With Hyatt dumping the open enrollment for Diamond status last year (at least in its previous form of gifting Diamond status to the recipient during the challenge period), there may be many Diamonds from the challenge period who are looking to retain the status for the next program year. As a previous Platinum member and now Diamond, I certainly do have a better experience at Hyatt hotels as a result of my Diamond status, not to mention the fantastic breakfast that comes complimentary for Diamonds.
Qualifying For Hyatt Diamond Status
If you travel for business, you undoubtedly have little trouble maintaining Diamond status. Diamond status requires you have 25 stays or 50 nights at Hyatt hotels or MLife hotels in a calendar year (using eligible rates which does not include award stays but does include Points+Cash stays). If you do not travel a lot for business (or even personal) but may be within a few stays of Diamond status, there may be some good reasons to try to bridge that gap and claim Diamond status for another year.
One such reason would be if you have vacation plans that include Hyatt hotels the following year or so. Receiving 4 Diamond Suite Upgrades that you can apply for those stays (up to 7 nights on eligible rate stays, which include Points+Cash) is a great way to ensure room for the whole family on that vacation. Those are quite valuable as is the breakfast for you and your family during those stays.
Using The Hyatt 20% Rebate To Requalify For Diamond For Less
One of the best ways to stay in Hyatts on the cheap while still earning elite night/stay credits is using the popular Points+Cash rates. Many of my stays are done at that rate as it is much cheaper than the daily rate and only requires a little cash outlay in exchange for saving more of my points (when used for an outright award stay).
With the ongoing 20% rebate for Hyatt credit card holders on point redemptions, this method of staying at Hyatts becomes even cheaper. The cheapest way to approach it is to stay single nights in Hyatt hotels. As a single night stay, you only need 25 of those in a calendar year to achieve Diamond status. Here is the breakdown from 0 to 25 with what it would cost at a Category 2 Hyatt hotel using Points+Cash.
Let me say, this may not be the best choice if you need to do this to get all 25 nights for re-qualification. This method is best used if you are over halfway towards requalification through stays.
Running the Math
The reason I specify that this is for requalifying is that Diamond members receive a welcome amenity that is a food and beverage amenity or 1,000 Gold Passport points. If you are staying for a single night, that translates to 1,000 points on for each one of those nights/stays. That 1,000 is important with our math. ETA: For stays at Hyatt Places or Hyatt Houses, the Diamond amenity bonus is only 500 points so consider that.
As is the 20% rebate in value and importance. If you are staying at a Category 2 Hyatt, it will cost 4,000 points and $55 for a Points+Cash reservation. The 20% rebate on that stay will mean you are getting 800 points back in your account about a week after the stay.
Combine that 800 points with the 1,000 points from the amenity and you are at 1,800 points coming back to you from a 4,000 point stay. On top of that, you receive a 30% bonus as a Diamond member on your spending (which is the $55 for the cash component) and that comes out to another 82 points plus the 3X points from using your Hyatt card – another 357 points. All of that totals 2,157 points back for a 4,000 point stay – over a 50% rebate for your stay! You could, instead of the Hyatt card, use an Amex OPEN card (small business card) to earn 5% back on your Hyatt rate.
The table below only includes the 1,000 point amenity and the 20% rebate in the points back and saved columns.[table “” not found /]
As you can tell from the table above, the best return on your points is going to be at the lower category hotels. If you were to stay all 25 single night stays at a Category 1, for instance, it would cost you a total of 62,500 points. But, you would receive 37,500 points back (from both the 20% rebate and the 1,000 point amenity). This means that 25 nights would only cost you 25,000 points, or 1,000 points per night!
What Makes This Different From Normal Earnings?
So, what is different about that math than what a Diamond member receives at any point throughout the year? The 20% rebate on points redeemed. Since that is only valid through the end of July, it is wise to put that to full use between now and then to help you requalify for Diamond status. With our example of category 2 stay, you would only need to spend an outright total of a little more than 24,000 Hyatt points for 10 single night stays to advance your elite qualification meter another 10 nights. That is pretty good! Of course, do not forget the cash component that would be $550 used. But, if you use this stay strategy with the rebate for stays you would make anyway, you can drastically reduce the amount of points you would need to use otherwise.
The key is to make sure you are staying for single night stays. This way, you are receiving the 1,000 points per stay as your amenity and it is counting towards the stay total of 25 instead of the night total of 50. Again, if you need all 25 stays to requalify, it is likely never going to be worth it to stay all of those times just to earn Diamond status. But, if you find yourself halfway there or more, having those stays as Points+Cash stays before July 31st will help you to earn Diamond status with fewer points.
Since the points post back to your account within a week of your stay, you can simply keep rolling these points for the next stay and never really need to transfer more points from Ultimate Rewards than you will need overall.