I wonder what's going on with all these Hyatt promotions

[9/29/16: edited to include base and bonus points earned on spend, hat tip to commenter VM.]

I just updated my Hotel Promotions page with yet another Hyatt promotion, meaning there are currently 4 concurrently running Hyatt promotions (although two are only available to co-branded credit cardholders).

The new Hyatt Regency promotion is pretty good

If you have a Chase Hyatt co-branded credit card and register by the registration deadline (turn off your adblocker if you don't see the credit card field) of October 31, 2016, and spend $500 in "net purchases" on the card at Hyatt Regency properties before December 31, 2016, you'll receive a $50 statement credit.

This promotion belongs to a category of promotion I typically blow off. For example, American Express periodically has Offers For You promotions for discounts off certain purchases at Hilton brand properties.

I'm normally not interested in these promotions because my goal is to pay as little cash as possible for my travel, which means redeeming miles and points I've already purchased at a steep discount to their ultimate value. Paying for travel with a credit card, which I have to pay off with cash, is an admission of failure to a travel hacker.

There are two big differences with this promotion:

  • The $500 purchase requirement doesn't need to be a single transaction. That means the cash co-pays for Hyatt Regency Points + Cash stays will count towards the $500 threshold.
  • 3 Hyatt Gold Passport points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties with the Chase Hyatt credit card is competitive with any other rewards-earning credit card.

That doesn't mean I'm going to "chase" this promotion, but it does mean I'm not writing it off as completely irrelevant. I'll take a look at my existing and possible Hyatt Regency reservations, and if the cash components add up to $500, I'll pay for them with my Chase Hyatt credit card. If they don't, I'll pay with a discounted Hyatt gift card instead.

This is yet another stackable Hyatt promotion

With the addition of this Hyatt Regency promotion, it's now theoretically possible to stack all the current Hyatt promotions by booking, before October 31, 2016, 10 non-consecutive Category 2 Points + Cash stays at Hyatt Regency properties through the Hyatt mobile app.

You would pay 40,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points and $550 in co-pays, plus tax, which I'll hand-wavingly assume comes to 10%, for a total of $605. I'll also assume you select the 1,000 Hyatt Gold Passport-point Diamond amenity during each stay. You would earn:

  • a $50 statement credit to your Chase Hyatt credit card account;
  • a 4,000-point rebate to your Hyatt Gold Passport account;
  • 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points in Diamond amenities;
  • 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points in "More Points. More Play." promotion points;
  • 1,815 Hyatt Gold Passport points for your credit card spend;
  • 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for booking 10 stays through the mobile app (see Michael's comment on receiving the promotion multiple times);
  • [edit: plus 3,575 Hyatt Gold Passport points earned on the $550 in cash co-pays.]

Your total out of pocket expense for 10 elite-qualifying stay credits would therefore be 4,185 [edit: 610] Hyatt Gold Passport points and $555.

Now, that's not a great argument for mattress running, and it's not intended to be. But I do think it's a pretty good argument for staying at a Hyatt Regency, or booking a Points + Cash stay instead of a points-only stay, if you're able to hit the relevant promotion thresholds (10 eligible nights and $500 in spend) at Hyatt Regency properties, and thereby re-qualify for Diamond status.

So what's going on with all these promotions?

To state the obvious, it is not usual for a loyalty program to be running 4 stackable promotions simultaneously. So what's going on?

I figure there are two obvious explanations. First, Hyatt might be trying to get their membership numbers and revenue up in the fourth quarter either to ward off a takeover offer after Starwood's acquisition by Marriott, or to fetch as high a price as possible in the inevitable merger.

Second, Hyatt might be trying to retain all the new Diamond members they acquired poaching from Starwood at the end of last year and beginning of this year. I'm someone who never would have considered staying at Hyatt properties as a non-elite member, but as a Diamond I started booking towards Hyatt whenever possible. And not just that, I also book Points + Cash stays, which I would never do at a chain with less valuable points, like Hilton, which I'm eager to burn.

So it may be that this aggressive push for paid and Points + Cash stays in the end of the year is an effort by Hyatt to retain their new Diamond members, who have turned out to be more lucrative than they expected when they began matching Diamond status back in November and December of 2015.