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As it first detailed back in October, Hyatt will be relaunching its loyalty program as World of Hyatt. The switchover will take place on Wednesday, March 1, and while we’ve highlighted some of the biggest updates already, today let’s take a look at what, exactly, will change starting on day one.

Before diving into the most important changes we’ll see on March 1, a quick note about what’s staying the same. You won’t need new login credentials to access your Hyatt account, and your travel and communication preferences, upcoming reservations and past activity history will carry over.

That said, here’s what’s new:

An Additional Tier of Elite Status

The new World of Hyatt program rewards big spenders over those who complete a ton of stays. Image courtesy of the Andaz San Diego.

Whereas the Gold Passport program was comprised of three status levels (member, Platinum and Diamond), World of Hyatt includes four — and the tiers have been renamed. There will still be an entry-level membership for those who don’t meet qualifications for the higher tiers, but then there’s Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. The mid-level Explorist tier splits the difference between the previous Platinum and Diamond levels, requiring 30 eligible nights to qualify and offering some intermediate benefits like a best preferred room (excluding suites and Club rooms) available on arrival.

If you’re interested in how the new top-tier Globalist status compares to Gold Passport’s top level of Hyatt Diamond, see this post. The highlights are unlimited complimentary suite upgrades in addition to four confirmed suite upgrades (or more if you meet additional qualifying-night thresholds), plus a free night at a Category 1-7 property.

Discoverist Status for Hyatt Credit Card Holders

If you have the Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll be granted complimentary Discoverist status. This is somewhat of a step down from the automatic Platinum status this card offered in the Gold Passport program, as you’ll now be getting a 10% points bonus rather than a 15% bonus. However, if you’re currently a cardmember (or sign up before March 1, 2017), you’ll get an extra 5% bonus points at Hyatt and M Life properties initially — this benefit runs through February 28, 2018.

Additionally, if you spend $50,000 on this card in a calendar year, you’ll get Explorist status through the following calendar year, getting you a 20% points bonus, four Club lounge access awards and a guaranteed room when you make a paid reservation at least 72 hours in advance.

Qualify by Nights or Points

The new World of Hyatt program does away with the option to qualify for elite status through stays. Instead, you’ll be able to meet the status requirements either through a certain number of nights (this option existed with Gold Passport) or by meeting a points threshold (the new option). All World of Hyatt members will earn 5 points per dollar spent on stays, and based on your elite status level you’ll get a 10-30% points bonus.

Free Night at a Category 1-4 Property

The Hyatt Credit Card offers a free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after your account anniversary, and the new World of Hyatt will incorporate a similar perk into its program. As of March 1, program members can earn a free night at a Category 1-4 property after completing paid, eligible stays at five different Hyatt brands — just note that you have a year from issuance to use it.

You can also earn a free night once you qualify for Explorist status with either 30 nights or 50,000 points, although in this case you only have 120 days to use it. And when you qualify for Globalist status with either 60 nights or 100,000 points, you’ll get a free night at a Category 1-7 Hyatt hotel (valid for 120 days from issuance).

Unlimited Suite Upgrades for Top-Tier Members

Globalist members get unlimited space-available upgrades to suites. Image courtesy of the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez.

I touched on this briefly above, but it’s worth mentioning in its own section as well, since this is one of the biggest positive changes to come with the World of Hyatt program. Top-tier (Globalist) members will now get unlimited upgrades to the best room available (including suites), so they won’t necessarily have to redeem a confirmed suite upgrade certificate to end up with more luxurious accommodations. That said, Globalists will still get four suite upgrade awards upon qualification, so if they’re staying at a popular property or simply want to make sure they’ll enjoy a larger room, they can redeem these as well.

Bottom Line

The new World of Hyatt program is now weighted in favor of those who spend more with the hotel chain, which means it could be harder for you to earn elite status — especially if you previously qualified based on stays rather than nights. However, some positive changes are going into effect on March 1, and Hyatt Credit Card holders will get a full year to earn a 15% points bonus on paid stays.

Share your thoughts on the upcoming switchover to the World of Hyatt in the comments below!

Featured image courtesy of the Park Hyatt Sydney.

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