Yesterday afternoon I confirmed with Hyatt Gold Passport that there is a new Diamond challenge effective through April 30, 2016. The key message is that this is not a public offer — it’s not published on the Hyatt website and continues to be used as a sales tool for targeted customers — but other people who are aware of the offer are still able to request it by calling Hyatt Gold Passport.
Hyatt has made several changes to their Diamond challenge and for understandable reasons. The old challenge provided Diamond status and four Diamond suite upgrades up front, before you completed the challenge, so some people would just sign up before a big vacation. And even though evidence of elite status in another program was required, it was a low bar.
The new program does away with the elite status requirement entirely. Instead, it postpones most of the benefits until after the challenge is completed, making it more of a “fast track.” No upgrades and no status unless you actually complete what you signed up for. I think it’s a reasonable compromise, and I’m glad that Hyatt is making it available to members of the public who aren’t necessarily targeted.
Here are the details of the current Diamond Fast Track, available through April 30, 2016:
- No competing status from another program is required to qualify for the Diamond Fast Track.
- Gold Passport members must complete 12 qualifying nights within a 60-day period in order to receive Diamond status. If status is granted, it will be valid through February 28, 2017.
- Gold Passport members who fail to achieve 12 qualifying nights but do achieve 6 nights will receive Platinum status.
- If you already have Platinum status, you are still eligible to attempt the Diamond Fast Track, but you don’t get a lower threshold. It’s still 12 qualifying nights.
- Only qualifying nights count. These are typically booked through Hyatt, not an online travel agency, and do not include award nights. Stays at MGM hotels do not count.
These are pretty good terms. It’s not easy, but neither is it onerous.Hyatt has updated the offer to make it more appealing to those who actually become loyal, long-term customers. I think it’s a great offer if you fall within that target market. If you’re just looking for an upgrade on your next vacation with points and miles, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you’ll probably be better off just paying for an upgrade than trying to mattress run your way to status. Even award stays sometimes have a buy-up option if you ask the hotel before (or when) you arrive.
The Platinum status offer doesn’t have much appeal, however. Platinum status is already easy to obtain with a Hyatt credit card, or by completing 5 stays or 15 nights at any time during the year. It also doesn’t offer much in the way of guaranteed benefits now that Hyatt gives all guests free WiFi.
By contrast, I think the benefits of Diamond status are pretty great. Four suite upgrades per year that you can confirm at the time of booking, each valid for up to 7 days. Free lounge access (or if there is no lounge, a full breakfast). 4 PM late check-out. And 30% bonus points. Next to my Alaska Airlines MVP Gold status it’s my most valuable travel benefit.
Be sure to take advantage of the current Hyatt promotion that lets you earn up to 65,000 bonus Gold Passport points if you decide to go for the Fast Track offer. With those 12 qualifying nights under your belt you’ll be well on your way to the first promotional tier, which offers 20,000 bonus points after 15 nights. It’s a great way to stack multiple offers and multiply the rewards of hotel loyalty.