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Hyatt and American Airlines just launched a new round of reciprocal elite-status fast track match-challenges. Elites of both programs have the opportunity to quickly earn elite status with the other by completing qualifying activity. This particular promotion presents a valuable opportunity.
Hyatt and American Airlines announced their partnership in April 2019. It was designed to mutually benefit loyalty members of both programs with several reciprocal perks and offerings. We wrote all about it at the time. But to refresh your memory, the partnership consists of:
- World of Hyatt elite members earn one bonus Hyatt point per dollar spent on qualifying American Airlines flights.
- AAdvantage elite members earn one bonus AAdvantage mile per dollar spent at qualifying Hyatt properties.
- Elite members of both programs will get the chance to take part in special status match-challenges.
- American Airlines Concierge Key members—AA's special invitation-only elite status—receive complimentary top-tier Hyatt Globalist status.
New 2021 Elite Status Match-Challenge
Hyatt and American have offered two rounds of elite status match-challenges — one each year. The original status match-challenge ended on October 1, 2019. Then, Hyatt and American offered another match from March through September 2020. But, elite members have been without a status match-challenge option since.
Now through this offer, elites members of both programs have an opportunity to fast-track to elite status. These offers are appealing for two reasons:
- The requirements to earn elite status through a fast-track challenge are only a fraction of those necessary to earn status through the typical route.
- Members can register for these promotions any time through September 30, 2021. So, you can wait to register until it suits your travel schedule.
Hyatt Status Challenge for American Airlines Elites
American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum elites can register to immediately get Explorist status for 90 days. Then, elites can complete a fast-track challenge to earn either Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status.
- You must register for this challenge by September 30, 2021.
- You will have 90 days after registration to complete the challenge.
- Hyatt status earned via challenge will be valid through February 2023.
- To earn Hyatt Explorist, you must complete 10 elite-qualifying nights.
- For Hyatt Globalist, you must complete 20 elite-qualifying nights.
Both of these challenges will let you earn Hyatt elite status in one-third the number of nights typically required. However, you're only given one-forth of the year to complete the challenge. Still, the ability to earn top-tier Globalist as an AA Executive Platinum is particularly lucrative.
The terms and conditions also mention that only eligible rates—including award nights—will qualify. That means that elite-qualifying nights earned through spend on the The World of Hyatt Credit Card will likely not count for this challenge.
- Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
- Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
- Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.
- Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
- Up to 9X points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4X points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- 2X points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
- 1X point per $1 everywhere else
Another factor worth considering is that Hyatt status earned through a challenge is considered “light” status. This is because even though you'll receive all applicable elite benefits, you won't receive any of the Milestone Rewards you'd normally receive for completing the standard elite-night requirements. These include Free-Night Awards, Suite Upgrade Awards, and Club Lounge Access Awards.
American Airlines Challenge for Hyatt Elites
Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist members can complete a fast-track challenge to earn AA Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Pro status. The terms of these challenges aren't public. So, eligible members will need to log in to see their challenge.
- Members must register for this challenge by September 30, 2021.
- After registering, members will have three months to complete a challenge after registration.
- Qualifying activity is earned when a member flies on eligible tickets for flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle.
- American Airlines status earned via challenge will be valid through January 2023.
Once you have secured American Airlines elite status, utilize that elite status on more flights by signing up for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. This card is currently offering an excellent 65,000-mile bonus after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
- Free checked bags for you and up to 4 companions on domestic itineraries
- Priority boarding to help you win the race for overhead bin space
- A 25% discount on inflight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on car rentals
- Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
- Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
When this partnership was first announced in 2019, we honestly didn't know how often to expect these “special status-match challenges”. It's great to see that it's at least a once-per-year opportunity.
Not all of us are ready to get back to travel just yet. Thankfully, both promotions have a generous window to register. That means that even if you can't take advantage of it immediately, it could still be a viable option once the traveling world starts getting back to normal. And that is something that we can all look forward to.
Has anyone completed one of these challenges before? Anybody hoping to partake this year? How valuable do you find these elite statuses?
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