We’ve covered airline elite status and its many benefits in prior articles (see here for our summary for beginners). There’s no doubt first class upgrades, lounge access, free checked baggage, and other perks for you and your travel companions can make air travel a lot of fun.
But why stop there? Just because your flight ends doesn’t mean the upgrades have to. Bring the upgrade experience to your hotel.
Today we turn our attention to the privileges of hotel elite status and offer up a shortcut to gain access to the highest tier of elite status with Hyatt Hotels without paying a penny.
Here’s how:
Status Matching
Hotels, like airlines, are desperate for customer loyalty. They will offer all sorts of specials and promotions to lure you from your current brand to theirs, especially customers with high spending habits. And customers carrying elite status are usually (but not always) the highest spenders.
In order to lure an elite customer from one brand to another, hotels will often offer what’s called a ‘status match,’ whereby a customer enjoying a particular level of elite status with one brand will receive reciprocal benefits with another brand for a trial period. Provided they stay a specified number of nights over the trial period, they’ll be granted elite status.
Of course, you still need to achieve elite status in the first place with one brand in order to have another brand (in this case Hyatt) offer a status match.
Ordinarily, you’d have to stay a specified number of paid nights with a hotel chain – let’s say 10-12 nights in one year – to achieve mid-tier elite status with a major brand. This could cost as little as $500 or well into the thousands. Either way, it usually requires some spending.
However – here’s our shortcut – you can get around that spending requirement simply by applying for one credit card, at zero cost.
Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) is a collection of well-known hotel brands such as Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, and many others. We don’t consider IHG part of the ‘Big Four’ (Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt and Marriott), but it is nonetheless a strong company with reliable properties in good locations worldwide.
They also have a good rewards program (IHG Rewards) and a credit card to match: The Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card. This card offers the standard points spending bonuses (1 point per dollar spent, bonus points for purchases on gas, groceries, restaurants, and purchases on IHG properties); no foreign transaction fees, and no annual fee for the first year.
Most importantly, it gives cardholders immediate Premier Elite status in IHG’s Rewards Program – their highest level of status.
Let us repeat that – Just by applying for a credit card, you’ve achieved the highest level of elite status in a major hotel brand without spending any money. Now here’s where Hyatt enters the picture:
Hyatt Diamond 60 Day Trial – How to Enroll
Now that you have IHG’s highest level of status, it’s time to get Hyatt to match. Here’s how:
1. Enroll as a member of Hyatt Gold Passport (Hyatt’s rewards program).
2. Contact Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service at (800-304-9288) or and request your status to be matched to your IHG status.
3. In your email, provide proof of IHG Rewards Platinum Elite membership – a screenshot or scanned copy of your membership card should suffice.
4. Within 24 hours, you should receive a confirmation email from Hyatt stating your 60 day Diamond trial has begun. Congratulations, you’ve become a Diamond Gold Passport member without spending a penny.
Your email will confirm you have Diamond status for the next 60 days, and offer you the opportunity to spend 12 paid nights at Hyatt properties worldwide over this 60 day period in order to achieve Diamond elite status for the next year.
It’s important to note – paying to stay 12 nights in 60 days isn’t our concern here. In fact at certain Hyatt locations that can be a very expensive proposition, where regular rooms can sell for well over USD $1000 per night.
Our goal is far more simple – to enable you to experience the highest level of Hyatt Gold Passport elite status the next time you stay at a Hyatt. You can also get free nights at any Hyatt worldwide by enrolling for the Chase Hyatt Visa. Check out our review here.
Regarding the 60 day trial – if you have the resources and travel plans, then by all means go for it. Diamond Gold Passport status is one of the best hotel elite experiences on the market, and earning it normally requires staying 50 paid nights at Hyatt properties in a calendar year. Gaining that status for a mere 12 nights over 60 days is an astonishing bargain.
What Do You Get?
Thankfully, Hyatt’s elite program matches its high-end branding. Full benefits of Diamond status are here, but our highlights include:
Immediate upgrade to best available room upon arrival (excluding suites)
  • Lounge access at Regency or Grand Club lounges, complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres, complimentary full breakfast in hotels without club lounges
  • 20 percent off all Hyatt daily room rates
  • Welcome point bonus or complimentary food and beverage at check-in
  • 4 suite upgrade certificates on paid nights (per year)
  • 4:00pm late checkout
  • Free wifi at all Hyatt properties

As always with all travel deals, time is of the essence. This particular offer – and Hyatt’s generosity and willingness to offer trials at Diamond level – should be around for the near future but there are no guarantees. What you see today may not be here tomorrow. Act now and enjoy hotel elite status at one of our favorite brands at zero cost.

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