Rumor: Hyatt’s relationship with MGM is coming to an end? – View from the wing

Rumor: Hyatt’s relationship with MGM is coming to an end?

There is a rumor on FlyerTalk that Hyatt’s MGM Rewards status match will end mid-year. It’s unclear what would happen to future earnings of Hyatt points and elite status nights, or redeeming points for free stays (plus the resort fee…) at MGM Las Vegas hotels, if that were to happen .

The nearly 10-year partnership between Hyatt and MGM Resorts was revolutionary when it was first introduced.

It filled a gap in Hyatt’s portfolio as they were weak in Las Vegas
He took his clients to MGM and MGM to Hyatt
And it almost amounted to hotel “code sharing” because Hyatt elites had equal status in the MGM program and were treated comparably, plus they could earn and redeem points with World of Hyatt for MGM hotels and vice versa.

Since then, the program has thinned out a bit. They’ve reduced the ability to double dip on both programs with the same stay (it’s also been possible to double, err, triple dip with Southwest). They’ve also reduced the value of the status match: Hyatt Globalists only receive Gold status with MGM, the same as mid-level Hyatt Explorists, previously receiving Platinum.

However, there is good value here. Announced the Hyatt-SLH partnership and offers the opportunity to qualify cheap weekday stays in Las Vegas for elite status.

It has been reported that an MGM customer service agent said that the Hyatt – MGM status match opportunities would end on July 1st.

“The MGM Hyatt relationship was never meant to be a rematch or an annual state match, but it went that way.”

From that point on, he went on to say, “It’s officially over for now.” Senior management could change their minds again, possibly they have in the past”1

Normally I wouldn’t pass a FlyerTalk thread reporting what a customer service agent said. However, it’s clear that MGM has refocused its elite program away from rewarding guests who spend on rooms and meals. Their new elite program is a gambling program and attracting Hyatt elite members is not the same as attracting players. The Hyatt partnership is a holdover from when the focus was expanding beyond gaming.

And I have long sensed MGM’s dissatisfaction with the relationship. Last July I wrote:

I’ve certainly heard rumors from MGM that they’ve been somewhat ambivalent about the partnership. It is not clear how serious this year is and whether the reviews they have done point to changes. But Hyatt’s ability to drive business to MGM would be helpful, I think.

Of course, Hyatt will gain a bigger place in Las Vegas in its own right, bringing several brands to prime real estate as part of the renovation and rebranding of the former 2,500-room Rio.

Rumors about the liquidation of this partnership have been swirling for a couple of years. I don’t necessarily think a customer service agent would have read into this, or offered the information to a caller, but the rumor is consistent with word that whether or not it should be extended partnership has been at least an open question, at least on the MGM side.

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