As a Starwood Preferred Guest member, I have been able to earn Starpoints, even when not staying at a hotel, for food and beverage charges already for years. As a matter of fact, just did it last week when I was having couple of beers and a burger at Captains Arms in Le Meridien hotel in Abu Dhabi. Starwood employee just fills a credit card style slip with your SPG account number and the revenue amount, and the points eventually find your account.
Hyatt had been whispering about their coming change for the past few months. The program, however, was just officially announced yesterday. You can earn 5 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every eligible charge in/converted to one USD.
According to Hyatt, the roll out of this program will take up until August 2012. The first properties will join at the beginning of January. I just hope that ALL Hyatt properties will be participating to this like Starwood’s properties are (there are few that doesn’t participate to SPG at all).
The redeeming of Hyatt Gold Passport points for spa/dining credits doesn’t make too much sense at the low valuation they have. You can convert points from $0.005 to $0.0083 in Hyatt Dining or Spa credits. There is no need to order certificates as the associates can do this on the spot. With Starwood you can use Starpoints towards anything posted on your folio, even the room rate, if you so wish. The typical value of a Starpoint is around 1 to 1.25 cents per point when used this way.
On the lighter side the link, that the Hyatt was giving out first (Hyatt.com/diningandspa) for this program, doesn’t resolve at all. Then they gave another link (http://hyatt.com/gp/en/offers/ponzi-promo.jsp). I truly hope that, at Hyatt corporate, they are not referring Hyatt Gold Passport points as ponzi scheme.
Here’s an Excel sheet that shows the $ value of a Hyatt Gold Passport point when redeemed for dining and spa.