|by Jason Steele|
Overview – Hyatt’s frequent guest program has three different levels, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. They offer points for stays and at select rental car agencies, but limited other earning potential. They claim to offer “no blackout dates for redemption”, but awards for Gold members are capacity controlled.
Levels – The Gold level is their general level offered to anyone who bothers to register. While it offers no blackout dates on awards, that is deceptive in that they are capacity controlled. While there are no preset blackout dates, the situation may be similar to capacity controls that airlines employ.
Their Platinum level offers true “last room” availability with no blackout dates or capacity controls, similar to the acclaimed Starwood Preferred Guest program. This level is attainable with merely 5 stays or 15 nights. Other benefits include a %15 bonus in points earned and a guaranteed bed type.
Their Diamond level is their highest level that is attained when completing 25 stays or 50 nights. Members get a %30 bonus and an automatic upgrade to a Regency Club Grand room.
Earn Points – Earn five Hyatt Gold Passport points for every eligible dollar spent at Hyatt. In addition, Platinum members can earn a 15% point bonus and Diamond members a 30% point bonus. Points earned in Hyatt’s program are in lieu of mileage awards with air carriers. Points can also be earned at rental car partners Avis and Sixt. At the present time, there is no credit card that earns Hyatt points.
Points can also be purchased for up to 10% of the total points required for redemption at USD$10 for every 500 points. There is a 10,000-point limit per calendar year. Finally, Hyatt allows you to combine points with another member in order to reach an award.
Redeeming Points – Point redemption depends on the hotel class and room type, with awards availible for Regency/Grand rooms and Suites. Awards range from 5,000 points for a standard room at a Category 1 property, to 27,000 points for a suite at a Category 5 hotel. Upgrade awards are available to both Regency/Grand rooms and to suites. Finally, there is a Passport Escape option for stays of 5 or 7 nights that include breakfasts and dinners.
There are also options for converting points to airline miles, rental cars, and other promotional opportunites.
Verdict – They Hyatt program has some attractive features. Their Platinum membership is not hard to attain, requiring only 5 stays in a year. Once there, you are able to use rewards in an unrestricted manner. Hyatt also offers many types of awards including upgrades, so you can taylor your redemption to your needs. Unfortunately, there are few ways to earn miles outside of hotel stays. This program is best suited for those who frequently stay at Hyatts, unlike some programs where points are easily accumulated with a co-branded credit card or with other partners.