Hyatt Diamond Status Challenge Completed
I wrote last month about how I began the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. This past weekend, with stays at the category 1 Hyatt Regency hotels in Tulsa & Wichita, I successfully completed the challenge. Here is how I did it.
What Is The Challenge
For a quick recap, if you have elite status with another hotel chain, you can email Hyatt at email@example.com to request a challenge. Officially they only recognize Hitlon Gold or Diamond, Marriott Gold or Platinum, IHG Platinum or SPG Platinum, however I have heard of other elites being accepted.
When emailing, don’t be surprised if they ask you to show them at least one recent stay with your current program. If you achieved status through a credit card, you may want to complete one stay before requesting a challenge through Hyatt.
The challenge itself requires you to stay 12 nights within 60 days. The clock begins ticking from the day you are accepted into the challenge.
Hyatt Diamond status is among the best in the hotel industry. In addition to late check-out, room upgrades and free internet, you are guaranteed lounge access or breakfast if there isn’t a lounge and you also receive a welcome amenity or points which can be quite valuable.
Diamond status also includes 4 suite upgrades each year which are confirmable at booking. These upgrades are given to you upon beginning the challenge and you get to keep them even if it isn’t completed!
My Path To Diamond
Since Cash + Points bookings are eligible for the Diamond Challenge, utilizing them was a key to my strategy. My goal was to incorporate lower category properties into my current travel plans. Here are the properties I stayed at.
Hyatt Regency DFW – 1 Night – Category 2 – 4,000 points + $55
Hyatt Regency Dallas – 1 Night – Category 2 – 4,000 points + $55
Grand Hyatt DFW – 1 Night – Category 3 – 6,000 points + $75
Grand Hyatt Santiago – 5 Nights – Category 2 – 4,000 points + $55 per night
Hyatt House Dulles – 1 Night – Paid $71 cash.
Hyatt Regency Crystal City – 1 Night Paid $75 cash
Hyatt Regency Tulsa – 1 Night – Category 1 – 2,500 points + $50
Hyatt Regency Wichita – 1 Night – Category 1 – 2,500 points + $50
Total Cost: 23,000 points + ~$750 including taxes. (Hyatt Santiago & Tulsa did not charge taxes.)
I did earn 14,754 points from my stays, meaning my net point cost was 8,246 which were obtained by transferring in Ultimate Rewards points from Chase.
As for the cash cost, I am using the bonus on a Barclay’s Arrival Plus card to cover $450 of the cost. I will also use Arrival points that I earn through purchases to pay for the rest of the expenses. In the end, my out of pocket cost will be less than $150.
Is It Worth It
Out of the twelve nights, I spent six in a suite. I used the suite upgrade at the Grand Hyatt Santiago and was given a beautiful suite at the Grand Hyatt DFW.
The Hyatt Regency Santiago & Hyatt Regency Tulsa gave me club lounge access while the other hotels all provided a free breakfast. The lounge in Santiago was pretty amazing and featured a full open bar, amazing views of the Andes mountains and a wonderful spread including fresh sushi.
On a couple of occasions I also enjoyed the welcome amenity which includes a small snack and a choice of beverage (wine anyone), however I mostly just took the 1,000 bonus points.
Considering I now have these benefits through 2016, I would say that the challenge was definitely worth it for me! As an example, I am currently staying in the Hyatt Regency Miami on points and was upgraded to a suite and have full club lounge access.
I travel a lot and thus it wasn’t hard for me to string together 12 nights to complete the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. While I try to travel for free, paying for these stays made sense to me. Not only was I able to cover most of the cash costs with Arrival points, but I didn’t spend too many Hyatt points either.
In my situation completing the challenge was a no-brainer since I will get a tremendous value out of the status. While I plan on staying on mostly awards from here on out, Hyatt still provides the same benefits when paying with points, so I should be able to enjoy all of the perks!