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Reminder: It is now time to match your Hyatt elite status back to MGM Gold status if you have not already done so. If you had previously matched to MGM Gold before September 30th, that status ended on October 1st. You’ll want to match now to have MGM status through September 2020.
Status match basics
As a reminder, those with Hyatt Explorist or Hyatt Globalist status can match to MGM Mlife Gold status.
You can find the full Mlife Gold status benefits here. Mlife Gold doesn’t necessarily look like much on paper, but it’s actually an awesome status to have for three reasons:
- Free parking. You get both free self-parking and free valet parking at MGM casinos. Now that Las Vegas strip properties have started charging for parking, this is a valuable benefit to have if you’ll be renting a car. The valet lines can get kind of ridiculous at popular times, but at those times you can just use self-parking. I also recall some resorts having dedicated “Gold and Platinum” parking areas near the front of the parking garages.
- Better room rates. This benefit isn’t spelled out in the program terms, but I often find that the rates I see when logged in to my Mlife account are much better than what I can find elsewhere.
- Dedicated check-in area at most properties. This can be yuge on a busy day. See this photo from Mandalay Bay earlier this year.
The normal check in line goes out of frame to the right and wraps around and around. The Gold check in area is where you can maybe make out an employees way down at the far end of the counter on the left. As you can see, there is no line at all down there. This can easily save you an hour. Frustratingly, my preferred property (Delano) does not have this for Gold members, but I’ve stayed at Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Luxor, and checked in once at Excalibur (cheap Hyatt mattress run) and they all have an elite member check in line that’s rarely much of a line.
You also get to skip the line at buffets and maybe you can save something at the gift shop or something like that. The three benefits above are the ones that mean the most to me.
Of course, the other benefit of MGM Gold status is that it matches to Hyatt Explorist status. Hyatt’s elite year runs on a different calendar, with qualification based on stays from January to December and elite status resetting in February. MGM’s status year resets on October 1st.
This means that if you are a Hyatt Explorist today, you can match to MGM Gold status right now and that MGM Gold status is good until September 30, 2020. If you are not going to re-qualify for Hyatt Explorist based on your stay activity this year, you definitely want to do this match right now. That’s because in February, when your Hyatt status reverts to “none” (or Discoverist), you can at that point match your MGM Gold status to Hyatt Explorist status that will be good until February 2021. At least, that’s the way it has worked for the past several years. Things could always change, but that’s why I’d recommend positioning yourself to take advantage of this while you can.
Hyatt Explorist status isn’t incredibly useful, especially because matching from Mlife Gold will no longer get you any club access awards (you’ll need to stay 20 nights to get two of those and then 30 nights to get two more).
However, as an Explorist you will get a few more points on paid stays. More importantly for me, Hyatt Explorist members get a guaranteed 2pm late checkout (which I find that most Hyatt hotels honor without question, though there are times when I’ve had to push back to get it). I often find myself needing a late check out for one reason or another, so having a guaranteed late checkout is sometimes really important to me.
An ancillary benefit of Hyatt Explorist status could be that you may be targeted for a status challenge with American Airlines. I received such a challenge earlier this year. I didn’t complete it, but I did register for it when I had some customer service issues and thought that access to a dedicated phone line would speed things along (and it did save me some time waiting on hold).
Hopping on the status match go round now makes sense. In my case, I actually stayed 30 nights this year and once the 30th stay gets credited, I’ll have Explorist status the old-fashioned way next year, so I’m in less of a hurry to do the match — but it’s something I highly recommend for those who will not make Explorist this time around and/or those who can use the Mlife benefits.