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Expire My Points? Expire My Loyalty!

My Hyatt points are expiring, and the company is closing my Gold Passport account. My loyalty to Hyatt will be expiring as well.

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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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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