My Hyatt Diamond Requalification Plan
Yesterday I talked about a great deal on Hyatt gift cards. By utilizing a number of promotions, I was able to purchase the gift cards at 25% off of their face value. That promotion is still available if you are interested and I believe it is a fantastic deal.
One of the topics I hit on in the deal post is my quest to requalify for Hyatt’s Diamond status. I gained Diamond status last year through a challenge and have grown to love it so much, that I am not wanting to give it up. After reading my plans, someone asked for me to go a little more in depth as to how I plan to requalify for Diamond.
What is Diamond Status
Before I detail my strategy, lets look at some of the basics of Hyatt’s Diamond Status.
Qualification Requirements: 25 stays or 50 nights in a calendar year.
- Lounge access or free breakfast when no lounge is available
- Best room upon check-in excluding suites
- 4 confirmed suite upgrades per year
- Welcome amenity or points bonus
- 4pm late checkout
- 30% points bonus, premium internet &more
An Example of the Value of Diamond
A couple of months ago my wife and I visited the Grand Hyatt Kauai on a last minute vacation. I had booked the room totally with points (Points + Cash wasn’t a good value) which meant that I was booked into a “Garden view” room which is otherwise known as a parking lot view.
For the first three nights of our stay we were upgraded to a partial oceanview room. (I was able to move to a full oceanview for the 4th night.) During our entire stay we had club lounge access which included breakfast in the morning including two hot items and appetizers in the evening. It was one of the best lounge spreads I have seen too.
As for the rest of the value, we never had to pay for water or soda or juice, since we could always get that from the lounge. Our Diamond welcome amenity was a free 1 day pool cabana rental and we also received nightly turn down service. When it came time to leave, I was able to secure a late checkout.
When I look back, between the food, drinks, room upgrade and the 1 day cabana rental, my Hyatt Diamond status was worth hundreds of dollars on that one stay alone. Of course I have utilized it at a number of other properties in the past year including the Grand Hyatt Macau, Hyatt Regency Kowloon, Grand Hyatt Santiago, Grand Hyatt Washington DC and many many more.
How I Will Requalify
As you can probably tell, the easiest way to requalify for Diamond status is through stays. 25 stays are not that tough to complete (for me), especially if I do them one night at a time. Here are a few strategies I am using to requalify:
Points + Cash – Since Points + Cash bookings count towards elite status I use them as often as possible. For longer than one night stays where I can’t change hotels, I simply book the first night with Points + Cash and the rest with points so I minimize my out of pocket cost.
Move hotels – When I was recently in Charlotte, I stayed one night at the Hyatt House Downtown for the conference I was attending and then one night at a Hyatt Place by the airport before my early morning flight. Two nights in Charlotte, but more importantly two separate stay credits.
Hyatt Credit Card – This is my fallback plan. The Hyatt credit card awards credit for 2 stays (and 5 nights) after $20,000 in spend. Add in an additional $20,000 and they throw in another 3 stays (and 5 nights). So if I need to, I can spend on the Hyatt card and get 20% of the stays I need to requalify.
MLife – I live in Las Vegas which makes it somewhat easier to do mattress runs if necessary. I actually already have 2 stays this year from MLife, although those were not mattress runs specifically. In the low season Luxor & Excalibur run less than $50 a night including the resort fees so that could be a cheap option for one night stays.
Is It Worth It?
So now you are probably thinking that it isn’t worth it to pursue Diamond status. I won’t argue with you. There is a huge opportunity cost to getting it and keeping it, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable to me. My family and I spent years staying in guesthouses and hostels when that made sense, but I like this better and it is attainable.
You may be fine with collecting a variety of points currencies and staying at whichever chain provides the best value in a given city for a given night. I still do this to, but less so now that I want to keep my Hyatt status. Some people also love to utilize Hotel Tonight, Priceline and other services for cheap bookings, That is a good way to go as well.
The 25 year old “kid” backpacking around the world with his family would not have gone after Hyatt’s Diamond status, because he didn’t know better. Today things are different and I recognize how the value of the status offsets the opportunity costs incurred to keep it. That works for me, although it is definitely a fine line.