Last month, I wrote that Hyatt now had their terms for their Diamond Challenge/Trial stating that status earned during the 60 day period would last until February of 2016. For me, that was great news. I had contemplated doing a challenge for a while but did not like the idea of only having it through the end of the year. So, with that news, I went ahead and signed up, hearing back within a few hours that my challenge was approved and had begun.
Marching to Hyatt Diamond
I knew I had a bunch of hotel stays while in the US, so I knew I would be able to get 9 or 10 of the required 12 nights at Hyatt while here. The remaining nights I could easily get upon my return to Greece. I started lining up the nights and locations and things were looking very good. So far, I am on track with over half of the required nights done. Most of them have been at category 2 hotels which require 4,000 points for a Points & Cash stay. The good part is that my Diamond amenity offers 1,000 points and, for the first 6 nights of the challenge, I received 1,000 points each night for that. So, on one-night stays, I was earning back 2,000 of the 4,000 points required to book it. Not bad! After the first 6 nights, it is still 1,000 points per stay for the amenity so I am not dipping too deep into my Hyatt account to cover these nights.
…In Spite of Hilton
So, I am marching to Hyatt Diamond and it is in spite of Hilton and their attempts to lure me away.:) The reason for that is because I have actually stayed at Hiltons for 7 nights in the last month or so – and they have been great! I really did want to change some of those reservations to Hyatts to help with my challenge, but there are certain times that it does not make sense to do something like that just for the night credit. One of those examples is the Hilton Chicago O’Hare airport. That was too convenient for me to worry about booking a Hyatt instead. Another was the Hilton Garden Inn in Washington. Sure, the Park Hyatt would have been nice or one of the other Hyatts, but the Hilton Garden Inn was perfectly situated for our needs and the price was right (points).
In addition to those 7 nights at Hiltons, I have actually stayed at other brands for a total of 9 nights within this same timeframe. Again, each of those stays provided what I needed for the stays so I did not fret too much about them not being Hyatt hotels. It is great to receive elite night credit, but when other factors such as cost, convenience, and location come into play, it is ok to stay elsewhere! Do not get so trapped in having to get the credit that you end up working to sleep someplace. It just doesn’t make that much sense. 🙂
Strategy for Finishing
Now, if you have signed up for the challenge and you are trying your best to finish it, check around for category 1 hotels in your vicinity. The cost savings per night is only $5 over the category 2 hotels but you are saving 2,000 points per night. Remember, you do not even need to stay there! Just check in and you are all set! One of my nights turned out to be a night that will not work for me, but it is a local hotel and they have a great fitness center and the TV is really large – makes for a nice place to watch a ballgame! 🙂 Do what works for you but do not get overworked trying to make it work, does that make sense?
Have you applied for the Hyatt Diamond Challenge? Do you plan on finishing it or are you just in it for the suite upgrades? If you are finishing it, how is your progress?