Elite Status Sweet Spots
One of my favorite conversations is sweet spots in loyalty programs. Be it casino, hotel or airline programs it is always fun to imagine how one can reach top tier elite status with the least amount of spend. I was actually discussing CHEAP Hyatt Elite Status with my buddy John the other day, as it references to Hyatt Globalist status. Globalist (formerly Hyatt Diamond) is now the top published tier for Hyatt loyalty. This conversation is less about Hyatt, and the merits of the program and more about the concept of achieving elite status with minimal effort and spend. This is a bit of a parallel conversation to the CoachKitty article on achieving Total Rewards Seven Star Status with the least amount of video poker play.
The valuation of elite status is subject to interpretation. Some, like The Points Guy will claim that the value of Hyatt Globalist (Top Tier in the World of Hyatt Program) is just shy of USD $4,000. I am not sure I necessarily agree with this assessment. One thing I am pretty vocal about is that seldom does any status level EXCEPT top tier really reap benefits worth the effort. This includes casino loyalty, hotel loyalty and airline loyalty programs. This does not mean that lower status levels do not have benefits that are valuable, just that they are better ascertained via normal travel patterns.
I do not claim to be, or even desire to be, an expert with regard to the World of Hyatt loyalty program. But the brief overview of the new (2017) requirements have a heavy focus on a lot of qualifying nights for a hotel program that has a very small footprint in comparison to other hotel programs such as the Hilton and Starwood/Marriott programs. Without a status match, or accelerated status program, with Hyatt you really have to spend a substantial number of nights at their properties. Also, as we have seen with numerous promotions/gifting of Globalist (for the World of Hyatt launch) those do not include one of the most premium benefits, confirmed suite upgrades.
Enjoy the highest level of luxury, and rewards and benefits that will exceed expectations. Achieve status after completing 60 qualifying nights or earning 100,000 Base Points or holding 20 qualifying meetings/events per calendar year.
The only criteria with high variability with regard to cost is qualifying nights, since hotel night prices very dramatically globally. Could you actually manufacture a stay that was only a few thousand dollars? It turns out there are a few properties globally where you could qualify with 60 nights for under $3000. My other criteria was a refundable (cancel 24 hours in advance) rate and close to the USA, since trying to optimize via a sweet spot often requires flexibility. Turns out, there is a property (I believe there are a few more globally) in Mexico that met my criteria. One Mile at a Time talks about qualification plans for the new program, with a decent suggestion of optimizing the 4th night free benefit from the Citi Prestige Card (for US Residents). In addition, remember that Hyatt Elite Status also gets you Mlife casino loyalty status.
Maximize Your Benefits and Minimize Your Spend
It is about more than just Hyatt Globalist on the CHEAP. Checking into a hotel for 60 days to achieve elite status is an extreme measure. It might work for one who has a very mobile work environment and nomadic lifestyle. It is also something that is more realistic if you just need an extra 10-15 days for qualification. The terms and conditions of this extended stay rate mention that it is a regularly published room rate with a 24 hour cancellation penalty to avoid a one night penalty, so you can book now and continue to contemplate. Also in this outlier example you would be earning points for the stay spend that would reduce the cost a bit further. But, as I said, the purpose of this article was more so about contemplating elite status on the cheap. This is one of the most powerful concepts of casino loyalty as well. Always study and understand the qualifications for any loyalty program. Look out for limited opportunities and offers that allow you to accelerate or match status from a competing loyalty program. Ask questions if you are unsure a particular stay/rate qualifies. Better to be certain than to be surprised. Be it a loyalty program, or an all-inclusive casino offer, there are always ways to maximize your benefits and minimize your spend.
Loyalty Program Status Checklist
- Understand and study the status levels and qualifications.
- Look for and research opportunities to accelerate or match status.
- Understand the qualification time period. (For example, is it January to December?)
- Ask questions if you are unsure, especially with regard to stay/rate qualifications. (Get answers in writing (email/twitter), if possible.)