Has Hyatt Effectively Restored The Old ‘Gold Passport’ Program For 2021?

In March 2017 World of Hyatt replaced Hyatt Gold Passport. Nothing changed about earning or redeeming points, this was entirely a change to Hyatt’s elite program.

Top tier elites got concierges, suite upgrades confirmable in advance on awards, and waived resort fees on paid stays (and free parking on award nights). Meanwhile free nights earned after 30 and 60 elite qualifying nights replaced the check-in amenity, and guaranteed turndown service was dropped as a benefit.

For many though they felt ‘fired’ as Hyatt customers, since the new program upped the ante for top tier status from 25 stays or 50 nights to 60 elite nights. People making the former Diamond status on stays, hotel hopping, and mattress runs were told their business wasn’t actually that valuable.

Joe Brancatelli, in his excellent paid newsletter, suggested that Hyatt’s cutting elite qualification requirements in half for 2021 was effectively rolling back the clock to Hyatt Gold Passport.

With the rollback of Globalist to 30 nights and just 25 with a credit card, Hyatt has essentially restored the old, beloved Diamond elite level of its former Gold Passport program. When World of Hyatt launched in 2017, the more than doubling of the stay requirement for its top tier (25 nights for Diamond, 60 for Globalist) was one of the most vociferously criticized changes.

Hyatt will require 30 nights in 2021 for top tier status, 5 of which can be earned via credit card (and new applicants approved by December 31 can earn 10 elite nights), leaving 25 nights required for top tier – just like a 25 stay/night Diamond would have done in the old days.

In fact it’s even easier than that next year. Get the card by December 31, earn the full initial bonus via spending in early 2021, and you’ll earn 12 elite nights (10 for getting the card by December 31, plus 2 more for spending over $5000 on the card). Then you need just 18 more elite nights, and they’re offering double elite nights in January and February meaning you’d need to stay at Hyatts just 9 nights for top tier status for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022.

And by the way those 9 nights don’t even have to be overnight, booking an office for the day which might cost you as little as $60 counts.

That doesn’t really roll back World of Hyatt to Hyatt Gold Passport, though, because two years ago Hyatt decoupled some of their elite benefits from top tier status and earning confirmed suite upgrades and a concierge is based on number of nights stayed and not status earned. A 9-night ‘Globalist’ won’t receive confirmed suite upgrades, but will still be eligible for upgrades to suites at check-in if available (as well as breakfast or lounge access, 4 p.m. late check-out, etc.).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Just too good an opportunity not to take advantage of. Credit card on the way, new front door and garage door to be ordered in Dec/Jan and two * 2 night weekend escapes booked with the ‘double’ incentive. Have a 5 night mattress run booked at a local Hyatt place for $60 a night, just in case I want Globalist before my May visit to Vegas when the mattress run will have cost me less than the resort fee savings I’ll obtain. Then have a few trips to Asia for later in year (Covid/Vaccine permitting) when Globalist really benefits stays at upper end Hyatts.

  2. 2021 is a write-off for a lot of companies in the T&L space…try to survive, cut the requirements to entice loyalty.

    2022 will be more telling…do they jack up requirements right back up to start of year 2019 levels? Or do they slowly work their way back up (IMO my guess)?

  3. I’m wondering if they will have a “Cocaine promotion” for stays in Oregon with the new laws passed? Seriously I have been a Hyatt Globalist fanboy for years now and love checking in to the Vendome in Paris and basking in the morning light of the buffet bar. I’m counting on it being open when I go in September for a week!

  4. Do Vegas resort fees get waived for Hyatt Globalists? I thought you still pay them for M Life properties?

  5. @Wolverine – they get waived at Hyatt properties, not at properties they partner with that are part of other chains, so yes resort fees apply at MGM hotels

  6. Wolverine/Gary, thanks for that reminder re resort fees, that will tweak my approach to this offer.

  7. Although just remembered, I can get status match Hyatt Globalist > MLife > Ceasars Diamond which does provide waiving of resort fees 😀

  8. “Get the card by December 31, earn the full initial bonus via spending in early 2021, … earn 12 elite nights (10 for getting the card by December 31, plus 2 more for spending over $5000 on the card). … need just 18 more elite nights, … double elite nights in January and February meaning … just 9 nights for top tier status for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022.”

    (From Offer Details) “25,000 Bonus Points After You Spend $3,000 On Purchases In The First 3 Months From Account Opening and 25,000 Bonus Points After You Spend A Total Of $6,000 On Purchases In The First 6 Months From Account.

    To be eligible for this offer you must apply for the World of Hyatt Credit Card by December 31, 2020. You, as the primary cardmember, will receive 10 World of Hyatt Tier-Qualifying Night credits for 2020 in your World of Hyatt account within 8 weeks of your World of Hyatt Credit Card account open date and again for 2021 within 8 weeks of January 1, 2021. Every calendar year thereafter, you will receive 5 Tier-Qualifying Night credits within 8 weeks of January 1.”

    Hi Gary,

    Thank you for this excellent discussion of the Hyatt credit card. Please, a couple of clarification questions:

    – Other than the “2 more for spending over $5000”, are the 10 Hyatt Tier-Qualifying Night credits each year related to initial spend? Could a new account holder still get the 10 Hyatt Tier-Qualifying Night credits each year with $100 spent on the card in the first 6 months?
    – Do you what the Offer Terms will be for applications on or after January 1st? If so, please tell us.

    Thank you.

  9. I really miss the check-in amenity, almost always a better value than the points, and most of the Hyatt’s that I received it at did a nice job of what they picked to present.

  10. @Frustrated Traveller
    The way to avoid your resort fee issue is to sign up for MLife (MGM players card) and then status match your Hyatt to MGM. As a MGM Gold member, they have waived the resort fees for all my stays (and they are comped as well), so I’m literally staying in Vegas for free.

  11. Hyatt has not yet restored the old “Gold Passport’ program. When they re-establish the “Gold Passport” benefits of a no-charge room service breakfast (at hotels not having a lounge) and no limits on what can be ordered for breakfast, along with allowing 4 to have lounge access or free breakfast, then I will feel whole.

  12. @Michael – “no-charge room service breakfast (at hotels not having a lounge” was never a benefit of the Gold Passport program, some hotels offered it, some still do. Maybe you are thinking about 2500 points for hotels with a lounge where that lounge is closed?

  13. @Paulz @Frustrated Traveler Do you have to ask them to manually remove the resort fees once you are there? I have status matched my Globalist status to M Life. Do you need to then match to Caesars? I didn’t know that was an option. Thanks

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