With the anticipated demise of Starwood Preferred Guest following the merger with Marriott, Hyatt Gold Passport was looking even more attractive for travellers who were prepared to work around their limited number of properties in return for outsize benefits.
Unfortunately, Hyatt has decided that now is the time to relaunch their loyalty scheme. From 1st March 2017, Hyatt Gold Passport will become World of Hyatt.
As you can see, they did not bother paying a design firm to knock up a classy logo:
The fundamentals of the programme have not changed:
You will still earn 5 base points per $
You can still redeem at the same rates as today
The main changes relate to how you earn status within the programme.
The two current elite levels, Platinum and Diamond, are being replaced by three elite tiers:
Discoverist (10 nights or 25000 base points)
Explorist (30 nights or 50000 base points)
Globalist (60 nights or 100000 base points)
For those who achieve the highest tier, Globalist, the benefits are improved as suites are now included in the rooms available for possible upgrades. The other elite benefits (premium internet, suite upgrade vouchers confirmable at time of booking, late check-out, guaranteed club access etc) remain.
I will not go into the changes in detail because Gold Passport / World of Hyatt is not a major programme for the majority of Head for Points readers. Full details can be found on this page of the Hyatt website.
The key issue is how you reach the new elite tiers.
(A slightly less key issue is why the tiers have such silly names – how are you meant to remember whether Discoverist is better or worse than Explorist or Globalist?!)
At present, you can earn elite status with Hyatt based on stays or on nights. Going forward, it will be based ONLY on nights.
This will make it substantially harder to retain or earn status if you tend to do a lot of one night stays. Even for US-based travellers, finding yourself in enough Hyatt-friendly cities to manage 60 nights a year will be a stretch. For travellers outside the US it will be very hard.
At present, for example, the status targets are:
Platinum (5 stays or 15 nights)
Diamond (25 stays or 50 nights)
There will be some people who just manage to qualify for Diamond at present via 25 x 1-night stays who won’t even qualify for the middle tier of Explorist (30 nights) under the new structure.
Look at it another way ….. Marriott requires 75 nights to earn its top tier of Platinum. However, Marriott has 5700 hotels and that is before you include the Starwood properties which will be added from 2018. Hyatt will require 60 nights but you will only have 680 properties to choose from. That isn’t easy.
We will look at World of Hyatt more closely as the 1st March launch date approaches.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)