[edit 8/30/17: corrected to reflect that Globalists qualifying under this promotion will not receive a Category 1-7 free night certificate; only 60-night Globalists receive free night certificates]
This is my second and last year of top-tier Hyatt elite status. I matched to Diamond status during their short-lived offer when the Starwood-Marriott merger was announced, then requalified as a World of Hyatt Globalist through credit card spend and a few mattress runs at a local property.
This year, I have five elite-qualifying nights so far, which were credited to my account in error due to meeting my annual credit card spend threshold relatively late last year.
Like other credit cardholders, I received an e-mailed offer to renew my Globalist status by staying 20 paid nights between September 1 and December 30, 2017.
I'm not going to do this, but 20 paid stays is a pretty easy threshold to meet. Here's how I would meet it, if I were so inclined.
Swap out award nights for Points + Cash nights
If you value World of Hyatt points at 1 cent each (their cash value if transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards), then at most low- and mid-tier properties you can pay a nominal sum to turn non-elite-qualifying nights into elite-qualifying ones, subject to Points + Cash availability. Ignoring taxes, the marginal amount paid on Points + Cash nights is:
- Category 1: $21.75 ($25 less 325 points earned on the $50 cash component);
- Category 2: $11.42;
- Category 3: $10.12;
- Category 4: $18.50;
- Category 5: $16.87;
- Category 6: $15.25;
- Category 7: $130.50 (yes, that's a staggering jump; don't do this at Category 7 properties!).
If you are traveling between September 1 and September 5, you'll also receive a 10% rebate on the points portion of your stay (if you registered for that promotion in time).
Book rooms for others
We all have people in our lives who aren't travel hackers, but still travel with some frequency.
If you know a traveler who is planning to pay cash for a hotel room in a city with Hyatt properties, you're virtually certain to save them money by booking their reservation using your World of Hyatt points and their cash. They can pay you for the points portion of the reservation and pay the hotel the cash portion directly. By staying on your Globalist reservation, they'll also enjoy breakfast and club access at applicable properties.
Be sure that you're not making a "Guest of Honor" reservation. Instead, book a room in your own name and then add the other person to the reservation so they can check in (and pay).
I divide the world of travel not into paid reservations and points reservations, but rather reimbursed travel and non-reimbursed travel. The above works best if you're booking for someone with unreimbursed travel, since you can save them money directly by reducing their out-of-pocket travel expenses.
In the case of a reimbursed business traveler, the logic of the situation is reversed. You'd like someone whose employer or sponsor is paying for their hotel room to forego earning points and status in their own account and instead credit the paid nights to your account. If the person doesn't care about points or status, they may be willing to do this simply as a favor, or in exchange for breakfast and club access. If they're a bit more mercenary, they may ask you to pay them for the privilege.
As indicated above, it seems that $10-$20 per night is a reasonable range to pay for an elite-qualifying night, which gives a total breakeven value for 20 nights of $200-$400. That doesn't strike me as a totally unreasonable amount to pay if you can take aggressive advantage of Globalist late check-out, suite upgrade awards, waived resort fees, and free breakfast.
Of course the last refuge of a scoundrel is the mattress run. Depending on where you live, you may have access to cheap weekend nights or Points + Cash reservations at nearby properties. While you'd be nuts to mattress run all the way to Globalist status, the fewer nights left in your challenge the more enticing it may be. If you can naturally accumulate 18 nights before December 30, what's a few hundred dollars between friends for the remaining two nights?
Twenty nights in four months is an utterly reasonable threshold to earn top-tier status with Hyatt, and I expect this promotion to be quite successful at filling up Hyatt's top-tier elite ranks. While I won't personally be putting any effort into requalifying, if you do I hope some of the ideas above will make your requalification as painless — and cheap — as possible.