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Tomorrow, March 1, Hyatt is executing the highly publicized shift in loyalty programs from Gold Passport to World of Hyatt. For some Hyatt loyalists, however, it’s been a scary first couple of months in 2017. As February 28 approached, they saw the day they’d lose Diamond status and the day the new top-tier Globalist status becomes out of reach. Today, I’ll recap how I used mattress runs and family travel plans to clinch this top tier in the new program all the way through February 28, 2019.

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59 Days to Earn Globalist

My quest for Globalist status led us to great locations like the Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Scottsdale.

Under the former Hyatt Gold Passport program, you’d earn Diamond status after 25 stays (or 50 nights) in a calendar year, and your elite status was good for the rest of the year in which you earned it, all of the following year and January and February of the next subsequent year. Because the Gold Passport program was still in effect from January 1 to February 28 of 2017, the same elite-qualifying principles applied.

This meant that 25 stays between January 1 and February 28, 2017 would result in achieving Diamond status and being grandfathered into Globalist status beginning March 1. The status would be valid the rest of 2017, all of 2018, and also included January and February 2019. Vice President of Hyatt Loyalty Jeff Zidell confirmed that earning Diamond in the first two months of 2017 would mean having Globalist until 2019. With this knowledge, I embarked on a challenge of completing 25 stays in 59 days, with the prize being two years of a brand-new top-tier status.

Why Earn Globalist?

I spent the majority of my stays at the Hyatt Regency Fairfax. It’s a cheap Category 1 hotel offering a 1,000-point check-in bonus and an above-average breakfast for Diamonds.

In the World of Hyatt program, you can no longer qualify for status based on stays. To earn Globalist, you either need 60 nights or 100,000 base points ($20,000 in spend with Hyatt). Because that’s a lot of nights and a lot of spend to execute while not enjoying top-tier benefits, shortcutting to status in the first two months of 2017 was the only way I’d qualify for Globalist.

For me, the key benefits of Globalist status when traveling with my wife and two small children are free breakfast, complimentary suite upgrades, four suite upgrades (now confirmable on award nights) and lounge access. Feeding a family while traveling is expensive, so all the free breakfasts and lounge snacks — plus the convenience factor of the food being located on property — is worth a significant amount to me.

With two little ones, having a suite instead of a standard room brings an incredible amount of convenience and relaxation. The four suite upgrades confirmable in advance are excellent, and I’m also very curious to see how often properties give Globalists complimentary suite upgrades. I imagine there will be a few shenanigans like base suites showing as available online and me having to ask at check-in to be given the suite, but I’m hopeful with the fewer amount of Globalists compared to current Diamonds (due to the new elite status qualification requirements) that these will be generous.

Additional benefits like bonus points, waived resort fees and parking fees and the additional free nights also factored into my decision to expend the energy and expense in January and February to earn Globalist.

Cost and Stays

Below is a chart listing all of my stays including the property, whether it was a cash or Points + Cash night, points used if it was a Points + Cash night, Hyatt points earned from the paid portion and Chase Ultimate Rewards earned on my Chase Sapphire Preferred card I used to pay.

Stay Number Property Cash or Cash + Points Points Used Hyatt Points Earned Chase Points Earned
1 Hyatt Place Fredericksburg C+P 2,500 825 111
2 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C 0 1,352 126
3 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C 0 1,425 146
4 Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor C 0 4,678 433
5 Hyatt Place Baltimore BWI C+P 4,000 975 165
6 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C+P 2,500 1,995 112
7 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C+P 2,500 1,346 112
8 Hyatt Place Fredericksburg C+P 2,500 825 111
9 Hyatt Regency Crystal City C 0 1,633 212
10 Hyatt Place Charleston Airport/Convention Center C+P 4,000 1,058 127
11 Hyatt Place Fredericksburg C+P 2,500 1,075 111
12 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C+P 2,500 1,325 112
13 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C+P 2,500 1,325 112
14 Hyatt Place BWI C 0 1,085 203
15 Royal Palms Resort and Spa C 0 2,256 172
16 Hyatt Pinon Pointe C 0 3,286 881
17 Hyatt Regency Phoenix C 0 1,854 296
18 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C 0 1,325 132
19 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C 0 1,382 132
20 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C 0 1,382 197
21 Hyatt Regency Fairfax C 0 1,590 132
22 Hyatt House Dulles/Sterling Dulles Airport C 0 1,521 272
23 Hyatt Regency Reston C 0 4,839 289
24 Hyatt Place Fredericksburg C+P 2,500 825 111
25 Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile C 0 1,547 556
Total $2,681.41 28,000 42,729 5,363

Was It Worth the Expense?

At face value, almost $2,700, plus the time involved to complete check-ins, seems like an awful lot. But keep in mind I could have spent significantly less by only booking stays at cheap Category 1 properties. However, I had legitimate travel in Arizona, Chicago and Washington, D.C., which increased the total price dramatically since we stayed at some fantastic properties (in suites with free breakfast). I also netted 20,092 Chase and Hyatt points. which I redeem for 2 cents apiece or more in value, which gives me another ~$400 off the $2,700 total cost.

Looking at the stays I needed to complete by mattress-running, I spent roughly $1,300 on non-necessary travel. Again, though, it was worth it to me thanks to the four confirmed suite upgrades, breakfast every morning, lounge access every stay, a free Category 1-4 and Category 1-7 night, in addition to all the other benefits of Globalist for two entire years.

My final stay was in an executive suite at the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile. The Level Two bar is a popular gathering spot for locals.

I expect to recoup my money, and even come out ahead, after our first four to six nights in a suite. Considering that I’ll enjoy these perks for two years, I expect a very significant return on my investment.

Bottom Line

Two months of mattress-running isn’t for everyone. Unless you plan on traveling a significant amount over the next two years and have family coming along, the investment to earn Globalist may not make sense. The effort may not always even make sense for me — especially since Hyatt’s hotel portfolio is small compared to other global chains, meaning not every location we visit will have a Hyatt property. This could make the 60-stay qualification for Globalist status difficult for many to meet. However, now that I’m a Globalist member, there may be several new destinations I scout out because they do have a Hyatt property — and because I know my family will enjoy lucrative perks during our stay.

Because the only way to qualify for Globalist going forward is completing 60 nights or 100,000 base points, I don’t anticipate re-qualifying to extend my status past February 2019.  Looking at my current calendar, I anticipate another 20 nights in 2017 giving me a total of 49 nights for the year. I’d need to recreate all of that work plus add another 11 nights in 2018 to extend status to 2020, something I just don’t foresee happening.

The last two months saw me and my family visit Scottsdale, Sedona, Phoenix, Chicago, Baltimore, Charleston, and Washington, D.C. We had a blast in each location, all in the name of Globalist status-chasing. I’m happy with my decision and look forward to enjoying complimentary suite upgrades and more on my stays for the next two years.

Did you earn Hyatt Globalist until 2019? 

Featured image courtesy of the Royal Palms Resort & Spa.

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