Hyatt Gold Passport ceases to exist in 2017 and transforms into World of Hyatt. The miles & points blogosphere is awash in crocodile tears when the news came out yesterday.
My question is
“Did Marriott help Hyatt weed out its top tier elite members for 2018 to make room for Starwood Preferred Guest emigrants when SPG ceases to exist?”
I have been a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond elite member since 2008. It will be significantly harder and more expensive to qualify for free breakfast and suite upgrades with 60 nights in a calendar year or $20,000 (+ room tax) in annual hotel spend to earn ‘Globalist’ status – the 2017 Diamond elite level. That is more than double the hotel spend compared to the possibility of earning Hyatt Gold passport Diamond elite on 25 one-night stays. Hyatt Gold Passport Points and Cash stays currently make the Diamond elite goal possible for under $2,000 in annual hotel spend.
My initial thoughts when seeing three new elite tiers for World of Hyatt and qualification requirements were about 75 nights elite qualification for Marriott Rewards Platinum. The takeover of Starwood Hotels by Marriott closed in September with notice that Marriott Rewards, Ritz Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest will merge into a new program sometime in 2018.
Effective September 23, 2016 Marriott International, Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. merged to create one lodging company. Following the merger, the SPG Program and the Marriott Rewards program and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards program (collectively, the “Rewards Program”), will continue to operate as separate programs until a newly combined loyalty program is launched, which is expected to take place no earlier than 2018.
Until then, the SPG Program and the Rewards Program will each have separate terms and conditions, including those governing how members will manage their accounts, book reservations, achieve elite status, earn and redeem points, the expiration of points as well as the ability to use points with third-party partners such as airline frequent flyer programs. Stays at hotels that participate in the SPG Program and the Rewards Program will continue to count toward earning points and achieving elite status in the program with which the applicable hotel is affiliated.
Starwood Preferred Guest allows members in 2016 and I assume all of 2017 to qualify for SPG Platinum with 25 stays or 50 nights. These are the same elite qualification requirements in 2016 for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond. Marriott Rewards currently requires 75 nights for Platinum elite. It seems like Hyatt Hotels has placed itself at a disadvantage for 2017 when there will likely be many Hyatt Gold Passport Diamonds switching to SPG in 2017 to earn Platinum elite in 2018 with 25 hotel stays. You will have whatever tier level in 2018 equates to SPG Platinum, but then you are stuck with the new top elite criteria for 2018 hotel stays with the newly combined mega-Marriott-Ritz-SPG rewards program. At that point in time, World of Hyatt may look like the more lucrative hotel loyalty program.
A betting person might wager the new 2018 Marriott-Ritz-Starwood program top elite level maintains a stays requirement. Or lowers to 60 nights for Marriott loyalty top elite and matches the new World of Hyatt elite qualification for Globalist.
But, I am sure there would be many other wagers for the new program remains at 75 nights to earn top elite in the future Marriott loyalty program.
Hyatt’s competitive advantage in releasing their new elite criteria and associated hotel loyalty program benefits now in what is potentially a far more expensive goal at 60 nights to qualify for top elite in 2017 than 25 stays or 50 nights with Starwood Preferred Guest. Hyatt frequent guests need to choose if they want to stay with World of Hyatt in 2017 or move to another hotel program like SPG.
For frequent guests planning a hotel brands change from Starwood to Hyatt, shifting stays to Hyatt Hotels needs to happen beginning January 2017 to have 12 months for reaching the Globalist elite 60 nights annually during 2017. World of Hyatt is ready to scoop up some profitable frequent guests for 2017 and potentially many more for 2018 after the new Marriott hotel loyalty program details are announced sometime this next year.
World of Hyatt FAQ on new 2017 elite benefits and program changes.