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Oct 28

Hotel Elite Programs: The More Things Change…

Hotel programs are generally a little bit behind airline programs, but they got one thing right when they started: They reward people based on dollars spent, rather than some other factor that may or may not be tied to their revenues.

What Hyatt Did

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch

There’s a rumor that Hyatt is about to gut its elite status program. Currently, they have two levels of elite status, Platinum and Diamond, which require either 5/25 “stays (one check-in and check-out)” or 25/50 nights, respectively. Diamond Elite at Hyatt is one of the most powerful among the hotel chains, offering annual guaranteed suite upgrades, free breakfast and a nice points bonus.

The rumored changes, first discovered at Pen and Passport, would make a number of changes that seriously degrade elite status for all but those who stay a ton of nights per year. In addition to eliminating the ability to earn status by number of stays, it adds a third elite tier and raises the number of nights required to 10/30/60. You can also earn based on spend by earning five base points per dollar spent. There will be some improved rewards at the high end and the low end, but the people in the middle are going to lose out.

Here’s The Point

Just because you have loyalty to them doesn’t mean that they will have that same loyalty to you. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is a good thing when it comes time for awards, but not so good in other areas of programs. In one blow, Hyatt could go from being the best program for those who stay 50 nights per year to among the worst, with not even club access guaranteed at that level. In other words, just like in Pokemon Go, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings.

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