Hyatt’s new math


In August, I questioned whether it was time to do a Hyatt Diamond trial challenge, but concluded that, for me, the cost to complete the challenge wasn’t worth it (see “Is it time for the Hyatt Diamond trial offer?“).  Since then, a lot has changed in the Hyatt world:

Hyatt’s Diamond Trial Offer

Hyatt is quite generous with their top tier Diamond elite members.  Here are a few of the perks (as shown on Hyatt’s website):

  • Enjoy the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites

  • Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge

  • Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights

In November 2011, I emailed Hyatt to find out if I could status match to Diamond status from another hotel chain.  Their response was as follows:

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.

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

My understanding is that the same rules are still in place today.  To achieve Diamond status quickly, one can sign up for the Trial Offer and complete 12 paid nights at any Hyatt hotels in 60 days. 

In early 2012, I thought about doing the Trial, but I decided against it because I didn’t have any planned Hyatt stays coming up. 

In August of this year, I pondered the Trial again when I knew I had a few stays coming up, and Hyatt was about to run their fall promotion in which they offered progressively more bonus points the more nights spent at Hyatt hotels.  In that post, I figured that I would have to do several “mattress runs” to complete the challenge.  A mattress run is where you book a cheap hotel night and check-in just for the purpose of earning points or elite stay credit.  In this case it would have been primarily to complete the Trial.  I figured that each mattress run night would cost me about $100 and I decided that it was too steep of a price to pay.

New math

Beginning January 7th 2014, it will be possible to book category 1 Hyatt hotels for 2500 points + $50 when Points + Cash rooms are available.  It has been confirmed that these rates will qualify for the Diamond Trial offer and the upcoming Endless Possibilities promotion.  If hotel tax in your location is 10%, then the total out of pocket cost would be 2500 points + $55.

Additionally, it is now possible to buy Hyatt gift cards for 14.5% off with an Amex business card (See “10% Off Hyatt Gift Cards Through End of Year” and “Discounted Hyatt Gift Card Purchases Stacking With American Express 5% Business Card Rebates.”)  So, if you come pre-armed with gift cards, the $55 room charge will cost you only $47 per night.

You will also earn points for the stay.  All Hyatt Gold Passport members earn 5 points per dollar for their stays.  Diamond members (which you’ll be during the Trial) earn 30% more.  So, you would earn $50 X 5 points per dollar X 1.3 = 325 points per night.

Then there’s the welcome point bonus:  With each separate stay at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House property (which most Category 1 hotels are), you’ll earn 500 bonus points.  If you’re lucky enough to stay at one of the few Category 1 Hyatt Regency hotels, you could earn 1000 points instead.  These bonuses are per stay, not per night so you would have to check-in separately for each night to count each one as a separate stay.  If each stay is for just one night, then you’ll earn either 500 or 1000 points extra per night.

And, there are the Trial bonus points to consider.  The Trial offers 1000 bonus points per night for up to 6 nights of the 12 night challenge.  Let’s average that across the 12 nights and say that, on average, you earn 500 bonus points per night from the Diamond Trial.

Given all of that, each mattress run night at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House with 10% room tax will have a net cost as follows:

  • Total out of pocket cash cost: $47 (assuming gift cards obtained for 14.5% off)
  • Total points cost: 1175 (2500 – 325 – 500 – 500). 

If you were to do all 12 nights this way, it would cost a total of $464 and 14,100 points.  This estimate does not count your time and travel expenses for checking into hotels.

Even better with the promo

Hyatt’s Endless Possibilities promo offers either a free category 1-4 night for every 5 paid nights or bonus points as follows:

  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points for 5,000 total bonus points.
  • 10 nights = 10,000 points for 15,000 total bonus points.
  • 15 nights = 15,000 points for 30,000 total bonus points.
  • 20 nights = 20,000 points for 50,000 total bonus points.

The free nights may be worth more than points, but only if you use them on category 4 hotels.  And, keep in mind that the free nights expire July 31, 2014.  Personally, I’d rather get points that never expire (as long as you keep your account active with occasional point earnings or point use).  Points can be used towards free nights or towards Points + Cash nights.

If you sign up for the points option and do the 12 nights required for the Diamond Trial, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points from this promotion.  If every night is booked at a Hyatt Place or Hyatt House as described in the section above, your total cost to complete the Diamond Trial would be $464 and only 4,100 points.

Is it worth it?

Personally, unless I had plans to stay at a number of very expensive Hyatt hotels throughout the year, I wouldn’t pay almost $500 to obtain Diamond status.  If I was planning to stay at a number of high-end Hyatt hotels throughout the year, though, I would consider it because the lounge access and/or free breakfasts and potential suite upgrades would be quite valuable.

If I had a number of paid Hyatt stays planned anyway, I would definitely consider adding a few mattress run nights in to complete the challenge.  I don’t have anything like that on the books for 2014 yet, but I’ll be watching for opportunities for sure. 

How about you?

Now that Hyatt mattress runs will be potentially much cheaper than before, would you consider that strategy for completing a Diamond Trial?

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