World of Hyatt Complete Guide

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World of Hyatt is, by far, my favorite hotel loyalty program.  Points are easy to earn (largely through their partnership with Chase), and Hyatt’s generous award chart makes it possible to get huge value from those points.  One sore spot is that the program offers relatively few perks with their mid-tier elite status.  However, those who earn enough nights to reach the coveted top-tier status get access to the best perks around (free suite upgrades at the time of booking, free parking on award stays, no resort fees, etc.).

If you have any of the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards that allow point transfers to partners (such as Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Plus) or if you earn points through Bilt Rewards (which also offers 1 to 1 transfers to Hyatt), I recommend getting to know the World of Hyatt program.  While it’s possible for Sapphire Reserve cardholders to get 1.5 cents per point value by booking stays with points through the Chase travel portal, you’ll often do better by transferring your points to Hyatt and booking an award stay.  Hyatt award prices often give you much better than 1.5 cents per point value.

World of Hyatt Overview

What’s New?

Since previous publication, we’ve added the following to this guide:

  • Updated award chart to include all-inclusive properties
  • Added the World of Hyatt business card
  • Added info about Bilt Rewards
  • Updated many small details and hyperlinks

Recent posts about Hyatt

Award charts

Free Night Awards

The following chart shows current point prices for free nights.  Resort fees and destination fees are waived when you book a stay with points and/or free night certificates.

Award prices shown above for all-inclusive brands are for up to 2 people per room.  Hyatt charges more for additional guests, as follows:

Points + Cash Awards

If you don’t have enough points for an award stay, you can choose instead to book Points + Cash.  The points rate for Points + Cash awards is exactly half the points required for regular free night awards.  The cash component is 50% to 70% off the standard cash rate.  Hyatt has not explained under what circumstances they offer more than 50% off.

Poor Value (Usually)

In my opinion, Hyatt’s Points + Cash Awards are usually a bad deal.  In general, point awards offer the best value when cash prices are high; and cash bookings offer the best value when cash prices are low.  Points + Cash strikes a middle-ground where you’ll generally get less value than by paying all in points or all in cash.  Of course if you are short on points, these awards can still make sense, especially when the cash rate is 70% off.

Good Value Suites (Sometimes)

Sometimes I’ve seen properties charge the cash component based on 50% of the cost of a standard room even when booking a suite or premium suite.  When this happens, point+cash awards can offer good value, especially when the cash rate for a suite is disproportionately larger than the rate for a standard room.

Resort Fees not Waived

Hyatt waives resort and destination fees for rooms booked entirely with points or free night certificates.  Points + Cash awards, though, are treated like paid nights and so those fees are not waived (except as a standard benefit of top-tier Globalist status).

Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)

Pillars Hotel Fort Lauderdale
The Pillars Hotel Fort Lauderdale (a SLH property).  Read our bottom-line review, here.

Hyatt has partnered with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) to make it possible for Hyatt members to earn points on paid SLH stays or to redeem points for free SLH stays.  Not all SLH properties participate.  Globalist benefits are not available on SLH bookings.

SLH Perks

When you book a paid or award stay through Hyatt, Hyatt members automatically qualify for the following perks:

  • Complimentary continental breakfast for two
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Early check-in 12:00pm (based on availability at check-in)
  • Late check-out 2:00pm (based on availability at check-in)
  • One category room upgrade (based on availability at check-in)
  • Nights count toward elite tier status
  • Elite members receive their standard tier Bonus Points on eligible room rates (10% Discoverist, 20% Explorist, 30% Globalist)
  • World of Hyatt Credit Cardmembers can earn 4 Bonus Points per eligible $1 USD spent on their card at participating SLH locations.

When booking a paid stay, note that you may get better prices by booking directly.  If you book directly, though, none of the above perks will apply.

SLH Participating Properties

Small Luxury Hotels

Not all SLH properties participate in the Hyatt partnership, but many do.  Hyatt provides an interactive map of participating SLH properties here.

SLH Additional Details

Hyatt shares the following additional details about SLH bookings:

  • Hyatt’s Best Rate Guarantee does not apply to participating Small Luxury Hotels of the World
  • Minimum length of stay requirements may apply at participating SLH properties at certain times
  • World of Hyatt points are awarded on room rates only, services such as dining and spa are not eligible for points
  • Award Bookings at SLH properties are for 2 adults. Additional adults or children may be charged an additional fee by the property
  • For more information about how Small Luxury Hotels of the World participates in the World of Hyatt program, please visit worldofhyatt.com/slhterms

Free Night Certificates

Free night certificates can be earned through the World of Hyatt credit card, through Milestone Rewards, Hyatt’s 5-Brand Free Night Award, etc.

Book free night certificates online

Once a free night award is in your Hyatt account, you can book a free night by searching Hyatt.com for a stay using points:

Searching World of Hyatt Hotels

Then, simply click “Book Now” under “Free Night”:

Booking World of Hyatt Hotels

Another way to book free night certificates is by searching for a paid stay and clicking “Pay My Way” to apply free night certificates and/or points to some or all of the nights.

5-Brand Free Night Award (Brand Explorer)

Hyatt Brand Explorer

World of Hyatt members earn a Free Night Award each time they complete stays at 5 new (to them) Hyatt brands.  This is not an annual benefit, but a lifetime member benefit.  For example, you can stay at 2 different brands in one year and then 3 additional brands in a later year in order to earn a free night.

  • Number of possible free night awards: 5 (at the time of this writing there are 26 qualifying brands)
  • Free night award details:
    • Valid for one night at any category 1-4 Hyatt (including during peak rates)
    • Valid for 12 months from issue
  • Do award stays count? Yes

Pay My Way

Hyatt conveniently lets you book a single stay online with any combination of points, points+cash, free night certificates, or cash rates.  To find this option, you must search for a paid stay even if you intend to book entirely with points and free night certificates.  In the search results for a paid stay, you should see a link titled “Use Pay My Way”.  Click that link to proceed.

World of Hyatt Club Upgrades

World of Hyatt Club Lounge: Hyatt Regency Maui
Hyatt Regency Maui Club Lounge

Not all Hyatt hotels have club lounges, but they are available in many Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt hotels.  Club lounges usually include free breakfast, late afternoon canapés & drinks, and evening desserts.  While you can always pay more (in cash or points) to book a room that includes club access, there are several ways to get upgraded to club access instead:

  • Globalist elite status: Those with top-tier Globalist status automatically get free club access on every stay.
  • Guest of Honor award: If a Globalist member booked your stay as a Guest of Honor award, then you are eligible for all Globalist benefits during your stay, including free club access.
  • Club Lounge Access Awards: Through Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards (starting at 20 nights), it’s possible to earn Club Lounge Access Awards.  On any paid or points-award stay, you can apply a Club Access Award to be upgraded to club access for the entire length of your stay (up to 7 nights).  Note that you cannot apply a lounge access award to a night booked with a free night certificate.
  • Club Upgrade Awards on Paid Nights: On qualifying paid rates, it’s possible to upgrade to club lounge access by paying 3,000 points per night.

Before upgrading or paying extra for club access, I recommend contacting the hotel to find out if the lounge will be open and offering full service during your stay.  Unfortunately, Hyatt rarely makes this information readily available online.

World of Hyatt Suite Upgrades

World of Hyatt Suite Upgrades: Ventana Big Sur
My wife and I once stayed at Ventana Big Sur as a Guest of Honor of a Globalist member.  We had booked a standard room, but we were upgraded to this enormous premium Vista Hot Tub Suite.

If you want to stay in a suite, but you don’t want to pay full price for it (in cash or points), you may be able to get an upgrade instead. Hyatt hotels often have standard suites and premium suites.  Most of the following options apply only to upgrades to standard suites, except where noted.

Here are your options…

  • Globalist elite status: Those with top-tier Globalist status are automatically eligible for suite upgrades at check-in, based on availability.  While upgrades to standard suites are most common, it’s not unusual to snag a premium suite upgrade now and then.
  • Guest of Honor award: If a Globalist member booked your stay as a Guest of Honor award, then you are eligible for all Globalist benefits during your stay, including free suite upgrades at check-in, based on availability.
  • Suite Upgrade Awards: Through Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards, it’s possible to earn Suite Upgrade Awards (starting at 50 nights).  On any paid or points-award stay, you can apply a Suite Upgrade Award to be upgraded to a suite for the entire length of your stay.  One upgrade award can be used for a stay of up to 7 nights.  Suite Upgrade Awards can be applied as early as the time of booking.  To apply a suite upgrade award, a standard suite must be available for the entire length of your stay.  Note that you cannot apply a suite upgrade award to a night booked with a free night certificate.
  • Suite Upgrade on Paid Nights: On qualifying paid rates, it’s possible to upgrade to a suite using points.  At non-resort hotels, the qualifying paid rate is for a standard room. At resorts, the qualifying paid rate is for a deluxe room.  This option can offer amazing value when the price of a suite is far higher than the price of a standard or deluxe room.
    • Suite Upgrade: 6,000 points per night
    • Premium Suite Upgrade: 9,000 points per night

Elite status

Like most other hotel chains, Hyatt offers multiple levels of elite status.  In general, only top-tier Globalist status is particularly rewarding.  To make up for that, Hyatt also offers Milestone Rewards where you can earn valuable perks starting with 20 nights in a calendar year.

Elite status overview

Elite Status Level Requirements Per Year Key Benefits
Member Free to Join Member rates
Waived resort fees on award stays
SLH Benefits
5-Brand Free Night Award
Discoverist 10 Nights
or 25K base points
or 3 hosted meetings
10% point bonus
Free Premium Internet
Elite check-in
Free bottled water
2PM late check-out
Earn Hyatt points w/ AA spend
Explorist 30 Nights
or 50K base points
or 10 hosted meetings
20% point bonus
Match to M life Gold
Room Upgrade
Fast track to AA elite status
Globalist 60 Nights
or 100K base points
or 20 hosted meetings
30% point bonus
Waived resort fees on all stays
Room upgrade, including suites
4PM late check-out
Club access or free breakfast
Free parking on award stays
Guest of Honor
Book awards w/ insufficient points
Lifetime Globalist 1,000,000 Base Points All of the above
 

The chart above shows the requirements to reach each level of elite status as well as the major perks that each level offers above and beyond the lower status levels.

The benefits that I consider most valuable are in bold, above.  Here’s a summary of those:

  • All Members
    • Waived resort fees on award stays: This is an awesome feature of the World of Hyatt program and it applies to all members.
    • SLH Benefits: All Hyatt members who book SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) stays though Hyatt automatically get elite-like benefits during their stay: free breakfast, potential room upgrade, etc.  See the SLH section of this guide for details.
  • Discoverist (and higher)
    • 2 PM Late Checkout (not guaranteed at resorts)
  • Explorist (and higher)
    • Match to M Life Gold: This gives you a bunch of cool perks at MGM Resort properties.  It has also long been possible to annually match back the other way in order to maintain Explorist status and M Life Gold status for free indefinitely.
    • Room upgrade: Explorists don’t qualify for free upgrades to suites, but it is possible to score a nicer room if you’re lucky.
  • Globalist
    • Waived resort fees on all stays:  All members get waived resort fees on award stays, but Globalists also get waived fees on paid stays.
    • Room upgrade, including suites:  Even if you don’t use a suite upgrade award (see Milestone Rewards in the next section), you can get upgraded to a suite upon check-in (if you’re lucky).
    • 4PM late check-out (not guaranteed at resorts)
    • Club access or free breakfast: Globalists automatically get free access to the club lounge.  If the hotel doesn’t have a club lounge, Globalists get fee full breakfast daily for each registered guest (up to 2 adults and 2 children)
    • Free parking on award stays: Available where parking can be charged to your room.
    • Guest of Honor: Book an award stay for a friend or family member as a Guest of Honor reservation and they’ll get all of the above in-hotel benefits during their stay!

Guest of Honor Bookings

Guest of Honor is a Globalist elite feature.  The idea is that Globalist members can treat family or friends to award stays where they get the same elite treatment as the Globalist member even if that member isn’t joining them.  While basic details about this benefit are shown below, you can read full details here.

Guest of Honor Details

  • Only applies to stays booked with points or free night certificates.  Paid stays do not qualify.
  • The recipient receives all in-hotel benefits due to a Globalist member
  • The award must be booked from the Globalist member’s account (i.e. points are deducted from the Globalist member’s account).
  • Stay credit is awarded to the recipient not to the Globalist.
  • Not valid at Hyatt Residence Club resorts.

How To Book A Guest Of Honor Stay

I recommend first booking an award stay online in your own name.  Then, contact Hyatt to convert the stay to a Guest of Honor Stay.  Here are your best options for contacting Hyatt:

  • Concierge – Another Globalist benefit is access to a concierge. You can email them and have them book the stay.
  • Call – If you prefer, you can book over the phone. Check this page for the World of Hyatt contact number for your region.
  • Twitter – Contact Hyatt Concierge on Twitter via Direct Message.

Shortcuts to elite status

Elite status levels can be earned each calendar year through Nights, Base Points, or Meetings.  Unfortunately, they’re not stackable.  By that I mean, you can’t get to a level of status by doing some of each: some nights + some base points + some meetings = no progress.  Among those paths, earning status through elite nights is the only option that provides shortcut opportunities. Another option is to participate in a status challenge.  Both options are explored below…

Shortcuts to elite status through elite nights

  • World of Hyatt Credit Card
    • Automatically earn 5 elite qualifying nights each year
    • Earn 2 additional elite qualifying nights with every $5,000 spend
    • Free category 1-4 night after $15K spend per cardmember year (when you use this free night, you earn an elite night towards status)
    • Free category 1-4 night every year upon renewal (when you use this free night, you earn an elite night towards status)
  • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card: Earn 5 elite qualifying nights with every $10,000 spend
  • Partner property stays: When you stay at a Hyatt partner property such as SLH or MGM Resorts, you can earn Hyatt elite night credit.  With SLH, you must book through Hyatt.  With MGM, make sure to register your Hyatt number with the hotel when you check in.
  • Free night awards: When you stay at a Hyatt or partner property (such as SLH or MGM) on points or with free night certificates, you earn an elite night for each night of your stay.  It is possible to book category 1 hotels for as few as 3,500 points per night off-peak.

Status challenge (Hyatt Elite Tier Offer)

Another shortcut option that is sometimes available is a status challenge.  For example, Hyatt often makes status challenges available to employees of select businesses.

The 2020 Hyatt Elite Tier Offer, for example, had the following terms:

Register by November 16, 2020 to receive Explorist status for 90 days. Stay 10 qualifying nights within those 90 days and keep your Explorist status through February 2022.

  • Register by November 16, 2020, to receive trial Explorist status for 90 days
  • Stay 10 qualifying nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort within 90 days after registering to maintain Explorist status through February 2022
  • Stay an additional 10 qualifying nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort within those 90 days and earn Globalist status through February 2022.

Milestone Rewards

In addition to the elite benefits described in the previous section, Hyatt awards members with Milestone Rewards when they complete certain numbers of elite-qualifying nights each year.

World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards
Completely separate from elite status, Milestone Rewards are available to everyone and are based on the number of nights you stay in a calendar year.

Milestone Reward limitations:

  • Club Lounge Access Awards and Suite Upgrade Awards are valid for the rest of the current calendar year and 14 months beyond.
  • Free night awards are valid for 180 days from the date issued.
  • FIND Experience discount must be used within 6 months of issuance.

If you get close to earning a Milestone Reward within a calendar year, but you won’t get there naturally, it may be worth booking a cheap stay or spending more on the World of Hyatt credit card or World of Hyatt Business credit card to get there.  To decide whether it’s worth doing so, it’s a good idea to separately estimate how much you’d be willing to pay for the rewards available at the next level.  If it would cost you that much or less to earn those extra nights, then you should do so.  The table below shows example values.  I always think it is a good idea to be very conservative in these estimates, especially if you don’t know how you’ll use each benefit.  For example, you get a category 1-4 free night once you achieve 30 nights.  There’s no doubt that it’s possible to use that cert for a hotel room that would have cost $250 or more.  But it would be crazy to pay $250 for that certificate unless you know that you’ll use it for far more value.  Since these free night certificates expire, and if you don’t have a solid plan for its use, you should estimate far less than $250 for how much you would pay since it’s possible that you’ll never use it at all.

Hyatt Privé (elite-like benefits on paid stays)

Hyatt Luxury via Prive
Breakfast at the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht. Breakfast is free for Hyatt Globalist members and for those who book through Hyatt Privé.

Hyatt Privé is a program that makes it possible for travel agents to book Hyatt hotels at standard rates but with extra perks.  Not all Hyatt hotels participate, but many do.  You can find a complete list of Hyatt Privé properties here.  When you book a stay through a Hyatt Privé agent, you get the following benefits:

  • Free breakfast for 2 each day (which consists of restaurant breakfast rather than just club lounge breakfast)
  • A 1-category room upgrade roughly at the time of booking based on availability (requested with the hotel right away and said to be confirmed within 24 hours; in practice it takes a couple of days for the hotel to confirm).
  • A welcome amenity
  • Early check-in (as early as 9am) subject to availability
  • Late check-out at Park Hyatt properties (as late as 4pm) subject to availability
  • A $50 or $100 property credit per stay (it’s always $100 at Park Hyatt hotels but can vary between $50 or $100 at other brands)
  • Full Hyatt elite credit.
  • Full elite benefits for those with status.
  • Waived resort fees at select properties.

If you’re thinking of booking a Hyatt for a paid stay, it makes a lot of sense to book through a Privé agent so that you can get all of these extra perks.  One great way to take advantage of the confirmed upgrade is to book one level below the room you really want.

For more about Hyatt Privé, please see “Hacking Hyatt: Prive for the win in New York City.”

Point earning

There are many ways to earn Hyatt points:

  • Hyatt credit cards (see the credit card section of this guide for details)
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Points can be transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt as long as you have one of the premium or ultra-premium Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.  These include: Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred, and Ink Plus.  For details, see: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide.
  • Bilt Rewards:  Bilt Rewards is the program that rewards people for paying rent.  Bilt points transfer 1 to 1 to Hyatt. Details about Bilt can be found here.
  • Hyatt hotel stays: Earn 5 points per dollar (plus elite and promotional bonuses)
  • Dining, Spa & More: Earn 5 points per dollar at participating locations.  Points can be earned for these services even if you are not staying at the hotel as long as you provide your Hyatt account number at the time of service.
  • Small Luxury Hotels of the World stays: Earn 5 points per dollar
  • MGM Resorts: Earn 5 points per dollar
  • Host a meeting: Earn 1 bonus point per dollar spent, up to 50,000 points.
  • FIND Experiences: Earn 10 points per dollar

More ways to earn and spend

FIND Experiences

World of Hyatt Experiences

Through FIND, you can use points to book experiences or earn points when paying cash.  Details:

  • Find and book FIND Experiences here.
  • Redeem points: FIND awards are priced at 1.4 cents per point value.  For example, a $140 experience costs 10,000 points.
  • Earn points: Earn 10 points per dollar plus an additional 4 points per dollar if you pay with a World of Hyatt credit card.

Note that FIND experiences have been suspended due to Covid and have not yet resumed by the time of this writing.

Dining, Spa & More

At participating Hyatt hotels, regardless of whether or not you are staying at the hotel, you can earn Hyatt points or spend Hyatt points on dining, spa & more services.  The following chart shows the point redemption rates:

If you choose to pay for these services instead, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar.

MGM Resorts International

Through Hyatt’s partnership with MGM, you can earn or redeem points at MGM Resorts.  Other benefits apply as well:

  • Earn 5 Base Points for every eligible US dollar spent at participating M life Rewards destinations
  • Earn Qualifying Night and Base Point credit toward World of Hyatt elite status for eligible nights stayed at participating M life Rewards destinations
  • Redeem points for stays at participating M life Rewards destinations
  • Receive a matched M life Rewards Tier Level
  • Earn M life Rewards Tier Credits in lieu of Base Points for eligible stays at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts

Meetings & Events

It’s possible to earn points and elite status by holding meetings at participating Hyatt hotels.  It’s also possible to redeem points for meeting charges.  Here are the details:

  • Earn one Bonus Point per eligible U.S. dollar spent (up to 50,000 Bonus Points) for hosting a qualifying meeting or event at Hyatt
  • Earn elite status by holding multiple qualifying meetings within a calendar year:
    • Discoverist: 3 meetings
    • Explorist: 10 meetings
    • Globalist: 20 meetings

A qualifying meeting includes:

  • 10 paid guest rooms, or
  • Meeting room or event space and purchased catered or banqueted food or beverages

You can also use points for meetings, at 1.3 cents per point value:

  • 15,000 Points = $200 Credit
  • 30,000 Points = $400 Credit
  • 45,000 Points = $600 Credit
  • 60,000 Points = $800 Credit
  • 75,000 Points = $1,000 Credit

Rental Cars (Avis)

Hyatt members can earn or spend Hyatt points for Avis car rentals.

Earn Points

  • Earn 500 Hyatt points per paid rental
  • Get 25% off base rates with Avis Worldwide Discount (AWD) number K817700

Redeem Points

Redeem 6,000 points per day for an intermediate sized car.  To reserve a Car Rental Award, call (800) 544-9288.  Please note: 6,000 points per day usually represents poor value for your points.  The exception would be if the rental would otherwise cost $90 or more per day.

Airline Miles

Earn miles instead of Hyatt points

If you prefer to earn airline miles rather than Hyatt points for your stays, you can opt to earn miles according to the following chart.  Earnings are per stay, not per night:

Point transfers to airline miles

You can transfer Hyatt points to airline miles, starting with 5,000 Hyatt points minimum.  Additional points can be converted in 1,250 increments.  You’ll also earn bonus miles when you convert 50,000 or more points.

  • 5000 Hyatt points = 4,000 LATAM kilometers.  With 10,000 bonus kilometers, 50,000 Hyatt points = 50,000 kilometers.
  • 5000 Hyatt points = 4,000 Aeromexico® kilometers.  With 10,000 bonus kilometers, 50,000 Hyatt points = 50,000 kilometers.
  • 5000 Hyatt points = 3,200 Air China kilometers; or 3,200 China Eastern Airlines points.  With 8,000 bonus kilometers, 50,000 Hyatt points = 40,000 miles.
  • 5000 Hyatt points = 3,000 Virgin Atlantic Airways miles.  With the 7,500 bonus miles, 50,000 Hyatt points = 37,500 miles.
  • 5000 Hyatt points = 2,400 Southwest Airlines® points.  With 6,000 bonus miles, 50,000 Hyatt points = 30,000 miles.
  • 5000 Hyatt points = 2,400 Qantas Airways points.  With 6,000 bonus miles, 50,000 Hyatt points = 30,000 miles.
  • 5000 Hyatt points = 2,000 miles in other programs (AA, ANA, Delta, United, etc.).  With the 5,000 bonus miles, 50,000 Hyatt points = 25,000 miles.

In most cases, point transfers to airline miles represent poor value.  I don’t recommend it.

Manage points

Share points with others

Hyatt generously allows members to share points with others, for free!  Simply fill out the form found here and email it to worldofhyatt@hyatt.com.  You are limited to sharing points once per month (regardless of whether giving or receiving points).

How to keep points alive

Hyatt points expire after 24 months of inactivity.  To reset the clock, simply earn points or redeem them.

Credit cards

There are two Hyatt credit cards currently available in the United States:

Card Offer and Details
Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card
45K points
Up to 45K: 30K after $3K spend plus 1 extra point per dollar for non-bonused spend, up to $15K spend in 6 months.

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Great card for signup bonus and annual free night. Might be worth using regularly for additional free night and as a path to status.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 2X restaurants / cafes / coffee shops, airlines, local transit, fitness clubs and gym memberships ⚬ 4X Hyatt

Big spend bonus: One free Cat 1-4 night certificate after $15K spend in a calendar year. ⚬ Get 2 elite qualifying night credits every time you spend $5K in purchases

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Free category 1-4 night every year upon renewal ⚬ Additional free category 1-4 night after $15K spend in cardmember year ⚬ Discoverist elite status ⚬ 5 elite qualifying nights

Chase World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
60K points
60K after $5,000 spend in 3 months

$199 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Great for its initial bonus and for Hyatt enthusiasts to spend toward status and rebate on award stays.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 2X in the top 3 of 8 spending categories each calendar quarter through 12/31/22 and then the top 2 of 8 spending categories in 2023 and beyond. Eligible categories include dining; airline tickets purchased directly with the airline; car rental agencies; local transit and commuting; gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; social media and search engine advertising; and shipping ⚬ 4X Hyatt

Big spend bonus: Get 5 elite qualifying night credits every time you spend $10,000 in purchases. ⚬ After $50K spend in a calendar year, get 10% back on redeemed points for the rest of that calendar year (Up to 20K points back per year).

Noteworthy perks: Discoverist elite status ⚬ Ability to gift Discoverist to up to 5 employees (they do not need to be cardholders) ⚬ Up to $100 each cardmember year in Hyatt statement credits: Spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and get a $50 statement credit up to two times per year.

Best Rate Guarantee

If you find a lower price than what’s available for the same room via Hyatt, you are eligible for either 20% off the lower price or 5,000 Hyatt points.  See this for more: Hyatt Has Improved Its Best Rate Guarantee Scheme.

Hyatt’s online claim form can be found here.

World of Hyatt Pros and Cons

Pros (where World of Hyatt is better than average):

  • Hyatt offers lower award prices per point than any major competitor
  • Hyatt never charges resort or destination fees on award stays
  • Hyatt’s top tier status (Globalist) offers the best perks of any major hotel elite program
  • Milestone Rewards offer perks along the way towards status levels.  Plus, even after earning top-tier status, you can continue to earn extra perks.
  • Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) makes available hundreds of great properties around the world which can be booked with points.

Cons (where World of Hyatt is worse than average):

  • Hyatt does not offer 4th or 5th Night Free awards (IHG offers 4th Night Free awards for certain cardholders; Hilton and Marriott offer 5th night free awards for all members)
  • Hyatt has relatively few hotels compared to major competitors
  • Hyatt’s mid-tier status (Explorist) isn’t very rewarding
  • Hyatt’s top-tier status requires a lot of nights (60). Some see that as unreasonable given Hyatt’s much smaller footprint compared to other chains.
  • Hyatt’s elite tiers have weird names and it can be hard to remember which orders the tiers go in: Discoverist, Explorist, Globalist.

Q & A (Questions and Answers)

Do Hyatt points expire?

Yes, points expire after 24 months of inactivity.  Points do not expire if you have a Hyatt branded credit card linked to your account.

How can I keep my points from expiring?

Do any of these things at least once every 24 months:

  • Earn points
    • Earn points through stays
    • Earn points through other options (such as dining at Hyatt hotels, booking FIND Experiences, etc.)
    • Purchase points
    • Transfer points from another program to your Hyatt account (e.g. Chase Ultimate Rewards, Bilt)
    • Receive points shared with you from another member.
  • Spend points
    • Spend points for free nights, FIND Experiences, etc.
    • Convert points to miles
    • Share your points with another member

Can I book and cancel an award stay in order to reset my point expiry?

No.  Hyatt’s terms state the following:

If a Member redeems points for an Award Reservation and either cancels that reservation or does not actually check-in on the appointed date (i.e., no-shows), that reservation will not count as a redemption of points pursuant to subsection (iii) of the preceding sentence and will not toll the measurement of that Member’s Program inactivity.

Who earns elite stay credit on a Guest of Honor booking?

The recipient of the booking earns the stay credit, not the Globalist.

If I book multiple rooms for the same stay will I earn rewards on all of them?

You will earn points for up to three rooms, but you’ll earn elite night credit for only one room.

If I cancel a reservation that has a suite night award attached to it, will the award go back to my account?

Yes.

Are resort fees waived for Globalist members staying at MGM hotels?

No, but if you match your Hyatt status to MGM Gold status and book your paid stay through MGM, you’ll get waived resort fees that way.  See this post for more: MGM significantly improves Mlife: No resort fee for Gold members.

Can I apply a suite upgrade award to a Guest of Honor stay?

No.

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Jeremy

Hi Greg,
Newbie here. Kudos to the suite of ‘complete guides’ on your site — extremely informative!

QQ: I booked a Hyatt Regency for my family using cash. The guests were my wife and my kid. (I did not travel). Question is, are the points awarded to me, or to my wife and to my kid?

None of us enrolled in World of Hyatt program yet, so I am going to register accounts one by one. Happy to share more context if needed for a definitive answer. Thanks a ton!

Jeremy

Thank you Greg. I should have made it clear that wife and kid were already back from the trip. So if the points go to my wife, it should not matter that much according to your article, “Hyatt generously allows members to share points with others, for free!”. Is that the right understanding?

PlugNPray

Hi Greg,
I have a quick question. I have globalist membership but used all my free night certificate. My spouse (Discoverist) has a free night certificate from the World of Hyatt credit card. If my spouse gifts the free night certificate to me, which benefit I’ll enjoy, Discoverist or Globalist? Thanks!

king

https://www.hyatt.com/info/hyatt-place-early-checkin-late-checkout

Big article didnt read fully , but we can pay for early check in @ 9 am or 12 pm @Hyatt place

Paul

You forgot to mention point earning with Lindblad Expedition cruises https://hyatt.expeditions.com/products/

MikeFreebie

I called to apply a suite upgrade certificate today, and the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek shows the suite as available, but when customer service called to block the room, the hotel said they do not accept these certs between 12/17 and 1/3. This is the first time I’ve heard of blackout dates for Hyatt awards…

Frank

I did not know about the Pay My Way option, so I just tried it. But the only option was 17,000 points or $124.50 + 8,000 points. I would dearly love to use a Cat 1-4 free night cert plus 2,000 points.

Is this problem normal or is it because the rate is 17K instead of $20 anyway? The hotel has just been changed from cat 4 to cat 5.

Steven

A good read, thank you

Frank

Nick or Greg, not sure where to put this question but the immediate issue relates to Hyatt though I would like to know about the other major chains too:

When making a reservation (particularly with points) there is wording such as if I cancel my booking less than 24 or 48 hours (sometimes a whole week or two) before check in then a night (or more) will be charged.

What does this mean? Let’s say I book a 7 night stay at a 30,000 point Hyatt and cancel in that window do I lose a night @ 30,000 or do I lose the cash price of that night which could be $800 (because the wording says it is backed by the credit card used to confirm the room) or worse?

Is there a good reference for this kind of thing you can point me to or could you give me a quick answer and follow up with a complete post on room cancellations?

More complicated would be if I used a suite upgrade, or club lounge addition – are those lost in these cases?

In this Covid-age this kind of thing is much more likely to happen. Maybe the flights are cancelled, maybe you test positive …

JoeSchmo

The guide isn’t clear as to whether resort fees are waived for Globalist members staying at MGM hotels.

Martin

Greg is right. However, both my wife and I sweet-talked and got the 2-nights of resort fee waived in Bellagio. It appears that staff at the front desk had a certain power, more like YMMV thing.

Jeff

Any DP on Globalist Best room available:”Not valid at Caption by Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Destination Residences, or Hyatt Residence Club hotels and resorts.”

JoeSchmo

Another question for the Q&A which I’m not finding a quick answer to on the ‘net: If I cancel a reservation that has a suite night award attached to it, will the SNA go back to my account?

[…] status, but they’ve cut those numbers in half for 2021. Additionally, Hyatt offers “Milestone Rewards” which are perks like free lounge access, free nights, bonus points, etc. Milestone Rewards […]

Adam

Great breakdown, thank you! I have the Chase World of Hyatt credit card, but I no longer want/need it, but I also don’t want to lose my points. Since there is no downgrade option, if I cancel the card, my points will remain active in my account for at least 24 months unless I reset the clock somehow? Am I understanding that correctly?

Adam

Awesome, great news! Thank you Greg for clarifying!

[…] The most common way to earn Hyatt elite status is by accumulating Tier Qualifying Nights (also known as “elite nights”).  For example, if you earn 30 elite nights in a calendar year, you get mid-tier Explorist status.  And with 60 elite nights in a calendar year, you get Globalist status.  Hyatt also offers Milestone Rewards where you earn perks when you achieve 20 elite nights and each 10 elite nights after that, up to 100 nights per year.  For more details please see: World of Hyatt Complete Guide. […]

[…] status, or 60 elite nights for top-tier Globalist status. Additionally, Hyatt offers “Milestone Rewards” which are perks like free lounge access, free nights, bonus points, etc. Milestone Rewards […]

[…] you could use to upgrade your next 10 nights at Hyatt hotels.  Or you could spend those nights at participating SLH properties where all Hyatt members get elite-like perks.  Or you could book those nights through Hyatt Privé to get great benefits that way. Or you could […]

[…] category 1-4 free night certificate which is earned when staying at five different brands for their Brand Explorer challenge and have already stayed at a Destination Hotels or Alila […]

[…] or redeem points.  Participating properties can be found here.  More details can be found in our World of Hyatt Complete Guide.  Those with Chase Ultimate Rewards points can transfer to Hyatt 1 to […]

Kristin

When going after a status match, anyone know how long it takes for the upgraded status to show up in your account? I have a stay in Milan on August 4th, want to apply for the status match to my Hilton Diamond status. I want to give myself the full 90 days to get the 10 nights in to keep the Explorist status until Feb 2022 (I have 8 nights booked, will need to figure out how to get the last 2 nights). Can I submit that form on August 4th? Or how far in advance should I submit?

Kristin

Yes, my company has a partnership with Hyatt. I applied for the status match last night and received the email to confirm my work address within 10 minutes and the Explorist status was added to my account as soon as I confirmed. So the process happens really quickly, if you qualify!

[…] World of Hyatt Complete Guide […]

[…] One small downside to booking the Royal Villa or Zamani Presidential Suite with points is that breakfast then isn’t included.  However, if you have Hyatt Globalist elite status (or a friend with Globalist status who can book a Guest of Honor stay for you), you’ll get free breakfast and more.  See our World of Hyatt Complete Guide for details about Globalist status and Guest of Honor bookings. […]

Scott Schorn

Greg, it seems that one big advantage of Globalist is club lounge access, but it seems that *some* Explorists may be granted *some* club lounge accesses as well.

https://help.hyatt.com/en/faqs/world-of-hyatt/world-of-hyatt-awards.html#/12

When do I receive the four Explorist Club Lounge Access Awards?
 
Members will receive the awards at the time of achieving or re-achieving Explorist status. These electronic awards are automatically deposited into your account.

If Explorists have 4 Club Lounge Access Awards (good for 7 days per Award), then it seems that Explorist status is pretty good as well.

[…] four Suite Upgrade Awards when earning the status. That changed somewhat with the introduction of Milestone Rewards in 2019; you now receive two Suite Upgrade Awards after reaching 50 elite nights, with a further […]

Jota

And not a word about Hyatt Privé!?!?!?

Maurice

Hyatt has great properties when convenient to your travel plans. I was excited last year to get a status match through AA from Discoverist to Explorist, but I was surprised how little it benefited me, other than another status match to Mlife. My travel pattern is once to twice a month, mostly long weekends trips to cities. While the Explorist status is always acknowledged at check-in and the late check-out without having to haggle is nice, I haven’t found many other great value in the benefits. I certainly wouldn’t try to stay at Hyatt if not redeeming points transferred via UR or during promotions (ie. the 2,500 points on first stay right now.) Room upgrades are inconsistent, and no fourth or fifth night free benefit is a big draw back when I travel abroad or to Hawaii. If you are not a road warrior or willing to spend a lot on the Hyatt card to manufacture Globalist, I think the Hilton Gold offers way more value to an average consumer, especially with the points earning rates on stays with their credit cards and their constant promotions. Personally, I have the Aspire and find the diamond more than pays for itself, but I can see from this post how if you achieve Globalist it is worth it.

Frank

Greg, could you explain the Guest of Honor a bit more? Let’s say I have Globalist status, and want my son to use it at a Hyatt.
1) Do I book it with my points or does he book it with his?
2) If it’s a paid stay, do I pay or does he?
3) What about free night certs?
4) What benefits does he get, besides maybe breakfast or lounge access, parking, no resort fees? He is really looking for suite upgrades, but your response above seems to imply that the room must be booked as a suite anyway …
5) Is there a detailed explanation on the Hyatt site?

Frank

Thanks for the prompt reply, Greg. Pity about the upgrade being only at check-in. He has 2 kids so that was what I was hoping for.

jeff

I have used a free night certificate on a guest of honor stay for someone before. It does work, I had to call in.

Colleen

Thanks for the great analysis, Greg! At FM to Go SFO we briefly talked about combining cat 1-4 free night certs for properties that don’t allow 1 night stays (i.e., they require 2+). I naively assumed that if there’s an award stay available, you can apply a certificate. But I found out last night when I went to combine a free night certificate with an award stay to meet a two night minimum that some properties only accept award redemptions and do not accept cat 1-4 certificates.

Nick Reyes

Did you try asking the Hyatt concierge on Twitter about this?

Colleen

I didn’t…because I don’t have twitter. (Don’t judge me, Nick!)

FWIW, the property is Hyatt Place Santa Cruz.

Colleen

Thanks, Greg! I’ll listen to you all and get on Twitter soon…

I do believe that the CS supervisor was doing her very best to trouble shoot (eh, that’s what I get for calling on a Sunday evening!) and I think she over-generalized (and I obv. did too in my one-off DP!). But I will say that based on my experiences I do know that HP Santa Cruz has weird weekend restrictions in their summer season. Pre-COVID I would see 3 night weekend minimums for awards semi-regularly.

JeffS

Very helpful. Will a minimum points transfer from Chase UR (without booking a room) reset the expiration clock?

JeffS

Thanks! In that same vein, if a room is booked with points, the room is later cancelled and the points redeposited, does that reset the expiration clock?

JeffS

I did some checking. The Hyatt FAQ specifically says that cancelled rooms do not reset the clock. Also, I see that UR points I transferred last year are listed on my Hyatt Activity page as “purchase,” and Hyatt terms state that point purchases do reset the clock, so I’m guessing that point transfers do act as a reset.

Pam

Nice analysis, Greg. Since you can be someone’s Guest of Honor (& qualify for suites at top-tier properties), why try for Globalist?