How I earned Hyatt Globalist status for $0 out of pocket

Nov 14, 2019

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Top-tier hotel elite status is an extremely valuable perk for traveling families. It saves you money, gives you more space and just makes things easier. In the past, I’d used strategies such as status matches and challenges to earn both Hilton Diamond and Marriott Platinum at different times, putting the benefits to very, very good use.

Hyatt was a different story.

Under the old Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program, you earned top-tier Diamond status with either 25 paid stays (check-in and check-out) or 50 paid nights. Occasional leisure and work travel never afforded me the ability to achieve those goals. But, I had a certain fondness for Hyatt hotels. The quality of even its limited-service brands and excellent overall award value impressed me. I just resigned myself to the fact that I’d never be a Hyatt top-tier elite.

But then two things happened: The new World of Hyatt loyalty program launched and the cobranded World of Hyatt Credit Card rolled out. The new World of Hyatt program changed the elite qualification requirements to include award nights. Previously, only paid stays counted. This would make far more of my Hyatt stays count toward elite status. Additionally, the refreshed World of Hyatt credit card allows you to earn additional elite qualifying nights through spending on the card.

With these two changes, I formed a plan to earn top-tier Hyatt Globalist status for basically nothing extra out of pocket. The whole plan hinged on the World of Hyatt credit card.

Related: What is Hyatt elite status worth?

Hyatt Coconut Point in Florida
Hyatt Coconut Point in Florida (Summer Hull / The Points Guy)

Elite nights via credit card spend

If I had to stay 60 head-in-bed nights with Hyatt, it’s unlikely I would ever attain Globalist status — even counting award nights. But the World of Hyatt Credit Card was a game changer, as it allows you to earn two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 in spending. This provided a path to Globalist status, as credit card spend could be enough to augment my personal award stays and paid work stays.

Beyond earning elite nights, the card also offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2x bonus points total on purchases that normally earn 1x bonus point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening. The card also confers a Category 1–4 free night certificate on every account anniversary, as well as Hyatt Discoverist elite status. (That status isn’t much, but can actually help you in Vegas.) It’s an excellent hotel credit card, well worth the $95 annual fee. You even earn five elite nights simply by holding the card.

Savvy cardholders should easily earn a minimum of 11 elite nights every year with the World of Hyatt card. The card also offers a second Category 1–4 free night if you hit $15,000 in spend within your cardmember year. This threshold is worth targeting, at a minimum. Spending $15,000 on the card will earn six elite nights, plus the five you earn simply from holding the card, for a total of 11 nights. If you use the free nights in short order, you’ve really earned 13 nights toward Hyatt elite status.

Related: American and Hyatt elites now get reciprocal benefits

Earning Hyatt Globalist status for $0 out of pocket

At the beginning of 2019, my initial goal was to hit $15,000 in spend and rack up a quick 11 elite nights in the process. I managed this within the first two months of the year. After an award trip to Seattle and Boise with one of my sons, I now had 15 nights. Additional card spending brought the total to 19 nights. So far, all nights were either solely from Hyatt credit card spend or award stays.

Work stays added a handful of paid nights to the total, and those costs thankfully weren’t out of my own pocket. With three more personal trips completed by the middle of the year, I was sitting at 40 nights.

To date, I now have 58 elite nights and have completed the spend necessary for the final two nights. When my statement closes next month, I will have achieved Hyatt’s coveted Globalist status, never spending anything out of pocket, as my only paid stays were covered by my employer. And to be clear, I’m not a road warrior, so this was not a case of work travel paving the way, it just helped close up the gap.

Related: Best ways to earn World of Hyatt points

There was an opportunity cost to this, however. While I don’t mind swiping my World of Hyatt card to earn valuable Hyatt points, it’s not always the best card choice. In some instances — like when dining out — I would have earned more Hyatt points with my Chase Sapphire Reserve that pays out 3x points for dining charges while the Hyatt card only gives 2x points on dining.

Still, I value Hyatt Globalist status highly enough, and the incremental benefits earned through Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards make the spend worth it. The Category 1 – 7 award certainly didn’t hurt.

Hyatt Regency Xiamen Wuyuanwan Breakfast (Photo by Ian Snyder)

Why Hyatt Globalist status is excellent for families

Hyatt Globalist benefits will be super handy for us in 2020. The first half of the year includes two different dance conventions with our daughter at Hyatt hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s nice to cover the entire stay with points and apply the suite upgrade certificates to ensure we have plenty of space during both busy weekends.

Hyatt’s top-tier status is the best of the bunch for traveling families. With guaranteed breakfast for up to two adults and two kids registered to the same room, waived resort fees on both paid and award nights and confirmed suite night awards for when you really need the extra space, few other programs come close to matching the excellence of Hyatt Globalist.

Bottom line

It’s doubtful I would have even achieved mid-tier Explorist status organically without going out of my way to plan most of my stays and a chunk of my spending with Hyatt. Having a plan going into the year was crucial in pulling this off.

Although I gave up some additional points by swiping my World of Hyatt Credit Card for many general purchases, the card allowed me to earn Hyatt Globalist for basically nothing out of pocket. If you’re curious about other features of the card or the benefits of Hyatt Globalist status, check out these other related posts:

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy

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