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Until recently, hotel-status-match-hyatt-logoHyatt had probably THE best status challenge offer out there.  You were given Diamond status (the top-tier at Hyatt), AND 4 suite upgrades upfront.  Then if you stayed 12 nights (including Cash and Points stays) within the next 60 days, your Diamond status was confirmed for the next year (or so).  Tragically, at least for me, Hyatt ended their Diamond status challenge mere days after I had written a post about how to do status  matches and challenges at each of the major chains

(READ: The death of the Hyatt Diamond Challenge)

(READ: Hotel status match – how to match at each chain)

Over the past few days, there has been some back and forth amongst various blogs about the future of the Hyatt Diamond Challenge.

First, One Mile at a Time posits that the current Diamond Challenge was just scheduled to end on October 31st and might possibly be replaced by something new, then later posts definitely NOT renewing the Hyatt Diamond Challenge (at least for now), quoting Hyatt’s Corporate Communications Department as saying

We appreciate the overwhelming enthusiasm for Hyatt Diamond elite status. The Diamond trial promotion that began on May 1, 2014 has run its course and has been discontinued as of October 31. We very much appreciate all of our members who were able to take advantage of this promotion and have continued to stay with Hyatt throughout the year. We are currently evaluating the best path forward with these types of promotions. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Will Run for Miles suggests that the whole thing is our (blogger’s) fault anyways.  I have no insider insight about what Hyatt may or may not do, but the events of the past few days have caused me to spend some brain cells thinking about the different options that Hyatt might have:

No status matches / challenges

I view it unlikely that they will completely do away with any and all status matches and challenges.  The status match fills a big hole for hotels (and airlines) – trying to “poach” big spenders from other chains.  It may be a possibility that they will eliminate any kind of published match or challenge and go towards more of the model that Marriott has, where they have one, but it’s more unofficial.

Removal of Diamond status at the start of the challenge

Hyatt granting Diamond status at the START of the challenge is a huge perk.  I think the reason that Hyatt would do such a thing is that they want to get you “hooked” on the amazing treatment and benefits that you’ll receive as a Diamond member.  This is as opposed to Starwood’s Platinum challenge, where you only are granted Platinum status AFTER you complete the challenge.

No more 4 suite upgrades

Going along with getting the Diamond status upfront might be the removal of the 4 confirmed suite upgrades that you’re given at the start of the challenge and that you can use at any time EVEN IF YOU NEVER COMPLETE THE CHALLENGE.  I have read that the reason you got those upgrades is that in Hyatt’s IT system, there was no way to give you Diamond status and NOT give you the suite upgrades.

This is a pretty generous perk of the Hyatt Diamond Challenge, and there have been reports of people who undertook the Hyatt Diamond challenge, with no intention of ever completing it, just to get the Diamond status and/or suite upgrades for a big upcoming trip that they have.  I’ve never done that nor do I know personally anyone who has, but it would not surprise me and while not technically against the rules of the program / challenge, it certainly would not be the behavior that Hyatt would want to incentivize.

Cash and Points stays not counting towards the challenge

Again, Starwood’s Platinum Challenge does NOT let you stay on Cash and Points – the stays must be full cash stays.  Cash and Points is a pretty sweet deal.  If you have access to a cheap Category 1 Hyatt, you can get a night for only 2500 points and $50 / night, meaning you can complete the challenge for only $600 (or 60,000 Barclay Arrival points, which is barely more than 1 credit card signup!).  You would spend 30,000 Hyatt Points doing this, but if you’re flush with Hyatt and or Chase Ultimate Rewards, that wouldn’t hurt too bad, not to mention that you would earn points on the cash part of the stays AND you get 1,000 bonus points with your first 6 stays.

What’s the future of the Hyatt Diamond Challenge?

Of course, nobody knows, but my suspicion would be that we’ll see a new Hyatt Diamond Challenge over the next few months, and that it will likely feature some if not all of the above-mentioned perks removed as part of it.

What do you think?  Leave a note in the comment on what you would do if you were Hyatt.

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