6 ways World of Hyatt should improve its loyalty program
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Hyatt is doing a lot of things right.
World of Hyatt is one of the few hotel loyalty programs that still uses a set award chart and hasn’t announced plans to remove it. And top-tier Hyatt Globalist status provides some excellent perks, including Guest of Honor bookings and waived resort fees.
In short, there are many reasons travelers love the World of Hyatt program. And since I earned Globalist status for the first time last year and am working to requalify this year, I’ve started to see the appeal of Hyatt myself as I interact with the World of Hyatt program and stay at Hyatt brands.
But, despite its popularity, there’s still room for the World of Hyatt program to improve. So, in this guide I’ll discuss some of the top ways I’d like to see Hyatt improve its loyalty program.
Sign up for our daily newsletter for more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox.
Facilitate online bookings for all awards
I don’t like talking on the phone. And when I’m overseas, calling can be costly if the country I’m in blocks calls over Wi-Fi. So, I’d rather do everything I need to with a program online, through the program’s website, email or social media.
Previously, you could chat or use social media to get some of these awards booked. But, as I learned recently, Hyatt Globalists can’t use social media or chat to book Guest of Honor awards anymore.
Granted, when I called to book a Guest of Honor award for a friend recently, an agent picked up almost immediately and the entire call lasted about 16 minutes. But I’d appreciate it if Hyatt would allow all awards, including Guest of Honor awards, club lounge access awards and suite upgrade awards, to be booked online similar to the way guests can book other stays online.
Offer a premium card
I signed up for the World of Hyatt Credit Card in late 2020 and expect to keep the card for the long term. After all, each year I get a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort and five qualifying night credits toward my next tier status. These perks easily justify the card’s $95 annual fee. Plus, I get the ability to spend on my card to earn more qualifying night credits and a second free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort each year.
However, other programs offer premium hotel credit cards with elevated perks. So, I’d like to see Hyatt offer a premium card. And unfortunately, the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card didn’t fill this gap.
For example, I’d like to see a premium Hyatt card that offers higher earning rates at Hyatt properties, additional rates with extra perks for cardholders and access to extra promotions. A premium Hyatt card could also offer an annual Hyatt travel credit for use at select brands.
Improve space-available upgrades
World of Hyatt elite members are eligible for an “upgraded room based on availability at check-in at participating locations,” according to the tiers and benefits page. In particular, each World of Hyatt elite status tier is eligible for upgrades as follows:
- Discoverist: Preferred room within type booked, where preferred is defined as “rooms on higher floors, corner rooms or rooms with more appealing views.”
- Explorist: Upgraded room excluding suites and rooms with club lounge access.
- Globalist: Including standard suites.
But upgrades aren’t available at Caption by Hyatt, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Destination Residences and Hyatt Residence Club hotels and resorts.
And although Hyatt’s terms and conditions state, “Globalists will receive the best room available at the time of check-in at Hyatt hotels and resorts, including standard suites and rooms with club lounge-access,” the terms go on to note that “the best room available will be determined by the applicable hotel or resort in its sole discretion and may vary from stay-to-stay.”
So, a hotel can effectively exclude any of its rooms or suites when deciding the “best room available.” And, even when staying at an eligible property that is still selling upgraded rooms and standard suites through the Hyatt app when I arrived at the hotel, I’ve mostly gotten upgrades within the type booked or one-category upgrades as a Globalist.
I appreciate that hotels may want to exclude some rooms and standard suites from upgrades. But I’d like Hyatt to find a way to encourage properties to include most available rooms into the “best room available” calculation.
I’d also like to see Hyatt House, Hyatt Place and Caption by Hyatt participate in elite upgrades. Doing so would provide consistency and be a nice perk for elite members opting to stay at these usually lower-category brands.
Related: Tips to get hotel room upgrades
Offer a 4th or 5th night free on points
Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards offer a fourth or fifth night free when redeeming points for your stay. Marriott provides a fifth night free to all members when redeeming Marriott points for a stay of five nights or longer. Meanwhile, IHG Rewards provides a fourth night reward to select IHG Rewards cardholders when redeeming IHG Rewards points for their stay. And Hilton Honors provides a fifth night free to its Hilton Honors elite members when they redeem Hilton points for their stay.
I usually aim to redeem Marriott and Hilton points in five-night increments and IHG points in four-night increments. But Hyatt doesn’t offer any similar perk. As such, I often find myself redeeming Hyatt points for shorter stays. I’d love to see Hyatt add a fourth- or fifth-night-free perk for its members — or potentially just its elite members or Hyatt credit card holders — to encourage extended award stays.
Continue to grow its footprint
One obvious shortcoming of World of Hyatt, when compared to other popular hotel loyalty programs, is the number of participating hotels, especially outside the United States. You may only find one or two Hyatt properties, even in popular international destinations. And in some major cities or destinations, you may not find any Hyatt hotels.
For example, there are only 19 Hyatt hotels in Canada currently. And there are just 24 Hyatt hotels in all of Africa. Many popular countries for travelers, including Peru, Israel and Sri Lanka, have just one Hyatt hotel. If location and property type are important to you, you may find that Hyatt comes up short.
Offer a flexible dates calendar for paid stays
As a traveler who often has flexible dates — or who may split my time in a destination among multiple hotels — I appreciate when a program allows you to see daily rates on a calendar. Luckily, World of Hyatt added this ability for point redemptions around the same time it implemented peak and off-peak points redemptions.
But you can only see award rates on a calendar, not paid rates. So, I’d like Hyatt to add a calendar search function for paid rates. Of course, you can use a third-party site, such as Google Hotels, to see prices on a calendar. But these third-party sites often show lower rates from online travel agencies that usually won’t earn Hyatt points or be eligible for elite benefits.
Again, although this story focused on areas where Hyatt can improve, Hyatt is doing many things right.
Indeed, many Hyatt elite members rave about the program. For years, I figured they were overhyping the program and its customer service. But, although I haven’t had any over-the-top experiences with Hyatt yet, now that I’m staying at Hyatts and using the World of Hyatt program, I can certainly see why many frequent travelers find that Hyatt provides the best experience for them.
Featured photo of the Park Hyatt Sydney by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees