Hyatt Diamond Challenge Completed – Here Is How

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Hyatt Regency Dallas. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)
Hyatt Regency Dallas. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)

Hyatt Diamond Status Challenge Completed

I wrote last month about how I began the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. This past weekend, with stays at the category 1 Hyatt Regency hotels in Tulsa & Wichita, I successfully completed the challenge. Here is how I did it.

What Is The Challenge

For a quick recap, if you have elite status with another hotel chain, you can email Hyatt at goldpassport@hyatt.com to request a challenge. Officially they only recognize Hitlon Gold or Diamond, Marriott Gold or Platinum, IHG Platinum or SPG Platinum, however I have heard of other elites being accepted.

When emailing, don’t be surprised if they ask you to show them at least one recent stay with your current program. If you achieved status through a credit card, you may want to complete one stay before requesting a challenge through Hyatt.

The challenge itself requires you to stay 12 nights within 60 days. The clock begins ticking from the day you are accepted into the challenge.

Diamond Benefits

Hyatt Regency Crystal City. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)
Hyatt Regency Crystal City. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)

Hyatt Diamond status is among the best in the hotel industry. In addition to late check-out, room upgrades and free internet, you are guaranteed lounge access or breakfast if there isn’t a lounge and you also receive a welcome amenity or points which can be quite valuable.

Diamond status also includes 4 suite upgrades each year which are confirmable at booking. These upgrades are given to you upon beginning the challenge and you get to keep them even if it isn’t completed!

My Path To Diamond

Grand Hyatt Santiago. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)
Grand Hyatt Santiago. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)

Since Cash + Points bookings are eligible for the Diamond Challenge, utilizing them was a key to my strategy. My goal was to incorporate lower category properties into my current travel plans. Here are the properties I stayed at.

Hyatt Regency DFW 1 Night – Category 2 – 4,000 points + $55

Hyatt Regency Dallas – 1 Night – Category 2 – 4,000 points + $55

Grand Hyatt DFW – 1 Night – Category 3 – 6,000 points + $75

Grand Hyatt Santiago – 5 Nights – Category 2 – 4,000 points + $55 per night

Hyatt House Dulles – 1 Night – Paid $71 cash.

Hyatt Regency Crystal City – 1 Night Paid $75 cash

Hyatt Regency Tulsa – 1 Night – Category 1 – 2,500 points + $50

Hyatt Regency Wichita – 1 Night – Category 1 – 2,500 points + $50

The Math

Hyatt Regency Wichita. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)
Hyatt Regency Wichita. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)

Total Cost: 23,000 points + ~$750 including taxes. (Hyatt Santiago & Tulsa did not charge taxes.)

I did earn 14,754 points from my stays, meaning my net point cost was 8,246 which were obtained by transferring in Ultimate Rewards points from Chase.

As for the cash cost, I am using the bonus on a Barclay’s Arrival Plus card to cover $450 of the cost. I will also use Arrival points that I earn through purchases to pay for the rest of the expenses. In the end, my out of pocket cost will be less than $150.

Is It Worth It

Out of the twelve nights, I spent six in a suite. I used the suite upgrade at the Grand Hyatt Santiago and was given a beautiful suite at the Grand Hyatt DFW.

The Hyatt Regency Santiago & Hyatt Regency Tulsa gave me club lounge access while the other hotels all provided a free breakfast. The lounge in Santiago was pretty amazing and featured a full open bar, amazing views of the Andes mountains and a wonderful spread including fresh sushi.

Grand Hyatt DFW. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)
Grand Hyatt DFW. (Stock photo from Hyatt website.)

On a couple of occasions I also enjoyed the welcome amenity which includes a small snack and a choice of beverage (wine anyone), however I mostly just took the 1,000 bonus points.

Considering I now have these benefits through 2016, I would say that the challenge was definitely worth it for me! As an example, I am currently staying in the Hyatt Regency Miami on points and was upgraded to a suite and have full club lounge access.

Conclusion

I travel a lot and thus it wasn’t hard for me to string together 12 nights to complete the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. While I try to travel for free, paying for these stays made sense to me. Not only was I able to cover most of the cash costs with Arrival points, but I didn’t spend too many Hyatt points either.

In my situation completing the challenge was a no-brainer since I will get a tremendous value out of the status. While I plan on staying on mostly awards from here on out, Hyatt still provides the same benefits when paying with points, so I should be able to enjoy all of the perks!


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22 COMMENTS

    • Just show them something that shows the reservation and stay, but doesn’t say award stay. When my wife did the challenge last year I showed a few award stays with the current program, but I found a screen on the IHG website that didn’t mark them as award stays.

  1. Very interested post. Your detailed how to do steps is quite valuable to a newbie like me. Would appreciated if you can answer a few questions. Which credit card did you use? Do you have to get a Hyatt credit card first? How did you earn 14,754 points on your stays? When is the best time to do the challenge?

  2. This is an awesome post. Thanks! I’ve never done the diamond challenge but yours was very detailed. I’d also be curious to know whether you plan to renew your diamond status next year and what the plan is to do that (and whether you think that would be harder than the this challenge!)

    • Yes you get a 30% bonus plus a welcome gift of points if you choose. I will post a complete breakdown of the points in a day or two. I am on a cruise right now and internet is limited! Thanks Jason!

  3. Congrats Shawn! I really like the timing of your post as it gives me an opportunity to crow a bit about my Hyatt Diamond status. I’m posting from the Hyatt Place Tucson at the conclusion of my 12th night of my now successful Diamond Challenge. Fortunately, all of my stays were for work so this feels quite nice. Can’t say I am very fond of any of the HPs I stayed in along the way, but must give a shout out to the Grand Hyatt Denver. The 1st night of my challenge was there, and they gave me a 47th floor corner King Suite which was, well…sweet! My wife and I already have the Hyatt Santa Barbara, Andaz Maui & Zilara Cancun booked and look forward to the Diamond Experience.

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