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Help! Hyatt Diamond Status Is Messing with My Head

No, it’s not the case of DYKWIA (do you know who I am?) Though I confess, I find myself bringing up the fact that my husband is currently a Diamond, while vacationing in Hyatt properties. It just comes out randomly during conversations with perfect strangers.

Fellow guest: How do you like your room here?

Me: Oh, we love our suite! In case you are wondering (he wasn’t), we got it due to my husband’s Diamond status. (Mentally slapping myself in the face.)

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, getting this status (for free) has been an amazing windfall. However, I was determined from the beginning not to change our existing plans. Getting free breakfast/lounge access/suite is nice, but most Hyatt resort properties are expensive on points. I realize it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but I always measure value against my cost of accumulating IHG currency.

For example, many beachfront Holiday Inn properties in the state of Florida run at 35,000 points per night. I get a rebate of 10% with my IHG credit card, so the true cost is 31,500 points. I can usually accumulate this amount for around $100 via various promos. Redeeming  during peak times and holidays will yield the best CPP, but it’s a good deal during any season, really. Additionally, kids eat free at a Holiday Inn, and dining prices are reasonable to begin with.

Hyatt Diamond status, you are driving me crazy!

While I enjoyed our stay in Clearwater Hyatt property,  at 20,000 points per night I didn’t think it was a good redemption value. Free breakfast is nice, but I don’t feel the need to go back unless we can use Hyatt Visa certificates. Visiting Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa was a different story. My whole family absolutely loved our getaway.

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Having free lounge access is extremely convenient when you travel with family, not to mention, saves a good bit of money. So, I started looking at our upcoming plans to see if we can swap  IHG reservations for Hyatt stays.

After all, I have several suite upgrades just begging to be used. And suites are a big deal (pun intended) when you have four people. Another motivating factor was $200 I have left on my Hyatt gift card. I could book Cash+Points stay and have gift card  cover the $ cost.

I did convince myself to splurge on one-night stay at Hyatt Regency Sarasota  It’s a category 3, so Cash+Points rate is $75+6,000 points per night. For that amount we will get a suite with free lounge access.

I’m really torn on what to do (or not to do) for Spring Break. Here is the thing. My kids are off for one week in March, and Hyatt status will expire at the end of  February. Few months ago I was able to redeem 105,000 IHG points on a 3-night stay in Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort Paid rate for the same time period is $800. So it’s a very good value redemption considering the fact that I was able to accumulate the points for around $300.

We’ve stayed at this resort 5 years ago, before it became part of IHG, and really enjoyed it. We are “easy to please” travelers and don’t need luxury. However, we really appreciate free food, which brings me to my dilemma…

I’m seriously thinking about booking a three-night getaway at Hyatt Coconut Point resort in Bonita Springs and just canceling our vacation in Cape Canaveral. Obviously, we would have to go in February in order to take advantage of Diamond status one last time. I checked several February weekends and unfortunately, Cash+Points rate isn’t available on any of them, so we would have to share a regular room.

Is free Hyatt food really free?

On the one hand, this status deal is “use it or lose it.” On the other hand, I’ve been wanting to go to Cape Canaveral resort for a very long time. I’m also not crazy about cancelling our Spring Break plans. So, basically, it comes down to free lounge food and late checkout.

How much is lounge access REALLY worth? Obviously, it’s very convenient, but then again, Cape Canaveral has room service and on-site restaurants. Yes, we’ll have to pay, but prices are reasonable. Plus, my kids will be happy with a muffin and a cup of milk, and we can pick those up at a  grocery store  dirt cheap.

So, it comes down to buying breakfast for me and my husband. We can pull off a super nice meal for $25 and make coffee in the room. Getting dinner and snacks in the lounge is very convenient, but I wouldn’t value this perk at more than  $50 per day. So, we are talking about savings of $75.

Plus, we won’t feel pressured to leave the pool area in Cape Canaveral just so we can get our free food. We can order few meals right there and let kids play in the water. We won’t be tied to a lounge and feel free to go to IHOP, which we absolutely love. Hyatt resort costs 15,000 points per night, which can instead be redeemed for $225 towards travel. By comparison, I’ve accumulated IHG currency at a cost of 0.3 cents per point, which translates to $100 per night.

I’m pretty sure the kids will enjoy both resorts equally. Plus, I can always transfer UR points to Hyatt and just book a getaway at a later date. The thing is, unlike IHG currency, UR points represent  real cash. And that’s worth keeping in mind. Whatever we end up doing for Spring Break, I would much rather utilize “funny money” likely to devalue (a.k.a hotel points) than actual dollars.

Hyatt just made my decision easier

So, while I was writing this post, the big news of Hyatt program revamp hit the web. See all the details here Basically, my husband will be downgraded to Explorist status since we are not trying to re-qualify for Diamond. And you better believe that this news isn’t going to change our plans!

Mattress  runs for status rarely make sense for regular folks like us. Gracias no. While things may change between now and March 1st, it looks like we’ll be getting 4 Club Lounge vouchers that should be valid till March of 2018. Here is the pertinent info:

“Current Hyatt Gold Passport members who are awarded Explorist status on March 1, 2017, will have the four Explorist Club Upgrade Awards in their account in early March 2017. All other members will receive the awards at the time of achieving or re-achieving Explorist status. Explorist Club Upgrade Awards are valid for reservations with a checkout date no later than one year from the date of award issuance. These electronic awards are automatically deposited into your account.”

Since this Hyatt resort rarely has Cash+Points  availability for the dates we need, free food is mostly what I care about. Late checkout is nice, but it’s not a game changer. Since I can use Club room upgrade certificate  on award stays, I might  just book  a getaway at the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. Like I said, we really enjoyed the property, so I don’t feel too bad about splurging on a 2-night weekend, especially since no airfare is required.

Elite status can make a person act irrationally

I can say with absolute certainty that it’s messing with my head and encouraging me to spend more in order to take advantage of all the perks while we still have them. But in the end, it’s just freakin’ food and extra space, folks! Yes, suite is nice, when you can actually get it, that is. We weren’t able to take advantage of any of our upgrade certificates. Well, except that one stay in Sarasota which I may end up canceling after all.

Turns out, we have to attend an out-of-town wedding that weekend, and the last thing my husband will want to do is drive to Sarasota for one night in order  to get free (free!!!) food. Wait a minute, paying 6,000 UR points+$100 (including resort fee and tax) just to swim in a pool and eat a delicious omelet/pastry isn’t really that much of a bargain.

We can do the same thing at a Holiday Inn Express for 15,000 points (previously acquired for $50 all-in). The Hyatt in Sarasota looks like a nice hotel, but not a resort by any stretch of imagination. Maybe it’s better to just let the suite upgrade expire and save Hyatt gift card for the stay we really want later in the year. #FirstWorldProblems

Readers, is Hyatt Diamond status messing with your head?

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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11 thoughts on “Help! Hyatt Diamond Status Is Messing with My Head

  1. I’ve never really understood chasing status for the reasons you lay out. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense for our family.

  2. @Lindy Absolutely. I would never in a million years consider doing mattress runs strictly for status. We got Hyatt Diamond via match, and it fit nicely with our existing plans. I have already applied for Hyatt Visa at that point, and we used anniversary cert for a getaway with relatives. So, status had no impact on my decision to book those two stays. But boy, it sure is steering me toward Hyatt over the course of next year! Darn it, I’m not falling for it. 🙂

  3. I wish someone would sell me their lounge access voucher. Would come I handy for Kauai – not sure what kind of room we’ll get since I have Platinum status. At least resort fees will be waived. I wish I had your problem 😉

    • @Stephanie Haha! Like I said, first world problems. I feel silly even recording this dilemma, but that’s what my site focuses on. I specialize in first world problems! 🙂
      I don’t know if these lounge upgrades are transferrable (my guess is they are not), but I’ll be happy to give you one when they deposit it.

  4. When I comes to status, I am an absolute newbie.

    And I hear you on first world problems. Know what I’m struggling with right now? Hyatt status and a spring break trip. Sound familiar?

    We have a trip tentatively planned for the grand Hyatt Kauai. It’s at the end of march for spring break. I have the Hyatt card. Will we get lounge access for our stay? Or does the Hyatt change shift all of that? No shot at suite upgrades, right? Can I fit my family of 4 in their standard rooms Comfortably? Questions!

    • @Cheapblackdad I’m kind of a status newbie too! Hyatt Diamond thing is a total fluke that happened unexpectedly. This whole transition is very confusing. We don’t know all the details, but from what I understand, if you are Hyatt Platinum right now AND have a Hyatt card, you will become a Discoverist in March. Check this page for benefits https://goldpassport.hyatt.com/content/world/en/tiers-benefits.html
      As you can see, not a whole lot of perks aside from late checkout and unfortunately, you won’t get the club lounge access upgrade unless you are Diamond right now. Makes sense?
      But if you plan to use free nights, it doesn’t matter. Those are not eligible for club upgrade certificates. It has to be a paid night or one redeemed via points/ points +cash. At least, that’s how I understood the terms, which may change between now and March. Confusion galore.
      As far as fitting four in one room, it’s tight, of course, but not too bad. Depends on the size of the room. We’ve done it many times, but I wouldn’t want to go a whole week in such a cramped environment. Hyatt properties usually have decent sized rooms, though.

    • I stayed at Grand Hyatt Kauai in February for a conference, I was plantinum and no lounge access. My friends accidentally stumbled into the lounge and said it was a very nice spread. With plantinum I think they give you a room on the top floor. I booked a deluxe ocean view room and there was a king and a queen bed, room was huge! I think standard room is not very big but you’ll be spending most of the time outside anyway!

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  6. I’ve never found the lounge at the HYATT Sarasota and the breakfast in the main restaurant isn’t fantastic. When we stay there we actually go elsewhere to eat. Even free isn’t always worth it.

    • @Timothy Thanks for letting me know! I thought there was a lounge, but maybe I’m wrong. I totally agree that free food isn’t always worth it. The hotel itself looks nice, so I’m looking forward to staying there one of these days. Free breakfast will be an extra bonus. We are used to eating at HIX, so I’m sure it’s at least comparable to that.

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