Hyatt’s Diamond Match – Disloyal, Stupid or Both?
Just a few days ago we saw Hyatt begin to give away their top tier membership to elites of other programs. The match seemed to be driven by the company’s want to take elites from SPG following the Marriott purchase announcement, but they were also matching elites from other chains as well. It was a bonanza for some.
The match was incredibly generous. Prove you were an elite with at least one stay and get the Hyatt’s top tier Diamond status through February, 2017. It seems they tightened up the guidelines for who qualifies sometime during the process, but no doubt thousands of people including several of my friends are now Diamond members just like me.
I Work Hard for My Diamond
But is that really fair? After all, I have struggled this year to requalify for Hyatt Diamond status. I value it a lot, so I have planned and split stays and done whatever it takes. Currently I am sitting just four stays shy of the 25 I need to requalify and no doubt will hit that magic number before the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Day.
The truth is loyalty programs aren’t a democracy. It is perfectly legal for a company to make me struggle to get Diamond status the published way and then give it to someone else for nothing. Many of us Diamonds also fast tracked into that status during the previous Diamond Challenge. Sure, that required 12 nights, but it definitely was an easier way to get the status than 25 stays or 50 nights.
I Am Still Winning
Then of course I think back to all of the statuses I hold. I personally hold SPG Gold, Club Carlson Gold, IHG Platinum, Best Western Diamond and HHonors Gold in addition to my Hyatt Diamond. How about all of the people who earned those statuses the old fashioned way? I simply got mine through credit cards and status matches. In other words, I would be a huge hypocrite for being too mad at Hyatt for this.
I also think back to my recent AA Elite Fast Track. When I saw that promotion, I was in Mexico City with my friend who is not a “hobbyist” and who is AAdvantage Gold purely through flying. He saw me register for the promotion, fly a couple of flights (which still equals less flying than he did this year) and now I have the top tier status. That didn’t make him feel too good nor was it fair.
We Are All Blessed
The truth is we are all blessed. Sometimes we win and score an amazing deal and sometimes we miss out. Yes the Hyatt Diamond match was one of those rare gems and yes I am sort of jealous that so many people got my beloved status without any work, but oh well. There will be promotions they miss out on. In the end we are all winning.
Loyalty programs don’t operate to give things away. They operate to make money and to motivate brand loyalty. A select group of us has found ways to make those programs work for us. We are all blessed because of that. Which brings me to my final points.
Was This a Good Move & Is It Disloyal?
I wonder how many loyal customers Hyatt will get from this match. There are a lot of us these days and the news of this promotion spread like crazy. Sure a lot of people are now Diamonds and probably some of them will stick around, but will Hyatt gain enough to justify giving these benefits to so many people? I suppose time will tell, but my guess is no.
Finally, we need to answer whether this move is disloyal to current elites? In my opinion it isn’t. As I said before, it is completely legal and while some will be rubbed the wrong way, Hyatt is trying to improve their business. They are trying to drive more traffic to their brands and to their properties. As long as they provide the benefits published, I think ultimately they are being as loyal as they need to be.