Hyatt Gold Passport Eliminating Passport Extras Awards

Jeff Zidell, Vice President for Hyatt’s Gold Passport program, announced on Milepoint that they’ll be discontinuing Platinum Extras awards.

As we have said before, we will continue to invest in benefits that enhance the Hyatt experience for the majority of our members and eliminate benefits that are not valued or not utilized. Our Platinum Extras program falls into the latter category, and so, we have decided to discontinue it as of December 31, 2012.

After a thorough evaluation, we concluded that Platinum Extras did not provide a significant enhancement to the Hyatt experience; in fact, more than 75% of the awards earned by Platinum members were never redeemed. Therefore, it simply makes sense for us to focus our time, attention and resources on improving the program in new and innovative ways rather than administering a benefit that members don’t value.

Platinum members will still earn Platinum Extras Awards through the end of 2012 and will have 90 days to redeem these awards.

I hate to see benefits go of course, especially when they entail occasional upgrades and bonus points (one Platinum extra came with qualification and then additional ones would come every third stay).

But if three-quarters aren’t being redeemed I get why this isn’t considered effective bang-for-buck. I just want to see Gold Passport take the savings from this program and redeploy the funds to member benefits elsewhere. Soon.

Hyatt recently eliminated Passport Escape awards — an award I really liked, and used myself earlier in the year — because apparently only about 100 people a year redeemed them. My guess is that members didn’t even know about them or understand their value, but maintaining a program that’s little used is costly and doesn’t provide much bang for buck. There’s agent training, hotel training, keeping IT systems up to date to name just a few issues.

So it seems like Hyatt is cleaning house to reduce experience that doesn’t drive loyalty or member satisfaction. I wonder what we’ll see on the innovation side soon to offset.

What does surprise me though is that Hyatt isn’t making all of their adjustments at once. Usually when you take something away you want to offer something new at the same time. Perhaps the thinking is these benefits are sufficiently little-used that no one will fuss anyway. Although it was announced on a Friday afternoon, the traditional time for releasing bad news!

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, 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. There’s a huge backlog of enhancements that Hyatt needs to make to stay competitive. Among them: cash and points awards, stay credit from award stays, better promotions that don’t require numerous stays per quarter to be rewarding, etc. Right now, Hyatt is a yawn and I’m focusing on Hilton HHonors.

  2. I selfishly could care less about the Platinum extras program being a top tier member in most major programs.
    Having said that it was one of the only reasons I became a Diamond in Hyatt’s program. It gave me a brand experience as a Diamond might receive like Regency Club access and bonus points.Upgrades were marginal as Gold Passport Platinum member.It was all about the hope of club access and bonus points/free nights where available.

    As the program keeps getting stripped of great incentives and nothing replaces these offers that’s where Hyatt ends up shorting themselves in the long run. Long term loyalty
    When there are no thresholds to meet and achieve and look forward to members get promiscuous and play in another program unless they happen to think that Hyatt is the only brand that matters.

    The GP Platinum extras program was never improved on and communicated in an online era so less liklihood of redemption.
    It’s easy to keep cutting benefits from a program as you continue to offer Platinum status relentlessly for free.
    Which in my mind the only reason these benefits are being cut.Once again the good and the bad of the credit card.
    My question is how do you keep the retention when members simply go elsewhere when you have given them little incentive to stick around?
    While we are at it while we keep taking a wrecking ball to Gold Passport how about a working website with the same commitment there is for eliminating desirable aspects of Gold Passport?
    I’ll bet 75% of their members don’t redeem 3 free nights
    in a suite on points.Do we eliminate that award too?

  3. Long time Diamond here. I am wondering why I am still chasing the Hyatt elite status benefits.

    It’s funny for the diamond program they have actually added benefits the past few years (suite certificates, free internet, breakfast guarantee) and yet I am more disappointed with the program now than ever. This is a little bit of a YAWN blog, because you could say Hyatt ELIMINATED the platinum benefits previously (as really the majority of them were just point bonuses) when they reduced extras like the G – bonus or the periodic big point promotions of the past.

  4. @Greg G bonuses and Faster Free Nights weren’t Platinum benefits. And I’ve certainly covered those in this space!

  5. Too bad, I guess I’m one of the few that really valued these. I love the RC access these got me.

  6. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming improvements to the Hyatt hamburger that will more than offset this benefit reduction.

  7. I got Hyatt Platinum through the MP premium member bonus. I got the Platinum Extras award, I think, but remember it being a “if I’m going to do this activity anyway, this will be a nice thing to have.” I think I lost the certificate, and totally forgot what I’d get anyway. Was it 1000 GP points after dining at a Hyatt Restaurant? Point being, I wish the programs would create benefits that people would go out of their way to chase. This “it’s not worth your while if you weren’t doing it already, but since you are, here you go” business has got to go. Talk about throwing money down the drain.

  8. Love Hyatt. At an Andaz right now using one of my Suite upgrades. The quality in the hyatt program is definitely at the Diamond level- which is why I’m ensuring I requalify…

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