Hyatt Gold Passport announced some award category shifts yesterday, which were a net positive. Hyatt wasn’t actually changing how many points are required for a free night in a particular category of hotel, but rather was changing which hotels belonged in which categories. 70 properties changes categories, with 22 going up and 48 going down. That’s pretty impressive, given how full hotel rooms are and how high rates are.
It seems there are some other minor changes Hyatt is making to the Gold Passport program for 2015.
Hyatt is discontinuing My Elite Rate
As part of the program changes for this year, Hyatt added My Elite Rate, whereby elite members can receive 20% off for hotel stays during select time periods. It was always based on availability and at the hotel’s discretion, so wasn’t a guarantee.
My Elite Rate will be discontinued in 2015
They said from the beginning that the benefit was only for 2014, so we had no reason to believe it would be extended beyond that. Presumably if it made sense for them in a quantifiable way they would have kept it around, though I assume the numbers on this were tricky.
How do they calculate which business generated through the My Elite Rate is actually incremental business, as opposed to them simply cannibalizing existing business? I’m guessing that’s the thought process they went through in deciding not to renew this.
Keep in mind that Hyatt also added Points + Cash redemptions last year, and I have no reason to believe that program will be modified.
Here’s how Hyatt explains the changes:
Points + Cash and My Elite Rate – Points + Cash has been very successful, and we are looking at ways to enhance it even further. Points + Cash was launched with the full intention of making it a permanent element of the loyalty program whereas My Elite Rate was launched as a beta test for the calendar year. At this point, we have chosen not to roll out My Elite Rate on a permanent basis, and it will not be available in 2015. While many members enjoyed My Elite Rate and were strong advocates for its continuation, the results from our beta test did not warrant a permanent roll out. We are currently working on a variety of new programs, and we will begin to share some of these initiatives in the first quarter.
Hyatt expanding bed type guarantee… sort of
Hyatt presently offers Platinum and Diamond members their guaranteed bed type on hotel stays. If they can’t guarantee the bed type, you receive points as compensation.
Hyatt is expanding this, and as of 2015 will be offering all Gold Passport members their guaranteed bed type. Unfortunately in the process they’re getting rid of the 5,000 point compensation when they don’t live up to their promise on that guarantee.
I’m a bit puzzled by this change. What’s a guarantee without some form of compensation when they don’t live up to it? Very unlike Hyatt, in my opinion.
All Gold Passport members will be guaranteed their preferred bed type
Here’s how Hyatt explains the changes:
Bed Type Guarantee Policy – One thing that will be changing effective January 1, 2015 is the existing bed type guarantee policy. Today, this is applicable to elite members only, and members are awarded 5,000 bonus points if the reserved bed type is not available upon check-in. Less than 0.1% of elite members did not receive their confirmed bed type – so in the future we’re guaranteeing that upon check-in all guests will receive the bed type confirmed, and there will no longer be any bonus points associated with non-compliance.
With hotels as full as they are, few program changes are great news, as far as I’m concerned. I wouldn’t expect hotel chains to be adding a whole lot of benefits, given that they don’t need to use loyalty programs to get heads in beds.
Hyatt Gold Passport is my favorite hotel loyalty program, along with Starwood Preferred Guest. They do a great job of managing expectations, which I really value.
My one complaint, if you want to call it that, is that Hyatt doesn’t really offer any incremental benefits beyond earning Diamond status. I should end the year with about 150 nights at Hyatt. Meanwhile Starwood offers incremental benefits for 75 nights and 100 nights. It would be nice to get something for triple qualifying for Diamond.
Still, I do love Hyatt Gold Passport. And here’s to hoping they continue to have among the best promos in the industry next year.
Will any of these changes impact your decision to stay at Hyatt properties?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)