Goodbye Hyatt Gold Passport

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Tonight at midnight, Hyatt Gold Passport, the award program for Hyatt properties for almost 30 years, will expire, welcoming in the new age of World of Hyatt.

As a HGP Diamond, I find great value in Hyatt’s top-tier status. The new incoming program brings with it many changes, some positive, some negative. It’s sad to say goodbye to such an incredible program, and change is always hard, but I’m hopeful that World of Hyatt will give me just as much reason to remain loyal.

In a few hours, my status will change from Diamond to Globalist, the name of the new top tier. Unlike HGP, there will now be four tier levels: Member; Discoverist; Explorist; Globalist.

The Good

Globalists will still be eligible for free breakfasts on all stays. If there is a club lounge, Globalists can eat there; if not, two adults and two children can have free full breakfasts in the hotel’s restaurant. This is a slight downgrade from current policies, whereby up to four adults can receive complimentary breakfast, but I hardly expect the change to impact me significantly.

Globalists receive four confirmed suite upgrade certificates every year, which can be used to confirm suites on stays for up to seven nights each. Nothing changes here. But, the fantastic news – and best addition to World of Hyatt – is that Globalists are also eligible for upgrades upon check-in to the best-available room, including standard suites.

Rather than carefully rationing off my suite certificates for the four most important stays each year, I can relax and expect that on many stays I’ll be able to enjoy a suite even if I don’t confirm it in advance.

After staying 30 eligible (read “paid”) nights each year, members earn a free night certificate at any Category 1-4 property, and earn the same after stays at five different Hyatt brands. After 60 eligible nights, Globalists earn a free night at any Hyatt property worldwide. For every 10 nights thereafter, you can choose between 10,000 bonus points and another suite certificate.

Parking will now be free on award nights, and, one final new addition to the perks list is the possibility of waived resort fees on award nights and “eligible rates.” It’s unclear what rates will count as “eligible”, but seeing as resort fees can easily surpass $30 a night, this is a fantastic cost-saver!

The Bad

Hyatt has upped many of the perks of its top tier status while simultaneously making it much more difficult to maintain. Whereas HGP required 50 paid nights or 25 visits, World of Hyatt will require 60 paid nights or 100,000 base points earned (the equivalent of $20,000 in spending per year) in order to earn Globalist status, with a slightly lower requirement of 55 nights needed per year to maintain the tier.

I’m fairly confident that 60 nights is much more than I will spend in a hotel this year, so i’m expecting to enjoy Globalist status only through February of 2018. But who knows!?

Additionally, Hyatt is getting rid of the welcome amenity offered to Diamond members at check-in on each stay, which was normally the choice of a bottle of cheap wine, some food or 1,000 bonus points, but could sometimes be much more, like at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa. I almost always took the bonus points, and they will be missed, though the sting is offset by the free nights earned at 30 and 60 nights.

Take Away

There’s much changing in the world of hotel loyalty programs. With Marriot’s merger with SPG, we’re awaiting word on the many changes that may come to SPG’s also-fantastic program. After 28 years, Hyatt’s loyalty program was well-overdue for an update.

And, for the most part, we should breath a sigh of relief in the fact that most of the best parts of Hyatt’s elite status will remain. I’m eager to see what World of Hyatt looks like on the ground once it goes live. I already have some upcoming stays booked!