Hyatt Gold Passport (HGP) delivers what you’d expect of any decent hotel loyalty program – being free space-available room upgrades and Internet access – but goes beyond the ‘usual’ to also provide perks like confirmed suite upgrades and even free airport lounge access for its most frequent guests.
Members begin their journey by earning HGP Points at an impressive range of Hyatt brands including Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt and Andaz, along with Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Ziva, Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Residence Club, plus at M life Resorts in Las Vegas.
Points can also be earned on dining and spa facilities whether staying at a Hyatt hotel or just passing by, and can be used for free hotel stays, room upgrades and more at over 600 Hyatt hotels in 51 countries or converted into airline frequent flyer points.
Here’s what you need to know about Hyatt Gold Passport, and how to get the best value from the points you’ll earn in the program.
Hyatt Gold Passport 101
After joining the program for free via the Hyatt website, you can begin earning five HGP Points per US dollar spent with Hyatt – and as long as you continue to earn or burn points at least once every 24 months, those points won’t escape your clutches.
There’s also an option to earn airline frequent flyer points in lieu of HGP Points, or to first earn HGP points and then convert them into frequent flyer points: but more on that later.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll also find a physical membership card in the mail after your first stay – useful to present on check-in or when enjoying a meal at one of Hyatt’s restaurants while you continue boosting your points balance.
Stay frequently enough and you’ll soon be promoted to Platinum status, and then again to a top-of-the-ladder Diamond card.
Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum status
Just five stays or 15 eligible nights in a calendar year is enough for that Platinum upgrade, which begins by awarding 15% more HGP Points every time you flash your card.
The Platinum hotel experience is also noticeably better than the norm from the moment you set foot in a Hyatt hotel, with a dedicated check-in area to fast-track your arrival – sometimes even in a separate and private room such as at the Grand Hyatt New York hotel:
Free upgrades to larger rooms or those on higher floors are also offered where available, as is free high-speed Internet access and a 2pm late check-out.
Rounding out the Platinum perks is a VIP telephone reservations line, along with the ability to secure a confirmed room at sold-out hotels (excludes Hyatt resorts, Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva) when requesting one at least 72 hours before arrival, except in periods of ‘extraordinary’ demand.
Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status
Once you’ve had 25 stays or spent 50 eligible nights in-house in a single calendar year, a coveted Diamond card is yours to enjoy, as are 30% more HGP Points every time you earn them at a hotel.
Among the treasure trove of benefits: four free confirmed suite upgrades each year (hotel exclusions apply) and upgrades to the highest available room category below a suite during every other stay, plus free access to Grand Club or Regency Club lounges (where available) during your stay.
That also means a complimentary breakfast in the lounge and evening hors d’oeuvres… and if a hotel doesn’t have a lounge of its own, you’ll still receive a full breakfast daily at the hotel’s restaurant.
You’ll also receive a choice of up to 1,000 bonus points with every stay or a (food/beverage) welcome gift, along with telephone access to the exclusive Diamond desk and two free United Club airport lounge passes each year.
These passes can’t be used in Australia following the closure of United’s Melbourne lounge but are still valid in Los Angeles and San Francisco before United’s flights to Sydney, Melbourne and other destinations, and indeed at any other United Club across the globe.
Over and above the Platinum perks, Diamond members can book rooms at sold-out hotels up until 48 hours before their arrival – again, except for during times of “extraordinary room demand” – and can check-out as late as 4pm where possible.
Finally, a member’s friends and family can enjoy a taste of Diamond-level perks when that Diamond guest books a free stay for them using their own HGP Points until December 30 2015.
Even if the Diamond cardholder isn’t staying at the hotel with their friend or family member, the usual perks such as room upgrades and club lounge access are still provided.
Earning Hyatt Gold Passport Points
At any of Hyatt’s Australian hotels – such as the Park Hyatt Melbourne (pictured) – an overnight stay with a $350 standard room rate and $50 spent on room service would net around 1,395 HGP Points for entry-level members, based on the exchange rate at September 8 2015.
On the same spend, Platinum cardholders would collect roughly 1,604 HGP Points, while Diamond guests would grab a higher 1,813 HGP Points.
Should you opt for airline frequent flyer points in lieu of HGP Points, you can earn 1,000 Qantas Points per stay in Australia & New Zealand or 600 Qantas Points per stay internationally – or, take a lower 500 miles and earn other airlines such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and United.
Airline frequent flyer points can’t be earned when simply dining at a hotel but not staying overnight, so if these are your preference, collect HGP Points on these spends and later ship these across to your favourite airline.
Redeeming Hyatt Gold Passport Points
When frequent flyer points are the goal, 5,000 HGP Points buys 2,400 Qantas Points or 2,000 miles with most other airline partners, and if you convert at least 50,000 HGP Points in one transaction you’ll also get an easy 5,000 bonus frequent flyer points/miles.
For instance, 50,000 HGP points would become 29,000 Qantas Points, or 25,000 miles with other major partners such as American, Singapore Airlines and United, although note that Virgin Australia Velocity doesn’t have a points partnership with Hyatt Gold Passport.
HGP Points can also be swapped for free hotel stays, and similar to other hotel loyalty programs, the number of points needed for a free night depends on the hotel ‘category’ on a scale of 1-7.
Tipping the scale in Category 7 are properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt New York, for which you’ll need 30,000 HGP Points for a free overnight stay in a standard room.
Category 5 hotels such as the Park Hyatt Melbourne will set you back 20,000 HGP Points for the same, while Category 4s including the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, Grand Hyatt Melbourne and Hyatt Regency Perth are 15,000 HGP Points per night.
Hyatt Gold Passport Points can also be swapped for upgrades on paid reservations to Regency/Grand Club rooms at the rate of 3,000 points per night or to suites at selected hotels for 6,000 points per night, along with dining and spa awards, on car hire and more.
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