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Last-minute strategies for earning World of Hyatt elite status

Nov. 09, 2022
9 min read
Park Hyatt Washington DC guestroom
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Hyatt elite status is widely considered (by the TPG staff, anyway) to be the hands-down best hotel elite status around. Its top-tier Globalist status comes with perks like:

  • Free breakfast at nearly every Hyatt hotel.
  • Free room upgrade, up to a standard suite when available.
  • 30% bonus points.
  • 4 p.m. late checkout (when available).
  • Free parking on award stays.

You’ll also get super-valuable rewards along your journey to status, thanks to a program called Milestone Rewards. When you complete a specific number of qualifying nights each year, you’ll get perks such as confirmed Suite Upgrade Awards, a Category 1-4 free night certificate, a Category 1-7 free night certificate and more.

You’ve got until Dec. 31 to earn all the elite night credits you need to qualify for Hyatt elite status.

World of Hyatt elite status overview

Top-tier World of Hyatt elite status offers a suite of benefits, like upgrades and free breakfast. HYATT

To earn Hyatt elite status, you must achieve the following:

  • Discoverist: 10 elite nights or 25,000 base points ($5,000 in Hyatt spending). Or, hold a World of Hyatt Credit Card.
  • Explorist: 30 elite nights or 50,000 base points ($10,000 in Hyatt spending).
  • Globalist: 60 elite nights or 100,000 base points ($20,000 in Hyatt spending).

Hyatt elite status is exceptionally difficult to earn primarily because it’s a difficult brand to stay loyal to; its footprint is nowhere near the size of chains like Marriott and Hilton, so you’ll often have to go out of your way to stay at a Hyatt.

Additionally, it’s one of the only hotel brands that doesn’t issue a credit card that either offers automatic mid- or top-tier elite status or an obscene number of elite night credits simply for holding it.

Nevertheless, there are a handful of tricks you can use to lock down Hyatt elite status in a hurry.

Related: The best credit cards to reach elite status before the end of the year

Strategies for earning more Hyatt qualifying nights


Open the World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with an automatic five elite night credits per calendar year.

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If you stay at Hyatt hotels with regularity, you hopefully already hold a Hyatt credit card. But if not, this is an easy way to pick up five extra elite night credits in 2022. Plus, the card gives you a free Category 1-4 night certificate every year, and you'll earn elite night credit when you redeem it. Every night counts when you’re clawing your way toward elite status.

Plus, you'll earn a nice haul of Hyatt points when you open the card. Right now, new cardmembers can earn 30,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. Plus, these members can earn up to an additional 30,000 points by earning 2 points per dollar spent on purchases that normally earn 1 point per dollar, on up to $15,000 spent.

Related: Spend $15K on the World of Hyatt Card, get a heap of perks

Spend on your World of Hyatt cards


There are two Hyatt credit cards, and both of them incentivize you to spend big by offering elite night credits after meeting certain thresholds:

If you can swing it, this is a way to rack up elite nights from your couch. You shouldn't throw down $10,000 in spending that you weren’t planning to make, but if you’re relatively close to achieving one of these spending increments, it might be worth funneling your purchases through a Hyatt credit card. You might even consider prepaying for expenses such as home and auto insurance, taxes, utilities and even rent.

Note that some of these bills may charge you a fee upward of 3% for using a credit card. Normally, this would not be a good idea — but if it’s the only way to achieve the elite status you’re after, this strategy could be well worth it.

Related: Credit card showdown: World of Hyatt card vs. World of Hyatt Business card

Bonus Journeys (double elite night credits)

Hyatt releases periodic promotions under the name “Bonus Journeys.” One part of this current promotion is the opportunity to earn double elite night credits on qualifying nights for all-inclusive resort stays between Sept. 15 and Dec. 20. Plus, you'll earn double points on all stays of two or more nights.

Hyatt offers loads of all-inclusive hotels — some of which cost as little as 12,000 points per night for double occupancy during off-peak dates.

Related: World of Hyatt announces new all-inclusive award chart, adds 6 AMR Collection properties

If you’re eager to achieve Hyatt elite status in the coming months, staying at a participating all-inclusive resort by Dec. 20 will be a big help. And yes, award nights do qualify.

Elite status challenge for American Airlines status holders

If you’ve got American Airlines elite status, you’ve got a fast-track opportunity to earn Hyatt elite status — but you must register by Nov. 30.

When you enroll with this link, you’ll receive automatic mid-tier Hyatt Explorist status for 90 days. During that window, you must complete at least 10 qualifying nights with Hyatt (or its partners, such as MGM Resorts, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, etc.) to secure Explorist status through February 2024.


Here’s where it gets good: If you’ve got AAdvantage Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum or Concierge Key elite status, you can earn top-tier Hyatt Globalist status by completing at least 20 qualifying nights during the same window. Pretty great for a status that otherwise requires 60 nights to earn.

Related: American Airlines elites: You can now register for a World of Hyatt status challenge

Just note that some of the most valuable perks from earning Globalist status come from Milestone Rewards, as mentioned in the introduction. By skipping ahead with this status challenge, you’ll more easily earn Explorist and Globalist status, but you won’t earn the most valuable Milestone Rewards unless you earn more elite night credits.

Book cheap award nights

Desperate times call for desperate vacations. If you’re simply not going to make your goal organically, you may have to resort to booking cheap Hyatt hotels (with cash or points) just so you can earn the elite night credits. It’s called a “mattress run.”

This is a strategy award travelers use as a last resort — but if you’ve done the math and are positive that you’ll receive more value than you’re expending for your mattress run, it’s a no-brainer. I’ve done this several times by booking Category 1 hotels (the map of which you can view here), as nights cost just 3,500 points during off-peak dates.

It’s not difficult to find off-peak prices at Category 1 hotels. HYATT

Book a trip to Las Vegas

Mattress run or not, Las Vegas is a cheap way to rack up Hyatt elite nights. That’s because Hyatt is a partner of MGM Resorts.

The MGM portfolio includes properties like Excalibur and Luxor, notoriously inexpensive hotels. On a good day, you can find base rates for as little as $21. Yes, you’ll be charged resort fees around $40 per night — but a $61 night is still quite cheap.

And as a bonus, if you’ve got Hyatt Explorist or above, you can get resort fees waived if you match your Hyatt status to MGM Rewards and book direct through MGM. Just be sure to tell the front desk agent at check-in that you want to earn Hyatt points on your stay.

If you’ve got Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status, you’ll get resort fees waived. You’ll pay them upfront, and they’ll be reimbursed after your stay. MGM

Hotels in Vegas remain one of the cheapest ways to earn Hyatt elite status. It’s also worth noting that prices are generally quite cheap, anyway, as the town pays its bills with casino bounty. It’s a worthwhile little domestic vacation if you’ve got the time.

Related: How to match your World of Hyatt status to MGM Rewards for free perks in Las Vegas

Bottom line

Hyatt elite status isn’t impossible to earn quickly if you really apply yourself. It helps if you’ve got the freedom to book vacations whenever you want (most of us can’t do that), or if you’ve got a lot of expenses you can funnel through Hyatt credit cards.

Hyatt elite status — namely, Globalist — is worth the effort. Even if you only stay at two or three fancy Hyatt hotels each year, you could find yourself receiving thousands of dollars in value.

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