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Hyatt Revamps Loyalty Program, Rewarding Spending Instead of Stays

Hyatt Hotels Corporation plans to revamp its loyalty program next year. 

On March 1, the Hyatt Gold Passport will be replaced by the World of Hyatt program, which will have three tiers of membership instead of the Gold Passport's two. 

But the main difference has to do with how loyalty points will be rewarded. Rather than basing status on the number of stays, World of Hyatt members will accrue perks (room upgrades, expedited check-in, and so on) according to the number of nights and the amount of money spent at Hyatt hotels. 

So, for example, whereas you reached Hyatt Gold Passport's lowest tier after five stays or 15 nights per calendar year, qualification for World of Hyatt's bottom tier requires 10 nights or 25,000 points per calendar year, with 5 points given for each dollar spent at the property.

In other words, you'll earn those membership perks faster the more stuff you buy at the hotel—which might be fine for, say, business travelers, who can often charge hotel meals and other services to their companies.  

But budget-conscious guests paying their own way are liable to earn rewards points at a slower clip, even if they stay at Hyatt hotels every time they travel.

Which makes the program less a reward for loyalty than for having deep pockets.