At the end of this month some of you will be losing your coveted Hyatt Diamond status, obtained through the Hyatt Diamond trial. Diamond status came with some great perks that made staying at Hyatt hotels a little more comfortable. While some of the benefits will really come in handy during my July trip to Asia, I’ve come to the conclusion that despite some upcoming paid Hyatt stays, mattress running would be a colossal waste of time and money.
If you’re in the same boat but still want to retain some of your lost Hyatt Diamond benefits, you can do so by re-directing your mattress running budget towards booking better rooms and covering breakfast at the hotel. If that doesn’t sound appealing, there are a few other ways to substitute your lost Hyatt Diamond benefits without major out-of-pocket costs:
Free Wireless Internet
Starting this month, Hyatt will be offering free wireless internet at all hotels, making this Diamond benefit irrelevant.
Hyatt Diamond members currently earn 30% bonus points along with the option of a 500 – 1,000 point welcome amenity per stay. You can earn the same 1,000 points for $7.90 by swiping your Chase Hyatt/Ink Plus/Sapphire Preferred card. Gift cards, prepaid cards, etc – all of these offer cheap ways to earn an easy 1,000 points, so the loss of the Diamond welcome amenity isn’t anything to mourn over. While there’s no way to get a 30% bonus on paid stays, you can save 50% on point bookings by choosing a Hyatt Points + Cash award. Most of the time it’s cheaper than redeeming points and you’ll earn elite night credit and points through the Gold Passport program.
As a Diamond member, you’re not guaranteed a suite upgrade but most of the time they’ll try to put you in something above a standard room. This can include a club level upgrade or a room with a better view. Of course, the process is entirely subjective and you could end up in a standard room with club lounge access. Unless you’re staying at a hotel like the Hyatt Regency Maui or someplace else where you plan on spending lots of time looking out the window, then a nice view loses its appeal. Especially if getting it means you need to spend 25-50 nights with Hyatt before that benefit kicks in.
The best way to get around the lost room upgrade benefit is to just use more points to upgrade to a club room or suite. Hyatt requires 30-50% more points for a club room and around 60% more for a suite than a standard room. Sometimes it’s cheaper to book club rooms and suites via Barclay Arrival Miles, so be sure to check out the charts I created to determine the cheapest option for you. On short paid stays, using points to upgrade (3,000 – 6,000 per night) might also make sense.
Breakfast isn’t going to break the bank, unless you’re down with paying $40 for a breakfast buffet. At most Hyatt hotels, breakfast won’t set you back more than $20 per person anyway (aka 1,800 Arrival Miles). One Amex for Target reload and you’ve got breakfast covered (or load Amex Serve at the maximum $1k per month for $0 fees). Another option is to book a club room or suite, which gets you club lounge access, where free breakfast is served on weekdays. If your stay is on a weekend, you’ll get free breakfast at the restaurant. Either way, breakfast is cheap any way you play it.
Club Lounge Access
If the allure of free trail mix is too hard to resist, you can still get this benefit without your Hyatt Diamond status. Simply book a club level room (see above) and you’re covered. Or don’t get Club Lounge access and instead pick up snacks and soda from a local grocery store. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten anything at a club lounge that I couldn’t get at a gas station for less than $10, so I can certainly live without this benefit.
Ask. Simple as that. At the front desk agent if they can extend late check-out to you. It may not be 4 PM, but they’ll give you a couple of extra hours if they can. Since check-out at most hotels is around 11 AM anyway, this should be sufficient time for most people to sleep late, shower, and prep for departure. If you need a place to hang out in the afternoon, there’s always the hotel lobby, the airport or a local Starbucks. Another way to ensure you get free late check-out? Pick up the Chase Hyatt Visa. The card comes with free Hyatt Platinum status. Hyatt Platinum members get 2 PM check-out, when available.
How do you plan on coping without your Hyatt Diamond benefits?
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