As this blog is still in its infancy as of this writing, the vast majority of my tiny readership is coming from Milepoint and Flyertalk, two excellent resources for all things travel and hotel related, so this post is probably information that those people already know. But I have a dream…that one day, this site will create millions and millions of new Tokyo Hyatt Fans. And we will form an army, march down to Omaha, and demand the return of the Faster Free Nights campaign!
…but I’m getting ahead of myself. The point is that those new people will need to be brought up to speed. Leave no Tokyo Hyatt Fan behind is our motto! So with that, let me start this session of Tokyo Hyatt Fan 101 with an introduction of Hyatt’s loyalty program, known as Gold Passport, and an explanation as to why this should concern you.
Hyatt Gold Passport is a membership club that gives benefits to its members, and encourages them to deal directly with Hyatt as opposed to third party reservation services such as Expedia and Priceline. It is free to join, and it is open to everyone. There is zero reason not to join, and it imparts privileges on the user the second enollment is completed. Some benefits are property specific (as an example, I believe that membership allows for free admission into the Hyatt Regency Tokyo pool, whereas a 2000 yen fee would otherwise apply), but the vast majority extend of benefits throughout the worldwide Hyatt chain.
There are three published tiers to Hyatt Gold Passport membership: Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. The following is a brief explanation of the benefits of each level and how they may be attained:
Gold Membership is the introductory level of Gold Passport membership. It includes the following benefits, that are available at all tier levels:
- For every dollar spent at a Hyatt hotel you earn five Hyatt Gold Passport points.
- Points may be redeemed for free nights at Hyatt hotels, or may be converted into miles with some partner airlines.
- Points may also be combined with cash to make discounted reservations, or used to upgrade a Hyatt Daily Rate reservation to a club room or suite.
- See the Redemption Options page on the Hyatt website for more information.
At current rates, 12000 points will earn a free night in a standard room at Hyatt Regency Tokyo, 25000 points are good for a standard room at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Andaz Tokyo, and 30000 points can be redeemed for a free night at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
The normal method of being upgraded to Platinum membership is by making at least five paid stays or 15 paid nights (whichever happens first) within a single calendar year. There are several other methods of obtaining the Platinum tier status, which I will discuss at another time.
In addition to all of the benefits of Gold membership, Platinum members also earn the following:
- 15% bonus on points earned
- One level non-suite room upgrade, based on availability.
- Free in-room internet access
- Dedicated check in for elite members
- 72-hour guaranteed room availability (with some blackout dates at the discretion of each property)
- Late checkout until 2pm upon request (subject to availability)
- Access to special “My Elite Rate”, a 20% savings on Hyatt Daily Rate.
The last one is arguably the biggest benefit of Platinum status, as this could save you many thousands of yen on your Tokyo Hyatt reservation.
Platinum status is definitely good to have, but if you really want to maximize your enjoyment of the Tokyo Hyatt hotels, you will want to strive to become a Diamond member.
The highest published tier of the Hyatt Gold Passport program, the normal method of earning Diamond status is by completing 25 paid stays or 50 paid nights (whichever happens first) in a Hyatt hotel within a calendar year. Diamond status gets you all of the above benefits plus the following:
- 30% bonus on points earned
- Upgrade to the best available non-suite
- Free access for all of the room’s guests to the club lounge at Hyatt hotels that have them, or free full breakfast at hotels that don’t.
- A welcome bonus during every stay of either 1000 points or a food/beverage amenity of the hotel’s choosing.
- Up to four paid stays a year of up to seven nights each can receive a guaranteed suite upgrade.
- 48-hour guaranteed room availability (with some blackout dates at the discretion of each property)
- Late checkout until 4pm upon request (subject to availability)
Specific hotels may also grant additional privileges to Diamond members. For example, while the Park Hyatt Tokyo does not have a club lounge, here is a sample of the benefits that a Diamond member can receive that a Gold member (or non-member) will not:
- 20% off the standard room rate
- Upgrade from that discounted base room (let’s say 38000 yen a night) to the spacious and gorgeous Park Suite (more than 138,000 yen in value!)
- Free breakfast buffet, Healthy Breakfast course, or Japanese breakfast in restaurant. The latter two may also be received as room service (3900 yen value a night)
- Free drinks and Hors d’oeuvres from 5pm to 9pm at the Peak Bar and Lounge (value of…well, how much can you drink in four hours?)
- Free access to Club on the Park facilities (4200 yen per night per adult) Bathe in the bath that Bill Murray bathed in! Pet the rock penguin!
One of my goals is to keep all posts below 1000 words, and I’m rapidly approaching that limit now, but I hope that this post has shown why it is to your advantage to become a Hyatt Gold Passport member, and to strive for the highest levels of membership. We will build on this knowledge in the weeks and months to come. And fear not if 50 nights in a Hyatt isn’t in the cards, as I will introduce smarter methods of obtaining Platinum and/or Diamond status as well!