Hotels

My Year With Hyatt Diamond Status

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Written by Dustin

I have had Hyatt Diamond status for about a year, here are my thoughts on it and if I plan to keep it

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As we get closer to the end of the year, I have seen more articles about re-qualifying for elite status with airlines and hotels. Currently, I am an “Diamond Member” with Hyatt. Since I have utilized my Hyatt Diamond benefits over the last year, am I going to attempt to re-qualify for Diamond Status?

I definitely didn’t earn my status the hard way. Last year, when Hyatt was giving away Diamond status, I was able to match to Diamond with my IHG Platinum status (which I receive for holding their credit card). I have always liked staying at Hyatt Hotels. The staff is always friendly, rooms are always great, and their reward chart is probably one of the best out there.

Not to mention as a Diamond, I would receive 4 suite upgrades and “free” breakfast. I always like to have breakfast included in our hotel stays, if possible, because it is one less meal we have to pay for.

Fast forward to now and I have used all my Suite Upgrades, eaten plenty of “free” breakfast, earned extra points at check in and on cash plus point stays. I was even able to use the Guest of Honor benefit for my mother in law when she was in Orlando. All of these benefits were pretty awesome and we did enjoy them.

But looking back, this status changed the way I would book my hotel stays…

Before my Diamond status, I wasn’t partial to any particular hotels. Once, I received my Diamond status, I began focusing on staying at Hyatt hotels.

Not only did my focus change, my method of redemption changed. In order to use those precious suite upgrades, I had to book with cash and points over all point stays.

To offset the cash portion of the room, I needed to redeem my cash back. If I hadn’t worried about the suite upgrades and booked hotels my usual way, I would have been able to redeem the cash back for other parts of my travel for experiences.

Using those suite upgrades:

These were always very simple to use and I occasionally I would receive an email showing my upgrade went through. After making a reservation at the cash and point rate, I would just send Hyatt a message through Twitter and they would handle the rest.

Some of the rooms we were lucky enough to stay in were amazing, but I would have been just as happy in a standard room. The suite upgrades definitely adjusted how I would book my stays. If I was looking to use my suite upgrades and a Hyatt didn’t have points and cash availability, it would be crossed off my list. Stupid, right?

That free breakfast benefit

I love breakfast, it’s by far my favorite meal. We have had some great breakfast at Hyatt. We did run into a problem while we were staying at the Park Hyatt in Chicago. At check-in we were told the breakfast was complementary, but one day we had seen a breakfast charge. When I inquired, I was told we went over our credit. A breakfast credit, I could have sworn it says complementary on their website.

Oh wait, it does!

Oh wait, it does!

I think there is a clear difference between receiving a credit and complementary. When I reached out to Hyatt, I was told that, “When a hotel does not have a Regency Club Level, the hotel provides a breakfast voucher up to a certain amount. The amount may vary depending on the hotel you are staying based on the market the hotel is located.”

Hyatt did make it right and take off the charge. But outside of this one occurrence, the breakfast was really good. I think that is something to keep in mind when it comes to their complementary breakfast.

Add in program changes

In March, Hyatt will be rolling out World of Hyatt. For some it will benefit them and for others, it will be harder to earn a higher level of status.

While programs re-evaluate and make changes to benefit them, I make decisions on whats best for me. Although I don’t think the changes are all bad, they definitely make it easier for me to say no thank you.

The change I am happiest about is the dropping of resort fees on award stays. Those resort fees are pretty ridiculous and I’m happy those will be eliminated.

What I’ve learned in 1 year with Elite Status

I am happy to have had Diamond status for this year, it was nice to have. After looking back at times when I could have stayed at an IHG or maybe a non-chain hotel, but HAD to stay at a Hyatt because I was a diamond member, I am disappointed in myself for it.

I have always been one to look out for what is best for me when it comes to travel and not loyalty programs. I would say Hyatt did a great job making me want to stay at their hotels. Now that my time as a Diamond member is coming to an end, I will go back to being that person I was before I had that status.

I think it is pretty silly I allowed myself to alter for a hotel program, no matter how great they are.

The turning point for me was during my stay in San Diego. I had looked up hotels for some reason, and came across the Hyatt we were staying at. I had booked my stay for 30,000 points and $440. When I was going through Priceline, I had noticed I could have had the same hotel for about $600 out of pocket.

I could have saved myself points and money by not booking through Hyatt. Sure, I wouldn’t have received my Diamond benefits, but at the end of the day, I would have saved points or cash.

Conclusion:

We had a great year testing out Hyatt’s Diamond status. They definitely know how to take care of their customers, but I have no interest in trying to keep my Diamond status. Hyatt is still one of my favorite hotels, and I will continue to use them, but only when it is the best option.

Allowing status to cloud my judgement is not something I want to happen. I think that is exactly what companies want, and they do a great job making you want to keep that status.

Are you keeping any of your statuses? Do you think status is overrated?

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About the author

Dustin

After completing 6 years of pharmacy school, I finally had the time to travel. I started investigating ways to travel for less and when I redeemed my first award flight for my honeymoon, I knew I was hooked! Fast forward a couple of years and places I had never dreamed of visiting like Budapest, Honolulu, Bermuda and many other places where all within my reach, and for little to no money out of my pocket. Now, I have collected well over a million points and miles, and try to help people travel for less on their wallet.

14 Comments

  • Love my Hyatt diamond status but with their limited footprint, there’s no way to requalify. I think they shot themselves in the foot with the new program. Adios Hyatt!

  • Hi Dustin –

    I loved reading your post about the Diamond Status and like yourself, I was able to get my husband qualified due to the Diamond Challenge. We loved HYATT and loved all the amenities that comes with being a Diamond member. My husband is currently at the Andaz Amsterdam and when they couldn’t offer him the same rate as the first week, I reached out to Hyatt via web messaging and Andaz Amsterdam immediately rectified the situation. Overall, we have had nothing but great experience with all the HYATT properties we have stayed at. We are doing a mattress run and to re-qualify again next year and will be burning $1K for it. However, I think for us, since my husband travels a lot for work and getting the suite upgrade, the free breakfast (specially!) helps him a lot. It is one less thing he has to think of when he is up and running for an early morning meeting!

    The new tier will be something to see and I will have to see if we can do it again for 2018!

    Thank you for your post!

    • Hi Rosie,

      I truly enjoy Hyatt hotels and they do take great care of their customers. As long as it aligns with your travel goals, that’s what is important.

      Good luck for 2018! Thanks for reading!
      Dustin

  • For my last year as a Diamond the best use of my points were PH Sydney and Regency Maui. It wouldn’t be possible to have stayed at these great locations without being a Diamond. Too expensive otherwise.

    • Hey Danny,

      Some of the options can definitely save you money, especially at PH. Those hotels do look great! Next year the Regency in Maui will be even better with no resort fees on award stays!

      Thanks for reading,
      Dustin

  • This is a great post to put people back to reality. I feel some people are disillusioned and living in this Hyatt is so great bubble. I must admit I am one of them… I do love Hyatt and my diamond status. This post does a great job in helping me ask myself whether the extra perks are worth my extra effort.

    Re: breakfast – How many people and how much money did you spend at PH Chicago? I was there a year ago (2 ppl) and I didn’t have the same issue you did. We ordered a la carte.

    • Hey Angie,

      Thank you! I think Hyatt is great too, but Hyatt does a great job making you want to stay there. Kudos to them for that :-P. I think I’ll be just as happy as a lowly Platinum member though.

      For breakfast it was for 2 people. We ordered a typical breakfast amount (didn’t abuse “free” breakfast by any means), but the totals were about $90/ day. The cost was really high for breakfast. The credit was for $40/per person or $80 total for us. When you start to add in coffee and berries, those “little cost” ($9 for a small bowl of berries) and $24 for eggs and bacon, add up!

      Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!
      Dustin

      • So weird! We spent about the same. I agree, breakfast was very expensive after factoring in everything. PH Chicago’s so cheap. I don’t like their nickel and diming either and especially how difficult they make it to redeem a dsu.

        • It was a nice hotel, but my wife had a great time in the Hyatt Centric Loop Property last year when she stayed there. It is also a much better value for points! Safe travels!

    • Hey JC,

      It doesn’t apply for family members (directly), but the Guest of Honor will work if you book the room using your points (I’m not sure if it is also on paid stays) for them. So, indirectly you can apply your Diamond benefits to their stays by using your points for their stays.

      Hope that helps, thanks for reading!
      Dustin

  • For me, Marriott Gold is the sweet spot. Marriott has a HUGE footprint especially now with the SPG merger. You can find a dozen options in any major city, and even in Podunk USA, there are often more than one Marriott property there. I find Marriott Gold and the access to the CL and when the CL is closed, a great breakfast voucher. I enjoy the room upgrades, and the extra 25% on points. I really don’t have to sacrifice anything to stay at Marriott properties. Sure, I’d like to try a brand new Hyatt or Hilton property sometimes but when I know I get a good room at a good price, with the perks, and where I want to be located, it’s worth it for me.

    • Hey Captain,

      Marriott has a much larger footprint and those mid level categories can offer some great value. Especially those flight and nights packages. Those are some great benefits for being a Gold member with Marriott. If they help you travel for less, then keep at it!

      Thanks for reading, I appreciate it!
      Dustin

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