Hyatt members, it’s time for another look at Vegas: How I earned an elite qualifying night for just $24

Feb 28, 2022

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I snag inexpensive World of Hyatt nights whenever I can.

After all, if you want to earn World of Hyatt elite status, you’ll need to meet annual requirements for nights, base points or events hosted. And I plan to requalify for World of Hyatt Globalist status this year based on accruing 60 tier qualifying nights.

I have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, so I get five qualifying night credits every year just by having the card and I earn two more qualifying nights for each $5,000 I spend on my card. I’m also redeeming Hyatt points at several Hyatt Category 1 properties (award nights count toward status)  and have booked a collection of inexpensive Hyatt nights in South Africa and India.

But you don’t need to travel outside the U.S. to snag extremely inexpensive elite qualifying nights with World of Hyatt. Thanks to the launch of the new MGM Rewards program and Hyatt’s partnership with MGM, World of Hyatt Explorists and Globalists can now stay in Las Vegas without paying resort fees, which makes the all-in price much less than before.

And, as I found on a $24 night at Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas earlier this month, these nights can count toward earning Hyatt points and nights if you play your cards right. Best of all, you can book nights later this year through MGM for this same low rate.

Here’s what you need to know.

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In This Post

Hyatt’s partnership with MGM Rewards

MGM Rewards sign in the Excalibur casino
The new MGM Rewards program brings mostly positive changes for Hyatt elite members. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Hyatt and MGM have a special partnership that provides World of Hyatt members several benefits:

  • Earn 5 Hyatt base points per dollar spent at participating MGM Rewards destinations.
  • Earn qualifying night and base point credit toward World of Hyatt elite status on eligible stays at participating MGM Rewards destinations.
  • Redeem World of Hyatt points to stay at participating MGM Rewards destinations.
  • Receive a matched MGM Rewards elite status tier.
  • Opt to earn MGM Rewards tier credits (instead of Hyatt base points) for eligible stays at Hyatt properties.
  • Book participating MGM Rewards destinations through Hyatt.

Some of these perks, such as the ability to earn MGM tier credits instead of Hyatt points when staying with Hyatt, likely won’t provide much value if you’re loyal to Hyatt. But it’s still worth matching your World of Hyatt status to MGM Rewards.

World of Hyatt elite statuses match to MGM Rewards tiers as follows:

  • General member matches to MGM Rewards Sapphire (both are base-level tiers).
  • Discoverist matches to MGM Rewards Pearl.
  • Explorist and Globalist match to MGM Rewards Gold.

MGM Pearl members and above get access to useful benefits, including free self-parking at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas. MGM Gold members get additional perks, including waived resort fees, when booking directly with MGM Resorts International.

Related: Hyatt members, listen up: Use this simple tip to avoid resort fees at 13 Las Vegas casinos

Getting waived resort fees, points and nights at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas

MGM Excalibur front desk
Don’t skip the front desk if you want to earn Hyatt points and nights on your MGM stay. (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)

Earning Hyatt elite nights and base points at participating MGM Rewards destinations such as the Bellagio or Aria isn’t new. nor is the ability to get a matched elite tier with MGM.

But, with the launch of the new MGM Rewards program on Feb. 1, MGM Rewards Gold members and higher now get waived resort fees when booking directly with MGM Resorts International. This new perk changes the math for World of Hyatt Explorists and Globalists who match their status to MGM before visiting Las Vegas.

When you book directly with MGM as a Gold member, you’ll still see a resort fee when booking. But the check-in agent noted this fee would be waived due to my Gold status when I arrived at Excalibur earlier this month. And indeed, I didn’t see a resort fee on my bill at checkout.

(Screenshot from mgmresorts.com)

To earn Hyatt points and nights on my MGM-booked stay, I gave the check-in agent my World of Hyatt number and said I’d like to earn Hyatt points on my stay.

During my stay, I saw pending MGM points and tier credits appear in my account (MGM posted the pending points about seven days after my stay). Meanwhile, Hyatt posted the elite qualifying stay, including points and a the qualifying night, to my account a few days after I checked out.

Related: Caesars Diamond and MGM Gold both waive resort fees now: Here’s how they compare for non-gamers

How I earned on my recent stay at MGM’s Excalibur

You may be curious exactly how my earnings broke down on my recent MGM-booked stay at Excalibur. And admittedly, the math is a bit complicated due to Hyatt’s current Bonus Journeys promotion and charging a meal to my room.

In total, I earned 2,308 World of Hyatt points, one Hyatt tier qualifying night, 351 MGM tier credits and 43 MGM points on $48.63 of spending. Hyatt and MGM both considered $43.91 of this spending to be qualifying.

I wasn’t sure whether I’d also earn MGM points when opting to earn Hyatt points — but MGM posted 43 MGM points to my account seven days later. I also earned 8 tier credits per qualifying dollar spent thanks to MGM’s current double tier credits promotion and 6.5 Hyatt points per qualifying dollar spent as a World of Hyatt Globalist.

Hyatt earnings at Excalibur booked through MGM
(Screenshot from hyatt.com)

However, my total spending isn’t what we should consider when calculating the cost of the Hyatt elite qualifying night I earned. After all, I didn’t need to eat dinner and charge it to my room to get an elite qualifying night.

When you take out the dining, I would have earned 2,158 Hyatt points, one tier qualifying night, 167 MGM tier credits and 20 MGM points on $23.75 of spending.

My Hyatt earnings are elevated since I received a 2,022 Bonus Journeys two-night bonus on this stay.

TPG’s valuations peg the value of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each. In total, I earned $39 worth of Hyatt points, $0.43 worth of MGM points and a Hyatt tier qualifying night on about $49 of spending. Even if you only allocate half the Bonus Journeys points to this night, I still earned $22 worth of Hyatt points.

Related: Be careful how you book MGM hotels in Vegas; my mistake cost me a valuable Hyatt perk

Bottom line

I had low expectations after reading TPG executive editor Scott Mayerowitz’s review of the Excalibur Hotel &  Casino in Las Vegas. But frankly, for the price I paid and its location on the Las Vegas Strip, I felt the room, service and casino were fine at Excalibur.

My advice is don’t overlook the value you can get in Las Vegas as a Hyatt member booking through MGM.

As a Globalist who matched to MGM Rewards Gold, I would certainly book through MGM and stay at an inexpensive MGM property again to get some Hyatt elite qualifying nights at a low cost.

Excalibur is the least-expensive MGM property in Las Vegas on most dates, but you can often snag Luxor or New York-New York for just slightly more if you prefer. Rates tend to be the least expensive on Sunday through Wednesday nights.

And if you happen to stay during one of Hyatt’s lucrative stay-based promotions (like the current Bonus Journeys promotion), then your net cost for earning inexpensive Hyatt tier qualifying nights may be very, very low.

Featured photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy.

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