Is Hyatt’s Globalist Fast Track Promotion “Fair?”

Yesterday I wrote about Hyatt’s Globalist fast track promotion, which is available to those with Hyatt’s co-branded credit card. Hyatt will essentially let you earn Globalist status after just 20 nights during the last four months of the year (September 1 through December 30), when it usually requires 60 nights. In other words, you can earn Globalist status with a third of the usual number of required nights in a third of the usual qualification window.

Many found this promotion to be a huge slap in the face. For example, I’m at (only) 39 nights with Hyatt for the year, and I got this email yesterday. So basically Hyatt is saying “hey, forget those 39 nights you’ve stayed already, just do 20 more and we’ll give you Globalist anyway.”

Now, in fairness I should mention that those earning Globalist status through this promotion won’t be receiving the perks you get for passing 60 nights or 100,000 base points, including the following:

  • A free Category 1-7 night, valid for 120 days from when it’s issued
  • Four confirmed suite upgrade awards, each of which is valid for a year from when it’s issued
  • Access to My Hyatt Concierge for reservations and personalized service
  • The ability to requalify for Globalist status in subsequent years after just 55 nights (you’d still need 60 nights or 100,000 base points)

Personally I think the biggest perks of Globalist status are unlimited suite upgrades, 4PM check-out, and free breakfast/lounge access, and those earning Globalist status through this promotion get those anyway.

My friend Matthew from Live and Let’s Fly covered the promotion this morning, with the title “Hyatt’s New Promo Is Desperate And Disappointing, But Fair.” That title certainly hooked me. Matthew supports his argument that the promotion is fair based on a passage from the Bible (Chapter 20 of Matthew, which seems fitting):

And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house,  saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?

Matthew says he was initially disappointed by the promotion, but that Hyatt can do what they want because it’s their program, and because they’re still giving him what he worked towards (as is supported in the Bible passage):

My initial reaction is one of disappointment because I already worked hard to get up to 40 nights this year. But Hyatt did not renege on our agreement. From the start of the year Hyatt has promised me Globalist status in exchange for 60 nights and that is still the case.

Even though those earning identical status to me for 1/3 work seems unfair, it is not unfair for Hyatt to be generous. It is their program and they can award status as they best see fit.

I see where Matthew is coming from, but I’m not quite sure I see this the same way.

Let’s step back a second. When Hyatt Gold Passport turned into World of Hyatt, they increased the number of nights required to earn top tier status, and also introduced new elite benefits, including unlimited suite upgrades, subject to availability. We were told “hey, it’s going to be a more exclusive club, but it’ll be worth it, because we’re giving you more benefits.”

What the above Bible passage doesn’t address is the scarcity of what’s being competed for here. A few laborers getting paid a bit extra won’t substantially alter the economics of said ancient city. Everyone will still likely have the same buying power.

The issue here is that we were promised a program that’s more exclusive, and one that’s worth spending extra nights at Hyatt for. The single biggest new Globalist benefit is unlimited suite upgrades, and that’s a scarce resource for which Globalist members are competing. The number of Globalist members absolutely impacts the benefits you get.

To put it into Biblical terms, to me this is like the “master” offering workers a certain percentage of a sum of money, and that percentage goes down when more people are included. Would the Bible passage make the same point if the “master” were paying the same total sum of money, but what each person earned individually decreased? I think not.

Don’t get me wrong, at some hotels this won’t make much of a difference. During recent stays at the Hyatt Regency Tashkent and the Hyatt Regency Dushanbe, I felt like we were the first Globalist members they had ever seen. However, stay at the Andaz 5th Avenue or Grand Hyatt San Francisco, and it’s a very different story. Globalist members are lucky to get any sort of an upgrade, let alone a suite upgrade.


Good luck getting a Globalist suite upgrade at the Andaz 5th Avenue

Bottom line

Maybe it’s just semantics, but I think Hyatt’s promotion is unfair. To be clear, I think they’re perfectly within their rights to offer such a promotion, and while I think it’s unfair, I think life is unfair, so they’re not totally out of line in doing so.

And I’m not even saying this from the perspective of my travels, necessarily. I’m really happy for anyone who is able to take advantage of this promotion, and would encourage people to do so if it makes sense.

But I also think the optics of this promotion are just so bad. Members have been frustrated by World of Hyatt, and this promotion further reinforces our beliefs, as clearly the program isn’t performing as well as they had hoped (or else they wouldn’t be offering this promotion).

I guess I just don’t get what Hyatt is thinking. Is getting some extra 20 night Globalist members worth the frustration it causes to existing Globalist members, especially when a program is still new, and all along they’ve been promising a more “exclusive” program? It just looks very, very bad to say “hey, you’re gonna have to stay more nights this year because we’re creating a super exclusive club,” and then say “just kidding, we’ll give away this status to those who have stayed only a third of the nights required.”

And let’s not even talk about what a slap in the face this is to international members, who have to go out of their way to be loyal to Hyatt (given Hyatt’s small footprint internationally), and also don’t have access to their co-branded credit card.

What do you think — is Hyatt’s Globalist promotion “fair?”

Comments

  1. I’m not sure that you don’t earn the suite upgrades. Yes, in theory they are allocated at 60 nights, but I recently got Explorist status through a different promotion and was given the 4 club upgrades associated with that status upon receiving the status, despite not having stayed the nights required.

  2. oh please!

    if you see an offer giving you or the Princess Royal a leg-up you’ll be over the moon. This time you’re not eligeble. This time The Dollar Coin Scam did not land in your corner. Get over it.

  3. @ Bgriff — I don’t see anything in the terms suggesting that you need to stay 30 nights or earn 50,000 base points to get those passes, while for Globalist it’s explicit what perks you get just for having the status, and what perks you get for passing 60 nights or earning 100,000 base points.

  4. I’m at 41 nights…AND I just got the Hyatt Card. Grrr.

    What a slap in the face to Diamonds/Globalists who put their dollars trying to re-qualify.

  5. @ SvenDalarna — You’re more than welcome to doubt me, but I truly *personally* don’t care about this. Rather, what I’m trying to express is how so many of us were skeptical of the World of Hyatt program, and in a way it’s nice to see we clearly weren’t off base in how we felt, based on the fact that they feel the need to run the promotion.

  6. Grossly unfair to International Members. We’ve always been the poor relation in the Hyatt world and that’s continued with this promotion.
    Basically the promo is saying that credit card holders are kings and queens for Hyatt – worth three times non-card carrying Globalists.
    I’ll be a few stays away from 60 at year end. This doesn’t encourage me to push for it.

  7. Not too fair for those who put in the nights the hard way. Hyatt has made it easy to achieve diamond or globalist status before, so this is nothing new.

    It certainly stings to know that at 53 nights, I could land in 2018 with less benefits than someone staying 20 nights in 2017.

  8. is it just me or that Andaz 5th Avenue room looks thoroughly uninspiring for how much they charge ??

  9. For those who have put in no time or stays to make elite status it is fair game. For those who have real time and cost to get to 60 nights, I’d be miffed about this.

  10. well to me, most important thing is actually enforcing your benefit such as guest of honor and suite night upg when avb to globalist…like you said not all hotel within the chain follows that rule..which makes me wonder why bother going for 60 or even 20 at promotion…

  11. I look at it this way: 20 nights in 4 months is the same rate as 60 nights in 12 months. I think Hyatt wants some cash in the short term to influence you to make 20 nights before the end of the year. The old 12 night challenge was much better in my opinion. If you already have 20 nights for the last 4 months of the year, there is a good chance that you were going to hit globalist anyway. I predict a lot less people gaming the system for a 20 night challenge versus the old 12 nighter. 20 paid nights is going to cost thousands of dollars. Even 20 points+cash mattress runs to a cat 1 hyatt place is going to cost over a grand and take up a lot of your time. I have done the other previous challenges, but will not be partaking in this one. That is too much money to spend to not get the confirmed suite upgrades.

  12. Slap in the face. They confirmed earlier this year “If you can do 25 stays in 2 months, you get to keep a super exclusive status through 2019”. 6 months into the new program they’re telling me “Ooops….sorry….”

  13. Yeah, “fair” may be a bit loaded, but it’s got some bait and switch for sure. You were baited into believing that the trade off for more difficult qualification was better access to benefits and competitive advantage. You relied, to your detriment. It’s a classic bait and switch.

    I guess, though, in the end, you just have to remember that there is no “switch” in this game ever. These. Programs. Are. Not. Trustworthy. You know that better than anyone. They are loyal only to themselves and shareholders. That’s the bottom line. They will devalue. They will promise on day 1 and take back on day 2. You cannot rely. Ever. If you do, you do so at your peril. If it works out like you hoped, you got lucky, and that’s all.

    Yes, it’s unfair, because they took advantage of the people who still are not seasoned enough to know they can’t trust anything in this game. But, to the extent there are such people left, at some point, you have to say “fool me twice” and stop blaming the scorpion for acting like a scorpion.

  14. It would’ve been fair had this promotion been announced in January. Changing the rules of the game 9 months into it is never fair.

  15. If Hyatt had simply upped the stay requirement to 35 and left everything else untouched they wouldve been golden. Thatd weed out a few who didnt want to spend more on a mattress run, would increase their revenue from mattress runners who thought it’d be worthwhile, and the business traveller would view it as a little bit more exclusivity to the program.
    I figured something like this would happen, just not as quickly nor as painfully.

  16. Hotel status seems to be routinely given away anyway. I’m a gold with Hilton, Marriott and Starwood through various credit card programs and matching despite the fact I cancelled many of the cards I used to get status years ago.

  17. Plus, this is no different than the airline status “fast tracks” that have been offered for years. If yo travel a lot in a set amount if time, you demonstrate that you may deserve status.

  18. Hahahaha….. somebody took the bait from my comments.

    Matthew thinks it’s fair because hyatt didn’t break its promise. They still honour previous engagement and rules of staying 60 nights and its perks. This promotion is not ruining his plan of reaching his intended target.

    You insisted that this is unfair because you were used to ‘gaming the system’. Using points and miles instead of cash to splurge on a trip which only the richest of rich can usually afford, you have established yourself as one of the best in the game. And suddenly, the best looked as stupid as can be. You felt cheated and outsmarted. You fell from high above.

    Or maybe these articles served as ‘defense’ as your clients may complaints ‘why you suggest to stay for 60 instead of 20 night’? You can always said you don’t know how hyatt decided its policy. But it wouldn’t be reflecting a seasoned traveller in points and miles games isn’t it?

    Gotcha!

  19. Moved away from Hyatt when they decided to kill their loyalty program and introduce the Whateverist non sense. Moved to SPG and after 35 nights so far this year I couldn’t be happier. Bye bye Hyatt!!!! Oh and I thought they would not care missing me as a customer but with this desperate promotion it seems lime they do. 🙂

  20. In April of this year I did a challenge with Hilton for Diamond status valid thru Feb 2019. It was 9 stays within 90 days. I had completed a Diamond challenge the previous year as well.

    I’ve earned Marriott Platinum this year with only paid 18 nights. The other nights needed to complete the required 75 nights were earned from rollover, credit card and one meeting.

    Hyatt can do what they want as do other programs. Don’t take the word “loyalty” too literal. Play the game.

  21. @henry LAX
    I completely agree!

    @HawaiiDreaming
    I thought the same thing. There are basically 17 weeks left in the year. You’ve still got to stay at least once a week, every week, until January to qualify.

    I think it’s fair. The people who put in the 60 nights will be getting more benefits than the ones logging 20.

  22. Ironically enough, I’m probably one of the few that is in a position to where this will benefit me. I’m currently just Discoverist but I do have 10 nights of Hyatt stays planned between now and the end of the year. However, I completely agree with you Lucky that overall, this is a very unfair promotion – especially at the Explorist and Globalist levels.

    I’m more loyal to SPG and have more status with SPG. If SPG did something similar to what Hyatt is doing with this promotion, I would be very upset and would think it to be unfair.

    Bottom-line, the re-vamped Hyatt program is not performing as they thought it would – as was predicted by many on this blog.

  23. What I’m seeing is a change of view at Hyatt where they view this credit card Globalist status as more of a marketing tool to get you to give them more wallet share. They don’t care one bit that loyal Globalists benefits may be diminished and their program devalued if they can get more revenue from this credit card fast track. It’s kind of the same short term approach that Hilton has taken. I wouldn’t want to be holding on to a large stash of Hyatt points, as once the above logic sets in one inevitably sees devaluations in the currency.

  24. I’m qualifying the hard way, this is totally unfair.

    Unlike my status match qualification two years ago.which was totally fair (to me)

    Or the Hilton diamond stays match for two years running! That was extra fair (to me )

  25. With this promotion, Hyatt has welcomed back all of the Diamond members that they aimed to be rid of. Possibly at the expense of Globalists who would have spent 60+ nights instead of 20 nights, and now have to compete for benefits with the Promo Globalists next year.

    @Lucky – Should Hyatt add a new bonus perk for the 60-stay Globalists to smooth things out? What do you think that should be? (And here we are doing Hyatt PR’s job for them..)

  26. As a business, Hyatt has the right to do what sees it is fit to increase its bottom line regardless if we felt it’s mismanagement of the program or a promo being “not fair” to all members. Remember, they have info we don’t have …

    Most of the outcry is about the useless 4 annual DSUs. This is currently only available to US Hyatt credit card holders. And as such, whomever gets the status this way will not crowd the field for “legit” Globalists because they won’t have this perk.

    So, chill people!

  27. I think this is fairly consistent with fast track offers of other programs. 60 nights in 12 month become 20 nights in 4 months. This is still fairly steep.

    I ‘d just wished that this would be available to everyone: “20 nights from 1.sept tO 31. Dec and globalist is yours”

  28. Fair? What a silly question. The only question that needs to be asked is whether or not Hyatt is ready for fallout from their actions. Consumers can pick and choose no matter if we think it’s fair or not.

    I was a Diamond based on stays, I don’t travel enough otherwise. And I rarely used many of the benefits of Diamond since I typically stay, for work, at Hyatt House or Place. WOH changes made it easy for me to quit being loyal for benefits that really didn’t do much for me, outside an annual vacation. From my perspective Hyatt was dumb to shed my business since I cost them very little on the benefits end. But whether or not it’s Fair is not for me to ask, I left and found what I deemed Fair…

  29. I don’t have a skin in this game since I’m purely a leisure traveler, but wow, so many whiners up in here. Hyatt doesn’t owe you anything more than what they promised you, and that is not changing, so quit your whining.

  30. They should just admit they goofed with the entire World of Hyatt rollout, drop the qualification requirements back down to where they were, and just toss some free nights or extra upgrades to folks who earned globalist under the harder rules for their effort. They have turned their competitive advantage in the quality of their loyalty program into a disadvantage by eroding goodwill with their best customers. Time to reverse course. People just can’t admit mistakes. That’s how we got stuck with NAFTA for 20 yrs even though you could see after only 1 year it was having the exact opposite of its intended effect.

  31. Hi Lucky,

    I knew when I saw that Chase Hyatt CC email that your blog would have a lot of traffic 🙂

    Two questions if you have time:

    1) I have some gov’t travel in Nov for 6 nights. I will use the gov’t rate. Will those nights count towards the 20?

    2) Did I understand you that the nights do not have to be charged to the hyatt credit card?

    Thanks Ben! I read your blog daily.

    Jeff G

  32. Not fair at all.

    Will alienate existing globalists.

    EVERY SINGLE missed suite thru Feb 2019 will get blamed on this promo. EVERY time an existing globalist checks in under the ‘best available room including suite’ perk

    Hyatt, we were told the new tiers in Feb. were to cull the herd. now what. you just opened the gates.

  33. @Luis
    Nicely put…..

    Then again, little kids may cried to their mom simply because his big brother got a bigger shirt….

  34. I just passed 70 nights earlier this month. I’ve worked hard to be loyal to Hyatt, despite lower earn rates due to weak promotions and lack of arrival gift/points.

    This doesn’t make me mad, per se. But it is frustrating that they are not providing any incentive for me to continue to stay with them in Q4. Sure, they’ll give 10k for every 10 nights (above 60), but I can earn more with other chains and requalify for their status, given my 10 nights/month average.

    I truly hope Hyatt announces a Q4 points promotion, otherwise I’ll be doing just that… re-upping my SPG platinum, and expanding my options in 2018.

  35. This blog mentions fast track challenge information, elite status match or complimentary status (hyatt diamond/Hilton diamond) in many posts. Even earlier in the year there were posts on how to qualify between January and February to get Globalist for the rest of the year. So I fail to see how this is any different from any of those – why is this promo somehow unfair?

  36. How is this different from all of the other status matches and challenges offered regularly by many airlines and hotel chains? People who earn status the hard way are always miffed. This isn’t a complex or new issue that really merits multiple posts.

  37. @Jeff G – to answer your questions:

    1) I have some gov’t travel in Nov for 6 nights. I will use the gov’t rate. Will those nights count towards the 20?

    Yes, government rates do qualify for this (and all other Hyatt promotions).

    2) Did I understand you that the nights do not have to be charged to the hyatt credit card?

    Correct. One must have the co-branded card (and register for the promotion), but it’s not required to settle your bill with that card to qualify for the promotion.

  38. So far I have stayed 30 nights between Paris and Shanghai and I have to admit my satisfaction with 1200 sf suites at Shanghai Hyatt, even without google access 🙁 . I have booked another 30 nights with different Hyatts internationally by the year end until this promotion becomes available. One way or the other, 50 or 60 nights seems reachable to me for this year. 🙂

  39. As tda says above, this isn’t uncommon, yet we have a right to grumble. This has happened “to” me a couple of times in recent years after I’ve gone out of my way to qualify the hard way for AA Platinum or EXP status, only to see it granted to those who flew and spent less than me (and were given multiple upgrades as well). Matthew and Lucky both make good points. The best we can do is to pay attention to oft-changing rules and play the game as best we can.

  40. I agree with Louis, and Matthew, and Lucky. As a student of religion, it is clear that the parable is speaking about the salvation of one’s soul, and has nothing to do with actual monetary reward. I agree with Lucky in that it is not fundamentally fair. And finally, I agree with Matthew, that it is Hyatt’s program and that they can do what they want.

  41. What is unfair about it? They are giving a perk who earn Hyatt non room revenue with credit cards.

  42. It’s their program they can do what they want…. and they did. Presumably they think they’ll make more money doing this. This is their game: making money.

    Everybody has targeted promos so stop crying about things you can’t control. If Hyatt doesn’t work for you, move on. If you’re angered by Hyatt, move on.

    I’m only 8 nights away from qualifying the hard way and this promo stings. Marc is very correct in saying that every lost upgrade for the next 15 months will be blamed on this promo. Crowded lounges too.

    Let’s face it, the Hyatt CC is not a diamond. It’s certainly not he most lucrative card out there and all too many are in the sock drawer. I mean you do arguably better using the CSR or the Citi Presitge rather than the Hyatt Card at their own hotels. Perhaps they’re trying to do something to jump start it. (maybe they should give more points for various types of spend? Yea right). That costs. Maybe they see this as a cheaper promo than giving card members bonus points.

    They need to bring back the welcome amenity. 🙂

  43. Read the blog almost every day and love it. Posted a few times, never anything negative until now. Your position is based solely on the impact to you as an individual. You had no problem getting Hilton Diamond status with no stays or doing airline status matches, in fact you encouraged others (as you should, this blog is about helping people). These posts come across as whiny and unflattering. Hope you can treat opportunities that negatively impact you the same way you treat the positive individual impacts. To readers, the impact will fluctuate and won’t always be aligned with you personally. Keep the helpful posts coming!

  44. I wonder whether current globalists who re-qualify through this fast track get the same benefits as those who got globalist for the first time through it. Do they get free Cat 1-7 award etc? Actually – do current globalist qualify for this promotion?

  45. Treat your new customers better than existing loyal clientele and you won’t see my business! Most companies are quick to react when you let them know you aren’t pleased, and rectify the situation. I would suggest to Hyatt that they credit any stays in 2017 above the 20 required to be added to next years total…

  46. Interesting question although, to be “fair”, at least US consumers get access to the card. No shortcuts whatsoever for people based in Europe, like me (all the credit cards you get basically don’t exist here).

    So I would open the “fair” debate at the credit card eligibility step.

    But it’s also true Hyatt makes it super difficult to reach status (or true benefits)

  47. Are mistake fares ‘fair’ to the people who paid the full rate for the same flight? Is it fair that some people earn hotel statuses the hard way vs someone who opened a credit card or got a match for the same status?

    The people here who are crying bloody murder at Hyatt for this promotion need a double dose of perspective. This ENTIRE game is predicated on the fact that there are loopholes, tricks, fasttracks that exist for people who are willing to find and take advantage of them. It’s a game of equal luck, timing, and persistence.

    To make a big fuss whenever one of these promotions don’t break your way is petty and hilarious.

  48. Same promotion now for MegaDo participants: “If you are currently Hyatt Globalist and traveling on SMD8, we have some great news for you! Stay 20 nights in the next 3 months and retain your status through next year! Make sure you update your profile to include your World of Hyatt number today!”

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