Saturday, October 29, 2016

Hyatt revamps their frequent guest program - RIP Gold Passport, Hello to World of Hyatt as of March 1, 2017

Hyatt Gold Passport has been an amazing program over the years and it kind of had to be seeing the chain's size compared to other programs. We never made it past Platinum level in our household but even as Platinum's our few and far between Hyatt stays saw several room upgrades even though it wasn't an actual published benefit of being Platinum. We know a lot of you who travel frequently to major cities in the U.S. and Worldwide use it but for a lot of Canadian's it isn't that well known. The main reason why has been the very small footprint that Hyatt has in Canada. Up until this year they only had 5 properties in 4 cities in Canada. In the last few months that has been bumped up to 7 with an 8th property coming online soon. Still that is a very small portfolio and hence the relative nature of the Gold Passport program not having a lot of traction in Canada. But Hyatt's growth here and the amount of readers we have who are Hyatt Gold Passport members utilizing the program (we've received several emails asking if and when a Hyatt credit card will launch here which is likely never seeing that IHG & Choice couldn't make a go of it) garners this post as the changes to the program are newsworthy for those of us Canadians who do use the program.

Launching on March 1st, 2017, World of Hyatt will replace the current Hyatt Gold Passport program. The changes primarily affect the elite status tiers and elite status qualification. Earning and burning of points does not change. So in reality the changes are affecting those of you who do stay at Hyatt's frequently enough and you should be concerned! Hyatt Gold Passport has two elite levels above their base level, Platinum and Diamond. Right now Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status is one of the best elite levels out in the industry. Currently the requirement to earn Diamond status is 25 stays or 50 nights (so you can see how that might be hard to achieve if you only travel within Canada!) but those of you who have achieved it will need to up your game if you want to hold onto those benefits.  The new program adds a third elite level along with all the levels receiving new monikers. Probably the biggest change however is the qualification requirements. You can no longer qualify on stays, so up until Feb 28th you could qualify for Diamond with 25 separate stays (25 nights) but in the new program you'll have to have 60 nights to get the top level status. You do have another route for qualification now, World of Hyatt will also allow you to earn status by the number of base points you earn on your stays. So if you end up spending $20,000 on Hyatt stays that earn 5 points per dollar then you'll hit 100,000 point requirement for the top Globalist level. Right now the only good news is that if you have or will qualify for Diamond with your stays in 2016 then you'll be given the top level in the new program for 2017.

The new World of Hyatt membership tiers and qualification requirements (starting March 1, 2017)

Benefits of the new World of Hyatt membership tiers:

They have also introduced some incentives to try out their various brands as you'll get a free night at a Category 1-4  hotel when you stay at 5 different brands within the Hyatt portfolio. Stay at another 5 different brands (so trying out 10 of their 11 brands) nets you another Cat 1-4 free night.

What your current membership will translate to:

Overall there are lots of pros and cons to the changes! The biggest downfall is for those qualified for Diamond based on stays not nights. The biggest pro is the potential to earn a lot of free night certificates when you hit the various levels of elite status.

What are everybody's thoughts? Do like the new program that Hyatt is launching? Or do you not and will you switch brands because of it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Find our more about all the changes and details of the World of Hyatt Program here.

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