Rate Hyatt Gold Passport

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by Darcie, Jun 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Darcie
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    Darcie Silver Member

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    InsideFlyer magazine is reviewing Hyatt Gold Passport in our August issue and would like your input.

    If you would like to participate, please post your response in the thread with the pros and cons of membership in Hyatt Gold Passport and grade the program from A to F (A being the highest grade). You can include a plus or minus with the rating.

    You can also respond directly to the editors at InsideFlyer at dmankell@insideflyer.com if you would prefer.

    Thank you.
     
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  2. youpaiyou

    youpaiyou Silver Member

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    A+ for not devaluing points and for MGM affiliation. I'm staying 4 nights at a Hyatt as I write this post.
     
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  3. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    The real strengths of this program are

    * redemption -- very generous for their top end programs, it takes less spending to earn a free night at a top end luxury hotel than with the other major programs. they are also the most generous by FAR with confirmed suite upgrades for points, as well as for redeeming for free nights in suites.

    * top tier elite benefits - they are alone in offering CONFIRMED AT BOOKING suite upgrades, and they have the most generous breakfast benefit (the only program writing FULL rather than continental breakfast into their terms and conditions for when no club lounge is available).

    The biggest drawback to the Hyatt Gold Passport program is its reach -- they're half the size of Starwood and materially smaller than Marriott, Priority Club,and Hilton. But they're also more generous with earn/burn and elite benefits. So tradeoffs.

    Would love some more partnerships on the earning side. Would love cash and points redemptions, the ability to use Diamond confirmed suite upgrades on award nights, would be nice if award nights counted towards status (but that would bloat the elite ranks, they'd probably need a tier about 25 stays/50 nights). I also wish that Diamond complimentary upgrades were to the best available room at checkin including rather than excluding suites.

    Overall I give the program an A-. They're the strongest hotel loyalty program at this point IMHO, the major reason to pick another program is that their hotels (either quality, price point, or location) don't work. But the elements of the program itself are top notch.
     
  4. alfagirl

    alfagirl Gold Member

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    I too like their redempton/earning; LOVE confirmed suite upgrades at booking; upgraded room 99% of the time without having to ask (opposed to *Wood, where sometimes you have to ask.....);
    Don't like: not enough properties in places I visit (more Park Hyatts please).
    A.... since the properties I haved stayed in have been above average (even got a presidential suite upgrade once) and they always treat us very well
     
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  5. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    The program is an A- without taking into consideration the number of properties. Taking the significantly lower number of properties in the program into account make the program a B.
     
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  6. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Damnit, gleff got there before me. :D

    I'll try to phrase my answers differently, but we largely agree:

    Grade: A

    Positives:

    4 confirmed suite upgrades every year for Diamond members.

    Ability to use a minimal amount of points to upgrade to a suite on a paid reservation.

    Not only do you get full breakfast frequently as a Diamond member, but that also includes room service at certain properties and virtually unlimited breakfast at Park Hyatts.

    Impeccable recognition of elite benefits.

    Areas For Improvement:

    It would be great to be able to confirm Diamond suite upgrades on award reservations.

    Less properties than it's competitors. That being said, 1 solid Hyatt offering is usually better than 5 mediocre Marriott properties.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    A solid B based on a review that I'd previously done in another thread, which is recycled below. I rate Hyatt Gold Passport (GP) relative to my #1 program, Hilton Honors, "devaluation" and all:

    [H]yatt Gold Passport is my fallback frequent-guest program, i.e., in number 2 position, for a few reasons that I have shared on these boards:

    A.1. Room rates in hard cash are generally higher at Hyatt properties (Park Hyatt Saigon: $600/night!). Below is a head-to-head comparison of top 2 of 4 Hyatt and top 2 of 5 Hilton properties in one of my favorite cities in the world, Shanghai:

    [​IMG]

    A.2. While with more than 3800 properties worldwide Hilton is so ubiquitous that it is a cinch to find a property in most places, I just found this on the Hyatt corporate website "We manage, franchise, own and develop Hyatt branded hotels, resorts and residential and vacation ownership properties around the world. As of June 30, 2012, the company's worldwide portfolio consisted of 492 properties."

    B. As I had written before, it is demonstrably true that HH Diamonds fare much better on upgrades, including suite upgrades, than GP Diamonds because Hyatt GP is very stingy with this perk, which some have rated above as a strength -- I beg to differ. All we need to do is to check out each program's description of their Diamond benefits. The following is from the GP description of Diamond benefits, with the blue stating what the corresponding benefit is for HH Diamonds:
    • Enjoy the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites
    HH Diamonds enjoy the best room available upon arrival, including suites
    • Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge
    This benefit is about the same for the two programs; HH Diamonds have access to the executive lounge and complimentary breakfast but, in Asia, can have full free breakfast even at hotels that have a club lounge, if one chooses to have it in a full service restaurant on the property. In this respect, HH Golds fare better than GP Plats because the former can get access to these perks if they get upgraded, which happens on well over half of their stays. GP Plats have no way of seeing the inside of executive lounges or to have complimentary breakfast
    • Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights
    HH Diamonds are treated, depending on availability but without limit, to suite upgrades even on rewards stays, and those who are paranoid about leaving things to chance can guarantee the upgrades at booking using HHonors points.

    C. Branded credit cards -- the new point/status earners: Comparing the two cards with Le Chip Technology, Chase Hyatt Visa vs. Citi Reserve HH Visa, gives a huge edge to the latter (below, each bullet point is a benefit of the Chase Hyatt visa, while in blue I provide the corresponding Citi Reserve HH visa benefit):
    • One Anniversary Award Night each year at a category 1-4 property (top Cat is 6)
    A $10K spend on the Citi Reserve will earn a HH member one weekend night award certificate to be used at a hotel of any category that has standard rooms (Some W-As do not).
    • No foreign transaction fees for international purchases
    Same for the Citi Reserve
    • Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Status for as long as you are a cardmember
    Hilton Honors Gold Status for as long as one is a cardmember; but the benefits of HH Gold outshine those of GP Plats.
    • Receive credit towards earning and maintaining Diamond status after you spend the following:
      • $20,000 in a calendar year = 2 stay / 5 night credits
      • $40,000 in a calendar year = an additional 3 stay / 5 night credits
    This is the kicker! With a $40K spend on the HH Citi Reserve card, one earns the Diamond Status, whereas with the same spend on the Hyatt Visa one gets 2+3 = 5-stay / 5+5 = 10-night credits towards earning the GP Diamond Status. With the GP Diamond Status requiring 25 stays or 50 nights, a $40K spend would earn one only 20% of the number of stays/nights required to reach Diamond, while it would be enough for one to be a HH Diamond! Also, because HHonors permits elite qualification on base points, while GP does not, one can achieve HH Diamond with a "mere" folio-eligible $12K spend. Furthermore, award stays/nights count toward elite status, which is not the case in the GP program. So, it is great to go for a Hyatt Diamond Challenge and get it, but one must also look beyond that and consider the relative degrees of difficulty in maintaining the GP Diamond Status vs. HH Diamond Status after the initial qualification. I estimate that I will requalify for HH Diamond on base points after just 11-12 stays, at most 13 -- about half what it would require for me to make GP Diamond, which is thus a very expensive proposition, considering the relatively high room rates at Hyatt properties. Like I said: I have a fallback program and that is Hyatt GP...uncontested, in the number 2 slot.

    Why a B and not worse? I recently stayed at Hyatt properties in Taipei (Grand Hyatt), Ho Chi Minh City (Park Hyatt Saigon), and Jakarta (Grant Hyatt) and found the chain to be extremely well run and the properties impressive overall, even though rather pricey.
     
  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    The same description from hilton that gives properties "permission" to put Diamonds just about anywhere and call it an upgrade?

    None of that crap from hyatt. Just moderate promises that are often exceeded.
     
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  9. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    So true. A 1000 times true. Real solid hotels that rarely leave me wanting.
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have no idea what you are talking about but my post, which is based on each program's stated T&C, speaks for itself, and my experience so far has been that of being upgraded to a suite, except for my recent stay in San Diego at a property (Hilton Gaslamp) that was fully booked because of a large conference at the convention center nearby. I was upgraded to a large and spanking new loft that I could not have been more pleased with...
     
  11. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    Hyatt does such a great job of exceeding my expectations. As you say, rarely am I disappointed. Not true for my relationships with other chains.
     
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  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I think that this is simply an expression of the subjectivity that is inherent in one's choice of or preference for a loyalty program. As one who travels and stays primarily at Hilton properties in Asia, I can make the same claims and most who have had the same experience would agree. Thus, to attempt to achieve a level of objectivity, I compared GP and HHonors benefits as enshrined in each program's T&C. I notice that there has been no direct challenge of the comparisons, which give HHonors a clear edge, especially in achieving and maintaining the Diamond status, the branded CC, and with respect to suite upgrades.

    Lastly, I would like to point out that the deification of GP is not universal among the GP Diamonds. From the same thread in which I had first posted my review above, there were these posts:
    ....Clearly a mixed bag.
     
  13. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    7 years as SPG Diamond. 2 years as HH Diamond. 3 painful months as Marriott PLT. I've never had consistency like I do with Hyatt. I think that's enough years as a top-tier elite to say I'm not being subjective.
     
  14. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Proves nothing other than you found something about GP that you like and will turn a blind eye on all else. I pointed out several facets of the GP program that are subpar -- e.g., their CC and the cost and ways that are available to achieve Diamond status, which is the only status that is worth anything in the program -- that you simply chose to ignore. It is those deficiencies that need to be addressed in an objective analysis. The subjectivity of having never been disappointed by a program sounds great but the reality is usually different...
     
  15. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Hyatt guarantees more, and frequently delivers beyond that (I had a nice 1BR suite in my last Hyatt stay). Hilton suggests that other categories may be available, but makes it clear that it's OK to put you just about anywhere (and in a recent stay I was initially assigned a room on te second floor, right next to a very loud ballroom with a party going on inside. When I asked for a better room, nothing was available. When I asked again, suddenly there was a better room...)

    As a US-based traveller I'll give Hyatt a B, as right now no program is attractive enough to merit an A as programs have become less generous than they were a few years back.

    In-hotel treatment and service are great, and the properties are quite nice. Points earning is solid at all levels of the program for in-hotel spend, and the association with UR is nice for US-based members. Redeeming points for suites and premium rooms is a strength, as is redeeming for top-end properties. The suite certificates are nice, but the lack of being able to use them for award bookings is a big drawback as a lot of the places and times that I would use points are the same times I would want to use a certificate. I've let certificates expire unused. If they were usable on award bookings I would be thrilled and perhaps bump the program up to an A.

    IT is a little sketchy at times, and I've had to chase down missing points more frequently than with other programs. This is simultaneously minor but significant, as I really should not be put in the position where I need to track these things down. On the positive side they are very responsive in making things right.

    Drawbacks would be pricing for those who do not travel much in the US, as international properties tend to be expensive. Also, non-US earning is hurt by not having the CC (which is also tied to in-hotel promotions). Foreign members are in a bit of a tough spot.
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You are attributing to the program a behavior that is typical of managers at chains in the US that you'd be hard pressed to find in Asia, where service is superb across the board and status recognition is outstanding. I've seldom needed to ask for upgrades outside of the US, and since suite upgrades became a perk, I failed to get it only once all of last year, and so far this year, once in SAN. In the US, even Diamonds have to bargain their way to stated perks. Recently at Hilton Salt Lake City, I had to make them feel "guilty" about the poor treatment of Diamonds in the US compared to Asia before I was upgraded to a mini-suite. In fact, it had not even occurred to them to offer me this perk, although I had confirmed that there was availability.
    There is a bit that was left out of the HHonors T&C regarding upgrades:
    Otherwise, the above is a much more balanced review and rating of the program: a solid B.
     
  17. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Yes, there is more - HHonors, as I mentioned above, elects to give "permission" for suite upgrades (which properties are free to give anyway). They include the word "suite" in their T&C, but with no real commitment to offer them. Properties in places like Asia may well go above and beyond and offer suites (and Hyatt's properties are free to do the same) but are not required to by the program.

    Neither T&C guarantees space-available suite upgrades. Hilton mentions them as an enticement, but depending on where you are staying Hyatt may be more likely to actually deliver them.


    You're comparing the terms of Hyatt (who seem to have a philosophy of delivering beyond what is promised - both in my experience and that of others) with your experience at Asian Hilton properties, combined with very weaselly T&C from Hilton that make it perfectly fine to basically put you anywhere they please and call it your upgrade.
     
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  18. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    It's my top hotel program, but my rationale is a bit different. I spend every night in a hotel. I don't keep the points I earn, though I do end up with the status. I'm not interested in promos (though there's a sentimental spot in my heart for Faster Free Nights, which enabled me to do more pro bono work). What I care about is getting a good night's sleep (every day is a work day) and having a reliable fitness center, with decent customer support, on-site and by phone. Right down to the Hyatt Place level, Hyatt delivers...excepting Century City LA and a couple of other odd ducks with unacceptable fitness center set ups.
     
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  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You have said this several times now, but I fail to see the practical significance. Every property within the Hilton chain has always had the discretion to implement some aspects of the T&C, but my experience has been that Diamonds always get upgraded to the executive floor, and, in my case I have had better than a 90% success rate in getting suite upgrades. At some properties, e.g. Hilton Beijing Wangfujing or Hilton SIN, where I have stayed multiple times, they now let me practically pick my upgrade. Flexibility in T&C could be good or bad...but, I have to repeat that you are attributing to the program a behavior that is typical of managers in the US!

    I am nearly certain that the above claim would not stand up to scrutiny. HH Diamonds who fail to get upgraded to at least the exec floor are extremely rare (I have never failed once to get upgraded to the exec floor; my thing now is to get suites). In general, Hilton consistently delivers for most Golds and for virtually all Diamonds who report here on their travels. On the other hand, I just quoted above GP Diamonds who contradict your claim about Hyatt GP delivering...:confused:
    The T&C of Hyatt are lacking. The program is small, with very limited availability; making Diamond and maintain it is an expensive proposition (and I say this as someone who has his travel expenses reimbursed most of the year), the CC "perks" are laughable, and the notion that Hilton can put you anywhere they please is not the experience of most HH Diamonds, even Golds.
    This is how Hyatt "delivers". As a bonus for getting the Chase Hyatt visa card, I got 2 free award nights to redeem for a standard room and 2 free suite upgrades. However, as you correctly pointed out this poses a conundrum. The free nights cannot be redeemed for suites, and the suite upgrades must be used on paid stays! I have not yet figured out what to do to avoid wasting either the free nights or the suite upgrades or both. I am thinking about booking a paid 2-night stay, upgrading it to a suite with the certs, and then booking two free nights in a standard room at the same property, back to back, so that they would have to ask me to leave the suite after two nights to move to the standard room to complete the 2 free award nights. Something like it had happened to me at a Hilton property and I was just told to stay put in the suite... ;)
     
  20. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    Just become diamond a few days ago so don't have enough experience to vote. However, I'd just like to say that I don't see full breakfast as a benefit, I see it as a liability! I'd need a seatbelt extender if I had full breakfasts on 50+ nights a year. Great continental breakfast with nice choice of cereals and lots of fresh fruit in the Hyatt lounge I'm in now.
     
  21. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    I have been a diamond all of two months, I have to say that my stays domestically have been extremely pleasant and definitely the best in CS that I have had compared to SPG, Hilton or Marriott. From my international experience, it has been the most incredible experience so far. I would give it an A at the moment.
     
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  22. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    I do hope my experience at the Conrad Tokyo was an outlier then. It was a bit of a lackluster experience. We are only lowly Golds, but the check-in exp at the Conrad was a complete mess, no recognition and not much of a warm and fuzzy experience about staying there. The rooms were nice enough and I did get an upgrade to a bayview room from a cityview room. The only good thing about the place was the location compared to the PH Tokyo that we stayed at beforehand. Now, that was an experience. Felt like "royalty".

    full disclosure: booked suites at PH with the Chase CC and award stays at Conrad through bonus only. I was a diamond for all of 3 weeks when we stayed and Gold for over a year (stays/CC).
     
  23. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    Grade: B+

    Great treatment at Asian properties. Access to club lounges in places like Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok are really great if you're a diamond member.

    Upgrades at even normal properties in Asia such as the Hyatt Regency in Bali are nice. You might not get a suite that often, but you get a nice ocean view almost every time. The 4 yearly suite upgrades for Diamond members are great, and when used wisely, can be used for almost a month in a suite.

    The biggest drawbacks are the lack of any great promotions. In the past there were the yearly free night promo, extra points G codes, and so many more. You're lucky to get a tepid 1000 extra points if you're lucky. There are some properties that are great for 5k points a night (Bali Hyatt Regency), but most 5k properties aren't anything special.

    In the US, the properties are very hit and miss. Some properties are special, but most of them don't stand out from any other mid level chain hotel.
     
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  24. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Perhaps I grade on a curve, but which programs have been running more lucrative promotions than Hyatt has? I agree they haven't been especially exciting but neither have anyone else's IMHO. I don't see Hyatt as worse than the competition here, and in many ways their luckluster promotions have been marginally better, no?
     
  25. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I frankly fail to see why your experience at this property should be an "outlier". All you just reported is that the hotel staff did not make you feel warm and fuzzy. My response is: good for them because some of that mushy stuff tends to go overboard, especially in SE Asia; not so much in Japan as you found out but I do not see this as an indictment of the property. Check-in was a mess: I have no idea what that means, and it would definitely be an outlier, especially if you have ever checked in at, e.g., Conrad HK. No recognition and yet you, a "lowly" Gold, got upgraded at Conrad Tokyo, which means that in addition to free breakfast you got access to the executive lounge. If a "royal" experience means making one feel warm and fuzzy then we are looking for different things. I'd rather have "efficient and friendly" over "warm and fuzzy".

    .P.S. Try staying to the PH Tokyo as GP Platinum, which is equivalent to HH Gold, and see what you get...You'll appreciate the free breakfast and the upgrade that you got at the Conrad even more as HH Gold. With a second-tier elite status that has practically no benefits, GP is hardly the A or A+ program that some folks feel it is. Rather than "Gold Passport" it should be renamed "Diamond Passport" because only the Diamond status, which is also lacking, is worth anything...
     
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