World of Hyatt has been going through changes over the last 18 months with the retirement of Hyatt’s Gold Passport and the rollout of World of Hyatt to the change in management of Hyatt loyalty itself. Some changes were rolled out and then rolled back, but today they announced pure enhancements to the program, no drawbacks.
Award Nights Count
From January 1st, 2018 award nights on Hyatt will now count towards status qualification. This puts the program on par with Hilton, IHG, SPG, Marriott, and Club Carlson. In fact nearly every competing program already had this feature in place. While any positive change is always welcome, it’s not an industry-leading change, it merely matches every other program. I am happy to see this and Matthew estimates it would have saved him $1,000 on re-qualifying this year, I would say it would have done about the same for me (assuming I had a sufficient amount of points to book my stays at full night prices). I will have more on why I think this change is coming about shortly.
Free Night Certificate Expiration Extended
World of Hyatt brought out a few new benefits to go along with the new higher status re-qualification standard of 60 nights from 25 stays or 50 nights. This has been a really valuable feature for me. My family and I just got a chance to stay at Hotel Confidante, a Hyatt unbound hotel on Miami Beach (review coming shortly) thanks to one of these certificates. The problem with those certificates is that they had an exploding expiration period of 120 days. While we were able to use all of the free night certificates earned this year (two given and one earned), others were not so lucky. Now Globalists will have more time to use them.
- We’re extending the validity dates for the following free night awards. Starting with those issued January 1, 2018, you can use them up to 180 days for issuance.
- Free night in Cat 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort when you stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 Base Points in a calendar year
- Free night in Cat 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort when you stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 Base Points in a calendar year
This is one of the best features of the program and we have used it to stay in the Park Hyatt New York City as well as the aforementioned (and review soon to be published) Hotel Confidante in Miami. This feature is worth $1000/year at least and allows me to book something that I normally would not (like the Park Hyatt New York) because I am too conservative on points to spend 30,000 on a single night and too cheap to spend $900 out of pocket.
My Two Cents
While this is pure speculation, I believe that this pure enhancement round of World of Hyatt changes demonstrates that they may have lost more Globalist/Diamond members in the transition than they anticipated. By moving the requirements from as few as 25 nights to at minimum 60 nights (then 55 once you have re-qualified) there were plenty that did not anticipate qualifying. Many guests rarely find themselves in Hyatt markets and Hyatt has the smallest of the major chain’s footprint at just 700+ properties in comparison to 4,000+ from Hilton, Marriott and IHG – EACH! For some, (like myself) I was already staying in every Hyatt I could and ended up with just 26 stays and 46 nights last year, 60 seemed impossible (so I mattress ran).
For some Diamond members, now Globalists, it probably was too much. Adding award stays as qualifying nights helps get those members to their tier goals and will help to replenish the ranks a little next year. It does seem like another overcorrection however. Perhaps just a correction to what it should have been from the start.
In regards to the extended expiration date the free night certificates, while welcomed initially, were akin to a backhanded compliment when Hyatt did not make it overtly clear that the nights expire at an unusual time period of 120 days. It was also determined that the expiry date was from when it was earned which also differed from expectations and their suite upgrade program which expire at the end of the calendar year from earned.
On balance, Matthew, Carly and I are all very happy with the changes – all of them are positive and not there to cover the stench of negative changes. Other programs tend to roll out some good with some bad but just focus on the good changes, with Hyatt, everything today is positive. Looks like it could be a very happy New Year.