2015 in Points: Hyatt and Hilton – It’s Raining Diamonds

The two H hotel chains are joined for year-end status matches to their Diamond status levels. Hyatt quickly stopped as it heard the chorus of howls from those who had qualified the traditional way. Hilton is ongoing. Funny how people in a hobby the purpose of which is to extract outsize value and exploit terms and conditions and customer service largess get worked up in a case where they played it straight and others got a shortcut.

Brands:

Hilton is keeping pace with Marriott by adding bewildering brands Canopy and Curio. Look for the letter D in 2016. I thought Hyatt was keeping things steady, though noticed there is Hyatt Centric.

Loyalty:

Both were quiet in loyalty program changes. It qualified as big news that Hyatt made points + cash bookable online.

Hyatt Guest of Honor is an old benefit, new to me, and continues in 2016.

Points:

Lame promotions.

Put your Amex business cards away at Hyatt with the end of the OPEN Savings 5% rebate.

My Hyatt and Hilton:

Both programs are little-used by me.

Hilton I use for the odd business trip. My point balances are low. With Amex personal card churning (and upgrade/downgrade) not working, I need to decide if it is worth revisiting their Citi cards. If you don’t want to fly more than a transcon to China, Hilton San Gabriel is a great option with excellent Chinese restaurants of several regional cuisines at the mall opposite and a fantastic weekday buffet (weekend selection not as good).

Hilton San Garbriel Breakfast Buffet 01 Hilton San Garbriel Breakfast Buffet 02

I enjoy Hyatts and would stay in them more if they were in my budget for international business trips. I have the occasional domestic stay for business and this year at Frequent Traveler University.

I did snap up Hyatt Diamond and immediately moved a business stay to the Hyatt Regency North Houston hoping to dislodge an earned Diamond with FlyerTalk bag tags from his suite and welcome amenity. Sadly, the hotel was deserted the week after Thanksgiving and I received a huge plate of chocolates that I couldn’t finish. I like that Hyatt uses Tazo teas, makers of some of the drinkable tea bags on the market, though they need to order more China Green Tips, that one is gone wherever I go.

Hyatt Regency North Houston Diamond Amenity Hyatt Regency North Houston Tazo Tea

Charleston is a great city that is tough for points hotels. The few that exist in the city are tired and not really in the old town. Many are way out the west or north by the airport. When we visited in July the co-located Hyatt Place and Hyatt House were nearing completion, and are now open. They are north of the old town in a hip area anchored by hot seafood restaurant The Ordinary or roll up your sleeves at Dave’s Carry-Out.

The Ordinary Charleston Dave's Carry-Out Charleston

We used Hyatt annual credit card certs (category 1-4) at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, which occupies a commanding position suited to mountain goats and those willing to take taxis or the irregular hotel shuttle. Great hotel that unfortunately has a place in the dynamic currency conversion (DCC) hall of shame. I become Diamond the hours just before check-in.

Our prior certs we used at the unremarkable Park Hyatt Toronto. Their elevator funhouse side panel mirrors have the marshmallow effect.

Park Hyatt Toronto Elevator Front Mirror

Park Hyatt Toronto Side Mirrors

Rapid Travel Chai newsletter ¦ Twitter ¦ Facebook ¦ Instagram