Chasing Diamond: Q&A

Since posting about my Hyatt Diamond Trial last week I’ve received a lot of questions.  Should I sign up?  When should I sign up?  How long does it take to sign up?  And, so on.  Below is my quick stab at answering those questions.  First, though, please familiarize yourself with the prior posts:

 

Hyatt_magnificentmile_suite
Pictured above is a suite at the Hyatt Magnificent Mile in Chicago.  Last weekend, I used a Suite Upgrade award from my Diamond Trial to upgrade into a suite like this one.

Q: Should I do the Hyatt Diamond Trial?

The answer, of course, is “it depends”.  If you don’t stay often at Hyatt hotels and don’t have any upcoming reservations at Hyatt hotels, then there’s really no point.  Similarly, if you primarily stay at mid to low end Hyatt hotels where breakfast and internet are free anyway, there isn’t a big benefit to chasing Diamond status.

Here are some reasons to consider the Trial:

  • You have an award stay planned at a high end Hyatt and want to ensure free breakfast and internet.
  • You have a paid stay planned at a high end Hyatt and want to ensure not just free breakfast and internet, but maybe a suite upgrade as well.
  • You have 12 (or nearly 12) paid nights planned at Hyatt hotels within a 60 day period.
  • You simply stay at Hyatt hotels often, but not quite enough to earn Diamond status directly.

Of course, there are plenty of other possibilities as well, but hopefully the examples above will give you some idea of where you fit in.

Q: When should I start the Diamond Trial?

Without considering actual travel plans, there seem to be two best times to start the Trial:

1) If you plan to complete the Trial successfully, then start May 1 so as to keep status the longest.

2) If you do not plan to complete the Trial, then start Feb 1 so as to get a total of 8 Suite Upgrade Awards: 4 that expire at the end of February (but can be applied to future stays), and 4 more on March 1.

In real life, though, the best answer depends upon your travel plans.  After all, if you don’t have any travel planned at all, it would be silly to start the Trial now!  So, let’s take the reasons to consider the Trial, above, and add recommended start dates:

1) You have an award stay planned at a high end Hyatt and want to ensure free breakfast and internet. 
Recommendation: wait until a week or two before the trip to sign up.  That way, you’ll have Diamond status for the trip and for about a month and a half more.  You will also receive Suite Upgrade Awards which can be applied to future paid stays.  There is no reason in this case to try to cram in 12 paid nights to complete the Trial unless you have more award stays planned within the next year or so.

2) You have a paid stay planned at a high end Hyatt and want to ensure not just free breakfast and internet, but maybe a suite upgrade as well.
Recommendation: Wait until the trip would be within the 60 day window of the trial to sign up.  If your trip is 5 days long, for example, you may want to sign up 55 days ahead so that you have time to apply a Suite Upgrade award.  Before you do that, it’s probably worth calling Hyatt to see if upgrade space is available at all.  Since your trip is a paid stay, it would most likely count towards the Diamond Trial.  So, depending upon the trip length, it may make sense to try to complete the trial.  Identify when you’ll be travelling before and after this trip to see if any paid Hyatt stays make sense during that time.  If so, adjust the start of your Trial accordingly.

3) You have 12 (or nearly 12) paid nights planned at Hyatt hotels within a 60 day period.
Recommendation: Start the Trial before the first paid stay.  Then, use those paid stays to complete the Trial.

4) You stay at Hyatt hotels often, but not quite enough to earn Diamond status directly.
Recommendation: Evaluate your upcoming stays and find a period in which you will have 12 paid nights within a 60 day period.  Start the Trial right before that stretch.  If possible, wait until May 1 to start the trial because that will ensure that you can keep Diamond status for a year and a half after successfully completing the Trial.

Q: How long does it take for the Diamond Trial to begin after I request it?

I’ve heard of some people having their Trial begin the day they requested it, but that was not my experience.  I had my first paid stay coming up on a Friday, so I initiated my request on Monday.  I didn’t have Diamond status until Thursday.  So, give yourself at least 5 business days as I did.  Here was the sequence as it happened for me:

  1. Monday morning (8 a.m.): I called the Platinum desk to request a status match (it couldn’t hurt to try, right?).  They told me to email my request and proof of elite status with another chain to goldpassport@hyatt.com
  2. Monday morning (8:38 a.m.): I emailed goldpassport@hyatt.com as suggested.
  3. Monday morning (8:43 a.m.): I received a generic “We received your email and will respond soon” type of message.
  4. Wednesday morning (8:34 a.m.): I received yet another generic “We received your email and will respond soon” type of message.
  5. Wednesday afternoon (3:49 p.m.): I received an email offering the Diamond Trial and asking if I would like to proceed with enrollment.
  6. Wednesday afternoon (3:51 p.m.): I replied “yes”.
  7. Wednesday afternoon (5:42 p.m.): I received an email informing me that I have been enrolled in the Diamond Trial offer.  And, “Please allow 24 hours before your account will reflect at our top tier on-line and in all of our systems. ”
  8. Thursday afternoon (2:50 p.m.): My account finally shows that I have Diamond status (I checked many times up to this point).  All of my reservations now automatically show Diamond status as well.

Q: Do Points + Cash stays count towards the Diamond Trial?

Yes.  All of the following rates count:

  • AAA rates
  • Government rates
  • Corporate code rates
  • Points + Cash rates
  • My Elite rates

Avoid stay certificates and online travel agency bookings.  MGM’s M Life stays do not count despite the partnership with Hyatt.

Q: Can I use an Upgrade Award on Points + Cash stays?

Yes. Subject to availability, you can use upgrade awards for stays booked in any of the following rates:

  • AAA rates
  • Government rates
  • Corporate code rates
  • Points + Cash rates
  • My Elite rates

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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  1. FYI, general thought is that everyone can only do a Hyatt diamond trial once in their lifetime but because of the recent weather and a trip cancellation we had, my wife was told by Hyatt that “we would allow you to try the program again the next time it is offered.” Not sure that will actually pan out but interesting to hear that from them nonetheless.

    • I think that, in general, is is technically possible to do the challenge each year, but I doubt they would repeatedly approve the same person for it. In your case it sounds like you have a good excuse to use!

  2. I stayed in that exact same room last fall…loved that hotel! It’s a steal compared to the Park Hyatt, and they didn’t even charge a suite upgrade. $109 for that room and breakfast was a total bargain. My favorite feature was the deconsructed Grant Wood painting in the hallway.

  3. Would I be able to meet the challenge if I paid for 2 Hyatt rooms (one for me/husband and one for daughter/husband) for 6 nights at the same time?

  4. If you have an upcoming trip I get the trial for Diamond but unless your work or travel schedule has led you to 10-20 stays at Hyatt this year whats the point of spending money to earn status?

        • Oh, I see. I thought you were reacting to the general advice I gave here, but it sounds like you’re talking about my specific situation. In my case I have 12 nights upcoming anyway, so it makes sense for me to do this. Yes, for some of the stays I could have used points instead, but based on how much I value my points, using cash for these stays is actually a better deal.

  5. MU, it may be worth a few mattress runs depending on the value you can extra from the suite upgrades and other benefits. But I would ask FM what the point of having concurrent Marriott Platinum and Hyatt Diamond status is? I prefer to do my status match/challenges when one is expiring.

    • In my case I have a big European trip coming up in which we’re staying at Hyatt hotels and I want to have status for that trip. Plus, the challenge makes my February and early March Hyatt stays much more pleasant (and cheaper — thanks to free breakfast).

  6. Do you think they will approve the diamond trial for someone that already has platinum status secondary and soley to having the Hyatt credit card?

  7. Can you comment some more on MGM M Life stays? I’m in the middle of a Diamond challenge, and two of my nights were at an MGM hotel in Las Vegas. Those nights are showing in my account as valid stays this year, and I’m counting on them counting towards my 12 nights, so need to know if I have to do a quick mattress run to get those two nights back.

    Thanks!

  8. I did a diamond challenge a year ago. I have a lot of GP points and am platinum, but I wonder if my wife did the challenge and we were at a hotel that I booked with points from my acct if we could get any diamond amenities?

    • Generally, no. Better to transfer your points to her account while she’s on a Diamond challenge. Your wife should make the award resevation first (Diamonds can make reservation even when they don’t have enough points), fill out the form (you’ll need the confirmation number), and fax it in.

  9. Recent challenger myself, also had the same experience of a ~5 day turn around from first contact to account upgrade. breakfasts have been excellent relative to the other chains offerings, miss the complementary bottled water though
    love the cash back from OPEN+topcashback on top of my elite rate discount. also thinking about the hyatt gift cards for another 10% off, though i want to be sure the receipt would be kosher for expense reimbursement

  10. Have you ran into the issue with Hyatt requesting proof of SIX stays with the competing program within the last 12 months??? Because that’s what I just heard when I got off the phone with an agent.

    My problem is that I do NOT have six stays with Hilton or IHG (where I have valid matching status). Most of my stays have been with SPG and I’m only a gold SPG member, not platinum….

  11. If I get the diamond trial and I book multiple rooms for 6 of us who are traveling on an upcoming trip, will everyone get free breakfast?

    Also will the diamond trial only count nights for the room that I am staying in or all the rooms that I book?

    • Free breakfast is only guaranteed for the guests in your room. Some Hyatt hotels will extend the benefit to all of your rooms, though. It really depends upon the particular hotel. Yes, only the nights from the room your are in should count.

  12. If I already have 12 nights booked before I start the challenge, will they count as long as they are within 60 days of the start? Or do I have to book and stay after I start the challenge?

  13. If I have a trip booked (April 27 – July 25, something like 89 nights) at a Hyatt House, I assume that I will hit Diamond for all of 2015 regardless so does it matter if I sign up now for Diamond Trial or Wait until June in which I will already be checked in.

    THanks

    • Nick, I don’t think it would matter much in your situation, but you would earn more Hyatt points during your stay as a Diamond member, plus 6000 bonus points from the Diamond Trial, so it can’t hurt!

  14. Hi, do I sign up for the challenge before or after booking my room at Hyatt? I am thinking of using my 2 free nights from the Chase Hyatt credit card to stay at a Hyatt property in the US. Thanks.

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