I explained a week ago how I nearly stumbled into a situation where I have a good chance of obtaining top-tier status in a hotel program for the first time. Prior to the last year, I have never had any kind of hotel loyalty status, largely because I prefer to save my money and stay with friends or family when traveling. Hotels are often more expensive than the flight itself, and mattress running doesn’t make sense in high-priced Seattle.
However, my Chase Hyatt Visa provides free low-tier Platinum status, which has been fabulous. I also got in on (mis-)targeted offers for free top-tier Accor A|Club Platinum status and mid-tier Hilton HHonors Gold VIP status. With a reasonably good distribution of elite status after almost no effort on my part, I thought that was good enough. I could stay at these hotels when and if I needed one and get at least better-than-average service.
Without really expecting to, I ended up with lots more Hyatt stays under my belt, earlier this year and in future months, than I ever expected. In fact, this is probably the most hotel nights I’ve ever had in a six-month period. Put it will put me at 13 stays and a few more nights with Hyatt this year, putting me on track for 25 stays that I need for Gold Passport Diamond status.
Twelve of those nights are occurring within 60 days, so I figured I could complete a Diamond trial to get that status sooner. With my Hilton Gold status and also new Priority Club Platinum status through a discount on purchased points, it shouldn’t be too hard. …But then several of you warned me that without evidence of actually earning that status through hotel stays, Hyatt was unlikely to approve my request for a trial.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened. I tried to be “sneaky” and submitted evidence of my HHonors and Priority Club status that didn’t include any indication of my past stays, like a PDF of a temporary membership card. I figured if I just skirted the question entirely, maybe they wouldn’t notice. But they did. They have good, competent employees at Hyatt.
Please note the list of competitors that Hyatt Gold Passport will match:
Hilton Gold VIP or Hilton Diamond VIP
Marriott Gold or Marriott Platinum
Starwood Platinum Preferred Guest
Priority Club Platinum
Unfortunately, the statments attached do not show any history of stay activity such as total nights to date in the membership. The competitor statement must show a past stay history. For your convenience, you may attach the proper documentation to your e-mail reply later in the week.
Call Back until You Get the Answer You Want
So I went back and sifted through my records. In the last 180 days I have TWO nights at a Holiday Inn that show up in my profile. I have no recent stays at a Hilton hotel, but there was ONE night at a DoubleTree in June. I found my email statement from July, and included my 180-day history for Priority Club, and resubmitted them explaining that I didn’t have any more recent stays to share with them because they had all been at Hyatt hotels instead (which is entirely true).
That did the trick! I now have Diamond status, which will get me free upgrades (to non-suites), access to Regency Clubs, complimentary breakfast when a club isn’t available—like at the Andaz Wall Street—and lots of bonus points.
I should just squeak by to fulfill the requirements for the challenge, checking out of my 12th night at the end of the 60-day trial. Given the narrow window for success, I considered doing a few mattress runs. Remember that I’ll be 12 for 16 during Hyatt’s current bonus mile promotion. If I stay another four nights in April (and it has to be increments of four) I’ll earn an additional 25,000 Gold Passport points, enough for a free night anywhere in the world.
Don’t Get Greedy
But you know what? I’m lucky enough to be getting the points I have. I shouldn’t have gotten credit for the first checkpoint when I got stay and night credit for a travel agency booking at the Hyatt Regency Maui. It’s only because of that blooper that I’ll be getting as much credit as I will for the seven nights coming later this month.
And I still have an aversion to mattress runs. I can rationalize spending an extra $20-50 for a night at the Hyatt that earns me bonus points and elite status compared to a lower rate at a Holiday Inn or Hampton Inn. But that’s because I need the hotel room anyway. I have a very difficult time paying for a hotel that I will never use just for the credit when I am already on track to get that status anyway.
How does this differ from mileage runs? After all, I didn’t need to fly 18,000 miles to Bahrain and back. But in that case, I would not achieve 1K status through my normal flying patterns. The points I earn are roughly equal to the cost of the trip, just like a mattress run, so that’s a non-issue.
But perhaps most importantly, I enjoy the time to myself on a mileage run, during which I can just sit in my seat and work on whatever stuff I’ve been delaying. Or even just read a good book. I’m not sure that a mattress run will give me the same kind of R&R, as odd as that may sound to those who hate flying!