. The big boys being IHG, Marriott, Hilton, and even Accor. Their footprint is so small. How are you going to get 60 nights? Example. Bangkok. IHG has 8properties. Accor, over 10. Marriott, EXCLUDING STARWOOD, has 8 alone. How many does Hyatt have? 1…two if and when Park Hyatt opens up.

  4. I don’t stay enough to earn elite status, so this only affects me insofar as the Platinum status I have via the Hyatt credit card is downgraded to “Discoverist.” No premium internet, even less likely room upgrades, and no more late checkout. At that point, I really have no incentive to stay at Hyatt on a paid stay, especially when much better status tiers are available to other co-brand credit card holders.

  5. Just happy Im golden as “Globalist” through our Hyatt wedding next year. Have to remind me what qualifies as base points.20000 spend on the wedding… thinking it doesnt qualify as base.
    What about multiple rooms under one reservation.
    Currently enjoying our DSU at GHK

  6. How do you see the free breakfast benefit working in practice? I’ve had their system automatically take off the entire breakfast even at times when the bill has clearly said 5 adults. I doubt they will be having waiters say “you two kids can only get kids meals” or that sort of thing. I don’t see how this will be enforced in practice unless they’re pegging it to the actual reservation booking or upgrading their system. Thoughts?

  7. I doubt I’m their typical or target customer but one thing I loved about Hyatt’s program, other than the DSUs, was the breakfast for 4 adults. I typically travel with family or friends. So there are usually 3-4 adults. Couple times I’ve actually booked a Hyatt over a Hilton because Hilton only provided breakfast for 2 adults. We weren’t going to go out to eat when 2 out of 3 could eat for free but all of a sudden the room became $30 more expensive.

  8. NO more 1K or F&B amenity at check in. Also, the removal of the 2.5K amenity for a closed club is also being removed… per Gary at VFTW.

    Big devaluation IMO!

  9. Thank you for taking the time to post all of this.

    I was about to move to Hyatt when a few things tripped me up. This doesn’t help. Average 40 nights a year at Fairmont and biggest perk is the suite upgrade as Platinum. My family use them every year. With that benefit hanging in the balance after Accor purchase I thought Hyatt, where I have had several years of Platinum would be the ticket.

    Sadly, not.

    Can’t get a suite upgrade for a family of four at the Park Hyatt Toronto. My corporate rates don’t allow point upgrades and possibly not DSU at Hyatt Toronto or Montreal. Now having to make sixty nights to get those (same would give me 6 suite upgrades at Fairmont in years past) is just way too hard for someone in Canada where we have less than 10 properties. Looks easier to run points at SPG/Marriott and book suites on points when my family travels, or second rooms on points when I am on business. If they had enough footprint across Canada, I would be in.

  10. The world of Hyatt logo has terrible proportions. The new names are trying way too hard, but then I’m not a cool millennial. Nothing to lose for me as I’m not Hyatt loyal. They just aren’t really where I go much.

  11. Along with the bad changes, the name of the program is stupid, the logo is unprofessional and overly simplistic and the elite level names are more appropriate for a camping store loyalty program. Overall, I only spend about 10 nights a year so I don’t have a dog in this fight but the trend is disturbing……

  12. Not having extra credit card nights is going to make me put away that card for good and just collect the anniversary bonuses. I’ve used to reliably put $40k+ on that card too of mostly reimbursable business expenses.

    I was able to move the majority of the credit line to a CSR. Weirdly enough, I found out the max credit line that a CSR can have without special approval!

    With the credit card, I’m a Hyatt Diamond that usually pushes 45 nights and about 30 stays. The whole change to the program is making me reevaluate my loyalty to Hyatt. Does it just make sense now to collect mid-tier status everywhere and just book everything with FHR/Virtuoso/etc? I’m thinking that this might be the better option.

  13. Hyatt CC, meet the cancellation scissors!

    Absolutely no reason for me to keep it now.

    Maybe if they removed the Cat4 limit on the certificate, that’s the only way.

  14. I have been a loyal Hyatt member for years! I am saddened by this new change. I can understand them moving to this 2 things they should consider changing. The credit card spending not counting toward elite nights, I too will put the CC away except Hyatt stays for points and anniversary nights but may just change to the Sapphire Preferred Card. I will also be on the lookout to see if other Hotels offer more for the top tier and change. I too do not like the logo nor the tier names come on Hyatt you can do better than that!

  15. Also for those qualifying only on 25 stay matress run, this is a jedi mind trick… free 1 night at 1-4 and second free night at 1-7 after 60 nights < 1000 points per every one night stay.

  16. I am not sure how much of an outlier I am, but Hyatt is going to lose a lot of revenue on me, and presumably others like me. I have qualified with just over 50 nights each of the last couple of years. The nights are from a combination of $40,000 spend on the credit card, cash and points stays on several longer family vacations so I can use my DSUs, and expensive stays on business travel. While my business travel is expensive, it is probably not expensive enough for the new scheme. Looking back, it appears that my total spending is more in the neighborhood of $15,000 per year. With the removal of the credit card spending bump and the requirement of five (and later ten) additional nights, there is now an additional 15 night (and later 20 night) delta I would need to make up. At the same time, a lot of my vacation nights were qualifying nights by necessity so I could use my DSUs. Given the daunting task of finding 15 more nights at Hyatts and the fact that I can now upgrade in advance to a suite without paying any money out of pocket, I have no incentive to begin the year by chasing status at Hyatt next year. I will enjoy my last year of status by booking all points vacations and upgrading my room with a DSU. I will match to Marriott/Starwood and spend my business travel money there. I will cancel my Hyatt credit card because it is now worthless. Frankly, the complete gutting of the value of the credit card is the biggest head-scratcher to me. I can’t imagine why anyone would spend $50,000 on an otherwise relatively unrewarding credit card just for second tier status. Yet, a number of people would likely spend that money if it pushed them over the top to top tier status. Personally, I would spend even more if higher spending helped with incremental additional nights (e.g., $40,000 spend for 10 nights and $80,000 spend for 20 nights). Oh well. Sorry for the rant . . . but I feel better now.

  17. Hmph. Was warming to the concept of Hyatt, but their small footprint has been their biggest shortcoming. With this move, it seems like they’re doubling down on their shortcoming. When I couple that with the new logo and the status tier names, I’ve lost nearly any respect I have for the brand.

    If anybody from Hyatt is reading: You haven’t shot yourself in the foot. You’ve cut your legs off at the knees. The firm that came up with that logo should be fired. The status names completely rethought. You had best double your footprint to give this program any further credibility. And fast.

  18. With the elimination of the diamond amenity, the mathematics behind this whole thing became extraordinary less attractive. My excitement level has waned considerably given the enormous reduction of that critical benefit. Instead of the free category 1 to 4 certificate every year being an added bonus, it is just a minimal replacement for a massive reduction in earning Overall the entire revamp is a lot less attractive now.

  19. Think the post was pretty close to my feelings. Former Diamond benefits were enough to ensure my loyalty and chasing my 50 nights (sometimes with credit card help). Will possibly go after 55 which might work for me because there are Hyatts almost everywhere I go. Glad they kept top tier worth it even if making it harder to achieve.

    HATE the credit card change — will probably dump it — I’ll take the 3% cash back on domestic stays with my Costco Visa. Will have to figure something else out for international Hyatt stays because of Costco Visa Int’l fees.

    Don’t care so much about the welcome amenity points – that seemed somewhat goofy to begin with, and when you’re staying 50+ nights, another ~20K points doesn’t make *that* much of a difference.

  20. “World of Hyatt” definitions:

    “Discoverist”: A Chase Hyatt Visa card owner who has just discovered his/her credit card is not worth keeping. Spend $50K per year for a next-tier status upgrade?

    “Explorist”: A current Chase Platinum status holder now exploring easier options at competing hotel groups to attain better status for less effort and cost. Marriott Gold for only $10K annually on the Chase Ritz-Carlton Visa.

    “Globalist”: A current Chase Diamond status holder who now realizes that he/she will need to travel the globe to find enough Hyatt hotels to stay in to maintain “Globalist” status beyond 2018.

  21. I never stay at Hyatts, because I wouldn’t be able to qualify for Diamond even under the old rules, given their limited number of hotels. So I am SPG Platinum and HH Gold based on stays. My concern is what Hyatt’s move may mean for the MR/SPG merger, given that Marriott doesn’t use stays to qualify and Starwood already differentiates based on 50 and 75 nights. If Hyatt is willing to let go of stays as a qualifier, can the merged MR/SPG be far behind?

    I just hope MR/SPG doesn’t come up with equally cringe-worthy nonsensical names for their new program that would make me embarrassed to be associated with the brand. We already have the words “explorer” and “discoverer” in the English language. “Explorist” and “discoverist” are not words. “Globalist” is actually a word but is a bad descriptor, because as someone else pointed out, you could just stay at a local Hyatt Place for 50 nights.

  22. You know, my initial reaction was that this is crazy considering their small footprint — they just aren’t in enough of the places I need to be (and I travel a good bit — both domestically and internationally by both air and road).

    Then, I got to thinking about it more — and not only do they have a small footprint, in many places they only have Hyatt Place/House, where the benefits of elite status are now absolutely zero as there are typically no suites anyway, everyone gets breakfast, there’s no lounge, no resort fee, no parking charge….and now there is no 1,000 point amenity. The majority of my stays tend to be in the Places/Houses simply because that’s the only Hyatt offering. When you eliminate the limited service properties, Hyatt’s footprint of places where you can take advantage of elite benefits is laughably small — both in the sense that there are so many cities where they simply aren’t and in the sense that there tends to be only 1 option in the cities where they are (and therefore a very much limited inventory of rooms). I suspect that many people tolerated that because 25 stays got you the benefits you wanted for family vacation once or twice a year. I know I chose a Hyatt House/Place over nicer Hilton/Marriott properties just to earn Hyatt status. I would have rather stayed at a Hyatt/Regency/Grand/Park, but they just don’t exist in many, many cities and areas.

    I know that the readership of the blog skews towards people maximizing value. However, I think loyalty to Hyatt in general has to skew towards people looking to maximize value. A Marriott or Hilton could require 60 nights and it’s not a problem for the average business traveler because they will have plenty of options to fit whatever the expense budget is no matter what the situation is. When the Hilton is $600 a night because of a special event in town, one can downgrade to the Doubletree or even a Hampton Inn in the same city and still fit in the expense budget for work while maintaining their hotel status. But when the Hyatt Regency is the only Hyatt option, and work won’t let you expense $600 a night, you’re going to end up having to choose Hilton/Marriott/IHG anyway. And once that happens two or three times, those 60 nights are going to start slipping out of sight — and with it, the incentive to continue to seek out Hyatt stays.

    I am sure that there are some who this will work out for. And I’m sure that there is someone at Hyatt getting paid plenty to run the numbers and figure out what makes sense. I just can’t imagine this *not* driving business away. I can, however, imagine them *thinking* that it worked out because all of the newly minted Globalists are going to burn through points and stays to take advantage of what they can during 2017. But in the long run, I don’t see this driving loyalty. Not because it’s a devaluation — just because it’s incredibly difficult for the average business traveler with a limited expense budget to know that they’ll hit 60 nights at properties that are worth staying at. I was willing to go out of my way to stay at a Hyatt Place 10 or 15 times a year that was a further drive and a bit more expensive than a Hilton Garden Inn might have been. I’m not going to add another 20 nights at places like that — so I go from ~25 stays and ~45 nights a year to 0 pretty fast.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again — I think I’m going with Hilton next year. There’s too much uncertainty with Starwood & Marriott and I’d rather be on the hook for 30 stays with Hilton than 75 nights with Marriott to maintain top-tier status moving forward. Even if, for some reason, I don’t re-qualify, I’ll get breakfast from a CC at Hilton and lounge access/breakfast at full-service Marriotts from $10k a year spend on the Ritz card.

    It’s too bad — because I’ve found customer service at Hyatt to be generally terrific. If they’d make it easier to hit 60 nights by getting a bigger portfolio, I’d be interested in coming back. However, I can’t see forgoing the benefits I can get easily elsewhere to wait 60 nights before getting Hyatt status back. I’m pretty sure I’ll be done with Hyatt come 2018.

  23. I’m an ardent follower of yours, although I have never commented until now. I agree that most of the changes are good, while I, too, am sad to see the former diamond welcome amenity go. It is true that the F+B was sometimes excellent, and sometimes not. 1000 points were always a plus. I am a Hyatt Diamond, and now also an SPG Gold (and Marriott!)–you sold me on it and there are any more SPG properties where I live and travel than Hyatts, so I can effectively ditch Hilton (even though thanks to your posts I did match to Diamond, but I agree with your assessment that it really isn’t better than gold. And not worth the effort.)

    Yes, the names are a little silly, but as a graphic designer (trained as an architect) and architectural historian (writing on the interrelationship between architecture and travel in the 1950-80 period), the graphic is just abominable. I could do a better job for them in a handful of hours! Looks like it could have been done in Word, no less.

    After reading both of your posts, I have two questions:
    1) Does the CC still come with one free night (1-4) or did that go too?
    2) What is the logic behind behind Globalists only needing 55 nights to requalify? Ie, is that just an annual “thank you” perk? Or is that only in the transition period from Diamond to Globalist? This didn’t seem clear to me.

    Thanks!

  24. Thanks for the update. I’m one of those Diamonds who won’t qualify for the new level beyond 2018, as my qualifications are based on stays, rather than nights, but I’m happy to be a “Globalist” for 2017, with the perk of one free night at up to a Category 7.

    I also like that I can use a DSU for an awards stay 🙂

  25. Lucky – I’ve read both posts on the subject and all the comments but may have missed something:

    Is there still a 500 point welcome for other properties, if the 1,000 is going away?

    I spent 65 nights in Hyatts this year and had a pretty good mix of Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House… if the bonus points go away on all of those this is a big hit to me… Without having maxed out both 75k/25 night promos I’m not sure the point return for my average spend would be worth it without the welcome points plus 30% diamond.

    ———————

    And just to add a general comment – I’d like to tell Hyatt where to stick it with that 120 day certificate expiration. I go OUT OF MY WAY literally driving and flying all over the country, working my ass off to maintain diamond status, with most work travel coming March-October, when I CAN RARELY take personal trips, which is when I would want to redeem certificates…

    Now I’ll get a nice 1-7 cert in March, which I have to use by the end of June? When the majority of my personal travel happens between November and March? Awesome… great job. SO AWFUL… Just give me 30,000 points or a 1 year certificate and let me decide when and how, greedy Fu$&S…

  26. These changes are terrible. I couldn’t really care less about the suite upgrades – still have 3 left as most hotels I book don’t have the eligible suite available so cannot use the suite upgrade.

    I make at least 25 stays per year, so I will also get 25,000 less points at least. At say $15 per 1000 points that is a loss of $375 however the 1 free cat 7 cert will almost balance that.

    I never qualify on nights just stays. I am a weekend guest for the most part. So for me the changes are bad, and I will need to decide if my $10,000 travel budget for hotels should continue with Hyatt.or if I should move to ugggghhh Marriott/SPG. Hard to say.

    I have been a diamond for almost 20 years, and am closing in on the $250,000 spend for lifetime status. So hard to say what I will do. Also it will depend on the promotions that they have next year.

  27. I agree increasing Diamond / Globalist requirement to 60 nights wouldn’t be so bad if Hyatt wasn’t also, simultaneously, the hardest hotel to earn nights at. Unlike SPG, award stays don’t count toward qualifying nights. Neither do multiple rooms on a single stay, now nor the credit card. I’m at 55 Hyatt nights so far this year, but it’s just so much work…

  28. As a millennial the logo/tier levels are a total blunder right up there with New Coke or the epic logo failures.

  29. I apologize if previously covered. If the following are true, they would go under the “Good” column for me:

    1) Will Guest of Honor still be available to Globalist members?

    2) Can you confirm if base points from a 2nd or 3rd room under my name (same stay/reservation) would be counted toward spend? I realize the 2nd and 3rd room nights won’t count as before.

  30. I’m HGP Diamond (25s/45n excluding CC boost) earned through mostly personal travel. 55 nights seems like a really high bar when you don’t count award nights, multiple rooms (I often book 2 rooms as we travel as a family), and the 10 nt bonus from $40k spend on the CC goes away. Assuming we actually use some free nights / points in any given year, that means they expect us to spend what, 65-80 nights a year in a Hyatt, or 25% of the year? I’m fine with 55 nights as the requirement, but allow for award nights, CC spend, and multiple rooms to count towards the night total, just as the leading competitors do. I’m SPG lifetime platinum, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum, and IHG platinum, but send most stays/nights to Hyatt to maintain Diamond status. With the 55 night requirement and no boost from the CC, I don’t think it’s likely I’ll try to requalify next year. Will enjoy my one year as a Globalist.

  31. @lucky, do you know when CC spend ceases to count toward status? Could I spend $40k paying my taxes in Jan/Feb to trigger the stay/night credit for 2017 qualification year?

  32. Lucky – For those of us who are moderate gamblers, this really hurts the Hyatt CC value. I was loyal to Hyatt and M-Life due to the Hyatt-MLife partnership. Was really looking forward to the Borgata (Atlantic City) joining MLife. I understand I was never high up in Hyatt’s eyes – 3 to 5 stays per year, $20-30k/yr on the Hyatt CC, but the partnership helped in my trips to Vegas and was going to be a benefit as well in AC. Now it looks like I’ll be dropping the CC, reconsidering MLife, and taking a look at the other hotel chain cards. Sad day for the people who enjoyed the CC but weren’t the apple of Hyatt’s eye. The $75 fee with free night yearly was a great perk, but Hyatt’s footprint isn’t large enough for me to consider that a reason to put $20k+ on their CC.

  33. @VirtuosoEric — Qualification is over a calendar year, meaning January to December. So, any spend you do in Jan and Feb won’t count. I am just puzzled as to why you even care about this if you do have SPG lifetime, and top elite status in MR (a tougher to get one), HH and IHG. How can you serve so many “masters” at the same time and get as much out of it as you would serving just one…?

  34. I consistently pay more and drive farther just to stay at hyatt properties. I do so because my diamond benwfit is worthwhile. I guess next year will be my last elite status with hyatt.
    I’ll probably move my business to either starwood or hilton.
    What a stupid move by hyatt.

  35. You’ll be happy to be free, at long last, as life will be a lot easier when you start finding a hotel in every corner of metro or rural America or overseas….really. 😉

  36. To me, the most important factor in choosing loyalty programs is, what properties do they have that I want to stay at when vacationing using points. This is where Hyatt falls down. They don’t have properties in the places I want to go. For this reason, I focus on Marriott, with Hilton and Starwood as my fallbacks.

  37. Will a requalifying Globalist get the Cat7 Free Night at 55 nights?

    Will a Globalist get the Cat7 Free Night at $20K spend when well under 55 nights?

  38. As a more casual (but still quite regular) Hyatt guest I generally have ended up Platinum, not Diamond, in the last few years. To me it was one of the better sets of benefits in a lower tier, in particular the 72hr guaranteed room availability which I used on a number of occasions to obtain space in otherwise “fully-booked” properties at busy times.

    With this gone in the absurdly-named “discoverist” tier which I will fall into I really cannot see the reason to stay especially loyal. Hyatt is very strong on the luxury end in the Far East where I live currently but their US properties are by-and-large ancient and sub-par, while their footprint in Europe is tiny. I suspect I will do much better switching to Starwood to get access to far more properties and build up my status there, as will almost everyone who has not already requalified as diamond with Hyatt.

    I question Hyatt’s logic here.

  39. ….not to mention their perverse ongoing insistence on using the worst toiletries known to man (June Jacobs? Who the hell wants to smell like green tea??) in all their Grand Hyatt properties…

  40. The logo looks like a high school graphic design student discovered what kerning is and took things way too far. Also, those names are ridiculous. Globalist sounds like a natural description but Explorist and Discoverist are just bizarre. I feel sorry for the CSRs and front desk staff who have to say those silly names every day when interacting with guests. For what it’s worth, if they were in fact trying to be hip and cater to millenials, count me as another millenial (at the upper end of the generation) who thinks this is way too try-hard.

  41. We still basing suite availability on lowest tier suite? Currently in my Garden Suite at GHK, and given that they have just 5 Garden Suites, DSU’s are tough to apply to this hotel. Pretty certain the Garden Suites are almost always booked. Ocean suites are a tad more plentiful, but not considered for upgrade consideration.

  42. Depending on how it plays out, the concept of being upgraded to a suite every time one is available is mind-blowing. Some of us stay at properties where the suites are very rarely used, especially paid for.

    My only concern is that every top tier member will now qualify so it my turn into a race to check in.

  43. The staff are going to be saying ” thank you for being a loyal globalist” etc? They will get a fit of the giggles. So stupid it defies belief.

  44. Hi Lucky ! Thanks a lot for all this usefull information. I am a platinium HGP member and I’ve been using points to book points and cash nights at Park Hyatt NYC since this hotel opened 2 years ago. I’ve just made a reservation for april 2017 and a new restriction seems to have appeared : if you choose the points and cash option you have to book a minimum of 5 consecutive nights…

  45. Hi, earlier, a post (wonderingjos) asked a question that appears to remain unanswered. He asked (and I am also asking):

    1) Does the CC still come with one free night 1-4) or did this go too?”

    Thanks for a response

  46. Who’s idea and who has confirmed the logo? Really ugly it is! Hyatt would be thinking more, and absolutely they need to change the logo before launching the new membership. Even my 5 years nephew would be more painting greater. By the way, Hyatt would not happy with 25 stays Diamond members alongside no more, I bet Hyatt would be falling down the revenue and lost many loyallist who loves Hyatt Gold Passport programme. It’s horrible and ridiculous.

  47. @Lucky: I don’t quite see any positive points for the many of us who stay almost exclusively for duty travel. Well, my employer might enjoy the free nights, as it reduces the expense account … But I couldn’t care less about suite upgrades, as I usually just spend the night in the hotel (and the day with my clients in their offices).

    So any positve points for those of us staying at Hyatt exclusively for business?

  48. Why would I ever use the Hyatt Credit Card again?
    Since I can’t get nights/stays, I might as well used the CSR as it transfers to Hyatt anyways.

  49. @DCS, well I got matched to Hilton and Marriott this year based on my SPG/Hyatt status and I get IHG from the CC. I have Lifetime SPG Platinum so the only status I try to chase each year is Hyatt Diamond. The suite upgrade benefit has been invaluable to my family. 55 nights will be tough, but 45 nights is more doable (my current count for 2016) if $40K credit card spend in January and February 2017 (before WOH rolls out) give me the 10 nights credit in 2017.

  50. As I wrote on the earlier post on this topic getting ride of the 25 stay (particularly Hyatt Place/House) customer base Hyatt is not only disenfranchising their base, but they are cutting off a profitable revenue stream i.e. they are shrinking company revenue. There is a difference between a high revenue customer and a profitable costumer. And not to mention it has been shown time and time again via Delta and United that a revenue based system does not drive increased company revenue. But back to the 25 stay Hyatt Place/House customer. Lets consider all the revenue they have generated for Hyatt reaching those 25 stays. It’s not uber high, but it is also not inconsequential. Now consider the cost i.e. expense associated with giving them Diamond status. Subtract that from the revenue they generated for Hyatt and I would argue Hyatt still comes out far ahead. Under the new system those individuals have no incentive to stay at Hyatt and thus that revenue stream goes from moderate yet consequential to zero. You also have to consider this 25 stay customer base will then look at the status they can achieve solely by opening a credit card with a competitor (Marriott, Hilton, etc.) and see that that status is far and way better than the new Explorist status they would have received by staying at Hyatt. Also, I’m frankly stunned Hyatt thinks it can implement a loyalty program on par with other hotel chains that are four times their size in terms of footprint and dwarf them in market share. If Hyatt wants to grow their business they need to work on incentivizing additional business and not just rewarding the small subset of their customer base that happen to be high revenue customers. If Hyatt wants to just focus on the high revenue customers then they need to focus on solely being a high end boutique hotel chain.

  51. The worst of this is the Chase Hyatt Visa card will no longer get you to MGM mLife Gold status. Previously Hyatt Visa = Hyatt Platinum = mLife Gold. Now Hyatt Visa = Hyatt Discoverist = mLife Pearl.

    The big losses with Pearl instead of gold are you don’t get:
    – Room Upgrades
    – Priority Check-In Line
    – Cafe Line Pass
    – Fine Dining Priority Reservations
    – VIP Line Access for Nightclubs / Pool Clubs
    – Loss of 20% comp bonus

    So for people who go to Las Vegas a lot, this is a big devaluation from Hyatt.

  52. I’ll miss playing the game. 1k point Diamond bonus on check in at Hyatt House, and glad there were 2 nearby my office in Dallas (+4k points per week on business trips, hard to beat). 25 stay requirement wasn’t hard to hit with single night stays + 1k bonus points + Diamond bonuses led to a lot of points and status again the next year. Too bad that’s going away since there’s no way I can hit more than the 25 stays. At least I can still transfer from CSR, and the breakfast amenity never worked for me anyway, why stay somewhere and not experience local culture? And the small footprint still led me to stay at a ton of Marriott properties anyway, looks like Marriott/SPG is the future for me.

  53. so if I’m Explorist and staying at a hotel without a lounge, no free breakfast… would be nice if the club certs could be used for free breakfast 🙁

  54. Lucky,

    I’m kind of surprised you weren’t more negative on this. Seems you are pulling your punches. I stay in hotels 100 nights per year and this is just tough. If it were Marriott/Starwood or even Hilton or IHG who all have hotels everywhere it would be one thing. However, Hyatt has relatively light coverage meaning I really struggle to hit 50 nights as they just aren’t offering options in many places. For example, I just tried to book at Munich Airport. Major destination…all the big guys there…no Hyatt.

    Thanks for your reporting, though.

  55. @Evan. Its just not sustainable. I did the math on my Hyatt Place/Hyatt House run, and net expendeture was ~$2075. Net value ~$8530. Ultimately I think Hyatt is better off losing that $2075 from runners and giving the benefits to real revenue generators. The big question for runners like myself is: can you maximize value to make up the difference in cost for a 55 night run? I think that mostly depends on how they process suite upgrades. If the low tier suite is sold, will they give globalists mid or high-tier suites or consider it unavailable? On the bright side for us, no multiple drives to the hotel. A single 55 night stay and stop by whenever for free breakfast.

  56. @Joe

    Where are you getting your net value term? When Hyatt reimbursed a property for either an award stay, cash and points, or DSU they are not reimbursing the property at the publicly advertised room rate. For example, if you book a standard room for $200/night then use a DSU and get bumped up to a suite adversitied at $700/night Hyatt is not reimbursing the property $500. It’s a factional amount at best. Additionally a majority of the properties the 25 stay populous stays at are not full service so Hyatt is not losing any money extending them Diamond benefits such as suite upstaged or breakfast. Finally, look at the values analysis for each loyalty leave such as that done by The Points Guy. Hyatt Diamond was valued (and I would contend accurately) at ~$3085/yr. assuming you use every last benefit to the max. At even a reasonable $120 night rate 25 nights equates to $3000, and I’d contend more often than not Hyatt comes out ahead because benefits go unused and some pay an avenger rate higher than $120.

    Furthermore, any additional labor to process a suite as opposed to a standard room is margin. I’ve been told as much by various front desk mangers. So again, no real additional expense to Hyatt while at the same time incentivizing repeat and ongoing patronage.

  57. This new names remind me of United.
    Excursionist perk…
    Global first…
    That’s definitely not a good thing

  58. Living in Oz, where only a few, relatively expensive Hyatts are on offer, it is quite hard to meet the requirements for either top tier. Now it’ll be even harder. I personally am just about to book an end of year holiday and was just going to get in 5 stays to get back in the program – but seeing as Platinum morphs into Discoverist (with really no benefit) I am going to divert stays to other hotels based purely on quality and price. Maybe they’re doing me a favour!

  59. I haven’t see any mention of point value. Are they devaluing points at all by changing redemption rates? Anything changing with cash & points? Or is this really all about the tiers with silly names?

  60. Why this is not announced on the official website of Hyatt?

    “Globalist members on March 1, 2017, will all get a free night at any Category 1-7 property just for being part of the program.”

  61. I was lolay to Hyatt only because of their partnership with MGM Resorts and the Mlife program. It was easier to earn Mlife gold by going through Hyatt than earning from Mlife. I just glad that I have my gold Mlife status for a year before that’s gone. I think Mlife may have pushed for a lower reciprocal deal regardless of what Hyatt was going to do with their program. When Mlife released their CC you only got pearl but go get the Hyatt card and you get gold through the partnership. This is a major blow to me. I visit Las Vegas 6 to 7 times a year so the benefits of gold were really worth it. Now with Mlife charging sir self and valet parking go get the Hyatt card or stay five times and you get free valet and self parking. This summer I was in Vegas 4 nights in 4 hotels just to get Mlife gold. I’ll be looking for new hotel chains now.

  62. Gold Passport was pretty much perfect – it’s one of the few affinity programs that engaged me and was a go to destination when travelling for work or pleasure. This new rebranding is embarrassing and the moronic levels cuts a lot of affinity for the program from me – I still can’t figure out if i’m a discoverist or explorist without looking at a chart.

  63. I’ve read thru T&C and FAQs, unable to find anything on current Lifetime Diamond members – will they be granted Lifetime under the World of Hyatt or have those 5 years of my life staying in Hyatt’s worldwide been scuttled to nothing? Anyone have clarity on this?

  64. Question: can I spend $20k USD in restaurants and spa while not staying at a hotel and still get Globalist status?

  65. Hi – really hate this. Have been a diamond member and loved the perks. Am now platinum and the perks are enough to be just ok. Now that the cc spend doesn’t count to qualify and Marriott married Starwood I think we will turn in our 2 Chase Hyatt cards (husband has one) and get a new branded card. Too bad for them, we charge about $15,000 monthly.

  66. This new program is awful. I stay at Hyatt between 45 to 50 nights a year and about 50 at Hiltons. Of those 50 for Hilton it is because Hyatt does not have hotels in those towns. I am not not going to quality for the highest level even though I spend close to 50 nights in Hyatt hotels. I will not either go all Hilton or will look at Marriott program. Sorry to say Hyatt you have lost a 20 yr diamond customer. I will use all my points up and then I am done with Hyatt.

  67. As a multi year, very happy HGP Diamond member I’ve loved the brevity & relative ease, meaningful perks and overall simplicity of their first class program. I’ve thought for years that Hyatt “gets it” and that they understand their customer base and their position in the hotel industry. Their Hyatt Regency and Grand/Park Hyatt properties are some of the VERY best in the world. Their employees, particularly in these properties, are so very well trained. They’re go getters, smart problem solvers, incisive and just seem to care more than Marriott’s or Hilton’s employees. I’m a multi year Platinum and now Premier Platinum member (whatever that’s supposed to mean) with Marriott and I’m pleased with them, but I’ve told all my road warrior compeers that “Marriott’s great….and Hyatt is better”. I’ve imagined Hyatt’s executives in charge of the HGP program feeling a real sense of pride in that they’ve achieved an insightful savoir faire with their most loyal customers that others in the industry are still trying to master. I’d certainly feel that way, if I were them…and I’VE felt that way as their loyal customer. I imagined they’ve set in on or observed an evening at just about ANY of their Regency Club Lounges or Grand Club lounges and listened to the conversations of the RC’s faithful and thought….”job well done”. I’VE thought that myself as a Diamond Member having conversations with HGP members for years about the ambiance, décor, food quality (especially desserts) the most well trained RC staff members and overall pleasantness of this place. They could look at what they’ve cultivated and definitively say…”It SURELY ain’t broke…so there’s SURELY no reason to fix it”. High fives for all. WHO THE HELL APPROVED THIS REDICULOUS W.O.F PROGRAM? The logo is awful, the puerile tier names are complicated, nonsensical and discrediting to the Hyatt brand. 120 day limit on using the category free nights? Really? “Stays” don’t qualify anymore for status…oh and the welcome points amenity “You’re welcome…we took that away too”. With Marriott merging with Starwood you’d think those highly regarded HGP executives I imagined, and was so fond of, would cleverly, somehow, make it more appealing and enticing for us. Instead we get this. What a shame. Surely this will be rethought and retooled before March. Hyatt can do and HAS DONE so much better for it’s most loyal customers.

  68. I have been with Hyatt since 1987. i have been able to achieve 30 stays 45 nights a year. i also have 40 to 45 stays a year with HHONORS. I have not not been able to reach more with Hyatt as there is just not enough product. Hyatt is the fast growing chain but not fast enough. Furthermore the out Amerisuites Hyatt Places are not in good shape. Even the renovated ones. For example of Hyatt not having product. This summer I had 11 nights in Seattle and 8 in San Diego alone in which I tried to stay with Hyatt. I could not get into a Hyatt product downtown. Sold out. These stays ended up achieving 6 of my 30 Stays towards HHONORS. Sad to leave Hyatt. Not angry. They must know what they are doing. Anyway thanks for the platform to vent. This is a great sight.

  69. Lucky, can you confirm that all Globalist members will receive a free night cat 1-7 on March 1st, 2017? This has not been reported anywhere else AFAIK other than your blog, and it appears that Hyatt included language in the T&C specifically to contradict this information: https://goldpassport.hyatt.com/content/world/en/world-of-hyatt-terms.html#/VC

    “While this award requires the same Tier-Qualifying Night and Base Point accrual requirements as are required to achieve Globalist status, the Category 1-7 Free Night Award is not provided as a benefit of Globalist status and a Category 1-7 Free Night Award will not be provided to Members who receive Globalist status through any means other than satisfaction of the Tier-Qualifying Night or Base Point accrual requirements (e.g., Members who receive Globalist status as part of the migration from the legacy Hyatt Gold Passport program to this Program).”

  70. Thanks for the concise update. I agree with the above posts, starting with the ridiculous branding names, not to mention logo. How about levels one, five, or ten! It’s easier to pronounce and top level people will feel like top of the world by being a 10! (LOL!)

    I guess I will be a Globalist, as I stayed 99 nights at Hyatt properties this year. While I like the potential suite upgrades, realistically will have to wait to see how often this actually happens. I will really miss the 1K amenity points – in my case that would have been over 90,000 points as I did select the beverage/food amenity a few times, which was a nice touch if traveling with someone. As others have said, the 120 night redemption is too short, especially for road warriors like me (I also have lifetime Hilton Diamond and still stay there and at Marriott/Starwood properties too).

    Only time will tell. I must say hopefully it’s easier to understand the hotel bill and point structure than their existing system of ‘redemption eligible’ etc. Why they don’t include alcohol, especially at a nice restaurant with wine is beyond me. The new program says dining and spa, but I didn’t see it disqualify alcohol; we shall see.

    Thanks for your website and insight – on another note love your previous posts on BA 747 First Class; taking that to Africa in May.

  71. I am one of those elite 60+ nights per year Globalists, and I don’t see much to like, even at that tier. I am very upset about losing the 1000 amenity points, and cutting breakfasts down from 4 adults to 2. I used those all the time. I have stayed at Hyatt three times since World of Hyatt went into effect and I have yet to see them offer a suite upgrade on the spot. I don’t see that happening as a routine practice. So overall, much to lose, and not much to gain.

  72. I agree with Ted. I’ve had an incredibly busy 1st quarter of travel and I’ve stayed at Hyatt once. I’ve doubled done with Marriott. I’m Platinum Premier with Marriott and I’m Diamond with Hyatt until next year. Hyatt’s new program is terrible and a face slap to their long time customers. When I got my new Hyatt affiliation card…”Globalist” or whatever – it looked like a frequent shopper card at Bass Pro Shop. I threw it in the garbage. It’s a shame too, because I LOVED staying at Hyatt properties. But Hyatt doesn’t have the property footprint that Marriott has (or Hilton for that matter) and their new program is unattainable; and more than that it’s overly complicated in it’s structure and utterly puerile in its tier names. Besides next year Westin and W and St. Regis will be integrated in Marriott’s program and that’ll more than give me the occasional diversity I’m looking for in weekly travel and certainly in vacation destinations.

  73. Buh Bye, Hyatt – I was fiercely loyal to you for years, earning Platinum Gold Rewards status on my stays alone…and now you tell me I’m a mere “Discoverist” with little or few benefits? Here’s what I’ve “discovered” in my decades of global travel: when an entity that you’ve supported and to which you have referred hundreds of others gives you the finger, it’s time to wake up and avail yourself of the myriad other value opportunities out there (SPG!), and never look back. Hyatt, you’re drunk on your own whisky, and the party’s moving on without you…to Starwood!

  74. With my Starwood status switching over to Marriott and with Fairmont to Accor who needs Hyatt anymore. Adios!

  75. I have been an very loyal Hyatt Diamond member for many years. I do a lot of overnight trips. Sometimes, 2 different cities in a week. This new program will have me losing my status after spending more than 20k a year on hotels. In fact, just last week, I stayed in Boston and New York for hotel stays equaling over 1k. Over the years, I have gone out of my way to stay at hotels that were 20+ miles away. Hyatt does not have a lot of options, but I was loyal.
    I reached out this week to Shane at Hyatt to tell him that I may be close to top status at end of year and to give feedback on the new program and bottom line is he told me to kick rocks. Hit 60 or you are not a top tier anymore.
    Hyatt; I am out. We are breaking up!! In this situation, it is you not me.
    I cancelled all my reservations with you (future) at least 4k and went to Hilton (they have a match program). What a pleasure to have hotels now in all cities and Europe. What a pleasure to have an app that will unlock my door. What a pleasure to have an app that doesn’t crash. What a pleasure to get 50 percent bonus on my stays and to only need 30 stays or 50 nights.
    You forced me out of a program. I was loyal to and I didn’t know what I was missing. Hyatt you made a huge mistake isolating your best customers. If you loose top tier people like me and they flock to other hotel chains, you are going to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars this year. Shane @ Hyatt relations if you are reading this, you should work on returning phone calls. After 8 years of only Hyatt, you were the final straw on the camel, Shane.

  76. @Lucky.

    Free night certs issued to globalist member for 120 days. Do you have to complete your stay in 120 days. Or do you have to book your stay within 120 days?

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