The most award-friendly hotel program: Everything you need to know about World of Hyatt
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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. With reasonable rates and how easy it is to get even base elite status, many stay at Hyatt properties whenever they have the option.
We value World of Hyatt points at a whopping 1.7 cents per point, one of the highest 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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Hyatt has over a dozen brands and more than 950 properties in over 65 countries. They range from 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:
- Park Hyatt
- Grand Hyatt
- Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara
- The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
- Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Centric
- Hyatt House
- Hyatt Place
- Thompson Hotels
- Destination by Hyatt
- JdV by Hyatt
- Hyatt Residence Club
- UrCove by Hyatt
All World of Hyatt elite members can earn one World of Hyatt bonus point per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines fares. American AAdvantage members with Platinum status or higher can earn one AAdvantage bonus mile per dollar spent on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences after linking their accounts.
Through World of Hyatt’s partnership with MGM’s M life Rewards, World of Hyatt members can earn 5x base points at participating M life Rewards destinations, receive a status match and more.
World of Hyatt members can 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 FIND
Finally, through Hyatt’s strategic loyalty alliance with Exhale, members can earn and redeem points for in-studio fitness classes and spa therapies at participating Exhale locations.
There are three status tiers in the World of Hyatt loyalty program, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist, each offering different perks. If you don’t have Hyatt status, it isn’t hard to earn. Like many other hotel and airline loyalty programs, Hyatt announced it would reduce elite status requirements by 50% for the 2021 qualification year. And remember, any status earned in 2021 will be valid all the way through Feb. 28, 2023.
Here’s a look at how the 2021 tier requirements break down:
- Discoverist: Stay five tier-qualifying nights or earn 12,500 base points ($2,500 in spending)
- Explorist: Stay 15 tier-qualifying nights or earn 25,000 base points ($5,000 in spending)
- Globalist: Stay 30 tier-qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points ($10,000 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 elite status and the perks you can enjoy.
The lowest tier in the World of Hyatt program is Discoverist status, which you can typically earn after ten nights, 25,000 base points or three meetings/events (though as noted above, these thresholds have been reduced to five nights or 12,500 base points in 2021). 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 M life 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.
The next tier in the World of Hyatt program is Explorist status, which you earn after 30 nights, 50,000 base points or ten meetings/events (15 nights or 25,000 base points in 2021). 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 M life Gold
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 (30 nights or 50,000 base points in 2021). Here’s what you’ll get:
- 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 Guest of Honor
- Status match to M life Gold
How to earn
There are several ways to earn Hyatt points, from credit cards to staying at Hyatt’s many hotels.
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 on a Hyatt Centric for the same price. Hyatt also partners with select M life 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
World of Hyatt promotions
Starting July 7, 2021, you can register here to earn triple points on all stays of two or more nights from July 20 through Sept. 15. This is in addition to bonus points earned by putting you stay on the World of Hyatt Credit Card as well as those earned for holding Hyatt elite status. This will be a terrific way to boost your account balance if you have Hyatt stays coming up later this summer.
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.
The World of Hyatt 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
You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards 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.
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.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, World of Hyatt planned to launch peak and off-peak pricing for award stays in 2020. However, this has since been postponed three, separate times — most recently until October 2021. Luckily, even when these changes do kick in, the prices will still be pretty reasonable (all things considered). Category 1 properties could drop to as low as 3,500 points per night, while Category 8 properties could go as high as 45,000 points per night.
Here’s what the new pricing will look like:
|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 find 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.
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 — and note that these will also be subject to peak/off-peak pricing once those levels launch in October.
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.
Note that you will have to call to begin the upgrade process and that some properties are excluded.
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, or about 1.3 cents-per-point value. It’s still far less than TPG’s valuation, however.
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. When do you ever see redemptions this low?
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 cardmember anniversary
- By staying 30 nights or earning 50,000 base points at Hyatt properties
These free night certificates are a great way to enjoy some 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.
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 only 30,000 to 40,000 points a night.
You’ll find some of Hyatt’s best in these categories, like the Park Hyatt Sydney (Category 7) 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.
The World of Hyatt program doesn’t get enough props compared to larger chains like Marriott and Hilton. Even though it’s not that easy to earn Hyatt points, when you do have them, it opens up to insane 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 Benji Stawski.
Featured photo of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Hyatt
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