New American & Hyatt Partnership Offers Reciprocal Benefits

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage

American AAdvantage and World of Hyatt have just announced a cool new partnership, expected to launch later in 2019 (registration is now available).

With this, members of both programs will be able to earn points on a reciprocal basis, and will also have opportunities to fast track to elite status.

Background on this new partnership

It’s logical enough for airlines and hotels to partner together. After all, many people who fly a lot also stay in hotels a lot, and vice versa. So if a hotel group wanted to attract a new customer base, being able to go after those who fly a lot makes sense.

We’ve seen a couple of such partnerships in the past. Perhaps the best was the Crossover Rewards program back in the day between Delta and Starwood. Unfortunately that ended when Marriott took over Starwood.

The old Crossover Rewards program

Marriott has their own RewardsPlus partnership with United, which many like as well.

Now American and Hyatt are hooking up.

American & Hyatt points earning opportunities

With this new partnership, select elite members in both programs will have the opportunity to earn bonus points with no limits:

  • AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum, and Concierge Key members, will earn one bonus AAdvantage mile per dollar spent at qualifying Hyatt properties
  • World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members will earn one bonus World of Hyatt point per dollar spent on qualifying American flights

This works out quite well for me, as an Executive Platinum with American and Globalist with Hyatt. Personally I value American miles and Hyatt points around 1.5 cents each, so this is basically like earning an additional 1.5% return on my spend with both companies.

Is that a game changer? No. But I’ll certainly take it!

I’ll take an additional Hyatt point per dollar spent with American!

Concierge Key members receive Globalist status

While there are more opportunities to earn status (which I’ll talk about below), the only status being “given away” here is to Concierge Key members. American Airlines Concierge Key members will automatically receive Globalist status, which is Hyatt’s top tier status.

This comes with perks like suite upgrades subject to availability, complimentary breakfast/lounge access, guaranteed 4PM check-out at non-resorts, bonus points, and more. That’s such a nice benefit for Concierge Key members.

Globalist members receive space available suite upgrades

Concierge Key members being comped Globalist status don’t receive all the benefits that Globalist members who qualify under ordinary circumstances would receive. Hyatt has “Milestone Rewards,” so certain perks are only earned for passing a certain number of elite nights per year.

These include:

  • A Category 1-4 night for passing 30 elite nights or earning 50,000 base points
  • 5,000 bonus points or a $100 Hyatt gift card for passing 40 elite nights or 65,000 base points
  • Two suite upgrade awards for passing 50 elite nights or 80,000 base points
  • Two additional suite upgrade awards plus a Category 1-7 night for passing 60 elite nights or earning 100,000 base points

Comped Globalist members wouldn’t receive a Category 1-7 free night certificate

So Concierge Key members wouldn’t receive those benefits unless they actually pass those thresholds.

American & Hyatt status opportunities

While the Globalist status for Concierge Key members is the only comped benefit here, other members will have status fast track opportunities.

AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum members, as well as World of Hyatt Explorist and Globalist members, will “have the opportunity to participate in limited time status challenges.”

As it’s described:

Upon registering, these elite members will be able to immediately enjoy their new loyalty benefits in the reciprocal program tier as they work to maintain that elite tier status. AAdvantage elite members will have access to World of Hyatt elite status benefits, including a dedicated check-in area, late check-out upon request, room upgrades and free premium internet. World of Hyatt elite members will have access to AAdvantage elite status benefits such as priority boarding, free checked bags, free preferred seats and more.

Even though I spoke to leadership from both AAdvantage and World of Hyatt about this announcement, they weren’t yet willing to share details of what exactly this will look like, but rather was just told to expect more details soon.

So for example, I don’t know if Platinum members will have access to different status challenges than Executive Platinum members, and vice versa. So we’ll have to wait for the details, but this could potentially be interesting for anyone who has status with either company.

A status challenge could help you score upgrades on domestic flights

Bottom line

While World of Hyatt has been innovating, I feel like we haven’t seen much new from AAdvantage in so long, so I’m excited to see they’re trying to add value with this new partnership.

For those who are loyal to American and Hyatt, this will essentially translate into an additional point or mile per dollar spent. That’s not a game changer, but I’ll take it.

For those loyal to one and not the other, there should be some status fast track opportunities, though we don’t yet know the exact details of that.

I’d say the biggest winners here are Concierge Key members, who are getting free Globalist status. That’s obviously very exciting for them, and frankly it seems like a smart market for Hyatt to go after, given how much Concierge Key members spend flying.

However, I’d be remiss not to mention that there are a lot of Concierge Key members (while the numbers aren’t published, I’d estimate well over 10,000), so I imagine the percent increase in Globalist members overnight will be quite significant.

Globalist members are competing with one another for certain benefits (like complimentary space available suite upgrades), so arguably it’s bad for existing Globalist members to suddenly have this much more competition.

That being said, I guess we’ll see just how many Concierge Key members actually switch business to Hyatt, and it’s also normal for companies to offer promotions to attract new customers.

What do you make of the new partnership between American and Hyatt?

  1. I would guess on average EP members spend more nights/year in hotels than the average CK member (although CK members likely skew toward more lux properties) so I hope they aggressively pursue those members. As an EP who left Hyatt when the requalification requirements changed, I would gladly return if this made getting/keeping Globalist manageable.

  2. As a globalist I love Hyatt. American… not so much–they’ve become an airline of ‘last resort’ –kind of like Spirit or Frontier–mostly because I seem to always be on a delayed or canceled AA flight and their miles are really hard to use for the routes and cabins that I like. I’ll buy if it’s really cheap or on the rare occasion that I can actually use the miles I have with them.
    I guess United was already taken so what did Hyatt have to work with?
    I would have thought that Delta would be a more natural fit for Hyatt. Probably Delta being Delta and they wanted too much.
    Targeted status offers from AA will get a bit yawn from me. I guess I’ll take whatever scraps they’re giving on the rare occasion I buy an AA ticket.

  3. The number of CK members who aren’t Globalist already (even if it’s the majority of them) will have little to no significant impact based on the fact they are are giving it away to them. Why would you possibly claim otherwise with no evidence?

  4. I think the best fit is American Airlines and Marriott. The two brands that are trying their best to lose customers going together would be great 😉

    But back to reality, it’s not that way. I don’t mind Delta and Hilton starting something similar to Crossover rewards since they’re both have close partnerships with Amex and now both of them went from my “last resort” airline/hotel to among my first choices now.

  5. So Conceirge Key Members walk away winning the lottery with Globalist status and Hyatt
    Globalists get an extra point per dollar flying American?
    I wish I wasn’t a lifetime Globalist
    It’s a rotten deal for Hyatt Globalists but pretty sweet for Americans top invited tier
    I wouldn’t go out of my way to fly American as their a criminal enterprise and run a stingy program with rotten customer service unless buying a ticket when they may be nice and respectful for a few minutes

  6. Not good enough to lure this EXP to Hyatt.

    My bet is the “challenges” will be the same as what both programs do to get customers to move their business from the other loyalty programs. The only difference is you will have the status while doing the challenge.

    If Hyatt makes Globalist possible with 4 stays or something I might give them a shot otherwise I’ll stick with Hilton/Marriott.

  7. @ Mike Saint — You can’t do so yet, as the partnership only launches later this year. I’ll be sure to post when it does.

  8. I’ll take my extra points when I can get them but I’m not going out of my way to book Hyatt’s because they have such a limited footprint compared to Hilton. Bonvoy is no longer an option after the devaluation.

  9. ahhhhh… the allure of that phone call from AA….” hello, this is a CK invite…….”
    life has come to this?
    I had no idea….. but had no idea about alot of things….. I still feel humble as EXP.

  10. Per the press release it looks discoverists are included as well.
    “In addition to AAdvantage miles earned by flying on American, World of Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist members will be able to earn one World of Hyatt bonus point for every eligible dollar spent on qualifying American flights. “

  11. As a (newly minted, mostly thanks to the World of Hyatt credit card I picked up through Ben) Hyatt loyalist and 5-year American Platinum this is great news! Nice to see some rare loyalty program innovation out of American.

    Hoping there will be something in this for Plats beyond just status match chances at Hyatt. We will see.

  12. CK here. Not switching to Hyatt anytime soon, even with free status.

    I’ve been disappointed with their hotels generally. It’s big-box management. Very few of their properties can claim to be truly superb (Park Hyatt Tokyo, yes… Park Hyatt St Kitts… No).

  13. @drew – with AA’s customer service in shambles it’s rare you’ll find an ‘all else equal’ situation. Price is usually very similar to competitors, I’d only choose AA if schedule required me to.

  14. American matched Alitrip membership status without status challenge.
    It looks like Hyatt is less important than Alibaba.

  15. I just asked Hyatt for a status match to either my Bonvoy Titanium or Hilton Diamond and was shot down. I’m happy to leverage my EXP status to make a move here. Can’t wait!

  16. Love HYATT where I’m a globalist (yes I requalified last year in spite of all the changes). Hate American and unless they are willing to guarantee me an upgrade, nothing thet can do to entice me to fly AA. Not sure of the impact with 10 K or so more globalist but I am concerned it will diminish the opportunity for legitimate globalists to receive upgrades. Upgrades have become less frequent which I don’t understand. Perhaps because too many locations are enforcing only the standard suite upgrade – at check-in, not advance confirmation? Even when they have other premium suites available?

  17. @robert—Delta has, in my opinion, better service, but AA had better direct flight options for my routes. So for me, the two are a toss-up. In other words, I find plenty of “all else equal” situations. This will tip the scales.

    Sorry this doesn’t do anything for you. It works for me, and I’ll be happy with the free WoH points. Thanks Hyatt!

  18. @Joy – they gave away Globalist like candy last year. I think that’s why it’s been challenging.

  19. As Advantage Platinum member with close to 4 million miles on American Airlines, I am now trying to figure out how I can shift my loyalty to an airline that reciprocates. Since the merger with US Airways, I and perhaps other Platnium members have been treated poorly. I am a member of the Hyatt loyalty program, but I’m not optimistic that American Airlines cares about my experience.

  20. Was thinking the same as @chub, with the AA-Hyatt hookup, a Hilton-Delta tie-up makes total sense and even more so when their trifecta with Amex is factored in.

  21. A quick takeaway is that CKs get instant Globalist status and EPs get one cat 1-4 award night every year at least ($15k EQDs requirement).

    This is a very interesting partnership. AA might have been coy with both Hilton and Hyatt. I would guess Hyatt offered more than Hilton to AAdvantage before a decision is finalised. This will represent a big potential to bring in premium customers to Hyatt, while AA could always spin the story around customer friendly moves.

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