Tips & Strategies for Qualifying (Requalifying) for Hyatt Diamond Status

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hyatt diamond requalify

My Hyatt Diamond Requalification Plan

Yesterday I talked about a great deal on Hyatt gift cards. By utilizing a number of promotions, I was able to purchase the gift cards at 25% off of their face value. That promotion is still available if you are interested and I believe it is a fantastic deal.

One of the topics I hit on in the deal post is my quest to requalify for Hyatt’s Diamond status. I gained Diamond status last year through a challenge and have grown to love it so much, that I am not wanting to give it up. After reading my plans, someone asked for me to go a little more in depth as to how I plan to requalify for Diamond.

What is Diamond Status

hyatt diamond requalify
Our first taste of Diamond came at the Hyatt Regency in Maui where we received lounge access and an upgrade to this amazing view.

Before I detail my strategy, lets look at some of the basics of Hyatt’s Diamond Status.

Qualification Requirements: 25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year.

Key Benefits:

  • Lounge access or free breakfast when no lounge is available
  • Best room upon check-in excluding suites
  • 4 confirmed suite upgrades per year
  • Welcome amenity or points bonus
  • 4pm late checkout
  • 30% points bonus, premium internet &more

An Example of the Value of Diamond

hyatt diamond requalify
Saltwater lagoon at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

A couple of months ago my wife and I visited the Grand Hyatt Kauai on a last minute vacation. I had booked the room totally with points (Points + Cash wasn’t a good value) which meant that I was booked into a “Garden view” room which is otherwise known as a parking lot view.

For the first three nights of our stay we were upgraded to a partial oceanview room. (I was able to move to a full oceanview for the 4th night.) During our entire stay we had club lounge access which included breakfast in the morning including two hot items and appetizers in the evening. It was one of the best lounge spreads I have seen too.

hyatt diamond requalify
My wife Jasmine hanging out at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

As for the rest of the value, we never had to pay for water or soda or juice, since we could always get that from the lounge. Our Diamond welcome amenity was a free 1 day pool cabana rental and we also received nightly turn down service. When it came time to leave, I was able to secure a late checkout.

When I look back, between the food, drinks, room upgrade and the 1 day cabana rental, my Hyatt Diamond status was worth hundreds of dollars on that one stay alone. Of course I have utilized it at a number of other properties in the past year including the Grand Hyatt Macau, Hyatt Regency Kowloon, Grand Hyatt Santiago, Grand Hyatt Washington DC and many many more.

How I Will Requalify

hyatt diamond requalify
Living room of my suite at the Grand Hyatt Macau. I was upgraded for free.

As you can probably tell, the easiest way to requalify for Diamond status is through stays. 25 stays are not that tough to complete (for me), especially if I do them one night at a time. Here are a few strategies I am using to requalify:

Points + Cash – Since Points + Cash bookings count towards elite status I use them as often as possible. For longer than one night stays where I can’t change hotels, I simply book the first night with Points + Cash and the rest with points so I minimize my out of pocket cost.

Move hotels – When I was recently in Charlotte, I stayed one night at the Hyatt House Downtown for the conference I was attending and then one night at a Hyatt Place by the airport before my early morning flight. Two nights in Charlotte, but more importantly two separate stay credits.

Hyatt Credit Card – This is my fallback plan. The Hyatt credit card awards credit for 2 stays (and 5 nights) after $20,000 in spend. Add in an additional $20,000 and they throw in another 3 stays (and 5 nights). So if I need to, I can spend on the Hyatt card and get 20% of the stays I need to requalify.

MLife – I live in Las Vegas which makes it somewhat easier to do mattress runs if necessary. I actually already have 2 stays this year from MLife, although those were not mattress runs specifically. In the low season Luxor & Excalibur run less than $50 a night including the resort fees so that could be a cheap option for one night stays.

Is It Worth It?

hyatt diamond requalify
View of the Andes Mountains from the Grand Club at the Grand Hyatt Santiago.

So now you are probably thinking that it isn’t worth it to pursue Diamond status. I won’t argue with you. There is a huge opportunity cost to getting it and keeping it, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable to me. My family and I spent years staying in guesthouses and hostels when that made sense, but I like this better and it is attainable.

You may be fine with collecting a variety of points currencies and staying at whichever chain provides the best value in a given city for a given night. I still do this to, but less so now that I want to keep my Hyatt status. Some people also love to utilize Hotel Tonight, Priceline and other services for cheap bookings, That is a good way to go as well.

Conclusion

The 25 year old “kid” backpacking around the world with his family would not have gone after Hyatt’s Diamond status, because he didn’t know better. Today things are different and I recognize how the value of the status offsets the opportunity costs incurred to keep it. That works for me, although it is definitely a fine line.


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25 COMMENTS

  1. Seems like the cheap MLife nights makes this a great situation for you. Even if you have to do 10 nights at MLife (to get to 25, with rest being from your regular travel), you make a compelling argument that $500 (10 x $50’ish) would be well worth it to keep your status. If you get really lucky, some of those MLife properties might drop their resort fees if you ask nicely. 🙂 And, fortunately for you, you don’t actually have to sleep at Excalibur! 🙂

  2. I ve read some where in BA( I forgot which blogger), that Diamond Challenge is still around but in a different format. Isnt it easier to requalify with just 12 nights ?

    • Yes, it is still around but nothing like last year’s challenge. I’m currently doing it now, but you have to be “recommend” or placed into it at the hotel level via the manager or sales department. You don’t actually get the perks until you hit 12 nights and it lasts until Feb 2016. I have a good relationship with the local Hyatt House near me so he did it with just a phone call. Typically if you let them know you plan to stay some of those 12 nights they have no hesitation signing you up.

      Only 4 nights left. I’ll be done the first weekend of June while in Austin on a points and cash visit.

      • thanks for the indept information, but if the math is correct, til feb 2016 is not even a year worth if you complete the challenge at this point in time.

    • There is a new version, but you have to be sponsored by a hotel, so it isn’t available to most people. Also, you don’t get the status until after you complete the 12 nights, so it isn’t nearly as good. Plus I already have Diamond, so the challenge wouldn’t work to requalify even if it was still around.

  3. As a regular reader of Boarding Area, I read about Hyatt Diamond constantly. I don’t think it makes sense for our family — we would be better off just to pay out of cash for whatever Diamond status provides that is meaningful to us on the few occasions it might come into play. But I would be very interested in learning how you valued the hundreds of dollars in value in Hawaii. Also, for someone who would stay at a Hyatt only occasionally, and then almost exclusively on award nights, can you just pay extra points to get club access on a award booking?

    • Its value depends on a number of factors including how often you travel. In Hawaii we received a room that was going for $100 more a night over the regular room, breakfast daily, 2 nights the spread in the lounge was so good that we skipped dinner, the cabana rental was worth $50. We also never had to purchase waters or sodas while out by the pool because of the lounge.

      In the case of Kauai, even a soda costs $4 because you are a resort. I feel we got great value, but that is only one of many stays in the past year where Diamond status has paid off. The reason you probably hear about Hyatt Diamond ststus so much is because it is incredibly generous and a good deal for those who travel often. (Like so many of us BA bloggers.)

      • Shawn, could you recommend a Hyatt connection if you have any in VG for the Challenge. I want to do one in September of this year to maximize the time to almost 18 months. Thanks

        • I don’t have a connection. Basically the revenue manager of a hotel needs to approve the challenge. If you have a hotel that you are going to be staying a lot of nights at, it is best to contact them and ask for the challenge.

  4. It is TOTALLY worth it. I live near Dulles airport that is flush with Hyatts. On the weekend the rates can get as low as $59 for a Hyatt Place or $89 for a Hyatt Regency. (Incidentally that HR lounge is closed on the weekend so I get the 2500 point bonus plus an amazing breakfast for my family in their restaurant.) I would stay there 20 weekends in a row if I had to. The Diamond benefits when our family travels are completely worth every cent. 4 pm check out is my favorite benefit, but the free breakfast and great lounges are a close second. The suite upgrades too are great for longer family getaways. Wouldn’t give it up for anything!

  5. Hi Shawn,
    I am new to hotel loyalty thing and would like to make Hyatt my primary hotel after I heard a lot of good things about them.
    I already have Hyatt card and still haven’t used my 2 free nights yet. I would love to achieve Diamond if I can.
    But since now already mid- of the year, if we met the requirements and became Diamond by the end of Dec 2015, would that make us Diamond until end of Dec 2016 or 2017? Is there any way to maximize it like SW Companion Pass we can get 2 years if we time it right.
    Can we make a separate booking for each night, back to back, to rack up the stay credits?

    • If you meet the requirements in 2015, then you would be Diamond until the end of February, 2017. The hotels will combine bookings under the same name, so that won’t work. You could stay one night, move to another Hyatt for one night and then return, but any consecutive nights would only count as one stay.

      • I wonder if you could also mix in your spouse/partner there if you are traveling with another person. I haven’t done this myself, but it might be a good way to keep from moving around. ie. book Day 1: My account (cash or cash+points), Day 2: Husband’s acct (probably points, since he has no status), Day 3: My acct (again C or C+P). That way, we get two stay credits/3 day stay but still hopefully don’t have to move, if we communicate with the property and ask them to keep us in one room.

        • You definitely could do that, but the spouse/partner would earn credit for that night, not you or as you say they could use points. That is definitely a good strategy for an odd amount of nights, since can stay put and still earn multiple stay credits.

          • Yes, you’re right you wouldn’t earn the stay credit for the night in your partner’s name. But for people like us (or rather, my saner than me, husband) who are not willing to hotel hop much, it gives a middle ground. At least you could earn another stay credit rather than just getting one for many nights. Even though we tend to do multi night stays, it’s still unlikely that I would be able to get 50 nights qualifying that way. It’s actually a bit of a conundrum I’m going through at the moment, as we approach the halfway point of the year. 🙂

  6. So, I was diamond last year from a challenge, and didn’t requalify, and am really missing it this year. We are hoping to get it back. Because of the diamond challenge, we stayed in mostly Hyatts last year, and I really find the customer service to be generally of a higher quality. We’ve had a few trips where we did a night or two at a different chain and a night or two at a Hyatt just because of how the rates and points worked out. Usually, I am so relieved to arrive at a Hyatt where the experience just seems to be more smooth, even if it’s a Place or a Regency.
    There were some times when I just sort of “used up” the DSUs, but once or twice that it made a huge difference to the enjoyment we got out of the room. Especially when going somewhere that we were visiting people or meeting up with friends, it’s great to have a living room type area.

  7. Helpful post Shawn, thanks for the prodding to look at this closer. We too find staying at Hyatt on points at times a good deal…. and going forward, Hyatt has replaced IHG as our go-to spot, when available. It’s great that Hyatt points & cash nights are “qualifying” towards Diamond. (But what a pain to have to call to check availability — P&C also doesn’t seem worth it on nights when the points rate is already very low, at 5K…. ) 2 narrow questions:

    1. Is there any advantage to being on Diamond Status for stays at Hyatt Place or Hyatt House? ok, room upgrades. But you already get breakfast at HP — and at HH, you often get a nice evening spread too…. ?

    2. We’re contemplating multiple stays at MGM properties in Vegas through end of year, even more so via the topcashback/BA $34 promotion…. As you’re there in Vegas, any thoughts on whether reservations via the TCB/British Airways system will credit for Hyatt/MLife stays?

    • At Hyatt House and Hyatt Place there really isn’t much of an advantage as you point out. As for 5,000 point rooms not being a great deal, I have actually stayed at several category 1 properties that were going for over $150 on the nights I was there. With cash + points I spent 2,500 points plus $50. Category 2 properties at 4,000 points + $55 are often a great deal as well.

      Third party reservations with Mlife do not earn Hyatt or Mlife credit generally. I know a few people who have tried (including myself with an Expedia booking) and the credit never posted. Of course I don’t know of any specific examples with BA, so it could work, but I wouldn’t count on it.

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