Rumor: Hyatt’s Relationship With MGM Coming To An End?

Update 1/25/23: it’s non-Hyatt status matches that are expected to end, from the original rumor source:

The status matches that are ending this June which they had referred to has nothing to do with the Hyatt relationship but other competing casino status matches like Caesars etc
However at least for today we can put the rumor to rest going forward.



There’s a rumor on FlyerTalk that status matching from Hyatt to MGM Rewards will terminate mid-year. It’s unclear what would happen to future earning of Hyatt points and elite status nights, or redeeming points for free stays (plus resort fee..) at MGM hotels in Las Vegas, if this were to happen.

The nearly 10 year old partnership between Hyatt and MGM Resorts was revolutionary when first introduced.

  • It filled a hole in Hyatt’s portfolio, since they were weak in Las Vegas
  • It brought their customers to MGM, and MGM’s to Hyatt
  • And nearly amounted to hotel ‘codesharing’ because Hyatt’s elites were status matched in MGM’s program and treated comparably, in addition to being able to earn and redeem points using World of Hyatt for MGM hotels and vice versa.

Since then the program has become somewhat diluted. They’ve reduced the ability to double dip in both programs with the same stay (it’s also been possible to double, err, triple dip with Southwest). They’ve also reduced the value of status match – Hyatt Globalists only receive Gold status with MGM, the same as mid-tier Hyatt Explorists – they used to receive Platinum.

Nonetheless there’s good value here. It presaged the Hyatt-SLH partnership, and offers the opportunity to credit cheap Las Vegas midweek stays for elite status.

An MGM customer service agent reportedly said that Hyatt – MGM status match opportunities would end July 1.

“The MGM Hyatt relationship was never intended to be a rematch or status match annually but it just kind of went that way”.

As of this moment he went on to say” Its over officially as of for now”.” Could upper management change their minds again possibly they have in the past”1

I wouldn’t normally pass along a FlyerTalk thread reporting on what a customer service agent said. However it’s clear that MGM has refocused its elite program away from rewarding guests who spend on rooms and meals. Their new elite program is a gambling program and bringing in Hyatt elite members isn’t the same thing as bringing in gamblers. The Hyatt partnership is a remnant from when the focus was broadening out beyond gaming.

And I’ve heard dissatisfaction on the MGM side with the relationship for a long time. Last July I wrote,

I’ve certainly heard rumblings out of MGM that they’ve been somewhat ambivalent about the partnership. It’s unclear how serious this year, and whether they reviews that they’ve done point to changes. But Hyatt’s ability to drive business to MGM would be helpful, I think.

Of course Hyatt will be gaining a bigger foothold in Vegas in its own right, bringing multiple brands to prime real estate as part of the renovation and rebranding of the old 2500-room Rio.

Rumors about winding down this partnership have been swirling for a couple of years. I don’t necessarily think a customer service agent would have been read into this, or volunteer the information to a caller, but the rumor is consistent with word that whether or not to extend the partnership has at least been an open question, at least on the MGM side.

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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Comments

  1. That would be a huge bummer for resort fees as I would make Pearl on my own but Gold through the match. I wonder if they are partially basing this on Caesars ending their match with Wyndham.

  2. I benefit from this since Hyatt Explorist and focus almost all my gambling on Caesars (high Diamond from gambling). I would be inconsistent if I said this wasn’t a good thing overall for MGM (and I fully understand their reasons for ending it) when I have complained for years that Wyndham Diamond members (that you can easily get w a status match) could match to Caesars Diamond and that diluted the value of those of us who earned status through gambling. At least Hyatt is a better program and don’t status match from practically every other program but the same principle applies.

    Bottom line I agree both Caesars and MGM should focus on their own brand and the gamblers that are their core constituents.

  3. Could this possibly be they are just ending the ability to match where people are “gaming the system” or requalifying?

  4. I used my Hyatt status a couple of weeks ago with some success in getting fees reduced, but the outrageous cost of dining and lodging still was a huge hit to the pocket book.
    However, if the relationships goes away altogether then there is no reason whatsoever to visit Las Vegas again. I can gamble in my own state (MA) if so desired, and it saves me on airfare and hotel.

  5. Aside from status-match concerns, strategy-shift toward gaming revenue, etc., Hyatt placing its flag on a competitive property seems to be the biggest factor influencing a possible end to the partnership.

    MGM made a commitment to Marriott in some form when it agreed to buy the Cosmo operation so if MGM does want to partner with a different global hotel brand going forward, there is a template for cooperation. Seems like the Westin no longer has a casino, leaving the JW Lake Las Vegas as the only other Marriott gaming property in the area.

  6. As a Globalist, I looked forward to enjoying the MGM status benefits promised on my occasional trips to Vegas.

    The reality however, is that every perk was a struggle that had to be fought for with constant calls and emails to both Hyatt and the hotels in question, sometimes for weeks and months.

    Nothing promised was offered without vigorous effort on my part and it became exhausting.

    I finally quit going to Vegas as part of this program because i just wasn’t up for the hassle.

    Just realized now how long it’s been since I’ve gone at all.

    Not missing it…

  7. One of my main reasons for getting the Hyatt card was that it was easy to status match to the MGM Gold. I go to Las Vegas multiple times a year and it’s nice to have the resort fees waived and earn a good portion of money back on spending and gambling.
    I don’t know I’ll continue to keep and use the World of Hyatt card this year. Looks like I’ll be getting another brand of card to keep status.

  8. I am a Hyatt globalist and had a very positive experience at the MGM just recently. I stayed there for a “significant” birthday. The woman checking in saw this on my record, and without even asking upgraded me to a wonderful suite. Disappointing to hear that relationship might come to an end.

  9. Before Hyatt moved to the World of Hyatt loyalty scheme, Hyatt Platinum members got MGM Gold. That could be attained just by having a Chase Hyatt Visa. That got diluted with the World of Hyatt. Then MGM added resort fees (only recently some MGM Elites can have them waived), charged for parking (no cost for MGM Pearl or above). MGM removed status level room discounts.

    With the proliferation of online betting in select states, the allure of a trip to Vegas has been diminished. Combine that with higher costs at every turn, some past guests like me will be looking elsewhere. Vegas will still get people to go, stay, and pay, but I won’t be staying there like I had in the past.
    As an MGM Gold or higher, I rarely received valuable perks.

  10. I guess I’m a bit of a weirdo, since I really valued the status match in the MGM->Hyatt direction. I tend to gamble in Vegas a decent amount at MGM properties, so I maintain a good MLife status. On the occasions when I need to stay at a Hyatt, getting the perks has been helpful.

  11. I live within a 5 hour drive of Vegas and haven’t been in years. The MGM side of this never did anything for me other than keeping Hyatt Explorist alive for me. And that alone isn’t very disappointing to lose either.

  12. MGM gold is pretty useful; you can skip a lot of lines (check in/restaurants etc) and it waives resort fees. Will be sad to see it go.

  13. This would be a huge bummer. With Caesars ending their match from Wyndham, I have moved all of my stays for 2023 to MGM to get the waived resort fees from the Hyatt status match. While I’m no high roller, we tend to spend quite a bit on food/entertainment at whatever property we stay at and we do gamble as well.

  14. I saw on another blog that not only will the Hyatt match be ended in June/July but MGM will immediately revoke the status of those that used the match at that time and you will revert back to what you would have been under the MGM rewards program. If this is true book any trips before June unless you want to pay resort fees (and also pay higher rates since Gold gets much better rates and some comp nights that will no longer be available).

    I focus on Caesars and already started by grind back to Diamond Plus or Diamond Elite with 2 casino trips already in Jan but I definitely appreciate the MGM Rewards match to Gold. I have a night booked at NoMad in June when I go out for the WSOP and am right on the edge of being downgraded at that time if this latest report is correct so May be looking at a $50 resort fee for that night

  15. Back in 2013, when the MGM/Hyatt relationship started, the economy and the travel industry were just getting out of the Great Recession blues. So what looked like a great way to feed each other customers then, now may look overly generous. There was such a surge in travel, last year, maybe the programs are too generous? My hunch is it’s profits.

    Room rates in Vegas are now at all time highs. Sooner or later, the casinos will hit a breaking point for prices. Which is probably true for all travel suppliers. Would it not be better for each partner to feel out what works best as a customer draw? MGM/Hyatt should not take customers for granted! That is how I am seeing this possible change. MGM losing out on $40-50 of resort fees per night, which is extortionate anyway, is what they base their profits on? It seems that profits are the leading motivator here! Because even on the margin, having an extra couple hundred guests (or more) per night, in your casinos, can be way more profitable than the benefits this program provides.

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