On Monday it was being reported that the Hyatt Diamond challenge had ended.
Hyatt was exceptionally generous in that they were willing to give elite members of other hotel chains temporary top tier status, while offering an expedited way to keep that status. And they even gave these temporary Diamond full confirmed suite upgrades as though they had earned the status for a year.
This was exceptionally game-able. Plenty of folks signed up for a credit card that gave them Hilton Gold status and leveraged that into Hyatt Diamond — maybe transferred some points into Hyatt from Chase Ultimate Rewards, booked cash and points award stays, upgraded them to suites at booking and enjoyed free breakfasts during their stays.
Hyatt confirmed yesterday that the Diamond challenge offer was discontinued on October 31.
With the confirmation, we got the following (rather milquetoast) bit:
We very much appreciate all of our members who were able to take advantage of this promotion and have continued to stay with Hyatt throughout the year. We are currently evaluating the best path forward with these types of promotions. As always, we welcome your feedback.
I read two things into this.
- They appreciate the members who continued to stay with Hyatt (and maybe not as much those who didn’t).
- There would be some kind of status match or challenge again in the future.
They offered this for a reason. Their intention wasn’t to be generous. The idea was to make it easy for high value customers to move their business.
A hotel chain, like an airline, wants to overcome ‘status lock-in’… a customer may want to move their business but they’re treated so well by their existing chain because of their status that they really can’t switch.
By fronting the status for someone that has demonstrated they bring with them a lot of room nights, they make it easy to switch and capture those nights.
I asked about this and was told,
For the Diamond Challenge, we are evaluating it and determining what version 2.0 will look like.
That made it sound like we would see a ‘version 2’.
Pressing further, I was told:
We are looking at what the next iteration looks like and for whom. No timing to share.
These challenges existed for a reason. Presumably they were too generous, meaning it was too expensive to offer the challenge with suite upgrades to folks who had simply signed up for a competitor’s credit card. But they still want the business of their competitor elites.
Of course lots of projects get mired in analysis, we don’t know when something will come to fruition. But I wouldn’t count out the idea of a status match or challenge with Hyatt just yet.