Hyatt Diamond Challenge Pulled - Running with Miles
Elite Status Travel News

Hyatt Diamond Challenge Pulled

Written by Charlie

Advertiser Disclosure

First reported by the trip sherpa, Hyatt has ended their famous Diamond Challenge as of October 31st. I wrote several months ago that changes were coming to the challenge, but I did not expect them to end it. No word as of right now whether they will launch a new trial (which I think is likely but probably with more stringent requirements and no suite upgrades) or if it is done for good.

I have e-mailed for some further information and will update if/when I receive something more concrete about future plans.

The Hyatt Diamond Challenge

The Hyatt Diamond Challenge was the easiest way to achieve top tier status with a hotel chain that actually gave some very good benefits. It was quite easy to attain, especially after the launch of the Points + Cash rates. It was just too good and though it lasted for quite a while, the benefits it offered were probably just too good to sustain it with the amount of people who were applying for it. Here were some of the perks for example – 1,000 points for each of the first 6 nights, 4 suite upgrades, full Diamond status during the challenge (which includes complimentary breakfast) – all for staying 12 nights over a 60 day period.

Achieving Hyatt Diamond Status Going Forward

So, it looks like (at least for a while) that everyone that wants Hyatt Diamond status will have to do it the old fashioned way – by staying in Hyatt hotels a lot! The good news is that there are still some ways to make it somewhat economic if you have hotel stays ahead.

To earn Hyatt Diamond status, you must stay 25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year. A one night stay still counts as a stay so if you do 25 separate nights, you would earn the Hyatt Diamond status. Points + Cash rates count for eligible stays.

MLife Properties

Hyatt Diamond Challenge

Rates at a MLife hotel in Las Vegas

For the Hyatt Diamond Challenge, stays at MLife properties in Las Vegas did not count for night credit. However, they do count for credit for achieving Hyatt Diamond the old fashioned way. There are some very inexpensive hotels in Las Vegas depending on when you go (although the annoying resort fee is pretty rough) so it is completely possible to get nights in the $20-$30 range per night (plus the resort fee). If you were to do all 25 stays (single nights) at those hotels, you would be able to achieve Diamond status for around $1,300.

Points + Cash Stays

Hyatt Diamond Challenge

Hyatt’s Points + Cash redemption chart

In January, Hyatt introduced the Points + Cash option for stays. It allows you to use a fixed mixture of points and cash (as the name says!) and there are some good values to be had using that option. The cheapest way to approach it (in points and cash) is going to be at category 1 and 2 hotels. The rates for those sit at 2,500 points and $50 (for category 1) and 4,000 points and $55 (for category 2) for each night.

If you were to do all of your 25 single night stays at category 1 hotels using Points + Cash, you could expect it to cost you 62,500 points and $1,250. If you did that at category 2 hotels, it would cost you 100,000 points and $1,375. Those are not small amounts in the least!

Start Spending On The Hyatt Card

Hyatt Diamond Challenge

The Hyatt Chase card (this link gives you 2 free nights and a $50 statement credit – not an affiliate link) is easily one of the best hotel cards around. It gives mid-tier status (Platinum) and 2 free nights at any Hyatt after meeting your spend. Plus, it will give you a free night at a category 1-4 each year upon renewal (which has a $75 fee).

Another benefit of the card that many people may miss is that you can earn night and stay credit by spending on it. For the first $20,000 on the card, you will earn 2 stays and 5 nights. You will earn an additional 3 stays and 5 nights if you spend another $20,000 – making for a total of $40,000 spend in a year.

That is certainly a lot of spend, but if Hyatt status is important to you, that will give you 5 stays (towards the 25) and 10 nights (towards the 50) plus 40,000 Hyatt points by spending (if in non-bonus categories).

Do You Need Diamond?

Of course, if you have to do all of those stays just to meet Hyatt Diamond status, chances are you probably are not really using the benefits enough to merit having it in the first place. If you have Hyatt stays coming up for vacation or your work travel puts you at Hyatts, you may find yourself in need of just a few extra nights to hit the Diamond level.

Another option is if you are staying at a Hyatt for a week for business – if your employer does not mind, you could hop around to different Hyatts in the city each night to turn a 1 stay/5 night trip into a 5 stay/5 night trip. Just don’t unpack. 🙂

The great thing about the Hyatt Chase card is that it comes with Hyatt Platinum automatically. While you will not get the suite upgrades or free breakfasts with Platinum, you will get upgrades to nicer rooms (and even some suites, as has been my experience), a separate check-in line, bonus points for spending at Hyatts, the My Elite Rate (20% off), and free internet. And you get all of that without even staying at a Hyatt once beforehand! I held Platinum for several years and really enjoyed it for my stays at Hyatt hotels and received many perks, including multiple suite upgrades at the Hyatt Andaz 5th Avenue on award stays!

Check out this post for my real-life comparison of Diamond and Platinum statuses.

If you need more Hyatt points, you can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio from your Ultimate Rewards account. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Ink Plus earn Ultimate Reward points that can be transferred over (I do receive a commission for these links).

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links that will support this site. Thank you for your support.

About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

9 Comments

    • If they did for you, then it was just lucky for you. Both in the terms and (in many) real life situations, they did not qualify for it. There was a period after the affiliation when they work but after that, they stopped qualifying for the challenge.

  • @ Charles B sez: “The Hyatt Chase card (this link gives you 2 free nights and a $50 statement credit – not an affiliate link) is easily one of the best hotel cards around. ”

    That statement or claim is demonstrably, unjustified and unsupported e hyperbole. Let’s compare the Hyatt Chase visa with the Hilton Honors Citi Reserve visa, item by item:

    1. “[The Hyatt Chase visa] gives mid-tier status (Platinum) and 2 free nights at any Hyatt after meeting your spend. Plus, it will give you a free night at a category 1-4 each year upon renewal (which has a $75 fee).

    HHonors Citi Reserve visa ives mid-tier status (Gold) and 2 free weekend nights at any Hilton after meeting your spend. Plus, it will give you a free night at a ANY category hotel each year upon renewal (which has a $75 fee).

    WINNER: HHonors Citi Reserve visa because (a) the HHonors Gold status is among the best in the industry in terms of perks, while the GP Platinum is roughly equivalent to HHonors Silver, which is an elite status in name only; and (b) the value of the anniversary free HHonors night greatly exceeds that of the GP night because the former is good at ANY category Hilton property (Waldorf-Astoria or Conrad), while the latter is good only at category 1-4 Hyatt properties.

    2. “Another benefit of the [Hyatt Chase] card that many people may miss is that you can earn night and stay credit by spending on it. For the first $20,000 on the card, you will earn 2 stays and 5 nights. You will earn an additional 3 stays and 5 nights if you spend another $20,000 – making for a total of $40,000 spend in a year. That is certainly a lot of spend, but if Hyatt status is important to you, that will give you 5 stays (towards the 25) and 10 nights (towards the 50) plus 40,000 Hyatt points by spending (if in non-bonus categories).”

    The HHonors Citi Reserve visa automatically awards the HH Gold status for just having the card, while a $40K spend earns one an outright Diamond Status.

    WINNER: The HHonors Citi Reserve visa, hands down, because it automatically awards one of the best second-tier elite statuses in the business, and an outright Diamond status with $40K spend, while for a $40K spend the Hyatt visa awards ONLY 20% of the number of stays or nights required to make GP Diamond.

    Bloggers like to gush about how anything Hyatt is the “best in the industry”, without any justification since the claims never hold under scrutiny. This is what one can say about Hyatt: As a hotel chain, a business, and a company, Hyatt is tops in terms of quality of service and of hotels. On the other hand, Gold Passport as a loyalty program is a joke and ranks at the bottom in the industry. The perks of the GP Diamonds are comparable to those of HH or Marriott Rewards Golds, and GP Platinum is an elite status in name only.

    So, why do bloggers almost unanimously gush about Hyatt? Because the conflate Gold Passport, the subpar loyalty program, with Hyatt the company and business, which excels. They are really gushing about Hyatt the company with the tastefully done hotels and service that is second to none, and not about GP — the joke of the industry.

    • Thanks for commenting and while I believe the Citi Hilton Reserve card is a good card,you are overlooking a few things in your comparison.
      #1 – you only receive the annual free night with the Citi Hilton Reserve card AFTER spending $10,000 on that card in a year. That is a lot of spend to get a free night, though many will find it of great value. If you put that spend on a Hyatt card, you would have enough points for a couple more free nights at lower levels.
      #2 – that free night (and the free nights that come with the card) are only good on weekends. That causes the value to dip substantially in my eyes as it restricts you to a portion of nights in a year instead of any night. Also, there are several category 4 Hyatts that can rival some of the upper tier Hilton properties.
      #3 – Hilton Diamond is not worth the effort over Hilton Gold. Hilton Gold is definitely the best mid-tier status (which I have said many times) and to spend that much on the card for Hilton Diamond is really not a good value. Hyatt Diamond is worth far more than Hilton Diamond.
      #4 – You are wrong on the card’s annual fee – the Hilton Reserve card has a $95 annual fee, not $75 like you said.
      #5 – Hyatt does something that Hilton does not – provides consistency on points and cash mixtures. Hilton is all over the map on that as it can vary according to property and there are a few more categories to deal with with Hilton over Hyatt.
      I welcome debate but please do it with correct information. Not mentioning the required $10K in spend to achieve the annual free night on the Hilton card and the correct annual fees really does not help your argument. 🙂

  • @Charles Barkowski – Good points except that most are not in context. Who would have the Citi Reserve Card? A Hilton Honors elite who is likely to put nearly of their spend for Hilton stays on the card and maybe other spend too. Therefore:

    #1. Spending $10K on the Citi Reserve is a cinch for someone who travels enough to care about elite status in a hotel chain.

    #2 The free weekend stay is good for a year. If one cannot find a weekend during which to use the free weekend stay then one is probably not a frequent enough traveler and may not even earn the free spend to start with. Also, a free weekend stay can be combined with a revenue or reward stay that has at least one night during the weekend. In short, opportunities to spend the free weekend stay are plenty, especially for someone who travels enough to earn it.

    #3 – Only someone who knows nothing about the Hilton elite system can repeat the often heard and debunked canard that there are no differences between HH Diamonds and Golds. Here are just a few differences. Diamonds are guaranteed executive lounge access and an executive floor room, which Golds get only conditionally. Diamond suite upgrades are spelled out the T&C but not for the Golds (although properties often do give Golds suite upgrades). Then there is “Diamond Force” whereby a Diamond will have access to an exclusive stash of rooms at hotels that show no vacancies, which only those logged into their accounts as Diamonds can view. To see what I mean, please try booking a room at any Hilton hotel in DOWNTOWN Chicago between Nov 30 and Dec 3, 2014. Unless, you are a HH Diamond, you won’t get anything. Given the perks above and the fact HH Diamonds have UNLIMITED suite upgrades (in July I was upgraded to a suite for an 8-night stay at Conrad Hong Kong; try that even with a Hyatt “confirmed” DSU), how can you say with a straight face that GP Diamond is worth more???

    #4 – Did not check the annual fee for the Citi Reserve, but the difference, in fact, the annual fee easily pays for itself.

    #5 – I do not believe that the purported consistency is an advantage greater than fact that one can search for AVAILABILITY of cash+points rewards on the Hilton website, whereas at Hyatt one must call to find out if anything is available. I prefer the Hilton approach on this because it gives me complete freedom to plan trips and keep checking for availability from the privacy of my own browser.

    Guilty on the omitted info, but as you I do not blog points/miles for a living. I just have the experience as a frequent travels and a long-time elite in various programs with first-hand experience. I see that you ignore the fact that a $40K spend on the Hyatt Chase visa gets one only 20% of the points needed to qualify for GP Diamond, while the same spend on the Citi Reserve visa earns one an outright HH Diamond.

    The winner is clear…

    Cheers 🙂

  • @Charles Barkowski – Sorry , I mangled the end of the previous post. This is what it should have been:

    Guilty on the omitted info, but unlike you I do not blog points/miles for a living. I just have the experience as a frequent traveler and a long-time elite in various programs with first-hand experience. I see that you ignored the fact that a $40K spend on the Hyatt Chase visa gets one only 20% of the points needed to qualify for GP Diamond, while the same spend on the Citi Reserve visa earns one an outright HH Diamond.

    • Thanks for checking back in. One more correction, I wish I made a living doing this. 🙂 Far from it!
      No, I was not ignoring that (spend amount to receive Hilton Diamond), I had mentioned that Hilton Diamond is not worth that much spending over having Hilton Gold (which is tremendous). To be clear, I would not plan on putting that kind of money on either card as I think there are many other cards that can give better value, but I understand some may gain great value from doing that.
      I really think that Hilton is a great program and I love their hotel coverage. I have spent many nights at Hiltons and always have enjoyed myself – in fact, I have even received upgrades as a Gold. So I can appreciate the value that Diamond would give.
      Everyone is going to have a program that works for them and that is why people have status in those programs. This post really had nothing to do with Hilton and was more to call attention to the ways one could still achieve Hyatt Diamond status if they had missed out on the challenge.
      Thanks again for coming back and clearing those up. 🙂

      • Thanks for the honest exchange of views. I agree that we each go with the programs/cards that work for us. I have a credit card for each loyalty program (airline or hotel), including the Hyatt Chase visa, that I am part of simply to maximize the number of points/miles that I get in conjunction with my air ticket purchases or hotel stays.

        Keep on blogging, Charles! 🙂

  • It’s a bummer they pulled the offer. I usually go to IHG hotels based on their coverage since it works best for me, but had been looking to get the Hyatt cc and challenge, but was just a little too late. Unfortunate, but still do anticipate going for the card. I do really like Hyatt hotels, and am definitely going to go forward with it anyways 🙂

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