There is an easy way to get the Hyatt's highest status, Diamond, for up to 2 years, which gets you lots of valuable perks. Lucky recently did an excellent post on attaining Hyatt Diamond status through a status challenge. The short version is: you need to complete stay 12 eligible nights within a 60 day period.
What do I need to qualify for a Status Challenge?
What’s interesting is that you only need Gold status with Hilton or Marriott in order to qualify for a status challenge invite.
How do I get Gold status?
Gold status with Marriott is impossible for the average Joe, so I am not going there. However, Gold status with Hilton is easily attained simply in one of two ways:
1) Being a cardholder of the Citi Hilton Reserve credit card. If you do not have the Citi Hilton Reserve card, sign up here . For a $95 annual fee, it comes with Gold Status, 2 free weekend nights at any Hilton in the world with a minimal spend requirement and also a bonus free weekend night on your card-member anniversary date after you spend $10,000 within the card-member year.
2) Getting a premium membership at Milepoint.com (currently sold out, but was $59 – see my post about this here)
Once you get Gold status with Hilton, email Hyatt (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request for a Diamond challenge. Clearly you should initiate the challenge prior to a big vacation coming up where you were planning to stay at a Hyatt property anyway. For completing the 12 nights, you can either pay for the stay with cash OR pay using cash and points. If you happen to be travelling for work for 12 nights during this 60 day period, you are all set. Cash and points will generally be the better value since this is an eligible rate, meaning you can apply one of your four diamond suite upgrades and earn additional Hyatt points on the cash portion of your booking.
I dont have any Hyatt Points, now what?
Don’t have any Hyatt points? No sweat – Chase Ultimate Rewards transfers 1:1 to Hyatt. If you don’t have any Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, consider signing up for the Chase Ink Plus, Chase Bold, Chase Preferred cards. Read my latest top 5 credit card post for current links and offers.
How can I get Diamond status for 2 years (through Feb 2016)?
If you really want to max out on this deal, you can initiate the Diamond challenge after April 2014, so that your Diamond status will be valid until Feb 2016! If you initiate the Diamond challenge prior to May 2014, you will only get Diamond status until Feb 2015. You run the risk of Hyatt potentially not offering the challenge after April 2014, but if history serves as proof, it’s a low risk.
According to comments on Lucky’s posts, one person forked out $550 for 12 nights at a hotel but didnt actually stay. Hyatt Diamond status can be worth thousands (upgrades, 4 annual diamond suites nights awards, free breakfast & wifi, the elite rate (20% off the regular room rate), more points), especially if you get 2 years worth of status. Lucky discusses these benefits in his post.
To summarize, here are the step by step instructions:
Step 1: Sign up for Citi Hilton Reserve – this will automatically give you Hilton Gold status (skip if you already have Hilton Gold status) – Link
Step 2: Email Hyatt (email@example.com) to initiate Diamond challenge – I recommend you do this step prior to an upcoming vacation where you were planning to stay at Hyatt anyway and after April 2014
Step 3: Complete 12 eligible nights within 60 days. Cash and points are considered eligible nights and best bang for your buck.
Step 4: If you do not have any Hyatt points to use for ‘cash and points' redemptions, transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards at 1:1 ratio to Hyatt
Step 5: If you do not have Chase Ultimate Rewards, sign up for one of the Chase cards that have 40k-50k sign up bonuses
Thank you AA for this post.
Want to see how I earn enough points and miles to travel for free? Click here. Be one of the 10s of 10s of people who subscribe to receive email updates whenever I post a new article. Enter your email address in the top left corner of the site and that's it. Cancel anytime. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or RSS feed.
[Disclosure: I do not receive any compensation if you use the above links.]