In the middle of May, NSPwife and I received an email from our landlord kindly letting us know that her son would be moving back into the home we were renting, and we would have 60 days to find a new place to live. We had somewhat been expecting the email, albeit we were told it would most likely come in December, rather than seven months earlier. In short, we knew we wanted to buy a house somewhere in Baltimore, but hadn’t agreed on a neighborhood.
We quickly went into planning mode: These neighborhoods. This price range. The non-negotiables. Oh – and if we can’t find a place in 30 days we would need a back-up plan. Thus enter Operation Diamond: Pay less money than what we were paying in rent, earn top tier status with Hyatt, and make life as easy as possible during the transition.
See, what further complicated this ordeal was the fact that my company was opening a new $450 million project during this time. Work hours ranged from 16-20 hour days, and were typically 6.5-7 day work weeks. It wasn’t a fun time.
Luckily – and also due to making appointments to see every single house in the greater downtown Baltimore area, we secured a house; however, it would take about 2.5 weeks of “homelessness” in between needing to move out of our rental house and closing/moving into our new home.
Plan: The Hyatt Regency in Baltimore. Thanks to my Citi Hilton Reserve Card, I was a Hilton Gold member. This $95/year annual fee immediately paid dividends when NSPwife and I stayed at the Conrad Koh Samui – where Gold Status allowed us free breakfast at one of the nicest hotels in the world – with the nicest breakfast buffet spreads that I have ever experienced.
It also provided us with 2 nights in any hotel in the world.
Now – it allowed me to use that status for a Hyatt “Diamond Challenge.” Typically, Hyatt Challenges are only valid to their Platinum Level – however, if you show status with another hotel and are already a Platinum member, you are eligible for Diamond status.
Of course, I really hope you are already Platinum status, as it comes automatically with the Chase Hyatt Visa – one of the most luxurious sign-up bonuses of any credit card, that offers two nights at any Hyatt hotel in the world.
So there you go. I had a Hyatt Visa card, and thus Hyatt Platinum status. I had a Citi Reserve card, and thus Hilton Gold status. So when I emailed Hyatt and asked for the Diamond challenge, I received an email stating I needed 12 nights and I would become a Diamond member. I was also given lounge access during my trial.
I wound up staying 13 nights, enjoyed free breakfast and coffee/lattes every morning and Hyatt Diamond status. Now, time to take advantage of those suite upgrade nights…