You Will Soon Be Able To Earn & Burn Hyatt Points On Adventure Travel

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Hyatt is a hotelier on the move at the moment as it appears to have finally grasped the concept that it has to grow its offering if it’s going to be able to compete with behemoths like Marriott and Hilton.

Over the past year we’ve seen Hyatt announce significant expansion of its own brands (like on the West Coast and in Canada), we’ve seen it incorporate brands like Joie de Vivre and Thompson into its portfolio, we’ve seen SLH Hotels added to the World of Hyatt program in their hundreds and we’ve seen a nice new partnership forged with American Airlines.

Things have been looking good at Hyatt of late and now the hotelier has announced a further new partnership to keep World of Hyatt loyalists interested. This partnership is with Lindblad Expeditions.

Hyatt’s Partnership With Lindblad

This latest partnership is a departure from the norm for Hyatt as Lindblad Expeditions isn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill vacation booking service – it has the word ‘expeditions’ in its name for a very good reason.

Lindblad offers true ‘adventure travel’ experiences (mostly through cruises) in some amazing parts of the world (Antarctica, the Amazon, Galapagos, etc…) and its trips aren’t generally designed for the sort of person who’s looking to gorge on an all-day buffets and laze around on a deckchair for 12 hours of the day – a lot of the trips on offer partner with National Geographic.

The full partnership with Lindblad isn’t yet live (Hyatt hasn’t given an exact date) but here’s what we know so far:

Earning and Redeeming World of Hyatt Points:

  • WoH members will earn five Base Points per $1 USD of eligible spend with Lindblad (excludes incidentals)
  • WoH members will receive their standard elite tier Bonus Points on eligible spend
  • WoH members will be able to redeem points to use for complimentary expeditions

World of Hyatt Member Benefits (on Lindblad Expeditions):

  • WoH members across all status tiers will be given a $250 on-board credit to use during their expedition on spa services, alcoholic beverages, specific excursions or classes, souvenirs or supplies, and more
  • WoH members will receive elite tier qualifying night credits for eligible nights on a Lindblad expedition
  • Members will be able to purchase specially curated Lindblad Expedition experiences through Hyatt’s FIND experience platform.

Bid On Expeditions With Hyatt Points

The most immediate news regarding the new Hyatt/Lindblad partnership is that, as of right now, World of Hyatt members can bid on two limited-time Lindblad Expeditions through FIND auctions using World of Hyatt points:

  • Auction 1: Five-day wild California escape at Channel Islands National Park, plus accommodations and a culinary experience at Andaz West Hollywood in California
  • Auction 2: A photography excursion and education in New York City alongside Ralph Lee Hopkins, Director of Expedition Photography for Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic photographer, and two-night accommodations at Andaz Wall Street in New York City

Aside: I wonder if the Andaz West Hollywood will add its new resort fee to the cost of the expedition?

Bottom Line

The new partnership sounds like a lot of fun and may be a great new way to earn and burn Hyatt points and status credits….but there is one small caveat to all of this positivity.

The press release for this partnership mentions that members will enjoy World of Hyatt loyalty benefits on “Lindblad expeditions booked through Hyatt” and, as things stand, we have no idea how the pricing for these expeditions will work.

A little annoyingly there doesn’t appear to be any pricing on the Lindblad Expeditions webpage (you have to email in an itinerary request to get a quote) so it will take a little work to find out if the Hyatt earnings come at a cost (above what Lindbland itself charges) and, if there is a cost, just what that cost is.

Still, it’s going to be interesting to see how this partnership pans out and it will be interesting to see just how much value we’ll be able to extract from our World of Hyatt points by booking expeditions with Lindblad – let’s hope this is a partnership World of Hyatt members can really enjoy and not one that’s best avoided.