Posted by Ric Garrido

Hyatt Gold Passport announced its New Possibilities promotion today offering a stair-step style bonus points offer increasing in value for every five nights stayed from September 9 through November 30, 2013.

Registration opens September 9 and Hyatt Gold Passport members have until October 31, 2013 to register.

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Terms and Conditions for this promotion state MGM Resorts in Las Vegas participating in M life are eligible nights. There are 12 MGM resorts participating in the M life partnership with Hyatt.

  • Bellagio® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • Aria™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • Mandalay Bay® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • THEhotel® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • Vdara™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • MGM Grand® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • The Signature at MGM Grand® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • The Mirage® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • Monte Carlo™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 4)
  • New York New York™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 4)
  • Luxor® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 3)
  • Excalibur® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 2)

See more at: http://loyaltytraveler.boardingarea.com/2013/08/02/guide-to-hyatt-and-las-vegas-m-life-benefits/#sthash.SF0me0ii.dpuf

This is a straightforward offer with every five paid nights earning another bonus. Nights are cumulative and do not need to be consecutive nights.

I’ll be analyzing my options for Las Vegas cheap stays when I attend a conference there in October. That conference has no connection to Hyatt Hotels.

20 nights is a high hurdle.

50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport are worth about $1,000 if you redeem smartly.

 

Oh Natty Dread

What I dread over the next three months is the slice and dice dissection of every aspect of Hyatt Gold Passport in 10-part series as a means to pimp the Hyatt Gold Passport credit card. That $250 or so per every approved credit card referral will set Boarding Area bloggers and dozens of others in the points & miles blogosphere alight with a hyper-focus on Hyatt Gold Passport.

My estimate is there will be 500 posts on Boarding Area alone promoting the Hyatt credit card affiliate link along with this promotion between September 1 and November 30.

I’ll leave it to George No Last Name to verify the actual Hyatt credit card link count on Boarding Area and around the points & miles travel blogosphere on his TravelBloggerBuzz blog. TBB is one of the few true ‘keeping it real’ travel blogs being written for knowledge and entertainment.

Hyatt Gold Passport Visa card is a good hotel credit card in my opinion with its enrollment benefit of two free nights and an annual anniversary free night for a category 1-4 hotel.

23 Responses

  1. $250? Them belly full (but we hungry!)

  2. Very true regarding the likely endless bombardment of dull credit card posts. That’s why when I went to feedly I dropped most BA blogs. But then if you don’t like your neighbors so much I’m surprised you hang around the ‘hood?

  3. @MilesAbound – Banks are what I don’t like. I watched closely the events perpetrated by banks in the past decade impacting the economy.

    Banks co-opting the travel blogosphere is what I don’t like.

    Why are there restrictions on disclosing how much money an approved credit card referral makes? How many times have you seen a blogger write how much a credit card referral pays? How is a reader to know when a link in a blog post is simply a link to a travel resource or a link that pays a commission to the writer?

    I expect my view on credit cards to be in the minority, but I often express my minority opinion.

    Just because you can make money doing something, does not mean it is a good idea for the environment.

    Boarding Area is a nice neighborhood to be living. This is a diverse place with lots of entertainment and information and interesting people.

    I generally shut my windows when the neighbors get too loud so I don’t hear them selling bank cards day and night.

    Infrequently I yell.

  4. Yours was the first of the points and miles blogs I followed and I have always enjoyed your analytical approach to hotel reward posts. Thanks for that. Thanks now also for the great lead on TravelBloggerBuzz! I absolutely love the irreverent take on all the postings and agree with your “Oh Natty Dread” section of this post. So true!

  5. I yell frequently. Actually, I yell all the time:-)

    I appreciate the kind words Ric. I always respected you for not joining the circus.

    I hope I am as strong in the long term. [noise in the background booing]. No rush, I am enjoying this journey, all of it!

    Those are absolutely great questions and let me know if I can share them in my blog (with link back to you of course). We can all use some full transparency, it’s about time! But then I hope they don’t get mad at you, you do have loud neighbors:-)

    You posting this makes me appreciate BA more that they allow full editorial control of your own blogs. If I ever joined BA (no plans in the near future) I may have these neighbors get really loud lol.

    Again thank you.

  6. @tbb – Sure you can use the questions from this post.

    If my neighbors get mad I really do not know since very few have ever corresponded with me or comment on my blog.

    I am somewhat of an outsider within the ‘in crowd’ of bloggers. Since my focus is not money or credit cards there are few insights other travel bloggers seek from me.

    Even outside BoardingArea I was once introduced at TBEX by a friend as the anti-social social media blogger.

    My primary motivation for blogging as my career was to be left alone to focus on the aspects of life I enjoy most without the intrusion of physically working around other people who I would rather not be around.

    I am often alone, never lonely. My wife, my cats, my family and the outdoors offer a comfortable blanket to wrap myself in.

    BoardingArea does not dictate what I do and write.

    Banks don’t dictate what I do and write.

    Hotel companies don’t dictate what I do and write, even though I do accept some offers for freebie travel. Hey, I like to see new places and meet people.

    And touching on controversial subjects in the points and miles blogosphere like political issues, unions, and rants on consumerism and banks has cost me readers periodically, but enough people are sticking around that I keep writing in my true-to-self style.

    At TBEX last year when I told a blogger that I don’t want to pimp credit cards for banks, his reply was

    “Do you like being poor?”

  7. @TBB – Also, I should say that in retrospect I overestimated the Hyatt links at 500 posts.

    I think it will only be around 150 posts with Hyatt credit card links on BoardingArea posts during the three month Hyatt promotion.

  8. Ok, thanks!

    I have always been a bit of an “outsider” too and love the opportunity to do my thing. Some call it ranting, I call it my artistic expression and doing my part to change the world or at least entertain my readers:-)

    Yeah, I watched some of the material at TBEX, I could not feel comfortable there, so much selling going on. “Do you like being poor” Huh, so typical.

    I always said credibility is the most important asset and you have it Sir! I know I will lose some of it when (if) I join the circus. If I am blogging still, can’t believe I am still doing it after almost ten months!

    But I do enjoy every minute of it, even though I complain about it. If it stops being fun, it means the end is near for TBB:-) Your neighbors will throw a big party in honor of my retirement lol.

  9. […] positive stuff that people say about my blog, feels kind of arrogant. But I want to share with you what Ric (who I highly respect!) wrote in the comments (and you can go there see my follow up if you […]

  10. At 250$/credit card–on top of the average good signon bonus worth at least $400–it is hard to see why banks are continuing this nonsense. We are all benefiting, of course, and the touters more than others, but you have to wonder when the banks will wake up. At the least, they should be smart enough to identify those of us who exploit the system….not that hard to program that.

    Makes me shake my head and wonder if banks learned anything from the mortgage crises about opening the floodgates for everyone.

    Comment by theemperorhasnoclothes on August 25th, 2013 at 8:03 am
  11. @TBB – No doubt there are some bloggers who would like to see you disappear.

    I was actually surprised when I read criticism of your blog in different places. Some people expressed the sentiment that they ‘hate’ you.

    I laughed at the resentment you garner with your posts. TBB is a breath of fresh air.

    This whole blogging thing for me is a way to exist in the world, travel as my business and actually make a sustainable income and live my life on my terms.

    Travel blogging is my dream job.

    I knew the first day I walked into the library at University of Maine Orono in 1994 and saw a computer with this thing called the internet that my life was going to change significantly.

    I have traveled the world, I work at home and I do it in grand style (in my concept of living large) all due to the internet and connectivity allowing me to create my own job.

    Frequently I refer to myself as a ‘punk’ blogger. Most hotel industry people don’t get it. They are too young or never understood the punk music movement.

    Punk was not a music style in the 1970s. Punk was an attitude that you could be a DIY entrepreneur.

    The entry barrier to blogging these days is like the entry barrier to be a punk band in the late 1970s.

    Just go out and do it.

    In the 1970s this meant write songs, learn to play your instrument (I often heard musicians in San Francisco clubs learning on the job and getting booed for months until sometimes they became surprisingly proficient with practice.) and get out there on the stage and show people what you got.

    The idea was that anybody could set up their own shows without a concert promoter like Bill Graham anointing you. Anybody could record and press a record album without being signed by a major label.

    And for the few this punk start-up gig became a lucrative career. Look at the Clash, Talking Heads, Blondie.

    Blogging is punk when the corporate sponsors are not dictating your content.

  12. @theemperorhasnoclothes – The incentive for banks is signing up people who amass revolving debt.

    Assume 18% interest.

    Assume I follow a blogger like FrugalTravelGuy who shows me how a couple can spend $25,000 in nine months after applying for four credit cards and take a vacation to Hong Kong and Hawaii for $112.40.

    http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2013/08/travel-challenge-10-nights-in-hong-kong-and-kauai-for-112-40.html

    Now imagine that this couple after seven months finds one spouse suddenly terminated and the second spouse is hospitalized or develops a major illness and is also out of work. Or any of a million other unfortunate circumstances that makes the income suddenly dry up and the bill payments fall behind.

    The average household has credit card debt of several thousand dollars.

    $5,000 revolving credit card debt at 18% interest is $900 per year to the banks.

    There are millions of people in the USA with revolving credit card debt earning banks 18% interest or more and billions of dollars in late payment fees and other fees.

    Banks make their money on extending a large amount of credit to consumers. A proportion of those consumers find themselves in bad circumstances and unable to pay their full balance due.

    $1,000 in giveaways for new member enrollment and payment to the credit card sellers (i.e. travel bloggers) is a small price to pay to rope in another revolving interest account.

    Banks are the money people. These payouts to bloggers and high sign-up bonuses would not be continuing if these were not money making actions for the banks.

    And bloggers build up consumer dreams of having that free lunch and free world travel vacation just by jumping on the credit card merry-go-round.

    Sure there are plenty of people who demonstrate the ability to achieve this goal through credit cards.
    There are hundreds of travel blogs showing readers this accomplishment.

    I would like to see a travel blog focused on the horror stories of people who found themselves totally screwed playing the credit card churning game. I am sure there are thousands of those stories.

    Nobody wants to admit they totally fucked up with their credit card enrollments.

    I was writing Loyalty Traveler on Boarding Area when my wife went into the doctor one day in January 2009 for a routine check-up and was told she had Stage 2 cancer. Suddenly she was unemployed for nine months and I was not making any income from Boarding Area.

    Stuff like that happens. And the credit card companies profit from the misfortune.

    I try to live a cash life. Or I use my Diners Club card which I have to pay in full each month. That makes me think carefully about every purchase I charge to a credit card.

    I would rather see the banks not co-opt the travel blogosphere in payments for credit card referrals and reduce their interest rates to under 10% for all consumers.

    As Bruce Springsteen says in the beautiful song Atlantic City “Down here it’s just winners and losers, and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line.”

  13. “Blogging is punk when the corporate sponsors are not dictating your content.”

    Oh so I LOVE this quote. I was into that scene and still have some rebel veins going through my buddy. Clash, Talking Heads, Blondie…ditto. How about Dead Kennedys, Black Flag and Pere Ubu, no? :-)

    I get it Ric, don’t tell me what to do, you can’t control me, I do whatever I want to do. Real rebels do not conform, they just want to change the world and make it better!

    Had yet a few more people email me with supportive words and asking (begging) me to add affiliate links because they would rather support me than the other ones. But it still does not feel right for me. I need to find some way to make it acceptable to look at myself in the mirror (Frequent Miler told me while having lunch so I liked it so much and stole it, sorry FM!).

    I got tired of talking about it so I started my blog to raise hell. And effect some change to improve this hobby (it is still a hobby for me…so far!). Do I anger some people? Like I blogged recently “if you do not like what I say, bite me”. This is my punk rock band of one. I always wanted to be in a band anyway but I sucked so bad in music instruments…so I now type!

    My problem is that I had a dream job already…why did I start this rebellious one? :-)

    I absolutely agree 100% in your views about the banks. They are doing this (pumping bloggers to keep selling) because it is very profitable for them to hook people who are encouraged to get more credit (churn, manufactured, promo bonuses, etc.) and then bang, something happens. It happens EVERY day. My original intent was to interview one of these people and truly show the anguish and despair that befalls them! But, like you said, nobody volunteers to speak about such truly embarassing and shameful episodes in their lives. Some are screwed for years trying to pay these credit cards off.

    This is what bothers me. There is so much emphasis on flying to Hong Kong for $112.40 and first class seats, look at my nuts, pancakes, onboard showers, flat beds, mercedes rides, lounge massages, I can go on forever and these totally unqualified people (whose own finances are probably a shambles) are the last qualified people on this planet to be selling any financial products!

    I am in finance so I think I know what I am talking about:-) I recently got a gig where I can also do my punk thing and speak my mind.

    Just killing myself doing two punk things at once:-)

    I will direct readers to come and read more here because this is important stuff.

    Punk On:-)

  14. Loved your nice discussion about affiliate fees. But Ric, if you want to think about it this way, i’m sure that in other developed countries (i.e. Canada/Oceania/Europe/etc.) there aren’t affiliates programs of this size (if any) at all.

    Assuming that banks and credit cards in other countries are profitable as well, there must be something in the US that makes it possible for high affiliate fees and signup bonuses. Also I do believe that the Hyatt CC is not in the Chase affiliate channel, which is why there are very few posts about it.

    I do agree that BA is a very nice neighbourhood!!!

  15. It’s due to a combination of factors:

    1) Debt culture: Let’s face it. The US has a love affair with debt. I mean, look at the national debt. What did George Bush say when he finally made it to the 911 NYC site” “Go Shopping”. We are very comfortable with debt here until it comes to bite people in the a#s and almost bring the whole mothership down.
    2) Lack of education: When I moved to the US for my senior year in high school as an exchange student…I took Home Economics. Completely laughable class (pancakes anyone?) while no one taught the basics: how to balance a checkbook, investment compounding, how debt works, nada! This extends to the parent and teachers who are also just not that knowledgeable and comfortable with their own self, let alone teach others!
    3) Banking culture: Profits rule…at all costs. Not much regulation. Those shenaningans with the no money down mortages to buy homes were, to me at least, crimes. I do not see anyone went to jail (maybe a few small timers, not the big fish). This culture of “not big to fail” and no punishment of executives is egregious and one of the main beefs I have with the Obama administration (I like the guy by the way).
    4) Strong banking lobby: Hey, money talks. Democracy and all that but money talks. Instead of instituting a strict fiduciary standard we are still talking about to allow sales people in bigger firms to be able to shove crap down people’s throats because it is “suitable” (much lower standard to litigate against). Why? Because there is mucho dinero this way, usually in a non transparent manner. Fiduciary has a much higher standard, you put your own a#s on the line so you are inclined to Always put the client first. And full transparency. It’s a different ball game. Guess who has been fighting against changing to fiduciary? Yep…banking lobby.
    Same issue extends to regulation. In other countries (especially Canada) banks are more tightly regulated and are not allowed to extend themselves as much as they do here. European banks can be a different matter. Mostly run by bozos who bought the Wall Street crap and never saw a bubble they did not feed in full force:-)

    Ok, I am tired. I need to catch up:-)

  16. […] credit card pushing that has totally infested my favorite hobby you can read the dialogue in this Loyalty Traveler’s post. Maybe some people can learn how I think. Or Ric thinks. Some people just think differently […]

  17. Where is the Like button? It is so wonderful to read another bloggers take on not wanting to sell, sell, sell credit cards. While I’m too young to know much about the punk movement, where can I sign up? :)

  18. @InACents – Me too!

    George, great explanation!

  19. @TBB – Dead Kennedys is a band I saw many times. Most memorable moment was when Jello Biafra made a stage dive during a concert at San Francisco’s Temple Beautiful and everyone cleared the area. He hit the floor.

    There were plenty of people in San Francisco who did not like Jello. I sure loved seeing him run for mayor of San Francisco against Diane Feinstein.

    [Update: Oops. After an hour I remembered it was actually Vancouver punk band DOA in Santa Cruz and not Black Flag. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D.O.A._(band) Soon after this show the drummer for DOA joined Black Flag in 1982. Black Flag Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Flag_(band).] DOA was the first show I attended in 1981 after returning to California after a year living in rural Vermont. The scene in Santa Cruz had certainly changed for the worse with much more anger in the crowd. I got drunk, had my nose broken on the dance floor and ended the night in bed with my friend’s (adult) sister. Bad choices all around.

    Pere Ubu was a gem of a band. 30 Seconds over Tokyo. One of my punk memorabilia treasures is a handwritten letter from singer David Thomas who replied to my teenage fan letter.

    ‘Datapanik in the Year Zero’ (1978 version) is sitting in my living room LP stack right now.

    Pere Ubu is true punk.

    “Pere Ubu is not now nor has it ever been a viable commercial venture. We won’t sleep on floors, we won’t tour endlessly and we’re embarrassed by self-promotion. Add to that a laissez-faire attitude to the mechanics of career advancement and a demanding artistic agenda and you’ve got a recipe for real failure. That has been our one significant success to this date: we are the longest-lasting, most disastrous commercial outfit to ever appear in rock ‘n’ roll. No one can come close to matching our loss to longevity ratio.” – David Thomas

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pere_Ubu

  20. @Jeff – Thanks for informing me that Hyatt Visa is not part of the affiliate marketing.

    Reveals how much I know about affiliate marketing in the credit card world. Details are all so undercover.

    I guess I should respond to the affiliate marketing manager emails and get better informed.

    Now my estimate has to drop again way below 150 posts with Hyatt links.

    I think Hyatt is a decent card for the annual free night up to category 4 hotels benefit.

  21. Pere Ubu is one of my absolute favorite bands of all time. I had the chance to see them live three times in my life, true artists. My favorite song is “Humor Me” (fits TBB but does have a dark history behind it). I have all the LPs…in the basement. Dave must be up there in age now, have not heard much lately. The synthesizer guy Ravenstine was a super genius,inspired me to start to learn how to play but I always sucked at playing all instruments!
    Last time was in Ann Arbor in a small intimate setting. I think I brought him a beer in one of the breaks lol.

    They sure marched in their own drum…Now I need to respond to yet another email begging me to get affiliate links:-)

    Punk.For Free.TBB

    Cheers!

  22. Hi Ric,

    I really appreciate your views. I was encouraged by the cheap trips by the travel bloggers. When, I contacted a couple of them with my financial history, they discouraged me from applying for the reward cards and asked me to pay down my debt first.

    I think there are few gamers that companies have to contend with in each field. I was recently introduced to extreme couponing and I loved it in the beginning visiting multiple shops. But, after a couple of weeks, I don’t have time to visit multiple shops and spend the manufacturer’s coupon after couple of weeks. So, I think corporates give these freebies and they know that only few gamers could do it on the long term.

  23. Credit cards are the way to easy points, but I notice in the past year the spend to earn the bonuses seems to be a lot of spend in a shorter time frame.

    I laugh when I see bloggers showing how you just need to spend $6,000 or $8,000 in 3 months to get free business class to Asia or Europe.

    That is not a game for the average traveler.

    Most of my working life we have had a family income well above the median income for families in the U.S.

    And we get by.

    But charging several thousand a month to credit cards is time consuming to stay on top of all that spend and not lose control. Especially when you find yourself a travel addict and want to see the world.

    Travel bloggers making $100 to $200 per approved card is a nice travel income. Pushing credit card membership is easy when it is paying for your travel over and over again as a blogger earning credit card affiliate commissions.

    Much harder to sustain the credit card merry go round when you are simply applying for more and more credit and only earning miles you spend for more trips where you rack up more spend on your credit card.

    Although getting one or two bonuses and cheap trips through new credit cards is certainly manageable for many people on limited incomes who can control the spend.

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