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Time For A Break? Signs You May Love World of Hyatt Too Much

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World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt

Perhaps the only thing Hyatt fans love more than their loyalty program is talking about it.  I’m at the point where I’d rather listen to my neighbor talk about his fantasy football team.  Indeed, there’s much to adore about the program.  As a top-tier Diamond member of Gold Passport, the predecessor to World of Hyatt, I get the draw.  But I pulled the it’s-not-you-it’s-me routine with Hyatt years ago when my goals no longer aligned with stays there.  From afar, I’ve watched their loyalty program evolve, including recently, and I routinely interact with Hyatt loyalists.  Somewhere along the way, many points and travel enthusiasts, perhaps egged on by those who make money off them, have seemingly deified Hyatt.  But Hyatt’s not perfect, nor is any other program.  Here are just a few signs you may love Hyatt too much.

You Overrate Cents Per Point Value

Like many analytical pursuits, hobbyists latch on to what they can most easily measure.  Assigning a numerical value to a given thing creates the clarity many crave to inform clear, reasoned decision making.  A traveler may rationalize a given stay knowing they achieved an acceptable cents per point (cpp) value.  Indeed, the points and miles blogosphere feeds this beast – (even here, although I don’t pay much attention).  In a vacuum, cpp value works out perfectly.  But we’re never in one – other factors always play a role.  Therefore, individuals shouldn’t overly rely on cpp value for sound redemptions.

Bottom line, Hyatt points are worth nothing if they don’t offer a property aligned with my travel goals.  But some Hyatt loyalists come at it a different way – that’s next.

World of Hyatt
Park Hyatts are great, but that doesn’t mean you want to visit Kyoto.

Hyatt Dictates Your Travel

While Hyatt’s gradually improving, their footprint is still relatively limited compared to the other major hotel chains.  I have known individuals to look at Hyatt’s portfolio of properties and subsequently pick their next travel destination based on what they find.  Elsewhere, I’ve heard a few others express interest in traveling certain places, then they find out there’s no Hyatt property there.  Unsurprisingly, they change their plans to a Hyatt-compatible one.

In my view, that’s the exact opposite of how one should look at the situation – unless one’s life goal is to visit as many Hyatts in the world as possible.  Step back from all hotel chains, banks, and all other outside interests and build your goals from the ground up.  Hyatt may align with some, but probably not all.

You Must Eat Breakfast at the Hotel

Shocker, the most passionate Hyatt fans I’ve met are Globalists, the top-tier status in the World of Hyatt loyalty program.  Undoubtedly, Hyatt’s elite breakfast benefit for Globalists is tops in the industry.  Globalists receive complimentary breakfast at the club lounge (if the property offers one) or complimentary full breakfast for up to two adults and two children daily.  There’s no messing around with confusing credits or overly complex requirements.  Bravo.

But some Globalists have make more of this benefit than they should.  Routinely, plenty of superior breakfast options exist outside the hotel.  Go beyond the “free” Sysco-supplied slop and connect with your travel destination in a more meaningful way.  What a thought!  In this regard, I prefer the more customizable Hilton elite daily food and beverage credit, fitting it around my local dining priorities.

World of Hyatt

You Rationalize Devaluations

Full disclosure, I’m confident we all do this with our preferred loyalty programs.  But Hyatt’s been quite category change-happy recently, and loyalists largely lose here.  While small wins can be had, on a whole, substantially more properties go up than go down.  Many squint to make sense of the tweaks, stand pat, and make exactly zero changes to their loyalty.  Everyone who loves the easier Hyatt FNC’s will just pick a different category 1-4 property and move on.

You Take Advanced Measures to Pay For Globalist Status

Anyone chasing elite status is paying for it in some manner – with cash money, time, effort, something.  Many will shamelessly throw funds at it, not even consuming the product or service for which they’re paying.  Some have said that’s gotten tougher recently, and others think the strategy’s just changed a bit.  Many have used each of the above resources to obtain it, but I doubt that all of those individuals are getting any meaningful return which exceeds, let alone meets, what they’ve expended.

Conclusion

Of course, some of these are applicable to other programs, but I feel it’s most prominent with World of Hyatt fans.  I feel it’s important for us all to step back from our “favorite stuff” – loyalty programs, credit cards, rewards currencies, etc – and critically review if they’re the optimal ones for our current situations.  Let’s recognize that our individual lives, wants, and needs routinely change, and which loyalty program we prioritize should, as well.  Or, gasp, just be a free agent!  Dear reader, I encourage you to question exactly why Hyatt is so important to you right now.  Adapt and overcome!

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

14 COMMENTS

  1. To me – with a family of four- the suite upgrades which are easy to use, confirmed early and good for up to 7 days each are so much better than anything anyone else offers. Worth the trouble to get status if it means a more comfortably stay when we travel.
    I have done a week at the andaz mayakoba, a week at the andaz in Costa Rica, one week in the park Hyatt beaver creek- although they have since stopped taking SUAs- and two weeks a the andaz in Maui with these upgrades in last year.

  2. I don’t have a problem with brand loyalty. And Hyatt provides the best value in terms of points/$. But I do agree that chasing status is not for most people. If I spend on a card and push all my stays to Hyatt, the best I can do is Explorist (probably in the 30-35 EQN range). That has value. But also: hotel breakfast is meh. This is the same argument about lounge access. Lounge food is…fine. Having a couple of go-to brands, but using all of them when you need them, is probably the best policy in terms of getting value from programs without succumbing to induced spending.

  3. I have a major quibble with your “YOU RATIONALIZE DEVALUATIONS” argument. Has Hyatt been quite category change-happy recently? The addition of Category 8 awhile back was a bummer, for sure, but the new categories for all-inclusives came about because of a significant increase in the number of such properties through acquisition, which significantly increased their footprint, so a net positive IMO. As for the annual category changes, only a small percentage of properties change category each year. Almost always more up than down, true, but the overwhelming majority of properties stay put. On top of all that, as one of the few programs that still has award charts, and arguably the only major brand that does, even with the category changes, one has to squint to make it seem like Hyatt is devaluing its program more significantly and more often than its competitors.

  4. The main reason I love Hyatt is because as a Globalist I can make Point Advance Bookings.
    Having this benefit is immensely helpful when planning my stays. Combined that with Chase UR earning cards, it is a perfect system for long term travelers like myself.

  5. I don’t think getting your travel around Hyatt properties is a sin. Most good hyatt properties are at exotic locales anyway.
    As staying at a lux property is part of the fun. Finally everything is a trade off.

  6. I won’t disagree with anything you said, but I think the real point is to be totally aware of it and accept it is a choice some of us choose to make. One year I made both Hyatt globalist and Hilton diamond. So the following year I was able to compare them for myself. We all have different situations, but I haven’t stayed at a Hilton since. But if a Hilton is my best choice at some location in the future, then I’m happy to stay there.

  7. In other words, you’re article is basically saying you’re not a Hyatt Globalist and you’re a Hilton fanboy because it suits your needs better. Shocker. It’s basically the same justification on why people choose United or AA over Alaska even though Alaska is the far superior product despite it’s limited footprint.

    Ever since Hilton changed their breakfast policy, I’ve stayed there about once since then, and gave up my Diamond status. Good riddance. Yea Hyatt doesn’t have a huge footprint compared to Hilton, but one could easily argue HIlton isn’t anywhere in the same class of Hyatt when it comes to benefits, which is why there is a very loyal following to Hyatt.

    Oh – and I don’t know if you noticed but breakfasts outside of the hotel are outrageously expensive nowadays… and made with the same Sysco-supplied slop you talk about.

    Don’t even get me started about staying at Hilton rooms for 200k points per night or more.

    • I didn’t read this as a Hyatt vs. Hilton post, but more an issue that can be true for any loyalty program. Of course a lot depends on what you prioritize with travel. When traveling for leisure I prioritize location over the hotel because I spend very little time in the hotel. I never eat in the hotel because there are always much better options outside of it, but that is because I try to pick hotels in walkable neighborhoods with good food options nearby. This means I have to be flexible and can’t be too loyal to a particular brand (although if I find a suitable hotel where I have status then all the better). On the other hand, when I am traveling for work I just want convenience so I will stay the closest to where my work duties take me and eat in the hotel if that is easiest. Of course if your goal in leisure travel is always maximize points or only stay in luxury properties then your calculations will be different. But I interpreted the point of the post to think about what you want out of travel and not let a loyalty program dictate your actions without being intentional about it. There is no right answer for everybody.

    • Well, you’re a Hyatt “fanboy because it suits your needs better.” Is your position any nobler than his? Shouldn’t we all choose a program that suits our needs?

      Oh, and if you’re eating “Sysco-supplied slop” outside the hotel, you’re not eating local!

  8. Interesting take on things. I’d say that all of your points have at least some validity. I do think that the “ HYATT DICTATES YOUR TRAVEL” part is a bit skewed. For example, about a decade ago there was a $329 sale fare from my tertiary city to Zagreb. I had never been to Croatia and thought that sounded great but I was comparatively cash poor and points rich. Fortunately, Starwood made it work because there was a category 2 Sheraton there. I booked that and the trip was a smashing success. My take on that in your context is that it’s okay to go somewhere specifically because you can afford it due to points from a favored program.

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