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World of Hyatt is changing for the better come January 1, 2018, bringing one component of the chain’s loyalty program in line with the competition and improving a second as well.

Two changes go into effect on New Year’s Day:

  • All free night awards will count toward elite status
  • Free nights issued after achieving status levels will expire after 180 days, up from 120

That first bullet was a Hyatt loyalist pain point for many years. It’s better late than never, I guess, but Starwood Preferred Guest has counted award stays toward status since 2011, for example — and six years is a lifetime when it comes to loyalty programs matching competitor benefits.

The second adjustment is a welcome change for sure, but Hyatt was already ahead of the curve with its new elite free night certificates — you get one valid at Category 1-4 properties after reaching the Explorist level, which requires 30 nights or 50,000 base points in a calendar year, plus a second valid at Category 1-7 properties after reaching the Globalist level, which requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points. Free night certificates earned in 2018 will expire after 180 days, instead of 120.

World of Hyatt’s new management has confirmed that moving forward the chain’s goal is to improve the program with positive enhancements — as of now, there aren’t any devaluations on the horizon, and there’s no question that today’s announcement represents a change for the better.

Featured image of TPG at the Park Hyatt Maldives.

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