In 2021, Hyatt elites maintain their status from 2019/2020 but Hyatt’s milestones disappoint and sadly, my prediction from four years ago becomes reality.
Hyatt Milestone Disappointment
As travel begins to restart, I consulted My Hyatt Concierge regarding some issues with my account. Principally, my Category 1-7 certificate was missing. This is one of the single-most valuable benefits of elite status with Hyatt, and frankly, it puts it long past any other program as a result.
Other chains grant the same “suite upgrade at check-in subject to availability” that Hyatt Globalist features, but few deliver as consistently as Hyatt has for me. Marriott offers confirmed suite upgrades in advance of a stay, but not up to 28 nights as Hyatt does in its (4) confirmed suite upgrade awards for up to (7) nights each.
The value of the Category 1-7 Certificate stands alone and is worth up to $1400 depending on where it is redeemed and if a suite is granted on that redemption. (The Park Hyatt New York comes to mind)
However, when I called in to discuss the issue my questions were answered with the most disappointing reality. The 60-night milestone hadn’t been achieved in the prior year, so while Globalist status holders weren’t dropped down to a lower tier like Explorer or Discoverist status, milestone benefits that weren’t achieved based on the night thresholds, were and were not awarded as Hyatt saw fit.
World of Hyatt Milestone rewards benefits are as follows:
- 10,000 bonus points
- 5,000 bonus points or $100 Hyatt Gift Card
- Free Night Award (Category 1-4)
- Free Night Award (Category 1-7)
- (4) Suite Upgrade awards (to a standard suite)
- (4) Club Lounge Access Awards
Sadly, I Predicted This Four Years Ago
I found the separation of status and status rewards incredibly disappointing and oddly difficult to understand. How could one have status without the benefits? The benefits are the only reason a traveler would a little more money, a few more nights in a Hyatt over another chain in a better location for less money.
Hyatt press relations had messaged at the time that wasn’t really a separation, that those who had earned the status would enjoy the benefits. They had claimed that there were no instances that they could find at the time in which one could earn the status without earning the benefits. In Hyatt’s defense, they viewed the milestones, which are progressive, as an opportunity to garner benefits en route to a higher status.
I pointed out in this post that there was at least one way that it was false from the start, then I found others. Last year COVID-19 hit, status was extended, and while I had assumed that since many milestones were in my account that they all were. Silly me. It’s not Hyatt’s responsibility to ensure that I understand what is and is not included when they extend my Globalist status complimentarily. However, this seemed like a pretty big shortfall.
On Balance, Still Better
When compared with shocking programs like IHG (who had a devaluation so bad they have now walked it back – twice!) or Marriott Bonvoy that’s so bad loyal customers use the program’s name as a derogatory verb, Hyatt looks like a bright shining star.
In truth, it is, That’s why I hold them to a higher standard. When I really garner the most value from my points with Hyatt I find experiences to be dramatic, exceptional, and incredible. Not all of them are, there are misfires with any business interaction, but generally speaking premium experiences with the brand is among the best in the world.
Nitpicking over the perks that were and were not bequeathed following the pandemic year may seem petty. It’s certainly a “first world problem” but this is a site built on these sorts of issues. It’s important too, as we all consider what loyalty looks like now and in the future, as to how chains we love, love us back. In the end, Hyatt was well within the terms of the program to take away this associated benefit. However, just as I thought separating status from benefits was wrong at rollout four years ago, I think it has the same ill-conceived effect now in practice. Either you want your elites to remain elite which they only do for the benefits they receive, or you don’t.
What do you think? Should Hyatt have reissued Category 1-7 certificates for Globalists? Should benefits be separated from status?