Sometimes you face the inevitable. Either a situation takes a turn for the worse or continues on a downhill slide. Eventually you find yourself wondering if what you want is realistic. Or facing the reality that the goal you’ve been working toward is perhaps not worth the hassle. That’s when you have to figure out when to call it quits.
I found myself at one of those crossroads within the last four weeks with the realization that something that I thought had been sustainable actually was not.
That’s why I am teetering on the edge of “quitting” my quest for Hyatt Diamond status requalification.
How did I get here?
Its not an easy decision and I may be having a delayed reaction. I was in Europe late last month when the changes to the Hyatt loyalty program were announced so I waited for all of the others to analyze the switch from the current program (Hyatt Gold Passport) to the new one (World of Hyatt). I knew there would be much consternation – there always is when a loyalty program changes suddenly. I figured it was perhaps not as bad as it seemed.
I was wrong.
For me, it is horrible. I’ve traditionally qualified on “stays” – at least 25 a year – which has been relatively easy for me. I’ve been Hyatt Diamond for a number of years. I’ve never considered myself to be a “cheap” Diamond either. I’ve stayed at Grand Hyatts and Park Hyatts whenever my travel schedule would allow. But the absence of Hyatts in most of my client cities has meant that I’ve more often stayed in Hyatt Place properties. My most frequent property is down the street from my office and I’ve logged quite a few nights there this year.
But not enough, it seems. I checked my account details today and I’m sitting at the cusp of requalification – four stays to go, to be exact – which was one of my goals I’ve been tracking toward.
While that seems like an easy gap to bridge, I just do not know if I can do it. Or really, whether I want to. Perhaps it is time to call it quits.
You may wonder why I’m doing this now when I’m SO close to the edge of requalification. Four more stays and I’d requalify for Diamond. When the program converts in March, that would give me the new top tier status of Globalist. With it comes all sorts of great perks – room upgrades, lounge access, late checkout, free internet… the list goes on.
You would think it would be worth it for me to do this. But its not.
See, next year when the new program switches, there is no way I can maintain it. To do so, I’d have to stay 60 nights OR hit 100,000 base points in the year. ($1=5 base points so that’s $20,000 in spend). Because so many of my stays are single night, the 60 night threshold is too difficult to hit because of the lack of Hyatt properties in many of the cities where I travel. Even if I stayed exclusively at Hyatts in cities where they exist, I’d still struggle to hit 60 nights – my travel schedule isn’t that glamorous.
With my current travel pattern, I can easily hit the entry level status of Discoverist, which requires 10 nights or 25,000 base points ($5,000 in spend).
The next threshold – middle tier or Explorist – would be achievable – 30 nights or 50,000 base points ($10,000 in spend). But those 30 nights would likely come in the form of 20-25 stays, almost all 1-2 nights. There is no way I’ll get close to $10,000 in spend.
With my current Diamond status (expiring February 2017), I am already guaranteed Explorist for the first year of the program. Four more stays would get me Globalist.
The differences between Globalist and Explorist are not large enough to make a difference to me personally (20% points bonus vs. 30%, 2 pm late checkout vs. 4 pm, upgrade to best room vs. upgrade to Club Lounge/suite). Explorist would net me 4 lounge passes a year which is about how often I use the Club Lounge anyway. Explorist seems like it works for my needs, assuming I continue staying at Hyatts at all.
Which gets me back to why now. I don’t have too much business travel left for the year and none of those trips have me near Hyatts. I was considering staying in a Hyatt 25 minutes away from an airport next week and again the week after, but both stays would be after a late night arrival and before a 6 am departure. That does not seem sane.
I’ll have a couple more occasions to need to stay overnight in Dallas this year – that would get me to stays 22 and 23. But to get the last two stays, I have to push somehow… deprive myself of sleep in the scenario above or otherwise go out of my way. There is also always the possibility of a mattress run, but I’m opposed to spending money for a benefit I may not fully utilize. I’d rather spend the money on new clothes… or my next vacation.
What should I do?
My true question – is it worth it? Or do I call it quits now?
Knowing that even with a push, this will be my last year of top-tier status with Hyatt makes me question whether the benefits are worth it. Next year, as a Marriott Platinum/Starwood Lifetime Platinum, I will realistically push almost all of my stays in that direction. I don’t have an incentive to continue pushing with Hyatt so beyond a couple of conferences, I won’t be incentivized to stay there.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? Do the four stays for benefits I may not use? Or ease gracefully into the next phase of my travel life?