My favorite hotel chain has been Hyatt for several years now. Service at the Park properties are fantastic but even the Hyatt House stays can offer really exceptional rooms. As seen on Flyertalk.com, a revamped status challenge promo has been announced.
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Old Status Challenge
Hyatt took away their lucrative Diamond status challenge early this year and said it would be back in a revamped form. The previous challenge was 12 nights (stays or nights there is no distinction) in a 60 day period. You had to show some sort of proof you were elite with a competing hotel chain with a top tier status active – though this rule was loosely enforced. You would receive the status
New Status Challenge Now Available and Open to All
Here are the new details of the status challenge for Hyatt’s Diamond status, their top tier:
- You must stay 12 nights in a 60 day period.
- You do not need to have any status with any other chain
- Status is good from the time you complete the challenge through February of 2017.
- When you accept the challenge you will receive Platinum status.
- If you only complete six nights you will maintain Platinum status, though you would anyway after five stays or ten nights.
- You will receive 1,000 bonus points for the first six nights of the challenge regardless of whether you can complete it or not.
- Challenge is open until April 30th, 2017.
- Diamond Suite Upgrades (4) are awarded at the successful completion of the challenge.
What comes with Platinum Status
With Platinum Status you receive the following amenities:
- 15% bonus on points earning (3 points/$1 spent plus 15% total).
- Preferred room on higher floors or larger rooms based on availability.
- Expedited elite check-in desk.
- Guaranteed room 72 hours prior to arrival (with some restrictions).
- When available, 2PM late check out.
- Exclusive Platinum phone line instead of just the general reservations number.
- All Hyatts now offer free internet, but elite members get premium speed internet free.
What comes with Diamond Status
As a Diamond member you receive the following:
- 30% bonus on points earning (3 points/$1 spent plus 15% total).
- Best room available at check-in excluding suites.
- Expedited elite check-in desk.
- Access to the Regency club lounge with continental breakfast and afternoon cocktail hour, or breakfast in the restaurant if there is no lounge on the property.
- (4) Diamond suite upgrades, each valid for up to six consecutive nights at the same property (renewed every member year).
- Local welcome amenity or 1,000 points (see this post about when you should definitely take the amenity).
- Guaranteed room 48 hours prior to arrival (with some restrictions).
- When available, 4PM late check out.
- Exclusive Diamond phone line (excellent customer relations).
- Two one-time use United Club passes.
- All Hyatts now offer free internet, but elite members get premium speed internet free.
How to best play the challenge
If you don’t have Diamond status but can get to the stays, just do it. Hyatt has one of the best hotel experiences from top to bottom, and while there are always a couple of ugly ducklings, you won’t often find a subpar experience even at the least expensive properties.
If you don’t have quite as many stays coming up, you can always split the costs between cash and points if there is a room available for this rate. They start as cheap as $50/night plus just 2500 points, so if you have a transfer partner card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink cards, you can achieve this highly valuable status for as little as $600 and 21,930 points (2500 x 12 = 30,000 – 8,070 point bonus for first six nights). The Diamond suite upgrades are worth far more than that.
If you complete it this year you will receive your (4) Diamond suite upgrades for 2015, and get a new bank of (4) next year as well.
You could also start the challenge on January 15th and finish just after your current status expires if you want to extend through February 29th of 2018.
Should you do it?
Yes. And do it fast.
It’s not yet available on Hyatt.com from what I can see, but you can call in to enroll, several readers have already reported success.
Hyatt Gold Passport phone number:
Have you completed a Hyatt status challenge? What about a status challenge with a competing chain?
Can the challenge only be done once in your lifetime?
@ST – There was a traditional thought that it was the case, however, there have been no stipulations thus far to indicate. Official terms and conditions have not yet been released from what I can see on the website, but I do not believe this precludes you from challenging for this current promotion as it is now.
Are there any considerations/changes if you are already a Platinum? Or does it not make a difference?
@Ryan – Thanks for reading the blog. Platinums are eligible, current diamond members are not. Diamond members who do not re-qualify for diamond status this year can challenge March 1st, 2016.
Another option is you can stack this with the current promo and stay a total of 15 nights during the challenge, you can bank an additional 30k miles. Effectively you could do 15 nights of P+C at 2.5k+$50 and spend $750 while making 2250 points if my math is correct
+6k for first six nights of challenge
+3750 points for the $750×5 spend at Hyatt
+2250 if paying the $750 with Hyatt Credit Card
@Ryan – Good call. I hadn’t seen that promotion until after the post was written, but I agree, for a little extra cash, you can come out net ahead on points and it’s a small price to pay for Diamond status. Nice find!
Any idea if award nights will count? I have 10 award nights coming up next month…Debating if I start the challenge right before that trip.
@Mark – They can count only if they are points plus cash. It might be worth it to switch all of those nights to points plus cash and then you would be nearly done in one go. Depending on the property, I would almost certainly switch those nights to points plus cash but some places might not be worth it – but those cases are rare. The good thing is that you should easily be able to convert those to cash and points because the award nights are already available.
Is the challenge 12 nights or 12 stays? Can I simply reserve a room for 12 nights in a single stay and be Diamond with the challenge? Thanks!
@Joel – Just nights, regardless of the number of stays. If you wanted to purely mattress run and you can find a 5,000 point room convenient to check-in, you could do points plus cash (or just cash if the rate is good) and be done in one stay with one check-in. Go get it Joel, Diamond status is the gold standard and I won’t give it up unless it becomes dramatically devalued.
Any idea about whether multiple rooms would count toward the total? Also, points and cash? Thanks.
@Christian – I can say with certainty that multiple rooms will not count towards nights or stays for status. Hyatt has stated that we do not award multiple stays or nights because you can’t be sleeping in more than one room or more than one place. Fair enough to me, though I wish there was more incentive for when I book rooms for multiple guests like clientele or co-workers and I insist on Hyatt.
On the points plus cash, those rooms definitely count. There are some examples in the text but @Ryan smartly factored in the new Hyatt summer promotion to show that at 15 stays not nights (if you are able to complete them) would actually return a “point profit” on the activity, though your out of pocket cash cost would be higher.
Thanks for reading and feel free to come back with additional questions.
Hey Kyle, do you happen to know if government rates are “eligible rates” for the challenge?
@Ryan – That’s a toughie. There is nothing to say that they don’t count, but the rest of the rules follow normal Hyatt status earning principles. If they count normally, they should count for the challenge, but I don’t have access to them so I can’t say. I know that the typical exclusions include but may not be limited to, IATA negotiated discount rates, friends and family rates, or award nights.
@Ryan – I’ve used USG rates on a past challenge and they counted towards status.
Very helpful summary. I think Diamond Suite Upgrades (4) is the real deal. Do you know if suite upgrade can be add on to awards night? I almost redeemed all my points to Park hyatt Sydney. Can I apply suite upgrade to award night where I pay 30K pts instead of hundreds of dollars? Thanks
@Ryan – Diamond Suite upgrades (DIAX) can be used on points plus cash nights but not purely award nights. If you are staying at the Park Hyatt Sydney (a hotel that routinely goes for between $400-1100/night, even more for a suite) I would recommend using points plus cash at 15k points per night plus $300 and a suite upgrade. The cost is high at $300/night AND 15k points but to secure a suite at that property you would still save at least hundreds if not more than $1,000/night.
I read on many a blog how its cheap to do this via C&P. When I crushed the #s I didnt find that. 1- at least in the NE I didnt find 1 Cat 1 place, best are Cat2 so thats 4K and $55. Yet with many a code (legit) be it AAA,COSTCO or AARP many Cat2s on the weekend were $89-98 so IMO saving at best $45(OK alittle more due to taxes) isnt worth blowing 4K in pts.
2nd- is the 4K in pts werent free, if I used a CC to get them then I didnt earn some other item be it miles or cash back, so that too needs to be aded to the total it will take And for those MSing for the pts you need to add the fees involved. I did this and came to the conclusion any rate , $100 or close to it was better paying for then using C&P = getting this done for $600 or 700 isnt real
Still not bad to jump on but the #s everything is throwing out there well, its alot more expensive when everyuthing is added up
@Isaac – Thanks for reading the blog. You make some good points, and you are correct that not all points are free. But not everyone is Manufactured Spending (MS) their way to these points. Some business travelers might have acquired them free when they stayed at a property for work, or booked a meeting room so for some the points are actually free. Without MS, I got a lot of additional points from category bonuses that I don’t factor in to my normal return so some of those points I do consider free. I also recently received a service adjustment of 25,000 points – that’s a lot of free points especially if you wanted to do something like this.
Some readers also live in the Midwest where Hyatt Places are more achievable at the lower level. I personally have had trouble in the Pittsburgh area trying to get any stays at 5,000 points, but I don’t need them as I have already qualified for next year. If you are in NYC though, you are better off just paying for the stays as the point redemptions are ridiculous. I would also agree that 4,000 points is worth more than the $45 you would save.
More than anything (and I can’t speak for other blogs) it is possible for readers in many markets (California, Texas, many cities throughout the midwest) to easily checkin to a nearby Category 1 property and complete the challenge with points in their account that they did not have to MS or acquire at cost for amounts proposed. The points in your account (regardless of the means by which you earned them) hold value, @Ryan made a good point in the comments about the summer promotion. He states that with the current summer promotion, you would come out points ahead (bonus vs. spent for the challenge) truly reducing the cost even further.
I hear you. I guess from reading a # of bloggers, telling folks now is the time to jump in and move the pts from your UR acct to Hyatt, so that you’ll have the pts to do C&P, and that C&P was the way to go. Well 4k in pts = 4 $200 GCs with Ink @ an OS = $6.95 x 4 = $27.80 so I added that to the $55 and found Id be saving almost nothing when all is said and done.
I hear you that its different for those who have the pts already, and not everyone MSs. But the others were pushing be Diamond for $600 or 750 and thats not simply true if all the costs are taken into acct.and they were saying how Cat1s are the best but its still a good deal C&Ping at Cat2s, and as I said that depends on what you can book the room for w/o C&P, if the rates are low enough then it will cost 2x the $$ but youd be left with 4k per night which added up is 48K and that can throw off some savings when booking a reward night , maybe even a better return.
I see it as a YMMV as you said depending what the rates are and Cats are where one lives or will be traveling to
@Isaac – Agreed, “Your Miles May Vary” and also agreed that Category 1 Hyatts can be hard to find. But you only have to find one for it to be worthwhile over a two month period to make it work. I have faith that you will find one if you need one.
1- its not over a 2 month period but rather over a 6 week period if I recall correctly(at least for this challege) thats 2 weeks less then it usually was
2- no Cat1s near me or anywhere I will be within the next 6 weeks, plenty of Cat2s but in most cases not worth it as I can get < $100 rates
@Isaac – It was initially understood to be six weeks when this was written. I can’t find anything from Hyatt that states that it is changed to 60 days, except for “sources”. Never the less, I have seen successful reports at 60 days, so I will change it now.
I just called the Gold Passport Line and the rep told me that there is no such challenge currently available and that they haven’t one since last year. She “double-checked with customer service” and still could offer me nothing of the kind. Is there a magic handshake required? I called it the “Diamond Status Challenge”… perhaps I used the wrong code word?
@Cameron – Thanks for reading the blog. I deleted your duplicate comment.
There is no secret handshake needed. Just hang up and call back. Try a status line or calling a number as if you were outside the U.S. The status lines really do have more experienced agents so that may solve the problem for you.