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Hyatt’s Gold Passport program has been a favorite of many award travelers thanks to relatively affordable award nights and valuable perks like Diamond Suite Upgrades. Well, for better or worse, the hotel chain’s shaking things up — today it was announced that a new World of Hyatt program will replace Gold Passport on March 1, 2017, and it will bring several changes that favor big spenders and top-tier elites.
We have the full scoop on the new World of Hyatt program in this post, but here’s the Cliffs Notes version:
- The new program will do away with the option to qualify based on stays; now you’ll qualify for Hyatt elite status based on number of nights or — and this is the new part — number of points (with points earned at a rate of 5 per dollar, plus any elite bonus for which you’re eligible based on your status).
- Unlike with Gold Passport, which had two elite levels on top of base membership, the upcoming World of Hyatt program will have three elite tiers: Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist.
- Under the new program, all members can earn free nights at Category 1-4 properties when they try different brands in the Hyatt portfolio; you’ll earn one free night after trying five different brands, plus another free night after you try another five brands.
Depending on your current Hyatt status as well as how, specifically, you qualify (through nights or stays), these program updates may or may not matter much. For those who earn the top-tier status of Diamond in the current Gold Passport program by logging the requisite 25 stays, the switch to a points- or nights-based qualification system will definitely hurt. But for those who spend a significant amount with Hyatt, however, the new program will be more rewarding. After acquiring 100,000 points (equal to $20,000 in spending, based on the 5x earning rate) in a calendar year (or after completing 60 eligible nights), you’ll be eligible for Globalist, which looks to be even more rewarding than the current Diamond status, which we value at $3,085.
- Unlimited suite upgrades on all stays — A huge improvement to Hyatt top-tier status is the opportunity to enjoy unlimited upgrades to suites on all stays, including award stays, based on availability. Under the existing program, Diamond members only get complimentary upgrades to the best room available, excluding suites, so this can definitely improve stays for top-tier elites.
- Four confirmed suite upgrades — In addition to unlimited upgrades to suites based on availability, Globalists will get four upgrade awards for confirming a suite ahead of time. As a huge plus, these upgrades are now usable on both paid and award stays. Previously, Diamond Suite Upgrades could only be used for paid or Points + Cash bookings.
- Additional suite upgrade awards — As a Globalist, you can earn up to four additional suite upgrade awards per year — one each for hitting 70, 80, 90 and 100 eligible nights in a calendar year. You also have the option to choose 10,000 points instead at each interval (worth $180 based on TPG’s valuations).
- Free night at a Category 1-7 hotel — While Hyatt will award all members with a free night at a Category 1-4 property after they try out five different brands — and it will also give Explorist members a free night at Category 1-4 hotels after qualifying — the brand will reward you for qualifying for Globalist status with a free night at a Category 1-7 hotel. Note that you’ll need to use this free night within 120 days of qualifying for it.
- My Hyatt Concierge — Hyatt’s adding a concierge benefit for top-tier elites in its upcoming program. When you qualify for Globalist with 60 nights/100,000 points, you’ll get access to a dedicated agent who can assist with booking stays as well as scheduling spa treatments and dining reservations. The concierge will also apparently provide Globalist members with first-hand info about promotions and hotel openings.
- No resort fees — This isn’t exactly a ground-breaking benefit, but Globalist members won’t have to pay daily resort fees for both award stays and on eligible paid stays. For example, the Hyatt Regency Maui charges $32 per day, but as a Globalist you’d avoid having to shell out for this.
- Lower requalification for 2018 — If you make the cut for Globalist status in 2017 — either by earning 100,000 points or by completing 60 eligible nights — you can requalify in 2018 with a slightly lower threshold of 55 nights.
Hyatt Diamond vs. Hyatt Globalist
While it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison — since the current Gold Passport has just two elite levels while World of Hyatt will have three — Globalist will replace Diamond as the highest tier. If you barely meet the 25-stay/50-night minimum to qualify for Diamond, you might have a hard time earning Globalist status, as it requires staying eligible 60 nights or accumulating 100,000 points ($20,000 in spending, based on the 5x earning rate). However, the good news is that if you do qualify, you’ll enjoy more generous perks than the current Diamond offering.
|Perk/Feature||Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond||World of Hyatt Globalist|
|Qualification||25 eligible stays/50 eligible nights||60 nights/100,000 points|
|Room Upgrades||The best room available upon arrival, excluding suites||Unlimited complimentary upgrades to best room available, including suites|
|Suite Upgrades||4 Diamond Suite Upgrades||4 confirmed suite upgrades per year|
|Free Night for Qualifying||No||One free night at a Category 1-7 hotel upon staying 60 nights/earning 100,000 points|
|My Hyatt Concierge||No||Yes|
|Guest of Honor (share status benefits with friends or family when you book an award for them)||Yes||Yes|
|Welcome Amenity||Choice of food and beverage or a points bonus||No|
|Late Checkout Request||4pm||4pm|
|Two Complimentary United Club Passes Per Year||Yes||Yes|
|Waived Resort Fees||On award nights||On award nights and eligible paid rates|
|48-Hour Room Guarantee||Yes||Yes|
What will your status look like in the new program?
Especially if you’re a current Diamond member, you’re probably wondering what these changes mean for you. As a reminder, the new World of Hyatt program will launch on March 1, 2017. Here’s what your current/future elite status will map to once the new program goes live:
- You’ve requalified for Diamond status for 2017 ⇒ Globalist
- You’re Diamond but didn’t requalify for 2017 ⇒ Explorist
- You’ve requalified for Platinum status for 2017 ⇒ Discoverist
Additionally, if you qualified for any Hyatt Gold Passport status in 2016 and would have requalified for it, your status will be upgraded (if you met the nights but not points requirement, you’ll still get the status).
The upcoming World of Hyatt program isn’t going to make everyone happy, but for those who can comfortably earn Globalist status with the new requirements, the benefits are definitely a solid step up. Not only will you get unlimited (availability-based) suite upgrades on both paid and award stays, but you’ll also get four confirmed suite awards and a free night at a Category 1-7 property upon qualifying, not to mention additional suite awards when you meet additional annual night thresholds.
Featured image courtesy of the Park Hyatt Siem Reap.
Share your thoughts on the new Hyatt program and Globalist status in the comments below!
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