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In this continuing series inspired by the spirit of Peter Griffin from Family Guy, I’m covering “what really grinds my gears” i.e. what I don’t like about various travel providers. The first in this series was United Airlines (check that out here) and then I covered Marriott (read that here). This third installment will focus on Hyatt. There are over 1,350 properties globally across 69 countries. Hyatt has a great loyalty program and many properties that I love, but there are some areas where it falls short.
5. The Names of the Status Levels
With most programs, it’s easy to know that platinum is a higher tier than gold and that’s a higher tier of elite status than silver. Most loyalty programs that I actively use have precious metals as the names of the various tiers. There are some exceptions like Global Services, 1K®, and Ambassador, but for the most part, it is metal equals elite status. Hyatt used to have a similar nomenclature when it ran its Hyatt Gold Passport, but that changed in 2017 with the introduction of World of Hyatt as its loyalty program. Here the tiers are Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist. I’ve been a top tier, Globalist, since the program was introduced, but still feel awkward identifying as a “Globalist.”
4. Multiple Rooms Don’t Count Towards Qualification
I wish that you could earn qualifying nights for those times when you need to book rooms for multiple people. To be fair, Marriott also lets you only earn credit for nights for one room. It’s good that both allow you to earn redeemable points for up to three rooms, but multiple rooms should also count towards qualification.
3. Earning Status is Not Easy
This is being written as a negative, but I actually think it’s one of the things that makes Hyatt’s program so great. Marriott gives away Platinum status with a credit card and if you have the right personal and business cards, you can knock off 40 nights annually towards qualification. Hyatt gives you five nights with its credit card and five more if you also have the business version after spending $10,000 with it. To reach Globalist, you’re staying another 50 nights (or spending a lot on your credit card to earn them there).
2. No Welcome Amenities
Under the old program, elites got a welcome amenity of bonus points or a food/beverage welcome amenity. World of Hyatt does not offer this option. Sure, I have gotten welcome amenities at select hotels (the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki is pictured above), but it’s not consistent nor guaranteed. Globalists (at a minimum) should get something every time they check in.
1. Small Footprint
Hyatt is much smaller than Marriott or Hilton. They do not have properties in many of the places I go. Partnerships like those with Small Luxury Hotels and MGM Rewards have helped expand its offerings, but there are times when I’m looking for a hotel and there is nothing nearby or there is one option (often a Hyatt Place). Hyatt has grown significantly in the past few years, but it still has a long way to go for great coverage.
Anthony’s Take: Hyatt has a lot going for it and it was difficult to think of five things to complain about here. Overall, I find the loyalty program to be rewarding and I enjoy many of Hyatt’s properties (especially the Andaz, Park Hyatt, and SLH offerings). I will continue to push for Globalist and Hyatt moved up to be my primary hotel choice in 2023.
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The Hyatt business card does not come with 5 elite nights. You earn 5 nights with every $10k, but you get nothing for simply holding the card.
Thanks. I edited.
How about the fact that spend at the hotels never tracks correctly for points. Or there point xfer process is god awful.
A pretty mild gripe list.
5. You bet. Bonvoy took back the crown but Hyatt tier names are crazy bad.
4. Nobody has counted multiple rooms since the days of SPG, unfortunately.
3. Not so sure. You can stay or spend your way there and milestones are pretty nice.
2. As a Globalist I generally get a welcome amenity at every hotel whose name doesn’t end in “Place”.