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American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels are teaming up to reward each others’ elite loyalty program members.
In a new partnership announced Tuesday, American and Hyatt plan to start rewarding loyalty members for booking each other’s products. Under the program, elite members of Hyatt’s World of Hyatt program will earn one loyalty point for every dollar spent on American. Elite AAdvantage members, in turn, will earn one mile for every dollar spent at a Hyatt property.
Neither American nor Hyatt were able to commit to a firm date on which the program would formally kick off, but the group did confirm that it expects to launch later this year.
Concierge Key members of AAdvantage will also be automatically given top-tier Globalist status with World of Hyatt under the new program’s guidelines. American’s Concierge Key tier is an unpublished, ultra-elite classification in the AAdvantage loyalty program that is only awarded to those who spend top dollar on the carrier. Its qualification criteria are unpublished, but many speculate that the annual spend requirement to earn Concierge Key status is in the range of $50,000.
American and Hyatt are also launching status challenges for each other’s loyalty program members. Later this year, AAdvantage and World of Hyatt members will have the opportunity to sign up for challenges to earn full-fledged elite status with the partner operator. An Executive Platinum member at AAdvantage, for example, might hypothetically be given a challenge to stay 30 or 40 nights at a Hyatt to earn Globalist status while a lower tier World of Hyatt member might receive a challenge over to AAdvantage Platinum.
According to a Hyatt representative, the “limited time status challenges will be available for AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum elite members and World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist elite members.” A timeline for when any of the status challenges would launch, however, was also unavailable at publication.
To participate in any part of the campaign, members must have at least low-level elite status with one of the loyalty programs. In American’s case, that’s Gold Elite, which is earned after flying 25,000 miles (or 30 segments) and spending $3,000 with the carrier; Hyatt members need Discoverist status, which is earned after staying in a hotel 10 nights and earning 25,000 base points.
To earn points, loyalty program members will need to link accounts at a dedicated landing page that the group sets up later this year. After registration, miles and points will earn automatically as a function of each flight or hotel booking.
This isn’t the first time that a legacy airline and hotel chain have teamed up to share elite customers. In 2013, Delta Air Lines and Starwood (now Marriott) launched a campaign called Crossover Rewards in which high-tier elites in each loyalty program earned basic status and perks in the other’s. Crossover Rewards gave Starwood Preferred Guest Gold members (earned after staying 50 nights), for example, Silver Elite status (earned after flying 25,000 miles) on Delta Air Lines, a tier that comes with bonus points and potential upgrades on every flight.
Crossover Rewards came to an end in July of 2018 when Starwood joined Marriott. Right now, Marriott and United Airlines also collaborate in a Crossover-style program called Rewards Plus.
American has also occasionally partnered with Hilton to share status and perks between the two operators, but never in an agreement as formal as Delta’s or United’s. Today’s arrangement seems to remedy that.