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Here’s why I’m booking MGM hotel nights to earn Hyatt elite status

Oct. 06, 2022
6 min read
Excalibur Las Vegas roof
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To earn hotel elite status, you must stay a certain number of nights in a calendar year.

If you know you won’t meet the required nights organically, you can supplement your elite status by booking cheap nights — whether close to home or somewhere you can easily travel to — to qualify for status. That is, you can search for cheap nights and book stays to earn elite night credits.

But this strategy is generally only a good idea if you need just a few more nights to qualify.

I earned Hyatt Globalist status in 2021 during some extremely generous Hyatt promotions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The status usually requires 60 nights per calendar year, but I got it by staying just 28 nights.

And I love Globalist status — but I will never stay at Hyatt hotels for 60 nights in a calendar year. So if I want to earn it again, I’ll have to supplement my stays with a few cheap nights. Here’s how I plan to do it by leveraging Hyatt's partnership with MGM.

You can earn Hyatt elite night credits at MGM Resorts

The Excalibur Hotel & Casino is an MGM property where you can earn Hyatt elite nights. AARONP/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

MGM and Hyatt are partners. When you stay at MGM properties and attach your Hyatt number to your reservation, you’ll earn elite night credits with Hyatt.

Here’s why that’s amazing: MGM resorts in Las Vegas offer some of the cheapest room rates in the U.S. The hotels are willing to give you an inexpensive stay to keep you gambling for longer. So, if you need a handful of nights to achieve (or requalify for) Hyatt elite status, you can very economically earn elite nights at MGM hotels in Las Vegas.

Related: Earn Hyatt elite night credits at MGM resorts

At Excalibur and Luxor, you can often find nightly rates of $30 or less. The problem is that these properties tack on a resort fee.

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My favorite perk of Hyatt Explorist status: Waived resort fees at MGM Vegas properties

Below is a dirt-cheap $24 night at Excalibur. However, a $40 resort fee brings the final cost up to about $64 — still cheap, but probably not worthwhile unless you only need a few more nights to qualify for status. On top of this, you need to factor in the cost of getting to/from Las Vegas if you aren't local.

MGMRESORTS.COM

If you have Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status though, you can avoid resort fees by matching your Hyatt status to MGM Gold status. Since I currently hold Globalist status, I can book this room — and earn a Hyatt elite night credit — for $24 all-in.

Related: Use this simple tip to avoid resort fees at 13 Las Vegas casinos

Globalist status, and the Milestone Rewards that come with earning it, have given me thousands of dollars in value over the past year. However, I’m currently 40 nights away from requalifying for it, and I'm 10 nights away from qualifying for Explorist status. If I don’t at least earn Explorist status this year, I’ll no longer get resort fees waived at MGM resorts — and I won’t be able to inexpensively book my way to Globalist in the future.

I’ve given up hope for earning Globalist status this year, but I do plan to earn Explorist status solely so I can continue to circumvent resort fees at MGM properties. Then, I still have the option to supplement my Hyatt stays with cheap MGM nights to earn Globalist at a discount in 2023.

Is Globalist status worth booking hotels you don’t want to stay at?

It probably sounds ridiculous to throw away hundreds of dollars to stay at a hotel you’re not interested in for the sole purpose of earning hotel elite status. So, let me outline the benefits I received from Globalist elite status over the past year:

  • Suite upgrade certificate used for one night at Thompson Nashville: $600-plus.
  • Suite upgrade certificate used for three nights at Alila Ventana Big Sur: $900-plus.
  • Suite upgrade certificate used for three nights at Andaz Maui: $1,200-plus.
  • Suite upgrade certificate used for four nights at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek: $2,000-plus.
  • Free night award (up to Category 7 hotel) used at Hana-Maui Resort: $700-plus.
  • Free night award (up to Category 4 hotel) used at Lahaina Shores Beach Resort: $300-plus.
  • $100 Hyatt gift card.
  • Free breakfast at Hyatt hotels: $350-plus.
  • Free parking at Hyatt hotels during award stays: $400-plus.

That’s more than $6,500 in value for spending about $1,000 on hotel stays for the sake of earning elite night credits. So if you don't mind traveling to Las Vegas, this could present a good opportunity to keep your Globalist status and make a profit.

Bottom line

If I don’t earn Hyatt Explorist status before my Globalist status expires, I’ll no longer have a way to inexpensively earn Hyatt elite status.

Because Hyatt Explorist and Globalist status match MGM Gold status, I can currently pick up Hyatt elite night credits for as little as $24 each. It’s worth booking several nights at these properties just to earn elite night credits, and I'll get a trip to Vegas out of the deal.

Of course, you should always physically check in to the hotels you book. Booking hotels, checking in online and not being physically present at a hotel is against the rules and can get your loyalty account shut down. So, proceed with caution and only book stays you can actually use.

Featured image by W BUSS/GETTY IMAGES
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.

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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more