This year was a good one for me in terms of status. I acquired and used a lot of hotel statuses during this calendar year, but through all of it, I was left with one dilemma: Do I continue to accrue nights with Marriott to retain Platinum status for 2020?
By July of this year, I had 15 nights stayed, plus 15 more from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Visa Signature Credit Card. Therefore, I only needed 20 more nights with six months to go.
However, with the birth of my son in October, we had no travel plans during my wife’s third trimester and during his first two months as a newborn. That essentially meant I had no way outside of a mattress run to retain status.
Even though the family enjoyed the almost $100 free buffet every morning at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and upgrades to the top suite at the King Kamehameha in Hawaii, I still couldn’t justify it.
Looking ahead to 2020, I’m looking to switch my allegiance from Marriott to Hyatt. With my own travel habits and preferences, here are 3 reasons why Hyatt Globalist makes more sense than Marriott Platinum.
Why Hyatt Globalist?
Readers may know that in February I was able to rectify a several year old mistake and acquire Hyatt Explorist. I was even lucky enough to get the status match just under the deadline to earn my 4 Club Access Awards that will be good till February 2021. So why take on the challenge to earn Globalist especially since I don’t have any work nights that will cover travel expenses?
1. Confirmed Suite Upgrades
Entering 2019, I had no plans to reacquire Marriott Platinum Status due to some awful experiences in customer service, so instead of the 5 nights of elite credit I opted for the 5 suite upgrade awards.
Unlike Hyatt, Marriott’s certificates are only good for one night at a time whereas Hyatt Globalist suite upgrades are each good for up to a week! Getting 4 of these means potentially 28 nights in a suite.
In addition, each of Hyatt’s suite upgrades are confirmed at booking. Whereas with Marriott, I had to wait until 5 days prior to arrival for the upgrades to clear and hoped I get lucky. When it comes to vacations, I’d rather not have to rely on luck as I get enough of that at the poker tables. Being able to get a suite booking confirmed takes out the guess work which is important when traveling with two small children.
When I’m traveling by myself, the only way I ever make a breakfast in the morning is if I’m been up all night playing cards. However, when I’m trying to feed a whole family on vacation, we are always up and going in the morning. Often we will eat a big breakfast, skip lunch or have some light snacks, and then eat a normal dinner. By having breakfast in the morning, this means that we only need to figure out one meal and saves on our travel costs.
This year, when we’ve received breakfast from Marriott, it has been fantastic. The key word in that sentence has been when.
Marriott changed their Terms of Service a while back and as a result some properties do not offer breakfast to elites, or in some places only offer it to 2 members. This meant there were times I was having to pay crazy prices for my 5 year old son to eat. With Globalist, I will have breakfast included for 2 adults and 2 children without having to worry about brand exclusions.
3. Partnership with Mlife
What I noticed over the last year is that I have a ton of nights stayed at casino properties. While I like that Caesars does not charge me resort fees, I generally find MGM properties nicer. Due to MGM’s partnership with Hyatt, I can earn Hyatt elite night credit for staying at MGM properties. In addition, I can earn both Mlife Tier Credit and Hyatt points for each dollar I spend.
The first world problem I have is I often get comp offers from the casinos and therefore do not have to pay for the nights. Sounds great, and it is, but this will present a problem during my Globalist quest due to the ToS:
Reservations made through third party on-line sites and services (such as Expedia, Priceline or hotels.com), M life Rewards complimentary room stays, master account group bookings, traditional wholesale rates, media rates, Hyatt employee discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers, or contracted rooms are not M life Rewards-Eligible Nights.
Basically, if I get comped, no stay credit. However, with some poker trips planned for the 2020 year that will not be comped I’ll be able to add to my stays through other means besides family trips.
I’ll combine actual stays with the World of Hyatt credit card, which offers 2 elite night credits per $5,000 in spending (and an Annual Free Night at a Category 1-4 hotel with every $15,000 in spending).
In a follow up post, I’ll examine one route I could take to potentially earn Globalist status in 2020.
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