Not only is World of Hyatt a bad name for a loyalty program, it seems another ‘enhancement’. I use the term enhancement meaning it is mostly marketing spin, often with negative changes for consumers. I’m certainly a Hyatt fan, and I doubt that will change as the program rebrands. I’ve been a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond since 2009, and assuming I complete my booked stays will requalify this year. Come March 2017, my status will become World of Hyatt Globalist (ugh!), once the programs convert.
More information: Devil’s Advocate discusses World of Hyatt
If you haven’t seen it, as part of the launch of the new program, Jeff Zidell, who is the head of the Hyatt loyalty program did a reddit AMA. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t pretty. In any case, here are the basics of the new program:
World of Hyatt Qualification
More nights, but where?
While I find Hyatt Gold Passport provides a consistent, often predictable product and sometimes they even exceed expectations. The higher end Hyatt brands like Park Hyatt and Andaz are almost always excellent, and I’ve reviewed both multiple times here. Even the lower end brands including Hyatt Place are pretty solid in my experience. The issue I have with Hyatt is their comparatively small global footprint.
As I mentioned, I’ve had Gold Passport Diamond status for 8 years in a row. My business travel is typically to larger cities, so most years it hasn’t been too difficult to get enough nights/stays for diamond qualification. I do worry as these requirements increase in 2017 and beyond. This year, I have a few more bookings coming up to get to my 25 stays in 2016. Looks like my 25 stays will hit exactly 50 nights. That hasn’t always been the case. Looking ahead, getting at least 55 nights (which is the threshold for requalification) could prove a challenge.
Starwood Preferred Guest is the other hotel program where I stake my loyalty. SPG is smaller than multiple other hotel chains, but it is drastically larger than Hyatt. This year I had over 80 nights with SPG. Hopefully in 2017, shifting a few nights from SPG to Hyatt I can still manage to keep up status in both programs. I’m fortunate to be close to SPG Lifetime Platinum status which will ease the burden of requalifying each year. Of course this is somewhat uncertain pending what happens to SPG lifetime status after the program is merged into Marriott Rewards in 2018.
More bad news
Award nights still don’t count towards elite qualification. Cash and Points still do. Diamond used to mean a match to Platinum status with MGM Resorts. In the New program, top tier Hyatt only is matched to MGM Gold.
Maybe some true enhancements?
The Globalist status offers unlimited suite upgrades on all stays, with the caveat, “subject to availability”. The confirmed suite upgrades are still part of the program at the Globalist level. In addition, these suite upgrades can be applied on award stays. Another perk is that there are also various opportunities to earn free night certificates. Both for categories 1-4, and for Globalist members a free night in any property (cat 1-7). Unfortunately, once issued, many of these certificates expire in 120 days. Plan ahead, folks!
As always, loyalty programs are changing, and in most cases in a negative manner. I still see value in the Hyatt program, and I expect to keep working towards my
Diamond Globalist status in 2017.
Has the World of Hyatt announcement changed your plans for future travel?