The most award-friendly hotel program: Everything you need to know about World of Hyatt

Feb 17, 2022

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The World of Hyatt program is a favorite around the TPG office, even though it has a smaller — albeit growing — footprint than Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. Given its reasonable rates and how easy it is to achieve even base elite status, many of us stay at Hyatt properties whenever we have the option.

We value World of Hyatt points at an impressive 1.7 cents per point, one of the highest valuations among hotel programs. Hyatt has some amazing properties at reasonable redemption rates and valuable partnerships with companies like Small Luxury Hotels of the World, American Airlines and MGM Resorts International.

From earning and redeeming points to the different levels of elite status and more, here’s everything you need to know about the program.

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In This Post

Overview

Hyatt has over a dozen brands and more than 1,000 properties in over 65 countries. They include the ultra-luxurious Park Hyatt, boutique Destination by Hyatt, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara, and family-friendly Hyatt House and Hyatt Place properties:

Program partners

The World of Hyatt loyalty program has multiple partners, including American Airlines, MGM Resorts International and Lindblad Expeditions.

All World of Hyatt elite members can earn 1 World of Hyatt bonus point per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines fares. American AAdvantage members with Platinum status or higher can earn 1 AAdvantage bonus mile per dollar spent on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences after linking their accounts.

Through World of Hyatt’s partnership with MGM Rewards, World of Hyatt members can earn 5 times the base points at participating MGM Rewards destinations, receive a status match and more.

World of Hyatt members also get the following benefits on Lindblad Expeditions overseas itineraries when booked through Lindblad Expeditions’ cobranded Hyatt site, a Hyatt Global Contact Center or Lindblad Expeditions’ contact center:

  • $250 onboard credit.
  • Elite tier qualifying night credits for eligible nights on a Lindblad expedition.
  • Members can purchase specially curated Lindblad Expedition experiences through the Find platform.
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Elite status

There are three status tiers in the World of Hyatt loyalty program — Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist — each offering different perks. Although status requirements were cut in half in 2021, they’re back to pre-pandemic requirements.

Here’s a look at how the 2022 tier requirements break down:

  • Discoverist: Stay 10 tier qualifying nights or earn 25,000 base points ($5,000 in spending).
  • Explorist: Stay 30 tier qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points ($10,000 in spending).
  • Globalist: Stay 60 tier qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base points ($20,000 in spending).

These requirements may be even lower if you have a cobranded Hyatt card. Those with the World of Hyatt Credit Card automatically get five qualifying nights each year just for having the card. Additionally, cardholders earn two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card.

Here’s an overview of how to earn Hyatt’s elite status and the perks you can enjoy.

Discoverist

The lowest tier in the World of Hyatt program is Discoverist status, which you can earn after 10 nights, 25,000 base points or three meetings/events. It’s also included as an automatic benefit on the World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Here’s what you’ll get as a Discoverist:

  • A 10% point bonus when staying at Hyatt properties.
  • Space-available upgrades to preferred rooms within the same category, including ones with a preferred view or location.
  • Late checkout.
  • Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on qualifying American Airlines flights when you link your two loyalty accounts.
  • 2 p.m. late checkout.
  • Status match to MGM Rewards Pearl.
  • Benefits at Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties.
  • Premium internet access.
  • Bottled water at check-in.

All Hyatt members also get waived resort fees on award nights, which can really add up.

Related: Getting elite-like perks at Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Explorist

The next tier in the World of Hyatt program is Explorist status, which you earn after 30 nights, 50,000 base points or 10 meetings/events. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Earn 20% bonus points.
  • Upgraded room, excluding suites and club rooms.
  • Guaranteed room availability when booked at least 72 hours in advance.
  • Status match to MGM Rewards Gold.

Globalist

Finally, the most elite tier in the World of Hyatt program is Globalist status, which requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points or 20 events/meetings. You have access to these benefits:

  • 30% bonus on eligible purchases.
  • Space-available room upgrade, including standard suites.
  • 4 p.m. checkout.
  • Access to Club lounges where available and complimentary full breakfast at hotels without lounges.
  • Guaranteed room availability when booked at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Waived resort fees on eligible paid rates.
  • Priority room access when checking in early.
  • Ability to share elite status benefits on award stays through the Guest of Honor perk.
  • Status match to MGM Rewards Gold.

Related: What is World of Hyatt elite status worth?

How to earn

There are several ways to earn Hyatt points, from credit cards to stays at Hyatt’s many hotels.

Hotel stays

You can earn points on all Hyatt hotel stays booked directly through Hyatt.

This includes Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties and the Thompson and JdV by Hyatt brands added as part of the Two Roads Hospitality integration. The exact number of points you’ll earn depends on how much you paid for your stay, your elite status tier and whether you registered for promotions.

Hyatt awards 5 points per dollar spent on Hyatt hotel stays and other qualifying room charges. This number is consistent across the board, so you’ll earn the same number of points at a Hyatt Regency as you would earn at a Hyatt Centric for the same price. Hyatt also partners with select MGM hotels — these hotels also earn 5 points per $1 spent.

Here’s how many extra points each elite status tier earns:

  • Discoverist: 10% bonus (0.5 extra points per dollar spent).
  • Explorist: 20% bonus (1 extra point per dollar spent).
  • Globalist: 30% bonus (1.5 extra points per dollar spent).

If you’re a World of Hyatt Globalist member staying at a Grand Hyatt hotel for three nights at $150 per night, you will earn the following:

  • $150 x 5 points per dollar x 3 nights = 2,250 points.
  • 2,250 points x 30% bonus = 675 points.
  • Total: 2,925 points

You’d earn nearly 3,000 points on your hotel stay, a haul of almost $50 based on TPG’s valuations. While this may seem like a small amount compared to Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club, Hyatt has lower redemption rates than many other chains, with awards starting at just 5,000 points per night for Category 1 hotels.

Related: The best ways to earn Hyatt points

(Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Tokyo)
(Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Tokyo)

World of Hyatt promotions

World of Hyatt frequently runs promotions for its members to earn bonus points. The recently announced Bonus Journeys promo is the latest iteration.

If you register before March 15, you can earn 2,022 bonus points for every two qualifying nights, up to 10 times. The promotion expires on April 20. This is in addition to bonus points earned by putting your stay on the World of Hyatt Credit Card as well as those earned for holding Hyatt elite status. This is a terrific way to boost your account balance if you have Hyatt stays coming up this spring.

Related: Promotions that will make your next hotel stay more rewarding

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Credit cards

I’ve redeemed more than 50,000 World of Hyatt points in the past year, earned through various travel rewards credit card sign-up bonuses. Here are a few credit cards that can get you to your next redemption.

World of Hyatt Credit Card  

The World of Hyatt Credit Card ($95 annual fee) offers up to 60,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Plus, earn up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total per $1 spent on purchases that normally earn 1 point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening. Here’s what you’ll get with the card:

  • One free night every year after your cardmember anniversary, valid at any Category 1-4 property.
  • A second free night by spending $15,000 on the card in your card membership year.
  • Automatic Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Five tier qualifying night credits every year, plus two additional credits every time you spend $5,000 on the card.

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card ($199 annual fee) is a new addition to the Hyatt cobranded card family. It currently offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.. There are a handful of included benefits too:

  • $100 in Hyatt credits each anniversary year; spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and earn $50 statement credits, up to two times each anniversary year.
  • Hyatt Leverage membership.
  • Discoverist status for the cardholder and up to five employees.
  • Earn five tier qualifying night credits for every $10,000 spent on the card in a single calendar year.

Other cards

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt. Points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card transfer to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents per point and World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents per point.

Related: The best sweet spots with Chase Ultimate Rewards

How to redeem

Award chart info

Hyatt prices its award nights by hotel category, similar to other major hotel chains. The higher the hotel category, the more points you’ll need for a free night redemption.

Generally speaking, the more upscale brands like Park Hyatt and Andaz, along with hotels in more desirable cities, are in higher categories. You’ll find lower redemptions at chains like Hyatt House and Hyatt Place.

Note that Hyatt recently announced that 146 hotels will be moving to different categories, which will affect how many points are required for your next award reservation. Most notably, nine of Hyatt’s properties will be moving to Category 8, which means members will need to use more points than ever before to stay at these top-tier properties.

Screenshot from Hyatt
(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

Additionally, World of Hyatt launched off-peak and peak pricing in October 2021. When you book your next Hyatt reservation on points, you’ll be able to tell if your dates are off-peak, standard or peak based on the number of points required.

Award category Off-peak (% change) Standard Peak (% change)
Category 1 3,500 (-30%) 5,000 6,500 (+30%)
Category 2 6,500 (-18.75%) 8,000 9,500 (+18.75%)
Category 3 9,000 (-25%) 12,000 15,000 (+25%)
Category 4 12,000 (-20%) 15,000 18,000 (+20%)
Category 5 17,000 (-15%) 20,000 23,000 (+15%)
Category 6 21,000 (-16%) 25,000 29,000 (+16%)
Category 7 25,000 (-16.67%) 30,000 35,000 (+16.67%)
Category 8 35,000 (-12.5%) 40,000 45,000 (+12.5%)

You can see which hotels are in a category by looking at Hyatt’s “Search Hotel by Category” page. Just enter a location and category and you’ll be presented with all hotels in your selected region.

World of Hyatt’s portfolio includes some unique brands, such as Miraval, a trio of wellness resorts and spas. When you stay on points at these properties, you not only benefit from Miraval’s all-inclusive rate (which includes meals and many activities), but you’ll also get a $175 credit per person per night to put toward spa treatments, alcoholic beverages and additional activities that come with a fee.

Related: Reader success story: A $14K stay at the Miraval Arizona for 195K Hyatt points

If you don’t have enough points for a redemption, you can book a Points + Cash award instead, which allows you to combine points and cash for a discounted stay. When available, these awards should appear during an award search. To book this rate, you’ll need to pay half of the standard rate plus half of the points rate for that date.

Alternatively, you can pay using a combination of cash, points and/or free night certificates via the Pay My Way option.

Redeeming points for upgrades

Another great use of World of Hyatt points is for upgrades on paid stays. The rates are very reasonable, ranging from 3,000 points per night for upgrades to club-level rooms to 9,000 points per night for premium suites. Upgrades to the club level can be especially valuable when traveling with a companion and the property offers a generous club breakfast.

Hyatt upgrade rates
(Photo courtesy of hyatt.com)

Note that you will have to call to begin the upgrade process and that some properties are excluded.

Related: How to redeem Hyatt points for upgraded rooms

Other redemption options

You also can redeem points for dining, spa or meeting credits at Hyatt properties, but it’s not the best bang for your buck. Meeting credits start at 15,000 World of Hyatt points for a $200 credit, for a value of about 1.3 cents per point. It’s still far less than TPG’s valuation, however.

Related: How to redeem points with the World of Hyatt program

Sweet spots

Category 1 Hyatt hotels

One of my favorite aspects of the World of Hyatt program is that you can take advantage of Category 1 hotels worldwide, especially in the Middle East and Asia. You can get steals on hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort for just 5,000 points a night on standard dates.

Related: The best international Category 1 Hyatt properties

Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort in Malaysia
The Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort in Malaysia. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Hyatt reward night certificates

You can earn World of Hyatt Category 1 to 4 free night certificates three ways on an annual basis:

  • On your cardmember anniversary for the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
  • When you spend $15,000 on your World of Hyatt card during a calendar year.
  • By staying 30 nights or earning 50,000 base points at Hyatt properties.

These free night certificates are a great way to enjoy mid-tier hotels nationwide, including at some of my favorite Hyatt hotels in Washington, D.C., Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House and Grand Hyatt Washington.

You can use your certificate at any Category 1 to 4 hotel worldwide. A hotel I’ve wanted to visit is the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, a Category 4 resort in Tanzania, although this property will be moving into Category 5 in March.

Related: Hotel credit cards that come with an annual free night

Top-tier World of Hyatt hotels

Hyatt’s relatively reasonable redemption rates mean that you can stay at its Category 7 and 8 hotels for 25,000 to 45,000 points a night, depending on peak and off-peak dates.

Image courtesy of Calala Island.
(Photo courtesy of Calala Island)

You’ll find some of Hyatt’s best hotels in these categories, like the Park Hyatt Sydney (Category 7, soon to be Category 8) and Calala Island (Category 8). These are great deals for hotels that routinely sell for close to $1,000 but can climb even higher during peak season. Calala Island, for instance, is a real steal. Rooms at the all-inclusive resort in Nicaragua regularly go for over $2,000 per night.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with World of Hyatt

Bottom line

The World of Hyatt program doesn’t get enough props compared to larger chains like Marriott and Hilton. Even though it’s not super easy to earn Hyatt points, when you do have them, it opens up high-value redemptions like a private island in the middle of the Caribbean.

Coupled with some sweet perks like bonuses for elites on American Airlines flights and incredible top-tier Globalist elite status perks, World of Hyatt remains the go-to chain for many savvy travelers.

Additional reporting by Kyle Olsen and Benji Stawski.

Featured photo of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Hyatt.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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