Just Discovered: Another Huge Devaluation to Elites with Hyatt’s New Loyalty Program

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Hyatt Elite Benefits Third Party Bookings

Hyatt Elite Benefits Third Party Bookings Eliminated

Yesterday I covered all of the details of the new “World of Hyatt” loyalty program that is set to replace Gold Passport in March, 2017. Then, I followed up my original post with the bad news that Mlife status matches are being devalued as well. Unfortunately, it appears there is still more yet to discover. I just found some more bad news hidden within the terms of the program. (I haven’t seen this reported elsewhere, but it is possible that someone else has discovered it as well.)

One of the nice things about Hyatt has always been their guarantee of elite benefits on third party stays. (Credit card points, OTAs, etc.) For example last year my family and I stayed a few nights at the Andaz Maui using points and free night certs, but wanted to go to the Hyatt Regency for our last night. I found a rate on Hotel Tonight for an amazing price and booked it. I didn’t receive stay credit or points for the stay, but received my welcome amenity, lounge access, room upgrade and all other Diamond benefits.

Hyatt Elite Benefits Third Party Bookings
Hyatt Regency Maui

It’s In the Terms

Unfortunately once World of Hyatt comes along, this won’t be the case anymore. The terms of the program specifically exclude elite benefits on non-eligible rates. Found under Section II Subsection A in the program terms:

In-hotel Benefits are provided only where, for the applicable night, the elite Member (a) has paid an Eligible Rate or (b) has redeemed a Free Night Award, Room Upgrade Award, or Points + Cash Award. In the event that an elite Member is staying under an Ineligible Rate (other than as part of redeeming a Free Night Award), (s)he will not be provided any In-hotel Benefits for that stay.

Now I suppose it is up to the hotel’s discretion if they still want to honor some benefits, but the terms clearly exclude any and all benefits on non-eligible stays. This is a complete change their current policy which guarantees all elite benefits.

Which Chains Offer Elite Benefits On 3rd Party Stays

As a reminder, here is a list of programs and what I believe their policies to be when it comes to elite benefits on third party stays. I have not dug through the terms, but I believe Marriott/SPG still split on this one despite their integration, but correct me if I’m wrong.

Do recognize elite benefits:

  • Marriott, Hyatt (until February 28, 2017)

Don’t recognize elite benefits:

  • Starwood, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt (beginning on March 1, 2017)

Conclusion

While I suppose this isn’t the biggest deal in the world, I know that I have personally enjoyed my elite benefits on third party stays numerous times and I don’t appreciate this devaluation of benefits on top of all of the other changes. I’m still going through the terms so I’ll be sure to share any other surprising findings that I come across.

What do you think about this? Is it a big deal or is this just a minor change?


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21 COMMENTS

  1. Good freakin’ catch. Bum-mer. Definitely had a stay in mind for next summer where I was going to use Chase points with the CSR for 1.5cpp (when no award availability existed), but that was expecting to receive my Diamond benefits. Shoot. Man….I’m getting more and more angry at myself for wasting effort earning Diamond this year instead of SPG Platinum. Definitely feeling like I screwed up.

  2. Will elite perks be allowed for credit card travel sites like Chase or Amex?

    Considering that Chase has a branded Hyatt card, I’d be shocked if any Chase TA bookings for Hyatt stays lose any expected elite perks.

    Shawn, can you confirm this? Thanks.

    • Has anyone had any experience with this? I’d like to know what sort of benefits (if any) you’d get through booking using the Chase travel portal

  3. Hey Shawn,

    Do you think if we somehow have 25 stays by 2/28/16 and obtain diamond before 3/1/16, we would get diamond/globalist through 2/28/19? Wondering if this is a good idea. What do you think? What do you plan to do?

  4. Add another vote for big deal. A great example of where this will hurt – Hyatt Zilara Cancun. For the most part, points redemptions are either unavailable or double the expected 25k rate these days. With CSP, Chase portal reservations can be made for 20k points per night. Without elite benefits, it is almost not worth doing. Rooms there are great, but most lower floors are way too loud for my taste and not worth the risk of flight and time investment.

  5. I’m not sure how well Hyatt followed the 3rd party rule either. I booked Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Ft Lauderdale via one of those hidden deal sites, and they refuse to recognize any of my Platinum status benefits. Granted it’s Plat not Diamond, but it’s still the same outcome as if I had no status at all.

  6. That Marriott grouping is slightly misleading. I’ve stayed on 3rd party stays at a few Gaylord Hotels (Marriott) and they’ve refused.

  7. No biggie. Family stays on points are the only ones where I need the upgrades anyway. Pretty much never use third party sites anyways.

  8. […] One of the best things about being a Hyatt elite has been getting full elite benefits even if a stay is booked through a third party. For example, if you use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book a Hyatt because the cash rate is cheaper than simply transferring points, currently you do not earn points or elite credit, but your elite status is recognized. Under the new program that will no longer be the case. You can find out more detail about this change here. […]

  9. Big deal. This despite the fact that I never book OTAs like Chase portal, priceline, etc (I should though!).
    If Hyatt doesn’t honor me when I stay there, why in the world would I stay there? That’s the point of having status. It would be a slap in the face to have status and not be treated that way. Even if all the players do that, then what’s the point of going to the chain? I mean this: one way or another, I’m getting breakfast.

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