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Hyatt, long considered a valuable yet somewhat hard-to-maximize hotel program due to its limited global footprint, has taken significant steps to shed this reputation in recent months. The acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality (expected to close sometime this year) and the new partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (now with over 150 integrated properties) have made the World of Hyatt program an even more compelling option for travelers. When you add in accelerated milestone bonuses as well, more people may now be scrambling for Hyatt elite status.
The biggest drawback to elite status is its ephemeral nature. The minute you get your hands on perks like suite upgrades and bonus points, it seems like it’s already time to start requalifying for next year or risk losing your taste of the good (hotel) life. That’s why Hyatt and several other major hotel chains offer a way to hop off this hamster wheel and lock in elite status for life.
Today we’ll take a look at how to earn lifetime elite status with World of Hyatt and what to expect once you have it.
Requirements for Lifetime Hyatt Elite Status
Like Hilton Honors, the World of Hyatt program only offers the ability to earn its top-tier status (Globalist) for life. TPG Editor Nick Ewen values Globalist status at just under $5,000 thanks to the suite upgrades, 30% points bonus, club lounge/free breakfast and waived resort fees that it offers. Of course, that’s based on using the perks throughout the year, but it’s still quite a valuable level of status
In addition to only offering one tier of lifetime elite status you can earn, Hyatt only uses one metric to earn it, and it cuts right to the core of why hotels offer lifetime elite status in the first place. To earn lifetime Globalist status, you need to accrue one million base points over the life of your account. You’ll earn 5x base points per dollar spent on room rates, dining purchases, spa treatments and other eligible expenses (excluding taxes and fees) at participating hotels, though this is limited to room rates only if you’re staying at a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.
(You can also earn 10x base points on FIND experiences and certain Exhale spa purchases. However, given the limited options there, I’ll assume you’re doing all of your spending on hotel rates.)
Now consider what types of earnings are not counted as base points: Elite bonus multipliers, credit card bonuses and point transfers from Ultimate Rewards do not help you pad your total towards lifetime status. The only way to earn additional base points is to spend more. Given the 5x earning rate noted above, to reach one million base points, you’ll need to spend $200,000 on eligible charges. At $10,000 in yearly spending, that’ll still take you two decades to reach.
Business travelers who frequent pricier cities or more luxurious brands like Park Hyatt might be able to hit this threshold relatively quickly. If, on the other hand, you’re a price-conscious award traveler who loves booking Category 1 Hyatt properties for as little as 5,000 points a night, this activity won’t do anything to help you earn lifetime Globalist status.
Globalist status is normally earned by staying 60 nights in a year or earning 100,000 base points. With this activity comes the “standard” Globalist perks along with four suite upgrade awards, a free Category 1-7 certificate and access to a dedicated My Hyatt Concierge agent. However, Lifetime Globalists can enjoy all of these perks every year regardless of their year-to-date activity. In addition, if you can earn even more perks as a Lifetime Globalist by continuing to give your business to Hyatt each calendar year:
- At 50 qualifying nights, you’ll earn another two suite upgrade awards.
- At 60 qualifying nights (or 100,000 base points), you’ll earn another two suite upgrade awards and another Category 1-7 certificate.
In other words, a Lifetime Globalist member who completes 60 nights or earns 100,000 base points in a calendar year will receive a total of eight suite upgrade awards and two Category 1-7 free night certificates. A single certificate redeemed at a top-tier property like the Park Hyatt New York or Park Hyatt Zurich could get you $600, $800 or even $1,000 worth of value by itself. Talk about rewarding long-term loyalty!
(If this sounds too good to be true, check out the Lifetime Globalist section in the World of Hyatt terms and conditions.)
This is one area where Hyatt is much more generous than other programs. Hilton, for example, recently added milestone bonuses for certain thresholds of activity in a year, but you must earn those number of nights in order to qualify. Marriott awards Choice Benefits to Platinum and Titanium Elite members, but you must actually earn 50 and/or 75 nights in a year for those to apply. With Hyatt, you’ll earn all of the perks every year as a Lifetime Globalist member, and you’re given even more rewards for continuing to stay with the program.
Hyatt keeps its lifetime elite status program short and to the point, offering only one tier of status. The program also makes it clear that it’s looking to reward valuable customers, not just loyal ones, as the only metric used to qualify for lifetime status is a function of spending. If your loyalty to Hyatt is built mostly on award stays and elite status earned from a credit card, then lifetime status might not be in your future. However, if your travel patterns afford you the ability to spend $200,000 with Hyatt over the lifetime of your account, you can look forward to a lifetime of Globalist status and annual milestone bonuses, regardless of your activity in that specific year.
Featured photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
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