Today (October 24, 2014): Travel Series: Hyatt Hotels’ loyalty program (Hyatt Gold Passport) explained.
Hyatt Gold Passport is the complimentary loyalty program of the Hyatt Hotels group. Members earn Hyatt Gold Passport points and exchange them for valuable rewards when they stay at one of the more than 660 hotels & resorts, across Hyatt’s 12 brands all over the world: Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Hotels, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Zilara & Ziva, Hyatt Residence club, Hyatt Centric, and The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.
In this overview, I explain the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program:
- Membership tiers
- Earn points
- Redeem awards & travel for free
- Pros & things I like about Hyatt Gold Passport
- Cons & things I don’t like about Hyatt Gold Passport
- My review of Hyatt properties around the world
- Key points
- Poll: what’s the best hotel loyalty program?
HYATT GOLD PASSPORT: MEMBERSHIP TIERS
Hyatt Gold Passport is a top class awards structure offering a three-tier system of awards points. Hyatt Gold Passport membership is the first level, Platinum is the second and Diamond the top-level. Each level has its own benefits, and as the member moves from Gold to Platinum then Diamond, they become more valuable.
- Hyatt Gold Passport membership is the base level and will earn you 5 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every eligible U.S. dollar spent at Hyatt’s hotels & resorts.
- Hyatt Platinum membership is reached after completing 5 qualifying stays or 15 eligible nights in a calendar year. As a Platinum member, you’ll receive more than a Gold member:
- A 15% point bonus.
- A preferred room including rooms on higher floors or larger rooms, based on availability upon arrival.
- Confirmed bed type at check-in.
- Complimentary high-speed in-room internet access.
- Priority check-in.
- A 72-hour room guarantee.
- Late check out request (until 2:00 p.m).
- Access to an exclusive Platinum line (for making bookings).
- Hyatt Diamond membership, Hyatt’s Gold Passport highest level, is reached after completing 25 eligible stays or 50 eligible nights in a calendar year. As a Diamond member, you’ll receive more benefits compared to Hyatt Gold Passport’s lower tiers:
- A 30% point bonus.
- Upgrade to the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites.
- Exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge (featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres).
- Daily complimentary full breakfast (in hotels without a club lounge).
- Four suite upgrade per year (upgrade confirmed at the time of reservation on eligible paid nights).
- Welcome gift: bonus points or a food and beverage amenity during each stay.
- Complimentary high-speed in-room internet access.
- Nightly room refresh.
- Confirmed bed type at check-in.
- Priority check-in.
- A 48-hour room guarantee.
- Late check out request (until 4:00 pm).
- Access to an exclusive Diamond line (for making bookings).
HYATT GOLD PASSPORT: EARN POINTS
There are a couple of ways to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points and boost your account.
- You can earn Base Points when you stay at a hotel of the Hyatt Group. You will earn 5 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every eligible dollar spent at Hyatt whether you’re spending the day at one of Hyatt’s spas, the evening at one of Hyatt’s restaurants, or the night at one of Hyatt’s hotels.
- Hyatt Gold Passport elite members automatically receive extra Bonus Points on all the Base Points they earn: Platinum members earn a 15% bonus and Diamond members a 30% bonus.
- Hyatt Gold Passport and M life have teamed up, which means you earn Hyatt Gold Passport points when staying at one of the 12 iconic M life Resorts on The Strip in Las Vegas. As a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you’re also welcome to a match M life Tier Level.
- You ear 300 bonus points for each qualifying rental at participating Avis locations worldwide. A Hyatt stay is not required, and you can simply request your Hyatt Gold Passport points at the rental counter.
- The Hyatt VISA credit card, only available in the USA, is one of the fastest ways to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points. Besides other great benefits (see below), you will earn:
- 3 points for every $1 spent at all Hyatt properties.
- 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.
- 1 point for every $1 spent anywhere else you use your card.
HYATT GOLD PASSPORT: REDEEM AWARDS & TRAVEL FOR FREE
- You can redeem your Hyatt Gold Passport points for free hotel nights at Hyatt’s portfolio of hotels (no blackout dates). The number of points needed for a free or discounted night will depend upon the category of the hotel (Hyatt hotels come in 7 categories): just 5000 points for a free night at a category 1 hotel to 30 000 points at a category 7 hotel (standard room).
- You can stretch your Hyatt Gold Passport points with “Cash&Points” and book a seriously discounted hotel room using a combination of points and cash. Cash&Points nights start at just 2500 points + $50 for a night at a category 1 hotel to 15 000 + 300 US$ at a category 7 hotel.
- You can use your Hyatt Gold Passport points to upgrade to a higher room category, where available, for as few as 3000 points at Hyatt Regency/Grand Club (or to a Suite for as few as 6000 points).
- You can redeem your Hyatt Gold Passport points for dining and spa experiences at participating hotels around the world, even when you’re not staying the night. Dining & spa credits range from $10 for 2,000 points to $1000 for 120,000 points.
- Your Hyatt Gold Passport can be converted to airline miles. You will receive 1 mile for every 2.5 Hyatt Gold Passport points you convert, starting with a minimum of 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. In addition, you will earn 5,000 Bonus Miles when you convert 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
Car Rental Awards can be redeemed at participating Avis car rental locations. You can redeem 6000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for a free intermediate-size car for one day. Reservation for a car rental award must be made over the phone (1-800-228-3360).
PROS & THINGS I LIKE ABOUT HYATT GOLD PASSPORT
Hyatt Gold Passport is considered a robust and generous loyalty programs in the world of frequent travelers because of the following reasons:
- The program is rather uncomplicated. There are not many earning options, and burning options are easy to understand as well.
- Hyatt’s portfolio includes some high-end luxury properties. I hereby present you an overview of the 10 Hyatt brands, with the 2 top luxury brands placed at the top (Park Hyatt & Andaz):
- Park Hyatt Hotels: smaller, luxury hotels designed to cater to discerning travelers.
- Andaz: Hyatt’s hippest brand focuses on indulging guests with simple luxuries and unexpected details.
- Grand Hyatt Hotels: grand in every sense, these hotels feature luxurious accommodations, dramatic architecture and state-of-the-art technology.
- Hyatt Regency Hotels: Hyatt’s best-known hotels feature stylish, contemporary design, abundant meeting facilities and extraordinary restaurants.
- Hyatt Hotels: located in prime destinations and business districts, these hotels offer an intimate environment for travelers eager to experience the local flair.
- Hyatt Place: these hotels combines style with casual hospitality. Featuring spacious guest rooms with the Cozy Corner, free Wi-Fi, the 24/7 Gallery Menu, Coffee to Cocktails Bar, and free a.m. Kitchen Skillet breakfast.
- Hyatt House: these hotels offers upscale home comfort for extended stay guests, featuring residentially inspired suites with real kitchens and living rooms.
- Hyatt Zilara & Hyatt Ziva: Hyatt Zilara, adult only all-inclusive resorts, and Hyatt Ziva, all-inclusive resorts open to all ages, include luxury accommodations, authentic dining options, world-class entertainment and locally inspired activities.
- Hyatt Residence Club: these timeshare properties are located in some of the most exciting U.S. resort destinations.
- Hyatt Centric: properties under Hyatt’s youngest brand aim to be local home bases, preparing you to explore the best the USA cities have to offer.
- WiFi is free for all guests (no need to join Hyatt Gold Passport or to book via Hyatt.com). You will, however, need to pay in some hotels to receive ‘fast’ WiFi, suitable for video and streaming. The faster service is free for Platinum and Diamond members of Gold Passport.
- The Hyatt Gold Passport member discount rewards loyal guests with an up-to-10-percent discount for bookings made through Hyatt.com or the Hyatt mobile app for reservations at Hyatt hotels in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean and Australia.
- As a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you can earn 500 miles per stay with 28 participating airlines. Simply present your frequent flyer and Hyatt Gold Passport membership numbers at check-in.
- Hyatt has one of the most generous Best Rate Guarantee (BRG) programs, which means you will always get the best available rate at Hyatt Hotels when you book on an official Hyatt sites. If you find a lower rate prior to, or within 24 hours of, booking your hotel room, simply submit a BRG claim to Hyatt to match that receive and receive an additional discount of 20% for your entire stay. Finding a better rate is not that difficult at all, as you can read in my tips for booking a room at a luxury hotel at the cheapest price.
- Hyatt Gold Passport points won’t expire as long as you show account activity once per 24 months. Otherwise, the account may be deleted and all points in the account forfeited. There are a number of easy ways to keep your membership active:
- Earn or redeem points for stays at Hyatt hotels and resorts, on dining and spa treatments, and for stays at participating M life properties.
- Purchase or combine points, transfer free night awards or convert points to miles.
- Maintain a Hyatt Credit Card account.
- Earn credits with a Travel Partner or M life Tier Credits for stays at a Hyatt property.
- Hyatt often launches promos that allow you to earn bonus Hyatt Gold Passport points on your stays, so that you can reach your preferred redemption faster (subscribe to Hyatt Gold Passport’s newsletter).
- There are no award blackout dates. As long as there is a standard room available, you can book it using your Hyatt Gold Passport points.
- Diamond members get 4 suite upgrades yearly and upon qualifying for the first time. These can be used for stays up to 7 nights and don’t require you to book anything else than a qualifying rate.
- You do earn Hyatt Gold Passport points, not only for hotel rooms, but also for food, beverages & spa treatments.
- Hyatt is one of the few chains, where all the benefits apply regardless of how the stay was booked. All the benefits apply even on Priceline or Hotwire stays.
- The program has remained relatively constant for many years, giving guests the certainty that the reward they are after will not be pulled away from under them. You will never see Hyatt making unannounced changes overnight or adding 75% to its top redemption rates as Hilton did in 2013.
- Hyatt Gold Passport has introduced lifetime Diamond status. You must meet the following requirements:
- You must have earned 1000000 base points (that is $200000 in spending). Note that only stays that are credited to points will qualify.
- You must have been a Hyatt Gold Passport member for at least 10 years.
- The Hyatt VISA credit card, only available in the USA, is one of the fastest ways to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points. This credit card comes with many benefits:
- You will receive 2 free nights (at a category 1-4 property) after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months with the Hyatt Credit Card. This bonus offer is available to you as long as you have not received a new card member bonus for this product in the past 24 months.
- You will earn 3 points for every $1 spent at all Hyatt properties with your Hyatt Credit Card.
- You will earn 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.
- You will earn 1 point for every $1 spent anywhere else you use your card.
- You will not pay foreign transaction fees when you use your Hyatt Credit Card on purchases made outside the U.S.
- You will maintain Platinum status for as long as you are a card member.
- Every year after your card member anniversary, you will receive a free night at a category 1 to 4 property.
- Hyatt Gold Passport and M life have teamed up, which means you can enjoy the perks of membership in both programs when staying in Las Vegas at M life Resorts or at any Hyatt hotel worldwide.
CONS & THINGS I DON’T LIKE ABOUT HYATT GOLD PASSPORT
Hyatt Gold Passport is a well-regarded hotel loyalty program. Nevertheless, there are some things that I don’t like that much and that you need to beware of:
- Hyatt is a really small chain and has only has around 500 properties worldwide. This is less than half the number of Starwood properties. Marriott, Hilton and IHG have eight to ten times the number of properties compared to Hyatt.
- Hyatt has a very limited international representation with around 20% of its properties outside of North America. The chain is absent from many international markets. They are expanding rapidly however.
- While Hyatt Gold Passport is very easy to understand, the earning & award options are limited.
- Hyatt suffers from a confusing brand structure as it only uses another name than Hyatt for Andaz properties. All the other brands are tied to the Hyatt “mother” brand for the good or the bad. All the other major hotel chains have distinct brand identities like Sheraton vs St Regis, or InterContinental versus Holiday Inn.
- Contrary to most loyalty hotel programs (Starwood, IHG or Hilton), award stays don’t count toward status: you will not receive stay (or night) credit for award stays (or nights) and these will not count towards your Hyatt Gold Passport elite qualification.
- Lifetime elite status requirement is ridiculous expensive compared to Starwood or Marriott ($200K Hyatt spend that is credited towards Hyatt Gold Passport points).
- Hyatt Gold Passport does not have decent airline partnerships. Both Starwood and Marriott have introduced partnerships with airline for some matched benefits. Starwood launched Crossover Rewards with Delta and Your Word Rewards with Emirates, while Marriott has RewardsPlus partnership with United.
MY REVIEWS OF HYATT’S LUXURY HOTELS
Click the thumbnails to read our reviews of Hyatt Hotels around the globe:
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt Siem Reap (Cambodia)
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt Sydney (Australia)
- Hotel review: Andaz Amsterdam (Netherlands)
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt Shanghai (China)
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt Vienna (Austria)
- Hotel review: Park Hyatt New York (USA)
- Review: Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt Buenos Aires (Argentina)
- Hotel review: Andaz 5th Avenue, New York (USA)
- Review: “Lost in Translation” at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (Japan)
- Hotel review: Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (Japan)
- Hyatt Gold Passport is a well-regarded loyalty program, so be sure to subscribe to it when you stay at a Hyatt Hotel.
- There are not many earning options and the ways to burn points are limited as well.
- Always make a booking using a Best Rate Guarantee to throw in an additional discount of 20%.
- The best way to spend your Hyatt Gold Passport points is to use them for hotel stays.
- The worst way to spend your Hyatt Gold Passport points is to transfer them to airline miles.
- When not residing in the USA, Hyatt Gold Passport membership is rather useless since Hyatt’s international representation is rather small.