I wrote a few months ago about why Hyatt was my favorite hotel because of how they treat their elites, how easy it is to obtain status, and how reasonable their award chart to redeem points for free stays Here is Part One and Part Two. of that series. I continue today with Part Three .
I returned home two weeks ago from a family baseball trip to Spring Training in Tampa, Florida. My family and I stayed at the Hyatt Grand Tampa Bay. I wrote a satirical post about how Hyatt Diamond status isn't worth it as more and more people are obtaining Hyatt Gold Passport status because of the Chase Hyatt credit card. It's relatively easy to obtain mid tier Platinum status just by signing up for Milepoint's premium membership and then applying for the Hyatt card. As a signup bonus, you will get two free Hyatt nights at ANY Hyatt worldwide Those two nights could be used to stay at places like the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris, or Park Hyatt Sydney both of which are widely considered to be among the best hotels in the world! If you sign up as a Platinum, you also get two confirmed suite upgrade certificates good for up to 4 nights on paid stays. Diamond status is also fairly easy to obtain, but difficult to maintain as it requires 25 stays or 50 nights per year. I recently began a Diamond status trial with Hyatt. By simply showing them I had top tier status with another hotel program, (in my case Hilton) Hyatt gave me a 60 day trial to see what their Diamond program was about. In order to maintain your Diamond status past the 60 days, you need to complete 12 paid nights within the 60 days. That will allow you keep your Diamond status through February of the following year. In my case I will have Diamond status until Feb, 2014. As a bonus, Diamonds will also receive 4 confirmed suite upgrade certificates to be used on paid stays. The paid stays need to be on eligible paid rates. That would include AAA or AARP discounts, but not stays booked by a third party like Priceline.
So what is so great about Hyatt Diamond status? I will use my recent Tampa stay as an example. We stayed at the Hyatt for 4 nights in March. I had booked one room for my adult children and one for my wife and me. I used a confirmed suite upgrade certificate for the two of us. We were given a beautiful corner suite on the 11th floor looking West over Tampa Bay.
As I began the Diamond challenge the day before our arrival, I was given immediate Diamond status. That meant free internet in both rooms ($9.95/day normally). We also had access to the Regency club on Thursday and Friday for breakfast and evening snacks. On Saturday and Sunday while the Regency Club is closed, we were entitled to a free breakfast at the hotel restaurant for up to 4 people. That was approximately $200-250 savings in free breakfast and snacks for 4 people over 4 days.
Total Savings: $300+.
I was able to book my rooms with an AARP rate of 10% off the Hyatt daily rate. I also used my Starwood Preferred Guest business card to pay for all the hotel charges. The Starwood card comes with OPEN savings of a 5% statement credit plus you earn the Starpoints. To me 5% cash back plus Starpoints is worth more than the 3 Hyatt points per dollar I would get by placing the hotel charges on my Hyatt card.
Total Savings: 15% plus the Starpoints earned.
With the current Hyatt promotions, 5 Hyatt points per dollar spent at the hotel, the 30% bonus points you earn as a Diamond, the Diamond welcome amenity (500 points), and the points earned for the Regency club being closed on the weekend, I walked away with more than 25,000 Hyatt points from that 4 night stay. To put that in perspective, I paid for 8 nights of hotel rooms, but got back the equivalent of two free nights back in points. (In essence a 25% discount)
If you total up all the savings, I received a total of a 40% discount! That's before I count the free breakfasts, free internet and the suite upgrade!
I love how Hyatt treats their elites! We have at least 8 more paid Hyatt nights over the next 6 weeks so that I can keep the Diamond status until next February. At that time I will probably get my wife Diamond status for our stay at the Hyatt Vendome in Paris next Spring. I'm sure we will be using our Free nights in a suite for that stay! Read here to see the Importance of Planning Your Credit Card Churn to find our how to do that too!
About The Points Doctor
The Points Doctor is Bruce J. Wilderman DDS of Artistic Expressions Dentistry.Dr. Wilderman has a practice limited to Cosmetic Dentistry, serving patients of the Philadelphia Area since 1986.He and wife of 30 years enjoy traveling the world for little or no money with the points and miles they have earned from the credit card companies. Dr. Wilderman would love to teach you how to do the same. You may reach him at ThePointsDoctor@comcast.net