The Truth Behind Hyatt’s New Diamond Status Challenge Offer

Just before the New Year I shared details of Hyatt’s new Diamond Status Challenge offer.

Plenty of frequent flyers want a jumpstart towards Hyatt’s top status tier, and a way to make it as painless as possible to switch chains. But Hyatt doesn’t want to give away the benefits of Diamond, including confirmed suite upgrades, to people who aren’t going to stay loyal to the chain and become frequent guests.

The new offer that was announced was Platinum status for 60 days, and an expedited path to reach Diamond (12 nights in 60 days), no status with another chain required.

Yet several readers had problems signing up for this. Tons of time spent talking to Gold Passport reps on the phone and by email, being told no such offer exists.

While there are a few reports in the comments of members getting signed up for the offer, the majority were told things like:

  • It’s targeted
  • There’s nothing available, the offer expired October 31.
  • It’s something that individual hotels have to nominate you for

The information came from Hyatt’s Manager of Corporate Communications by email, and I asked followup questions as well. So something strange was afoot.

Several readers asked me to follow up with Hyatt to see what was going on.

It turns out that:

  • The details of how Hyatt’s new Diamond Status Challenge work are correct.
  • The details of who is eligible for it were not correct.

I spoke to Rene Mizwicki at Hyatt this morning to get the full details on what was going on. Rene has been one of my favorite people in loyalty for years.

She explained that the earlier information about the new ‘Elite Tier Offer’ was a miscommunication. The old tier matching from years ago, and the more recent ‘Trial Tier Offer,’ were meant to be tools for Hyatt’s sales team to use in bringing business over. Of course they became public in social media as well, and they publicly acknowledged and welcomed members into them.

They eliminated the tier matching, and the status challenge that gave immediate temporary diamond status, because only a small percentage of people went on to maintain the status.

It’s costly to offer that temporary status because Hyatt doesn’t currently have a way to offer their top tier without also giving out confirmed suite upgrades, so it doesn’t make sense to give the status upfront given the results they were seeing.

The new offer, at this point, really is meant to be limited and a sales tool. Hyatt really had told me this was open to everyone, and I reported that, so I’m sorry for the confusion that followed.

Rene said they want to make sure people are working with someone at a hotel, or that sales is recommending the offer. Restrictions that they put in place aren’t always uniformly enforced, though this one in practice is. (Some folks have called and successfully had the promotion added to their account, but judging from the comments those are relatively rare.)

So while a few people may wind up signing up for the offer through the front door, that’s not the intent of the offer and not something that most people are going to have success with for now.

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. I believe the best way to go if you are traveling on your own dime with less than 50 hotel nights per year under your belt is to accumulate as many points as possible and book the lowest rates and then buy your way into suites and lounges with points.

  2. Bummer I was going to do it in April since I have 8 paid stays already scheduled in April and May, and could easy get 4 more at a local Hyatt Place. Maybe I can talk to someone at the first hotel to qualify in April.

  3. Disappointing. I’m puzzled why status challenges WITHOUT upfront (high-tier) status need to be targeted like this…

  4. Gary, thanks for finally posting a retraction/correction.

    I was just able to get nominated by a hotel where I will be staying during the challenge once someone finally told them what the deal was. My first attempt a few days ago was met with a “what the devil are you talking about?” Hopefully over time more hotel sales departments will know what it is and be willing to help, especially with elites of other chains like myself who are actually looking to make the switch.

    I’m still waiting for the nomination to go through–hopefully in time for my first stay next week.

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