HomeHotel LoyaltyWorld of HyattWhy I think Hyatt is publishing weak promotions (and why I think...

Why I think Hyatt is publishing weak promotions (and why I think it can get away with it)


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The latest World of Hyatt promotion goes live tomorrow and as promotions go, this one is weak. Very weak. And this appears to be the continuation of a recent Hyatt trend.

Prior to last year, Hyatt had been known for offering promotions that offered real value (yes, even before the pandemic forced hotel chains to be nicer to everyone), but in the past twelve months, things seem to have gone noticeably downhill.

This subject came up in a conversation I was having with a friend last night and it got me wondering why it is that Hyatt now feels comfortable doing what Marriott has done for years – offer disappointing promotions or, sometimes, not bothering with running a promotion at all.

I’m not sure I have the answer, but I have a theory that I thought I’d share.

Hyatt has wised up

The key to all this (I think) is that Hyatt now seems to have a better understanding of what really motivates the World of Hyatt members that it’s interested in keeping engaged, and just as Marriott worked out a long time ago that it’s enormous presence around the world and not Bonvoy promotions is what keeps its more valuable guests returning time after time, Hyatt has worked out that bonus points are not really what motivates the guests it values most highly either.

Let’s take me as an example.

No, I’m not a hugely valued Hyatt customer (far from it!), but despite that, I’m think that the way I view the World of Hyatt program is probably the way that quite a few of Hyatt’s more frequent guests view it as well, and it’s this view that gives Hyatt the freedom to publish the uninteresting and unrewarding promotions that we’ve seen over the past year.

The fact is that I don’t stay at Hyatt properties for the points I can earn – the overwhelming majority of the Hyatt points I use come from what I earn through the card_name, the card_name (review), the card_name (review), and the card_name when I use them to pay for the things I buy every day – so bonus points from stays don’t really affect my booking patterns.

I stay at Hyatt properties because when I do, I usually get treated very well and because generally speaking, I like the properties that Hyatt offers, and it’s because of all of this that I go out of my way to seek out Hyatt properties when I’m booking my trips.

Any points that come from my Hyatt stays are just an added extra that don’t really factor into my travel planning.

Quite simply, when Hyatt doesn’t give me any extra points on my stays, I don’t really notice (or care), and this is what I think Hyatt has finally figured out.

Hyatt knows that I’m not going to go elsewhere just because it publishes a weak promotion (I have Lifetime Titanium status with Marriott and yet I spent just 10 nights at Marriott properties last year and 50 with Hyatt), and I strongly suspect that there are quite a few other World of Hyatt members in the same position.

So why would Hyatt go to the expense of offering me a lucrative promotion if it knows that it doesn’t really need to?

Just like Marriott can get away with useless promotions quarter after quarter because it has a huge footprint and because most Bonvoy members are too uninterested to look for other options (the current Marriott promotion is an outlier in an otherwise sea of mediocrity), Hyatt can get away with weak promotions because a lot of its more frequent guests aren’t fixated on the points that Hyatt offers and they know that they’re not going to be treated better if they go elsewhere.

In fact, they’re probably aware that they’ll almost certainly be treated worse.

Given the choice of being treated well and not getting any promotional bonus points or risking bad/average/mediocre treatment just to lock in a few Bonvoy/Hilton/IHG points, most big Hyatt fans will, I suspect, choose the former. And I think Hyatt has now realised this.

Overall

I see the key to the World of Hyatt’s success as a combination of good properties, good service, and excellent top-tier benefits, and not the earning rates or the promotions that are offered, and this means that the points that members earn from their stays and promotions don’t move the needle for the guests that Hyatt wants to retain.

This is why Hyatt can get away with giving top-tier Globalists members a 30% points bonus on their stays when top-tier members at other hotel programs earn bonuses of 75% – 100% and it’s why we should probably prepare ourselves for the current run of boring/weak Hyatt promotions to continue.

What do you think?

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4 COMMENTS

  1. An interesting premise. I’m not sure I agree fully but interesting nonetheless.

    For me personally, Hyatt makes Globalist attainable through credit card spending, which makes it possible for me to stay about 30-40 nights a year at Hyatts and spend my way to Globalist from there. You’re correct that it’s the treatment I get that makes me work to attain this status. On the other hand, making it notably more difficult to get substantial Hyatt points except through Ultimate Rewards disincentivizes members from engaging. Remember what a blast IHG was a half dozen years ago? They had all sorts of interlocking fun ways to earn during promotions that you just had to participate. Now the program is just blah and my interactions (and stays) are vastly fewer as a result.

    Hyatt offers a generally better product in my opinion. Better enough that I’ll book with them even with intentionally bad promotions while competitors offer good promotions? Maybe.

  2. I disagree. I have upcoming stays and I’m deciding between the Hyatt and Marriott promotions. If there’s an easy pathway to Titanium, I’m going to take it. Therefore, Hyatt is out for my upcoming stays while I earn 2x elite credit at Marriott.

    • How many nights do you usually stay at Hyatt properties in a year? And would you consider yourself to be a customer that Hyatt would be eager not to lose?

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