How much is Hyatt Diamond status worth? $4,465?

I enjoyed a lot of amazing perks and benefits last year as a result of collecting (and using) points and miles, but I have to say that having Hyatt Diamond status was by far my favorite, and also the most valuable for our family.

Before last year, I had zero status with any hotel, and I was okay with that, because I was more focused on earning free nights than I was on enjoying additional benefits. However, once I sat down to look at our travel plans and do the math, I realized that with a little planning, we could definitely achieve Hyatt Diamond, and that it would be well worth it once we got it. The reason is that the benefits you receive as a Diamond member are things that my family would normally pay for, so getting them for free is worth a lot to us.

So, my husband Josh earned Hyatt Diamond status through a status challenge. (In case you want details about how he did it, or how other people did it, you can read details in this post, or in this thread on Flyertalk).

Just how much was this status worth? (Would you guess $4,465?)

I was curious. First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits Hyatt offers to Diamond members:

  • Earn a 30% point bonus for stays.
  • Enjoy the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites.
  • Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge.
  • Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights.
  • Receive a special welcome point bonus or food and beverage amenity during each stay.
  • Stay connected with complimentary in-room Internet access.
  • Extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request.
  • Enjoy 20% off the daily rate with My Elite Rate on any standard room in 2014 (subject to availability).

One thing I’ve learned is that it definitely pays to map out travel plans for the year – at least, as much as you can. That way, you can confirm that chasing status with a particular hotel still makes sense financially. Since we’ve got at least three family trips already booked at Hyatt properties, plus Josh has a handful of business trips each year, requalifying for Diamond is definitely within our reach.

Even if we have to do a few mattress runs, it will be worth it, because here’s how our three family stays pencil out for us:

1. Hyatt Regency Indian Wells (Palm Springs).

  • We booked a regular King room at the “My Elite Rate” of $223/night, then we used a combination of discounted gift cards and an Amex Open card to pay for the room, bringing the cost down to $190/night.
  • Next, we used one of our Suite Upgrades for the stay, which means that we are now booked into either the Hospitality Suite or the Executive Suite (depending on availability). Either one is fine with us!
  • Nights in a suite for our dates price out at $525/night, so we are “saving” $335/night, for a total of four nights. The reason I say “saving” is that of course we could stay in a regular room. However, we’ve got some light sleepers/early risers/snoring people in our crew, so we find that two rooms (or a suite) is what works best for us.
  • Because of Josh’s Diamond status, we have access to the Regency Club at the hotel, which features a breakfast buffet and evening hors d’oeuvres. Even if we just grabbed coffee and pastries at Starbucks, and bought snacks and drinks from a nearby grocery store, this benefit would be worth at least $35/day, but I value it higher than that because of convenience. For the math at hand, let’s call it $50/day.
  • Total “savings” for four nights: $1,540.
  • Total points earned for our stay: around 6,000

2. Park Hyatt Tokyo.

  • We are staying here for five nights in a suite – two of those nights are from a Chase Hyatt Visa sign-up bonus, and three are with points. Read this post for details if you’d like to know more. Since we are using award nights for our stay, we can’t calculate “savings.” For reference, however, the rate for a King room during our nights is $500/night, and the rate for a suite is $1,350/night.
  • One Diamond benefit that I will happily enjoy is the Diamond Happy Hour – the Park Hyatt doesn’t have a lounge.  Instead, it seems that you get unlimited drinks at the Park Hyatt’s NY Bar from 5pm to 7pm. Josh doesn’t drink, but I’ll have his. Value: priceless.
  • Free breakfast (normally $40/person). I am really looking forward to the Japanese breakfast here, which is rumored to be incredible.
  • Total “savings” for four nights: $800 + priceless drinks.
  • Points earned: zero. We are burning points on this trip!

3. Andaz Fifth Avenue in New York.

  • We booked a 5-night stay here using Hyatt’s new “Cash+Points” feature, paying 12,000 points+ $150/night instead of the regular price of $500/night for a King room.
  • Next, we used a Suite upgrade so that we’re now booked into the Splash Suite.
  • I love that we are still earning points for this stay!
  • We get a $75 room service credit for breakfast each day.
  • Total “savings” for four nights: $2,125
  • Total points earned: around 6,500

On paper, the math here adds up to $4,465. I’ve been thinking about this in two different ways. On the one hand, we would never pay the full additional $4,465 to stay in suites and have room service every morning. (That is why I got into collecting points and miles in the first place!) However, on the other hand, these benefits create a completely different kind of experience for us as a family…it’s like someone waves a magic wand and makes things beautiful, spacious, and delicious. And easy. Like the best vacation ever. And that is worth a lot.

Do you have hotel status? What’s it worth to you?

Comments

  1. I question your math, as I am sure many readers would. However, I agree 100% with your point. On recent trips, the places my wife and I stay on points are so much nicer than where we stay on cash stays. I have no way to value it but it certainly makes a difference in the enjoyment of the trip.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Dan – About my math…that is why I put the word “saving” in quotes 😉

      Glad you agree with my point.

  2. Over the years I have had top elite status with most, if not all major chains. I think Hyatt Diamond has the best perks when you have a family. The 4 suite upgrades are awsome. Even though Stawood has more potential with unlimited suite upgrades; they are not guaranteed at the time of reservation. I prefer 4 guaranteed suite upgrades than unlimited maybes.

  3. It really is a false option — like someone saying “I’m saving $20,000 on first class airfare on Cathay from LAX-HKG” — what is the best way to calculate (and I’m a Diamond, too) is what would you have spent if you didn’t have Diamond status? Certainly you wouldn’t have stayed at the great Park Hyatt Tokyo. You would have been at the Holiday Inn or at an airbnb. So I would compare that cost with the price of collecting and using the points and THERE you have your comparison.

    I’ve done the math and being Hyatt Diamond is definitely worth it if you use your suite upgrades. If not, the prices of the hotels (except Vegas) are too pricey. But with the suite upgrades, a stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai for a week pays for itself ($292 garden room view upgraded to a $1300 suite).

  4. I don’t have hotel status (missed by 2 nights last year) and I’m ok with that. I mostly travel for work, and very rarely stay in hotels for personal. Very little time spent in the room, and my meals are paid for by work. Depending where we’re traveling, often times our whole team stays in the same hotel so I don’t always have an option where to stay.

    When I put on big work events, I often get treated very nicely at the hotels. They usually assign their biggest suite (oh I have stories of who has slept in the same “bed”- Tiger Woods, Robert Redford to name a couple!), and bring me all sorts of goodies & treats, gift baskets. After all, hotel buyouts are not unheard of, and the hotels are happy to have us.

    I do however have airlines status, and am quite grateful every time I travel.

  5. I’ve just started my Hyatt Diamond Challenge and am trying to figure this out myself – to mattress run or not? I’d have to spend about $500-$600 out of pocket (not including the points I’ll be earning) in mattress running to complete the challenge – I guess it comes down to how many Hyatt stays I have planned for the year where I can truly benefit from the status. Thoughts?

  6. A hotel can set any price they want for a room or for breakfast but it obviously doesn’t mean they are worth that (never mind the fact that almost no one pays full price). It’s not like you can take the cash equivalent for the $4,465.

    And of course the cost of getting to whatever status level you have (annual fees, mattress runs, additional conscious and *subsconcious* spending, time, effort) is never factored in.

    The hotel executives must be chuckling when they see people convincing themselves they “saved” $1300 on a room which costs the hotel $30 to manage.

  7. Points Pixie says:

    Rebecca – Sounds like you’ve already got status 😉

    Stacey – Yes, I think that figuring out future stays will give you a clearer picture of whether it is worth it or not. Most valuable to us are multi-night family trips where we can use a suite upgrade and get breakfast each morning. If we only had 1-night stays for work travel, status would not be worth nearly as much to us.

    Cogswell – thanks for your comment, but I think you are missing my point 😉

    What I’m saying is that when we travel as a family, having these extra perks is valuable to us (but definitely not worth $4,465). However, the value is different for each person – what status is “worth” to my family will be different to what it is “worth” to another family. For us, Diamond status is valuable for both our family travel AND Josh’s work travel. It’s convenient, it’s comfortable, and we aren’t spending a ton of extra money to get it. Worthwhile!

  8. Points Pixie – yes fair enough, the value will obviously vary per person. You’ve calculated that it’s *not* worth $4,465. So what is the approximate $ value you would but on these benefits, subtracting everything involved in getting to that status level?

    In general I think the value of these benefits are massively overvalued… I mean breakfast at the Hyatt, snacks at the Hyatt, suite at the Hyatt… the last thing I want to do if I’m in an incredible city like Tokyo is hang out at the Hyatt! 🙂

    • Points Pixie says:

      Cogswell – That was the beauty of doing the Diamond challenge…since Josh only had to stay 12 nights (which he easily achieved thanks to work travel), there was no extra cost to get to that status level.

      Hmmm…approximate value I would put on the benefits. That really depends. If we stayed at an entirely different hotel or rented an apartment so we could have more space or pay less per night, then we would really have an entirely different vacation so it would be like comparing apples to oranges. If I look at trips we took before I started using points and miles, we were spending huge amounts of money and not getting as much bang for our buck. So, I have to stand by my original statement that it’s worth a lot to us. I can’t put an exact dollar amount on it!

      Ha ha, agree about hanging out at the Hyatt! Although with 2 kids it is really nice to have some downtime at a nice hotel each day, plus not have to worry about getting breakfast into them before they get cranky. If we weren’t traveling with kids, we definitely wouldn’t value this as much 🙂

  9. I enjoyed Hyatt Diamond for a good year. I found the suites nice, but not necessary. I can still have a great time without a suite.

  10. Why can’t you calculate the savings for an award night? You’re making up the value of a suite based on retail price so why not sue the same fuzzy math with the award nights?

    Similarly, a $75 credit each day is great if you’d use it anyways but it probably isn’t actually worth that much. There are a number of great small restaurants near the Andaz 5th where you can get a great breakfast for far less money.

    Assigning “list price” to benefits where the discretionary value rarely hits that number leads to bad conclusions. Like these.

  11. @ Wandering Aramean
    Yeah last time I had a “free” breakfast at the Hilton, my tip ($5) was more than what I would have paid for a bagel and coffee down the street!

  12. BeachMiles says:

    I enjoyed your post. It gave me some ideas. I agree Hyatt Diamond status Can be worth a lot. The Value of most things in life is subjective. I’m not sure why people are giving you a hard time about the specific number. The point is made.

  13. I cannot justify it. I have the Hyatt Visa which makes me a platinum. Last year our Hyatt stays were as follows: Midtown in NYC gave us free breakfast and a stellar view of the Empire State Building without being a diamond (granted I did not earn points for my stay) and Key West Resort and spa upgraded our room for no apparent reason (huge corner suite). We walked 10 yards for a $10 breakfast…..I’m happy with or without the little suprises! Both of our Hyatt stays were incredible!……might play out a little different if we brought the kids along, though. (but we don’t. they LOVE camping so we go as a family 2 or 3 times a year….hmmm, maybe diamond status for State and National parks are in order! 😉

  14. Giddy-up my fellow points peeps! Who cares if Miss Pixie’s value was $4,465, $10,338, or $971.

    As long as her mattress runs cost < her personal value of diamond benes, then it's all bueno, ya?

  15. Hi Kendra,

    Just to update, the Park Hyatt Tokyo “5 to 7” Diamond benefit of free drinks in the New York Bar has been eliminated. In its place is “Twilight Time”, which includes both free drinks in the Peak Bar and Lounge, AND a nice assortment of tasty canapes! AND the time is extended from 5pm to 9pm! So maybe even more savings now! 🙂

    Please note that, while free soft drinks and juices are also available for kids (and adults!), they are not allowed to enter the “bar” portion of the Peak Bar/Lounge, in which the canapes are located. The setup is a little confusing at first, but I’m sure that you’ll get the hang of it. 🙂

    • Points Pixie says:

      Tokyo Hyatt Fan – Thanks so much for the update. I’m looking forward to learning more on your blog!

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