Six years ago Starwood and Delta launched Crossover Rewards, offering customers of each program benefits and additional points-earning when traveling with the other. Starwood viewed this as successful enough that they launched a similar program with Emirates about two years later and then another one with China Eastern a couple of years after that.
After Starwood partnered with Delta, Marriott quickly hooked up with United. That partnership survived Marriott’s Starwood acquisition, while Starwood’s close airline partnerships were jettisoned.
Hyatt’s loyalty program is now largely run by ex-Starwood executives. They believe in these partnerships. Meanwhile American has toyed around with the idea of something like this for many years. Starwood and Marriott had full dance cards. IHG Rewards Club is a tough fit for an elite program.
When Hilton started handing out Diamond status to American Executive Platinums I thought the two programs might hook up more formally, assuming that Hyatt’s footprint was too small to match with the world’s largest airline. That turned out to be incorrect. The writing was very much on the wall of course when Hyatt tested more than once offering bonus American Airlines miles for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House stays.
American and Hyatt have announced a partnership. It doesn’t yet appear to have a name, but it’s similar to what Starwood executives built for Crossover Rewards.
- American elites will earn 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent with Hyatt
- Hyatt elites will earn 1 Hyatt point per dollar spent on American flights
- American Airlines ConciergeKey members receive World of Hyatt Globalist status
- Each program is offering status challenges to elites from the other program
They haven’t announced a launch date yet when members will be able to link their American AAdvantage and World of Hyatt accounts, or details on status challenges — what elite levels members of each program will be able to have temporarily while they travel to retain their new status.
As an American Executive Platinum I will be thrilled to earn bonus Hyatt points for the tickets I’m buying anyway, and as a Hyatt Globalist I’ll be equally pleased to earn additional American miles for the nights I’m staying anyway.
Personally an extra point per dollar spent, a 20% bonus on top of base points in each program, isn’t likely to sway my choice of airlines or hotels but the data from these partnerships suggest that overall they can move the needle. They need to, because they’re expensive to offer.
An American Executive Platinum spending $15,000 on tickets earns enough Hyatt points for a free category 4 room night each year, while a Hyatt elite spending $10,000 picks up 10,000 AAdvantage miles as well. For me this partnership should be worth an easy extra 25,000 points per year with little extra effort.