Last year I did a fair amount of waffling back and forth on whether to requalify as a Hyatt Diamond for 2017. After the new World of Hyatt program was announced, I ultimately decided to requalify for two main reasons:
- As a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond transitioning to World of Hyatt Globalist status, I'd receive a free night certificate at any Category 1-7 Hyatt property in the world;
- After March 1 confirmed suite upgrades will be useable on free night awards, which means I'll actually use all 4 confirmed suite upgrade awards (I still have two left from 2016, and many people have all four).
Since I was within a few stays of requalifying, I decided that those two benefits would be worth the roughly $200 I spent on mattress runs in December.
My plan relied on earning 20 elite-qualifying stay credits, mainly by booking at least one night as a Points + Cash award whenever I stayed at a Hyatt, and sometimes by bouncing around between Hyatt properties when it wasn't too inconvenient (i.e. when I was traveling alone). Those 20 stay credits would be enough to requalify as Diamond once I spent $40,000 with my Chase Hyatt credit card, which I finished off before my December, 2016, statement closed.
Then I waited.
Chase Hyatt stay credits post automatically, sometimes
My 2 stay credits and 5 night credits posted in August, 2016, without any intervention on my part, so I practiced watchful waiting for the first few weeks after my December statement closed. As days became weeks, I called Hyatt and was told that it can take up to 10 business days for Chase to communicate with them. I waited some more, called back again, and the agent (helpfully?) suggested I call Chase instead.
If your stay credits don't post, go straight to Chase
This was an excellent suggestion. I had obviously called Chase before my statement closed to confirm that I had reached the $40,000 spend threshold, but when I called back in early January the agent insisted on going through each statement and adding up my net purchases to make sure I qualified. Then she asked if she could put me on hold to call Hyatt.
When she came back on the line, she had connected in someone from Hyatt's corporate office who said she understood the problem and promised to get it sorted out within a couple days.
Then keep watching
As I diligently continued to log into the Hyatt app each day, I noticed immediately when my stay and night credits posted about 4 business days later. The problem was that they posted in 2017, not 2016! In other words, I had 3 stay credits and 5 nights credits towards 2018 status, not 2017 status.
This time when I called Hyatt the frontline agent immediately saw that my account had been flagged in some way and connected me to "someone in corporate," who was handling my case. I explained the situation again, and she immediately understood what had happened and told me she'd take care of it.
A few days later I received an e-mail from Hyatt, which read in its entirety: "Current tier status is reflecting Diamond. Spend bonus update from Chase posted Jan 14, 2017. Please review your account and let us know if you are in need of further assistance."
Obviously I was in need of further assistance, so I replied to the e-mail explaining the situation again. The next morning I saw in my inbox another e-mail, subject line: "You've Achieved Diamond Status Again."
And sure enough, my account now reflects my Diamond elite status will be good through February 28, 2018.
I confess I'm a bit confused by this whole situation: there must be thousands of people who meet the $40,000 spend threshold in December each year. Does each one of them have to go through this rigmarole? If not, why me?
But the conclusion is unmistakeable: the Hyatt elite-qualifying stays and nights are a benefit offered by Chase, not Hyatt, and Chase phone agents are much better equipped to handle these problems than Hyatt front-line phone agents. So if you're still waiting on your 2016 elite-qualifying stays, or planning to storm 25 elite-qualifying stays before the February 28, 2017, changeover to World of Hyatt, Chase should be your first point of contact for these issues.