Hyatt Diamond is one of the best hotel elite top-tier statuses, in my opinion. I completed a Hyatt Diamond challenge with them last month, which requires 12 qualifying nights within a 60 day period.
Originally, a friend had transferred some points before the devaluation which I intended to use at the Category 6 Park Hyatts before the devaluation. (You can transfer points here). However, when the devaluation kicked in, the new cash and points options that had kicked in were pretty interesting, so I decided to consider a run at Diamond Status. You can still challenge for Hyatt Diamond – see the steps to do it.
I calculated the value for me the status that Hyatt Diamond was worth in this post, which was a very conservative valuation on benefits. For the most part, I don’t need suites, and there’s no way I’d pay $100+ a night to upgrade to a suite at a Park/Grand Hyatt unless it was a really special occasion, nor the typical $50+ upgrade costs for a club room (obviously it is nice to get that as a free upgrade).
A lot of people may value that higher (and actually be willing to pay more for club access/suites), so it does depend on your spending habits and your travel budget. Since I ended up valuing Hyatt Diamond at around $700, two years of this status (since mine expires February 2016) is worth roughly $1400.
This is where it gets weird, because if you asked me if I would pay $1400 outright for Hyatt Diamond status for two years, I’d definitely say no. But elite status through a diamond challenge makes you act differently that you normally would…
Anyways, I ended up staying 14 nights/9 stays during the period which I was able to do because I had a period of pretty heavy travel.
Hyatt Diamond Elite Status Treatment
Ideally as a Diamond guest
I’d like my rooms to have a helicopter pad and a giraffe sitting service you want to feel valued as a top-tier customer. As Hyatt puts it, “you will experience the highest level of membership and have access to our most elite benefits and awards.” For my stays, my Diamond Status was acknowledged and the standard benefits were provided. I felt some of the North American properties seemed much more willing to go above and beyond, in my opinion.
The Park Hyatt Chicago gave me a fantastic Park Executive Suite on a Cash and Points Rate, which usually went for around $900.
The Grand Hyatt San Diego also gave me a fantastic suite for Mother’s Day which went for around $400.
The stays at the Andaz London, Andaz Amsterdam, and Park Hyatt Zurich were also quite nice.
Spend and Points from the Hyatt Diamond Challenge
I ended up spending around $2200, which was by no means cheap, but for a two week-long family vacations, was very reasonable. I had 3 cash and points stays while the rest were on cash. I ended up not redeeming for all of the top-tier category 6 Hyatts that I planned to, and rather ended up doing a few more cash and points reservations, so I still have a some points left for a few more stays.
As well, I was targeted for 5,000 points after 5 stays when Hyatt targeted members for a bonus promotion. This also stacked with the 6,000 bonus points from the Diamond challenge which everyone gets after completing their first six stays. Along with a few diamond points amenities and elite bonuses, I ended collecting just under 30,000 points, which is another ~$420+ rebate.
Given that I value Hyatt Diamond at around ~$1400 for two years, the benefits I received I think was definitely a significant rebate on the cost of my hotel stays and I would have ended up paying quite a bit more for suites/breakfast/etc. had I not done the challenge.
Hyatt Diamond in comparison to other Chains
Two other chains where I think it’s worth going for elite status is SPG Platinum and IHG Royal Ambassador, and both elite statuses have amazing benefits which are probably on par with Hyatt Diamond. For example, Starwood Platinums get standard suites on arrival depending on available. IHG RA gets guaranteed 8am early check-in and free minibar, as well as generally a 2-category room upgrade. However, both programs do have limitations. Royal Ambassador benefits don’t apply on award stays (although this is not always the case), and the redemptions for SPG higher category hotels tend to be exorbitant – especially specialty Category 7 and limited SPG participation properties.
That’s why Hyatt in my opinion does offer the best combination of value in regards to points, elite status benefits, and hotels. They have to, because of their limited reach worldwide. I don’t think there’s any other chain which will do cash and point at 12.5k + $150 on a room goes for $400+ and allow you do DSU that onto a suite that costs even more, and then give you free room service breakfast.
It’s probably also probably the easiest chain to get elite status which also helps. Note that officially allowed only one Hyatt Diamond Challenge per lifetime, so make sure you take advantage of that.
Chase UR transfers into Hyatt, so if you do need points it’s not that hard to get. If you’re Canadian just find an American friend and move Hyatt points from their account into yours after they transfer UR. 😉