Hyatt Elite Status Via Award Nights: When Mattress Running Makes Sense

Last week, Hyatt announced that starting this year, award nights would count towards elite night requirements. A lot of people lamented this new development because it would make top-tier Globalist status more attainable. Why is this bad? Because more elites often equals devaluation of benefits. I don’t see it that way. I doubt most leisure travelers are going to complete the required 60 nights – even if they majority of their stays are booked with points. Few people are going to mattress run for 60 nights to earn top-tier Globalist status. But is it worth doing? It depends.

Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi Building Lobby
Hyatt Capital Gate Building Lobby

A free night at a Category 1 Hyatt will set you back 5,000 points. So a 60-night mattress run would cost 300,000 Hyatt points. That’s completely insane for free breakfast, lounge access, and the possibility of a room upgrade. Take it from a former Hyatt Diamond member – the room upgrades are rare (to a room with a better view, let alone a suite). You’re better off just paying an extra ~$50 for a club room. Or heck, use some of those 300,000 points to book club rooms outright.

There are other Globalist benefits like free parking on award nights, waived resort fees, M Life Goal status, and free nights and suite upgrades that are earned based on stay requirements. But I hardly think anyone will (or should) go out of their way to meet these requirements for the benefits outlined above. That being said, the inclusion of award nights towards elite status requirements is great news for folks who do stay at Hyatt hotels quite a bit. Those people are probably redeeming their points at least some of the time and this helps them get rewarded for it, by enabling them to re-qualify for status faster. That being said, I don’t see anyone mattress running 60 nights on points to earn Hyatt Globalist status.

Another way this new Hyatt elite status qualification rule can work out favorably for regular folks? If Hyatt offers an elite status challenge. Back in August, Hyatt offered targeted members Globalist status after completing just 20 nights. That’s way more reasonable for most people than 60 nights. Completing 20 nights via a status challenge would require 100,000 points, which is still very hefty. But if you have upcoming stays at Hyatt hotels and the elite benefits will save you money on things like club rooms or breakfast rates, then it might make sense.

Of course, there are other ways to get Hyatt elite benefits without status. Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is a great option for Amex Platinum cardholders. Visa and MasterCard have similar booking sites, offering elite benefits like free breakfast and room upgrades. I would much prefer to use one of these sites than to complete more than 10 nights on mattress runs for any hotel chain. In fact, going forward I’ll probably stick to Hilton Honors and maybe even work in the Ritz Carlton card to earn Platinum status with SPG and Marriott Rewards. But my days of completing mattress runs for Hyatt stays are over.

Are you going to be earning status with Hyatt now that they’re counting award nights towards elite status?

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  1. Totally agree. Not sure if that’s really worthy to mattress run 60 nights with points. Hopefully the new management will make the program change to compete with “others”.

  2. My recent experience with Hyatt has been improved. I have received mostly comp suite UGs as a Globalist – even when I booked award stays. Not just small/junior suites but often premiere suites as well. Very pleased and surprised. Glad to hear that award stays will count now!

  3. When the “improved” program was announced I thought that it was time to say goodbye to continuing my experiences with HYATT and their Diamond/Globalist status.
    Having moved many of my hotel stays to Marriott/SPG, and doing the 18 night Platinum stay challenge, my travel habits were going to change and I’d say goodbye to a few favourites. When HYATT announced the 20 night challenge and since I was already going to be traveling for a month, a mattress run was feasible even though I had to manufacture a couple of stays where I would normally have stayed at other superior options.
    Upgraded at every full service property. Full sized suites on 2×4 night stays and a suite offer for a 3 night that I chose to decline, based on room location.
    Next year my travel is going to be a lot less. I will have top status with 4 Hotel chains and long term big decisions to make.

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