Chasing Diamond: Q&A

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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
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