Now that some official information information has been released about the World of Hyatt program, I have a few additional thoughts to add to Friday's post.
Chase Hyatt Gold Passport bonus spend thresholds
The Chase Hyatt Gold Passport credit card currently awards 2 elite-qualifying stays and 5 elite-qualifying nights after spending $20,000 and 3 additional elite-qualifying stays and 5 additional elite-qualifying nights after $40,000 in calendar year spend.
Since the Hyatt Gold Passport terms and conditions remain in effect until March 1, 2017, I believe those elite-qualifying stays and nights will be awarded if you're able to meet the spending threshold by February 28, 2017. My statement closing date happens to fall on the 27th — if yours is earlier in the month and you are interested in pursuing this option, I recommend moving your statement closing date as soon as possible, since February spend after your statement closes may not trigger the bonus nights.
The World of Hyatt FAQ's seem to make clear that "a member’s Tier-Qualifying Nights and Base Points earned during January and February 2017 will count toward earning tier status in the new World of Hyatt program." That matters because Tier-Qualifying Nights earned through spend on the Chase Hyatt credit card are not, under the terms of the World of Hyatt program, "Tier-Qualifying Nights." Under World of Hyatt, "Tier-Qualifying Nights" are only:
"the number of nights the Member (i) stays at a Hyatt hotel or resort or an M life Resort; (ii) pays an Eligible Rate; and (iii) associates his or her valid Program membership number with the reservation (either at the time of reservation or check-in or by requesting retroactive credit for the night in accordance with Hyatt’s procedures) during the applicable measuring period."
The World of Hyatt terms do not include any allowance for Tier-Qualifying Nights earned through credit card spend.
Chase World of Hyatt $50,000 bonus spend threshold
According to the World of Hyatt Frequently Asked Questions (look under "Discoverist" — thanks to Twitter user @VM4827 for finding it there), the Chase Hyatt credit card will replace its automatic Platinum status benefits with an automatic Discoverist status.
Moreover, according to the FAQ, "starting January 1, 2017, Hyatt Credit Cardmembers who spend $50,000 USD on their Hyatt Credit Card in each calendar year will receive Explorist status through the following calendar year."
That means it should be possible, since the Hyatt Gold Passport program is in effect through February 28, 2017, but credit card spend starts counting towards Explorist status on January 1, 2017, for the same spend to count towards both Diamond status qualification for 2017 and Explorist status qualification for 2018 (if you don't end up meeting the Diamond qualification requirements, or if Diamond qualification ultimately does not granting Globalist status in 2018 — see below).
A Category 1-4 free night certificate is not a benefit of Explorist status
This has been missed in much of the discussion I've seen so far of the new World of Hyatt program, but it's spelled out clearly in the World of Hyatt terms and conditions:
"This award is available only to Members who complete the qualifying number of Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn the qualifying number of Base Points starting from the Effective Date of these Terms. While this award requires the same Tier-Qualifying Night and Base Point accrual requirements as are required to achieve Explorist status, the Category 1-4 Free Night Award is not provided as a benefit of Explorist status and a Category 1-4 Free Night Award will not be provided to Members who receive Explorist status through any means other than satisfaction of the Tier-Qualifying Night or Base Point accrual requirements (e.g., Members who receive Explorist status as part of the migration from the Hyatt Gold Passport program to the Program)."
That means that while spending $50,000 on the card may grant you Explorist status, and thereby earn 4 Explorist Club Upgrade Awards ("Upon receiving or re-qualifying for Explorist status, Explorists will receive four (4) complimentary Room Upgrade Awards for accommodations with Club lounge access"), you will definitely not earn a Category 1-4 free night certificate for spending $50,000 on the card.
Should you put $50,000 in unbonused spend on the Chase Hyatt credit card in order to earn Explorist status? The same spend on a Chase Freedom Unlimited card would earn 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which could be transferred to World of Hyatt with the help of a Chase Ink Plus or Bold, or Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. By foregoing those 25,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $250 in cash), you receive:
- 4 Club Upgrade Awards;
- 1 bottle of water per day;
- 2:00 pm late checkout "subject to availability at some locations;"
- and waived resort fees on free night awards.
That's not worth $250 to me, but if you book up to 4 stays of up to 7 nights with multiple family members, or frequently stay at properties with resort fees, you could conceivably get $250 in value from those benefits.
2018 Diamond qualification does not guarantee 2018 Globalist status
I have scoured the World of Hyatt website and the terms and conditions, and have come to the definite conclusion that requalifying as a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member in January and February of 2017 does not guarantee that you will be awarded World of Hyatt Globalist status for 2018.
Here's what the FAQ says:
"If my new World of Hyatt status doesn’t take effect until March 1, 2017, what happens January 1 through February 28, 2017?
Hyatt Gold Passport will continue to operate exactly the same until the March 1, 2017, launch of World of Hyatt. In January and February 2017, members will continue to earn Platinum or Diamond tier status based on nights or stays. If a member achieves Platinum or Diamond tier status in January or February 2017, the member will be upgraded to that tier status and then transitioned into a new World of Hyatt tier status on the March 1, 2017, launch of World of Hyatt. At the same time, a member’s Tier-Qualifying Nights and Base Points earned during January and February 2017 will count toward earning tier status in the new World of Hyatt program."
Here's what the terms and conditions say:
"Members who, in the course of one (1) Calendar Year, record a minimum of sixty (60) Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn one hundred thousand (100,000) Base Points will receive Globalist status after meeting the minimum requirement through February of the second Calendar Year following qualification."
In other words, according to the letter of the rules, if you qualify for Diamond status in the first two months of 2017, you'll transition into Globalist status for 2017, and your elite-qualifying nights will roll over to the World of Hyatt program and be used to calculate your 2018 status.
What will Hyatt do with 2018 Diamonds?
While Hyatt may not be obliged by the terms of its program to award 2018 Globalist status to 2018 Diamonds, it does seem like they are trying to please as many stakeholders as possible in this transition, for example by awarding Category 1-7 Free Night Award to Diamonds who are transitioned to Globalist status on March 1, 2017.
That means it's at least possible, at least on a case-by-case basis, that people who qualify as Hyatt Gold Passport Diamonds in the first 2 months of 2017 will be awarded Globalist status through March 2019, although Hyatt would be perfectly within its rights to only award Globalist status through March 2018. Hyatt's Twitter team, naturally, was unable to give a definite answer to this question.
Final note: pay attention to the terms and conditions for upgrade awards
While Suite Upgrade Awards and Club Upgrade Awards will be redeemable on award stays booked with points starting March 1, 2017, note that they are not eligible for use on free night awards booked using any other instrument. According to the terms and conditions, Suite Upgrade Awards are:
"Not valid in connection with any Free Night Award other than those identified above, including, without limitation, Hyatt Credit Card premium and anniversary Free Night Awards, 5-brand Free Night Awards, Category 1-7 Free Night Awards (defined below), or any other promotional Free Night Award."
Likewise with Explorist Club Upgrade Awards:
"Not valid in connection with any Free Night Award other than those identified above, including, without limitation, Hyatt Credit Card premium and anniversary Free Night Awards, 5-brand Free Night Awards, Category 1-4 Free Night Awards (defined below) or any other promotional Free Night Award."
Conclusion: details matter
There's a lot of sloppy writing and sloppy thinking out there about the new World of Hyatt program, which is a good reminder that letting other people read and think for you is unlikely to work out well for you in the long run. If something is unclear, go to the original source. If the original source is unclear, ask the people in charge. And if the people in charge are unclear, keep a close eye on your wallet!