Is it time for the Hyatt Diamond trial offer?

Almost two years ago I published a post titled “Hacking Hyatt.”  At the time, Hyatt was running a lucrative points-earning promotion.  I proposed combining that promotion with the Hyatt credit card signup offer and a Hyatt Diamond trial offer in order to fast track to Diamond status and earn oodles of points for a total cost of 1.59 cents per point.  While I know many readers took up the challenge, I passed on it.  I didn’t have any planned Hyatt stays in the near future and I wasn’t ready at the time to sign up for any more Chase credit cards.

Now, Hyatt is back with a somewhat decent promotion (details here):

  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points
  • 10 nights = 10,000 bonus points (total of 15,000)
  • 15 nights = 15,000 bonus points (total of 30,000)
  • 20 nights = 20,000 bonus points (total of 50,000)

As far as I know, Hyatt’s Diamond trial offer hasn’t changed in the past two years.  Here are the details reported to me at the time:

Regarding your inquiry, currently a Diamond Trial Offer is available. You will receive trial Diamond membership for 60 days with proof of top tier status with one of our competitors program.  However, you must complete 12 nights in 60 days to maintain Diamond tier through February of 2013.  You will also receive 1000 bonus points on your first six eligible nights within 60 days, up to a maximum of 6000 bonus points.

Should I go for it?

There are a few reasons that a Hyatt Diamond trial appeals to me at this time:

  • I have one Hyatt stay already planned, and one likely stay, for a total of 6 nights.
  • My recent post about Kauai (see “Eating your way to Kauai. Which card is best?“) has made me eager to get back to Poipu (the town where the Grand Hyatt Kauai is located).
  • If necessary, this would be a reasonably good time to sign up for a Chase Hyatt credit card.

On the other hand, there are some significant disadvantages to the plan this time around:

  • Two years ago, there was a cheap, nearby Hyatt where I could have booked rooms for no purpose other than earning points and status.  That hotel, unfortunately, is no longer a Hyatt.  The remaining Hyatt hotels in Southeast Michigan are much more expensive.
  • There is no increased bonus this time for paying with a Hyatt credit card.
  • The previous Hyatt promotion could be maximized by staying 16 nights.  This time, the promo requires 20 nights for the full point payout.  If I did this at all, I would probably stop at 15 nights instead.

 

Cost estimate

Let’s say I try to complete 15 nights during the promotion period.  That would mean “mattress running” 9 nights (since I can justify 6 nights through regular travel).  And, let’s say I can find a nearby Hyatt with a $100 nightly rate.  How expensive would this be, and how many points would I earn?

Ignoring state and local taxes:

  • 9 nights x $100 = $900
  • Diamond Challenge bonus points = 6,000
  • Hyatt promo points earned = 30,000
  • Base points earned + 30% for Diamond Elites = 9 X $100 X 5 X 1.3 = 5,850
  • Welcome point bonus (assuming I do three 3-night stays): 500 x 3 = 1500
  • If I plan each stay at hotels with Club lounges, but stay when the Club lounge is closed, I would earn an additional 2,500 points per stay: 3 x 2,500 = 7,500

Mattress run totals:

  • Total cost: $900
  • Total points earned: Up to 50,850
  • Cost per point: 1.77 cents

 

Analysis

Based on the above numbers, it seems possible for me to earn Diamond status and over 50,000 Hyatt points for a total cost of about $900.  Maybe I would do a bit better by finding cheap hotels in other areas, or a bit worse if I couldn’t find hotels with closed Club lounges.  Regardless, let’s use $900 cost and 50,000 points earned as the input to this analysis.

I estimate the Fair Trading Price of Hyatt points to be about 1 cent each.  So, we can say that the 50K points earned are worth about $500 (yes, you can get much more value than that when using points, but I wouldn’t personally pay more than that for the points).  In that case, in the scenario I described above, I would be paying $400 for Diamond status ($900 – $500 worth of points).  Is it worth it?

Diamond status offers these benefits:

  • 30% bonus on base points earned.
  • Room upgrades.
  • Four confirmed Suite upgrades per year on paid stays.
  • Welcome bonus with each stay (points or food & beverage).
  • Club lounge access.
  • Free breakfast at properties without a lounge or when lounge is closed.

Of these perks, I most value Suite upgrades, lounge access, and free breakfast.  But… I can easily get the first two of these benefits by using points.  I have quite a large stash of Ultimate Rewards points which can be transferred to Hyatt at any time.  And, Hyatt makes it very easy to book Club floor rooms and Suites with points.  Even with paid stays, Hyatt allows for upgrades using points.  So, for my occasional Hyatt stays, I can get most of the benefits of elite status simply by burning extra points.  It is true that I wouldn’t get free breakfast when a lounge is unavailable, but I strongly doubt I would use that benefit enough to make up for the $400 cost of the above proposed mattress runs.

So, given the analysis above, my current thinking is to once again forgo the Diamond trial.

Reader experiences

I’m interested in hearing from those of you who have experienced Hyatt Diamond status.  Is it really as good as some blog authors say?  Would you pay $400 for it?  Did I miss any great opportunities here (like a Hyatt that can be booked for $25 per night)?  Please comment below.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. There is an additional cost to the calculation, which is that the Diamond trial is supposedly once in a lifetime. Therefore, in the future if and when you really need to do it again, you will not be able to. On the other hand, the fact that you have a large stash of UR points should not enter the calculation unless you have no other use of those points.

  2. I believe it is a 1000 points per amenity gift if you choose points over food an beverage. We did the challenge with the credit card and burned those suite certs in Tokyo and Paris this past summer. PHs don’t have lounges so, having breakfast at the restaurants were pretty spectacular. Or in the case of Tokyo, room service.

    • Singapore Flyer: You’re right that most Hyatt hotels give 1000 points for the welcome amenity, but Hyatt Place and Hyatt house give 500. I really muddled things up a bit since I assumed only 500 points (Hyatt Place), but I also assumed closed club lounge points which would not happen at a Hyatt Place. Anyway, I don’t think fixing those specifics will change the overall calculation very much. Thanks for the viewpoint about Park Hyatts. So, I’m inclined to wait until I have a known Park Hyatt stay before doing a diamond trial.

  3. Frequent Miler, you can find two Hyatt Place near Novi, MI. If you use any corporate code in reservation, the price should drop down below $ 100. BTW, I just moved from New York to Farmington Hills. Do you know where the frequent flyers meet in Southeast Michigan? Bill G

  4. I would assume any Hyatt would qualify correct? I am seeing plenty of Hyatt Place Hotels for around $69 in my area. May be worth it? Also im also assuming that the Diamond status will be until feb 2015? Thanks!

  5. I was actually just seeing if it was worth it to continue with Hyatt Diamond after a trial year and I valued Diamond being worth $900 during this fall promo with the 50k bonus (same evaluation as yours). The only way to get 20 more stays for me is to live in Las Vegas and book the cheap MGM $30 hotels. Otherwise it’s only 6K on a paid upgrade to a suite. You really can make up some of the amenities with more points instead of diamond status.

    Hey also, do you know if the sears double dip still works? I need to help a friend get some tires and wondering what the best way to get maximum points is.

    thanks!

  6. The 2500 diamond amenity for closed lounges is a very YMMV..does not apply to hyatt hotels (Hyatt,GH,HR) with no lounges at all or closed permanently…

  7. I’m tempted as in going to the grand Hyatt kuaui in nov as platinum only.
    And there’s a Hyatt place near me @ $60/night.
    The economics would be a little bit better if you pay w Amex OPEN card. Right?

  8. I think it’s only worth it if you are actually going to vacation most of the nights. When I did it, I only mattress ran 2 nights of the 12. I paid about 2 cents per point, but I was planning a Kauai and Paris honeymoon. Also, consider future travel plans. Diamond status is not really worth it if you only travel domestically. I find they treat international Diamonds a lot better than domestically. Here is my analysis: http://romsdeals.com/2012/12/14/hyatt-diamond-challenge-is-it-worth-it/

  9. Does anyone know if they really track whether you had a trial for status in the past? I did it years ago without realizing the negative consequences.

  10. Hyatt does NOT count MGM Vegas properties when attempting the Diamond challenge – I booked rooms in the Bellagio based on Hyatt CSR assurances that they would indeed count. But when I wrote and asked for written confirmation, they reversed themselves and offered a lame 4K GP as compensation for their bad information. Others have reported similar responses from Hyatt on FT.

    Best method is to find some cheap Hyatt’s in your area if there is such a thing – in Bay Area all Hyatts are well over $100/night, so not worth it for me.

  11. Tough call. Being in DC area we have some dirt cheap weekend rates at hotels near IAD. I’m talking $63 a night or $67 a night. I have no stays planned in next quarter and can’t imagine having too many stays over the next year but would probably have a big trip planned to Asia and was hoping to use Hilton or Hyatt primarily for those nights.

    I worked it out that with all points I’d earn about 49643 points for 15 nights at $63 a piece. With taxes of 10% but after subtracting AMEX open savings I’d be paying $987.52 total for a cost of 1.99 cents per point. So nearly $500 for Diamond status which is a lot to pay for status that I might not get as much use out of. I’d say its a no brainer though for someone who could see getting 20-30+ nights in as Diamond, especially at international properties.

  12. I’m having my wedding at a Hyatt. I’m using my Hyatt card to make the payments on the Venue. I will also get additional points for spending all that money at Hyatt. I was wondering how can I incorporate the Diamond Challenge into this? I will have blocked rooms for the wedding and was thinking of putting a majority or all under my name to get credits. Any advise/strategy would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • In my experience a block of rooms reserved by and paid for by you will NOT earn you stay credits for the rooms. You will earn points,and bonus if eligible, but not stay credit for the count towards status or challenge satisfaction. Good plan to double and triple dip though, otherwise.

  13. I can confirm the current Hyatt Diamond trial offer, as of July 1, is what you are reporting. I did the trial to have top tier status when I went to the Park Hyatt Sydney on two chase card free nights in July. Hotel was insane and absolutely amazing. So beautiful. The location can. not. be. beat. Contrary to some reports, they were more than happy to upgrade me to a deluxe room/suite on the night that they had one available, and it didn’t use one of status trial free upgrades.

    In regards to factoring in the cost of the once-in-a-lifetime match. You can theoretically just create a new Hyatt account later in life if you want to start fresh. They don’t have our ssn, so just give them a new email address and address.

    I’m planning on sitting out the remainder of this challenge timeperiod and letting my temp status drop away. Unless anyone has any clever ideas for an Atlanta resident.

  14. Just to clarify, while those MGM/M|Life nights won’t count towards Diamond status they WILL count towards 15/20 nights during the Hyatt “Discover New Possibilities” promotion?

  15. I think it’s best to time the Diamond Challenge with a trip to Asia and a CC application. Ideally, you would have Hyatt Place runs, or Hyatt Regencys w/closed GCs, but even without fulfilling the challenge, Diamond status is very worthwhile in China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand. The properties are very nice, and the locations are normally good.

  16. Agree with the comments on the international Hyatts. I’m on the Diamond Challenge now in Bali, Indonesia. The upgrades to Suites are nice, I think we ended up with some of the better suite views too.

  17. Seems to me the comparison would look better if you only chased the 6 nights needed for Diamond…………..isn’t there a Vegas property offering very cheap rates that would work here?

  18. FM:

    BAD NEWS! I just got back from a CVS and tried to buy VR cards with a CC. Told it was cash only. Told cashier that I had bought VR cards the day before with CC at a different CVS. She showed me a page taped to her cash register that showed a pic of the VR card with a legend that said cash only. Said other cashiers are NOT suppose to be selling VR cards using CC. Not sure if this is this store only (mgr policy) or CVS wide. Anyway, not good if CVS wide. Not programmed into the cash registers, so, hopefully, just this store’s policy.

  19. Hey FM – Do you know if Ritz Carlton “Gold Elite” qualifies as “proof of top tier status with one of our competitors programs”? It comes to mind having just signed up for the Chase Ritz Carlton credit card. Many thanks!

  20. I knew someone that booked cheap hotel rooms out of state, then put someone else’s name on the reservation so that could check in (cough).

  21. I am somewhat new to hyatt. i dont know how you book club rooms or suites with pomts. when i choose use points for certain hotel stays i get a messgage thatni can only do with a standard room (use points) this was erified to me by hyatt reps as well.

  22. I am making a similar decision on whether to go for 2014 Diamond status after I did a match for a few upcoming stays, including PH Milan 🙂

    In this post, you decided on the 15 nights before the start of the calculation. You do only need 12, of course, so the last 3 nights are an optional part and the math comes out a little better if you forgo them.

    Your last 3 night stay costs you $300 and earns you an incremental 15,000 points + 1950 + 500 = 17,450 points. You value those at $174.50 so you’re actually losing $125.50 on the last 3 nights with your valuation. If you stop at 12 nights, your cost for mattress running for Diamond status becomes $275 instead of $400 (or $300 if the lounge is closed on the 3 night stay!).

  23. If Hyatt only counted reward stays then they would indeed be the perfect program…….I’m waiting on my match until next spring as I 6 reward nights booked at the Vendome……..I am curious to see how that status will alter my stay………

  24. @Marshall, I bought beans both in Lihue and in Southern CA over this past weekend. No problems, except I tried to use a U.S. bank card and clerk called them before I had a chance to stop her. However, she didn’t mention what I was buying only stated pharmacy. Even though I properly identified myself to U.S Bank person, no code was forthcoming. Gave up. Used a different CC, and with no problems.

  25. I am almost finished with the Hyatt Diamond trial. Thanks, Frequent Miler for the original post, and thanks also to Romsdeals for the encouragement. This coming weekend I’ll finish the Diamond Trial because I WANT the status for Asia. In Asia the Diamond level give access to the pool and spa that a mere Platinum does not get.

    I’ve been on my typical teacher summer vacation, but decided to ramp up my life with pursuit of the Hyatt Diamond. I just came back from the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Access to the spa ppol and jacuzzi, plus food in Grand Club, reliable and fast internet was totally worth it Now, using my one of Suite Award from the Hyatt card this next weeend.

    For the breakdown:
    I stayed in Hyatt Places for the first six nights, averaging between 89.00 and 135.00 in SLC. For each of those nights I got 1000 points for the first six nights of the trial, plus 500 points when staying at Hyatt Place. I also used my Hyatt card to get more points, naturally.

    Hope this helps. I’ve done the match to MLife, and can’t wait to see how that plays out.

  26. The Miles Professor: you’re right! Thanks for pointing that out.
    .
    justSaying: I’ll be interested to hear about that. Hopefully it will be a great stay.
    .
    MaryE: It does sound like the trial was worth it for you!

  27. Have you or one of your fellow Boarding Area bloggers done an analysis as to what Diamond status on Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood or Marriott does for your on an “award stay”……….in the era of huge sign up bonuses and manufactured spend I hate to admit but my points and miles come from a credit card and “rarely” from a paid stay………now rates in Nawlins are so good I never cash in there but otherwise if it is a place where you pay instead of cashing in points then it probably is not a place worthy of going to………..just a humble opinion………….

  28. JustSaying: most programs offer the same benefits regardless of whether you are on a paid or points stay, but there are some exceptions. For example, Hyatt confirmed suite upgrades are only for paid stays. I can’t remember seeing a full analysis of this. Great suggestion.

  29. This promo induced me to do the diamond trial. I have a stay upcoming at the Park Hyatt Vendome where I wanted diamond status. I was planning on just doing the diamond challenge before the stay so I’d have diamond status, but since I can do the challenge now and keep the status until 2105, the promo creates the right synergy. I had two nights last week for work, so I only am going to do the last 10 nights after 9/9 for the bonus 15,000. I will switch all my work stays in the next two months of the challenge to Hyatt, and then whatever is left I’ll mattress run to get to 12. It looks like I’ll probably need 6 nights on mattress runs at this point, which I can do close to home for $65 to $85 per night. So, about $480 for extra points I value around $280. Essentially, I’m paying $280 for the certainty that I’ll be diamond for my PHV stay, and for the extra 15 months of diamond benefits. With Marriott getting rid of taste challenges, it’s a small price to pay for me. If Hyatt were to go the same route, I don’t want to chance not being Diamond for the PHV stay. There is, though, a hidden cost for me — 3 of the 6 nights that I’m switching to Hyatt for reimbursed business travel I could have stayed at Starwood, and that’s 3 less nights toward requalification there and thus the possibility of setting up another mattress run for SPG at the end of the year. But I can do those pretty cheap.

  30. If you complete a diamond challenge now, it will be valid until February 2015 correct? After that challenge is completed, what would it take to extend the diamond status until the next year? Would you then have to complete the regular number of stays/nights before Dec. 2014 in addition to the challenge requirements?

  31. I did a Hyatt Diamond Trial just this year, completed in August. The MGM properties do not count for this status run. That was my idea, too, but it didn’t work. I did a Hyatt Place hop between the two SLC properties for a 6 night switch. The rest in CA, and of course, spent a week on certs and points at Grand Kauai.

    By the way, the Hyatt Regency Irvine will no longer be a Hyatt after November 30th, so if you want to get in extra points on the closed lounge on Sat nights, better do it fast.

  32. Hey FM do you have full status while doing the challenge.In another word can you take full advantage of a diamond status while you are doing the trial

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