Will American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts Bookings at MGM Hotels Earn Credit From Hyatt Gold Passport?

Reader Jack reminds me that I promised details on whether American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings at MGM’s M Life properties in Las Vegas would earn points and stay credit in the Hyatt Gold Passport program.

Traditionally when making bookings through the Amex program (or through similar programs which confer additional benefits like late checkout, an upgrade upon availability, and breakfast) at a Hyatt property, Gold Passport confers credits. It’s an exception to the general approach that points and stay credits only accrue when booking through a chain directly.

And in Las Vegas I was specifically interested in the point, because while there will be elite status matching between Hyatt Gold Passport and M Life beginning next month, Hyatt Diamond members won’t be getting free breakfast at MGM properties as breakfast isn’t a benefit of the M Life program.

About a week ago One Mile at a Time suggested making Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings at MGM Hotels. I reached out to him because I had learned they wouldn’t earn credit from Hyatt Gold Passport. He corrected his post, but I realize I hadn’t shared the detail here. (It seemed a pretty minor point, and yet one people do see to query about).

Here’s what I asked:

Hyatt generally awards stay and night credit for American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings. Properties like Bellagio participate in Amex FHR. Will those be eligible for stay/night credit in the Gold Passport program?

And the Hyatt folks did helpfully get back to me:

No, per MGM Resorts’ definition of eligible stay, American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings at the participating M life resorts will not be eligible for earning Hyatt Gold Passport points and will not count towards tier status in Hyatt Gold Passport.

So there you have it, a minor point but one that several readers had asked out has been clarified.

Nonetheless I am very much looking forward to visiting Las Vegas and having some elite status recognition (something I already would get at Venetian with my Intercontinental Royal Ambassador status) and points and elite credit via Gold Passport.

And I’m fascinated to see the Hyatt/MGM relationship evolve, as it’s exactly what I would do strategically as a smaller program — “codeshare” as it were in order to gain scale to compete with the largest loyalty programs like Marriott’s and Hilton’s.

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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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  1. Bummer, but understandable. Thankfully they did give the affirmative on booking via the mlife website. No perks there like you get with FHR, but some discounted rates for sure.

  2. And also the match between Hyatt Diamond and mlife will likely only last for a year. After that DMs will have no status at MGM properties.

  3. According to point 47 in Hyatt’s FAQ: “Once I opt-in for a matched tier in M life, does my matched tier in M life expire?
    Once you have received your matched tier in M life, all rules, regulations and expirations of the M life program apply. Full M life program details can be found”.

    It sounds like after the first match, we need to qualify according to the rules of Mlife for the following years. Nothing is mentioned of a re-match. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

  4. @Julian, I don’t read that to say anything like that you won’t get to continue to have M Life status as a Hyatt Gold Passport elite. Certainly someone qualifying next year for the first time will get to match status, unless the program were terminated which I wouldn’t expect. In my conversations with Gold Passport when this was announced there was a reason that status matching wasn’t coming until August, the details of how it was going to work weren’t fully fleshed out yet. There’s been nothing to suggest that the matching will be a one-time thing, Gold Passport Diamonds are supposed to get elite treatment at Las Vegas M LIfe properties (and M Life elites some treatment at Hyatt).

  5. Thanks Gary. I hope you are right. So do you think MGM will re-match every year, or they would track the current GP status and adjust mlife status based on that?

  6. So, has anyone used one of these bookings and had it count toward eligible nights and stays for the diamond status. It’s been 10 days since my first mattress run there and nothing has posted to Hyatt

  7. I do not understand the logic behind the FHR position that Hyatt seems to be taking.

    From #2 of the Hyatt Mlife FAQ:

     All M life-Eligible Stays by Hyatt Gold Passport members at any of the participating M life
    resorts will count toward Hyatt Gold Passport tier status.

    #6 defines an MLife eligible stay as:

    An M life-Eligible Stay is:
    1. Any stay where payment is made directly to a participating MGM Resorts International
    property; OR
    2. Bookings made through Hyatt.com; OR
    3. Bookings made through a Hyatt Global Contact Center.
    Reservations made through third party on-line sites and services (such as Expedia, Priceline or
    hotels.com), M life resort complimentary room stays, master account group bookings , stays of
    15 or more nights, and Hyatt Gold Passport free night award stays are not M life-Eligible Stays.

    Since the deposit on the FHR reservation appears on the statement as from the hotel and I pay the balance directly to the hotel on checkout, I don’t understand the reason that FHR reservations don’t qualify.

    Gary, would you please ask Hyatt for the reasoning behind their position? I’d like to understand the program better.

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