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I hope those of you with kids off from school are surviving day 12 of winter break! We’re having fun here, but very much can relate to the line “…and mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again” from the song “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”! Needless to say, pologies for the drop in posting frequency during the school holidays, but hopefully all will return to normal on January 5th.
This week there have been a few hotel loyalty program developments I wanted to share for when you have a minute to come up from snack-time and Play-Doh-time long enough to get online for a few minutes.
Hyatt Diamond Challenge Returning January 1st:
Several hotel loyalty programs have a program in place where you can “fast track” to elite status if you have a certain number of stays with that chain within a defined period. In theory this is a good way to potentially lure a frequent customer of another chain to your program by rewarding them quickly with perks they may be used to with another program. A couple of months ago Hyatt ended the version of the (extremely generous) Hyatt Diamond Challenge that awarded Hyatt Diamond benefits and suite upgrades during the challenge, and for a few months there was no Hyatt Diamond Challenge available.
View from the Wing shares that as expected, the Diamond Challenge is returning, but with some big changes. The biggest change is that only Platinum status will be conferred during the challenge, and you will not be awarded Diamond status and the related benefits like suite upgrades until completing the challenge with 12 eligible nights in a 60 day period. That may be an easier target for many than 25 stays in a calendar year to qualify for Diamond status the regular way.
I’m personally losing Hyatt Diamond status this year as it just wasn’t worth the hefty number of “mattress runs” I would need to get to 25 stays, so I am glad there is potentially a fast-track to getting status back in the future if my paid hotel travel again picks up (though thankfully my husband still has Hyatt Diamond status, so we’re still pretty well covered!).
You can view full details of the new Hyatt Diamond Challenge rules here.
Peek at the New SPG Promotion:
It looks like SPG accidentally leaked some details of their upcoming Double Play promotion that looks like will kick-off on January 5th and run until April 15, 2015. I can’t find any working links for the promotion right now, but details were documented on Flyertalk and The Points Guy before going back down.
If what was leaked holds true then those who register for the promotion will earn double base Starpoints on eligible stays of two or more nights and 1,000 bonus Starpoints for every eligible five nights stayed from January 5 – April 15, 2015. The double base SPG points are not capped, but the 1,000 point bonus for every five nights is capped at 4,000 total points.
If you have SPG Gold or Platinum status this would mean on an eligible stay of two nights or longer you would earn 5 points per dollar on eligible charges (4x without elite status), and then if you paid with your Starwood Preferred Guest American Express you would earn another 2 points per dollar for a total of 7x SPG points per dollar. That isn’t earth shattering, but it isn’t terrible given how hard it can be to earn SPG points. You would also still get the 1,000 bonus points for every 5 nights, up to 20 nights.
There is a list of non-participating hotels, so sadly not every SPG hotel will qualify. Remember you can also get 500 bonus SPG points for every reservation you make via their app through March 31st (max 1,500 points). I will post about this promo again when it officially goes live with a working registration link.
17 Hilton HHonors Hotels Changing Category on January 14th:
Hilton HHonors does hotel category adjustments throughout the year as opposed to just once per year the way most programs do, and they have a new list of hotels going up or down in points cost on January 14th available here. Twelve hotels are going up in cost while 5 are going down. I’m happy to see the DoubleTree Breckenridge going down from an 8 to a 7 and the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii going from a 7 to a 6, but take a quick peek at the list to be sure none of the Hilton hotels you want to visit are going up effective January 14th!
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