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Expire My Points? Expire My Loyalty!

Are hotel marketers stupid?

Having worked as a manager for the Hilton HHonors program almost 20 years ago, I can tell you with a high degree of confidence that they are not. And yet…

And yet, this week I received an email from Hyatt’s loyalty program, Gold Passport, with the following warning: “Your account will be closed and points forfeited after 24 consecutive months of inactivity.” That might be a concern, if I had points in the program that were in danger of being lost. But I don’t; my account balance is 0.

So in a few weeks, I will no longer have an account in a program that I haven’t been active in lately. A non-event, you might think. Except it’s not.

In deactivating my account, Hyatt will go a long way toward removing itself from consideration when I book future hotel stays.

Sure, I could take the time to establish a new Gold Passport account. But that’s a hurdle I don’t face with Marriott, for example, where I have an active Rewards account. And Marriott has a lot more hotels than Hyatt, in a lot more locations, at a lot more price points. Advantage, Marriott. Or, more to the point: Disadvantage, Hyatt.

Hyatt is punishing me for my lack of past business, and is losing my future business as a result. And every year, it’s doing the same thing to thousands of other inactive Gold Passport members. Surely, that’s cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or, in a single word: stupid.

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