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Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels relaunched its loyalty program as World of Hyatt in March of 2017, and since then the hotel chain has been making fine tweaks every few months. This week, the program announced a change to the way in which it delivers ancillary perks to its elite members.
Called Milestone Rewards, the new schema takes some of the traditional perks that came when earning tiers of elite status and breaks out the rewards into smaller segments earned across a wider window of time. At the Explorist elite tier, for example, which is typically earned after completing 30 qualifying nights, World of Hyatt members used to earn four club lounge access awards for use at participating properties. With Milestone Rewards, however, two of those lounge passes will be delivered at 20 nights while the other two come with Explorist status.
Suite upgrades, too, will now be spread across the tiers. While top Globalist members (earned after 60 nights) used to earn four suite upgrade awards upon reaching that tier, members now earn two upgrades at 50 nights and another two at 60. Full details of the new Milestone Rewards program were published this morning.
Hyatt’s move appears to be targeted at bringing more perks to lower-tier customers and making the benefits of its program attainable to a wider audience. And it may come at a good time in light of challenges that Marriott, it’s largest rival, is facing. Marriott Rewards, the country’s largest hotel loyalty program, has been under intense pressure from its community after a massive breach recently lost the data of over 500 million users. High level elites formerly part of Starwood’s loyalty program and now in the Marriott Rewards’ ranks have also voiced complaints with the way in which the new program is run. Between those two segments, many travelers may see Hyatt’s new Milestone Rewards as just enough incentive to defect away from Marriott.
According to Amy Weinberg, senior vice president of World of Hyatt Loyalty Program, it’s also a result of customer feedback on the current World of Hyatt program – travelers want more perks sooner on their way to their annual travel goals.
The changes to World of Hyatt also aren’t all entirely good for consumers. Along with the changes this week, World of Hyatt is also confirmed that it will raise the re-qualification criteria for top-tier Globalist status from 55 to 60 nights, a nine percent increase year-over-year. That change, however, won’t happen until 2020.
Milestone Rewards is slated for launch on March 1.