When I first started this fabulous hobby of Points and Miles collecting, I was mainly focused on accumulating as many points and miles as possible. I didn’t really care about status with each loyalty program, and I don’t think I really understood why status even mattered. I just wanted the points.
Things have changed.
I’ve since realized that having status can completely change the way you experience a hotel stay or a flight. When you have status, you kind of feel like a rock star – you get the suite, the upgrade, the complimentary drinks, and the extra attention. I think I would make a great rock star, because I love attention, but that is beside the point. Or maybe it’s not, actually, maybe that is the point. Give me some attention, and I’ll stick around. And I’ll be back for more.
I recently signed up for the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. I have a little over two months to stay 12 nights at Hyatt properties; if I can do this, I will earn Diamond status until February 2014. In the meantime, during the challenge period, I am enjoying trial Diamond status, which means that I get all the Diamond perks and benefits. There are lots of them, but my fave benefits are the four upgrade certificates and the breakfasts: two goodies that can be worth thousands of dollars combined if you know how to use them. In case you are interested in a Diamond Challenge of your own, I’ll outline a few tips below.
- When you sign up for the Diamond Challenge, four upgrade awards are deposited into your account immediately (well, within 72 hours).
- You can use these awards to upgrade any paid stay to a suite. In other words, you can book the least expensive room, then apply the award and (without paying extra) get a confirmed suite upgrade.
- One upgrade award is good for an entire reservation (up to 7 consecutive nights).
- As long as you apply the award to a reservation before your Diamond status expires, the upgrade sticks to the reservation unless you change or cancel it. This is huge, because it means that even if I don’t make the challenge and my status falls back down to Platinum, the previously reserved room I get will still be a suite as long as I don’t alter the upcoming reservation in any way. Since suites typically sell for hundreds of dollars more than basic rooms, this is a very valuable perk.
- Diamond members can enjoy a complimentary full breakfast in the lounge. This is typically a continental breakfast, so yumminess depends on the property. However, when lounge access is unavailable or when a Hyatt does not have a lounge, Diamond members receive complimentary daily full breakfast via room service or in the restaurant.
- The key here is that some properties offer a very generous breakfast credit and their room service breakfasts are delicious. For example, the Andaz Fifth Avenue provides a $75 breakfast credit each morning to their Diamond members. Apparently the lemon poppyseed pancakes at this hotel are legend. Another exciting breakfast credit is offered by the Hyatt at Olive 8 in Seattle: $26.50 per person per day, plus…tax, delivery fees, and a tip of up to 20% are all taken care of.
Diamonds Are Forever – My Status Might Not Be
While I’m hoping to meet the 12-night stay requirement so I can keep my Diamond status for the next year, I am also planning ahead in case I fall short. So far, I’ve upgraded one upcoming Hyatt reservation for a family trip to Seattle this summer. I need to sit down with Josh and plan out some trips for later this year as well. I must say that the Andaz Maui looks amazing, and I wish they were accepting reservations (this property has not yet opened).
In addition to the future suite upgrades, I’m looking forward to some more immediate perks as well. My daughter *Bird and I are staying at the Andaz Fifth Avenue on an upcoming trip to NYC, and we will definitely enjoy the daily breakfast credit while we are there. We’ll also take advantage of the 4 pm late checkout.
All in all, the Hyatt Diamond Challenge is indeed a shiny, valuable gem. And status is a girl’s best friend.
*By the way, Bird is not my daughter’s real name, I did grow up in Berkeley but I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
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