I think of it as ‘hotel codesharing’. Each program’s members could earn points and credit towards elite status by staying in the other chain’s hotels. And there was reciprocal elite status matching, so that the best customers of each chain would be treated with status benefits when staying with the other, too.
This filled a big hole for Hyatt (experienced by chains generally) in Las Vegas, and a hole for MGM by giving them broader reach.
One interesting thing about how elite status was handled: it’s not your Hyatt status that MGM recognizes, MGM gives status in its own program based on your Hyatt status.
Status matching began last August. And folks who had their status matched are seeing that status end.
There’s no auto-renewal. Even though you ‘link’ accounts, they aren’t pushing data back and forth between the programs to seamlessly ensure your current Hyatt status gets you the equivalent MGM M Life status on an ongoing basis. A year ago they weren’t sure how status recognition would work when matched status began to expire. Now we know — instead of an automatic process, you have to prompt for the match again.
I received the following e-mail today:
You’ll need to return to Hyatt’s partnership page if you want to have them re-link your accounts and extend your status.
Interestingly as well, your Hyatt status year doesn’t line up with your MGM status year. So a current Hyatt Diamond that doesn’t re-qualify for 2015 who matches to M Life Platinum gets to keep M Life Platinum for more than half a year past when their Hyatt status expires.
At a minimum you want the best status possible when making your room reservations, as MGM seems to offer better room rates to members with higher status.