World of Hyatt is a loyalty program that we in Canada largely haven’t dabbled with too much, although many of us are about to get a whole lot more familiar with it.
The Hyatt program has been widely touted as one of the best hotel loyalty programs out of all the major chains. Hyatt doesn’t have a very strong global footprint compared to Marriott, Hilton, and IHG, and so it tends to make up for that with a loyalty program that consistently delivers strong elite treatment to its most loyal guests.
In that spirit, World of Hyatt has now announced that it will be reducing elite qualification requirements for 2021 by half.
Combined with an ongoing promotion that rewards members with double elite nights until February 2021, that introduces a very tempting opportunity to earn top-tier Hyatt Globalist status until early 2023, and I have a feeling many of us will be taking Hyatt up on their offer and finding out what World of Hyatt is all about over the next few years.
World of Hyatt: The Basics
While we’ll definitely be delving into more details on the Hyatt program over the coming weeks and months for all of the freshly-minted Globalists out there, I wanted to go over a few key highlights of the program that you need to know as you think about whether or not to pursue Globalist status in late 2020 and early 2021:
- Hyatt’s global footprint is the most limited out of the four major hotel chains, with about 1,000 properties worldwide and about a dozen in Canada, with several more about to open in the next few years.
- Hyatt has recently been expanding their luxury hotel portfolio by forging partnerships with independent brands like Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
- Hyatt has three elite tiers: Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist, which normally require 10, 30, or 60 elite qualifying nights per calendar year (there’s also an alternative to qualify for status through spending, known as Base Points, although elite nights is the more straightforward qualification method).
- The most meaningful elite status is top-tier Globalist status, which gives you free breakfast, lounge access, guaranteed 4pm late checkout, waived resort fees, and upgrades to Standard Suites.
- Hyatt members can also earn Milestone Rewards for every 10 elite qualifying nights they earn, which is a way to essentially fast-track some of the benefits of reaching elite status tiers as you progress towards the next tier.
- Hyatt points can be earned by staying at Hyatt hotels, as well as by opening the US-issued Chase Hyatt Visa (which gives 50,000 Hyatt points as a standard signup bonus) and spending on it, or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. There are no Hyatt co-branded credit cards in Canada.
- Whenever you’re booking at a Hyatt property, make sure to check the Hyatt Privé rate via a preferred travel agency partner, which can give you additional benefits like free breakfast, room upgrades, and late checkout even if you aren’t an elite member.
World of Hyatt’s 2021 Elite Qualification Requirements
With the basics out of the way, let’s talk about World of Hyatt’s lowered elite qualification requirements for 2021. These requirements apply to the 2021 qualification year, meaning that the status you earn will be valid through the rest of 2021, through 2022, and until February 2023.
Essentially, the qualification thresholds for all three elite tiers have been halved:
- Hyatt Discoverist will now require five elite qualifying nights, instead of 10
- Hyatt Explorist will now require 15 elite qualifying nights, instead of 30
- Hyatt Globalist will now require 30 elite qualifying nights, instead of 60
Personally, the reason that I had previously been somewhat uninterested in the World of Hyatt program is that their elite requirements had always seemed a little out of reach, given Hyatt’s limited global footprint.
I simply couldn’t see myself staying with Hyatt 60 nights a year to earn Globalist status, especially when I’m a Titanium member with Marriott Bonvoy and can already enjoy excellent treatment when staying with Marriott instead.
Having said that, I’ve always been somewhat intrigued by Hyatt, and after trying the Park Hyatt Siem Reap and the Grand Hyatt Melbourne on Amex FHR rates, I’ve been keen to continue giving the Hyatt brand a try.
Now that the elite requirements have been halved for 2021, participating in World of Hyatt membership seems a lot more tempting… but wait, it gets even better!
From now until February 28, 2021, World of Hyatt is also running a Bonus Journeys promotion that rewards members with double elite qualifying nights towards 2021 elite status. As long as your checkout date is between January 1 and February 28, 2021, then every night you stay will earn two elite qualifying nights towards your 2021 Hyatt status.
You know what that means: 15 nights at a Hyatt hotel is all that’s required to earn Globalist status through February 2023 and enjoy top-tier elite treatment at every Hyatt property through that period!
What’s the Cheapest Way to Earn Hyatt Globalist Status?
First of all, before you do anything, you’ll want to create a World of Hyatt account if you don’t have one already, and then register for the Bonus Journeys promotion on this page.
Once you’ve registered, your Hyatt hotel stays with a checkout date in 2021 will count double towards your 2021 elite qualifying nights total. Therefore, the name of the game is to find the cheapest possible way to rack up 15 nights at a Hyatt hotel; those 15 nights would count as 30 elite qualifying nights, which would earn you Globalist status that’s valid for the next two years.
Since we need to actually check-in to a hotel stay in order for the stay to be valid, and most of us are probably house-bound here in Canada for the next little while, the objective is to find the cheapest Hyatt property in Canada and book 15 nights there.
The Hyatt Place Toronto/Mississauga has a decently low rate of $70.20/night over the next little while, and in total it comes to $1,237.49 for a 15-night stay:
The Hyatt Place Calgary Airport isn’t bad either, at $77.22/night over the next little while, for a total of $1,300.42 for a 15-night stay:
Either way, if you paid these amounts for the stay and checked-in on the first night, then you’d emerge upon checkout on the 15th night (as long as it lands in the new year) as a newly-minted Hyatt Globalist member.
You’d then be able to leverage that Globalist status at all sorts of aspirational properties around the world over the next two years, such as the Park Hyatts in the Maldives, New York, Tokyo, or Sydney.
Would you pay $1,237.49 for two years of Hyatt Globalist status? The answer will vary from person to person, but it’s not hard to see how the Globalist benefit package at some of Hyatt’s best luxury hotels wouldn’t essentially pay for itself multiple times over.
For example, if I visited a Park Hyatt resort property at some point, I’d be pretty keen on getting a suite upgrade, and so the Globalist upgrade benefit might already save me a good chunk of the $1,237.49 upfront outlay compared to having to pay for an upgrade instead.
If you don’t tend to focus on the luxury travel stuff, then paying $1,237.49 for top-tier status might be a tough sell. But if you are interested in expanding your horizons into Hyatt while enjoying top-tier elite treatment for your troubles, then the $1,237.49 is starting to look like a pretty reasonable upfront investment.
Don’t Forget About Hyatt Milestone Rewards
While I plan to explore Hyatt Milestone Rewards in more detail in future posts, I wanted to also highlight the fact that earning 30 elite qualifying methods as described above will also unlock a few Milestone Rewards to sweeten the deal even further.
Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards are broken down as follows:
- 20 elite qualifying nights: Two Club Lounge Access awards, which can be used to upgrade to club access on a single stay of up to seven nights
- 30 elite qualifying nights: Two Club Lounge Access awards, plus a Category 1–4 free night certificate
- 40 elite qualifying nights: A choice between 5,000 Hyatt points, a $100 Hyatt gift card, or 10,000 Hyatt points off a Hyatt FIND experience
- 50 elite qualifying nights: Two Suite Night Upgrade awards, which can be used to upgrade to a standard suite on a single stay of up to seven nights
- 60 elite qualifying nights: Two Suite Night Upgrade awards, plus a Category 1–7 free night certificate
- 70, 80, 90, and 100 elite qualifying nights: A choice between 10,000 Hyatt points or one Suite Night Upgrade award
You’ll note that Hyatt’s Suite Night Upgrade awards are a lot more generous than, say, Marriott Bonvoy’s Suite Night Awards.
Hyatt’s awards can be used on a single stay of up to seven nights, rather than Marriott’s which can only be used for one night; moreover, Hyatt’s upgrade instruments can be used to confirm an upgrade at the time of booking, rather than playing a waiting game starting five days before the stay. Indeed, Hyatt’s Suite Night Upgrades are some of the most powerful suite upgrade instruments in the entire hotel loyalty space.
If you paid $1,237.49 to earn Hyatt Globalist status, you’d also earn a total of four Club Lounge Access awards as well as a Category 1–4 free night certificate simply through Milestone Rewards.
(The newly-refurbished Park Hyatt Toronto will likely remain a Category 4 property when it reopens in early 2021, so that’d be my first choice for redeeming my certificate on a nice staycation at an interesting hotel close to home.)
The Milestone Rewards at the higher threshold look very compelling too, and so I have half a mind to book a 30-night stay at the Hyatt Place starting in early December, where I’ll complete my 14-day quarantine upon returning to Canada before checking out in early January.
That’d cost me about $2,450 in total, but in exchange, I’d get Hyatt Globalist status for two years, about 30,000 Hyatt points, four Club Lounge Access awards, four Suite Night Upgrade awards, a $100 Hyatt gift card, a Category 1–4 free night certificate, and a Category 1–7 free night certificate.
That’s a ton of value on the table, and I gotta say, it just might be tempting enough for me to finally diversify my loyalty away from Marriott and Hilton and try something new!
Hyatt’s reduction of its elite qualification criteria for 2021, coupled with the Bonus Journeys promotion that gives us double elite nights through February 2021, might just be the impetus for many Canadians to finally get involved with the World of Hyatt program.
For those of you who are keen to expand your horizons and try out a new hotel brand while being showered with benefits from what’s by all accounts a highly rewarding hotel loyalty program, then Hyatt Globalist for about $1,200 might be the perfect opportunity for you.
I look forward to delving into some of the opportunities with the World of Hyatt program and the Chase Hyatt Visa credit card in future articles, and I’ll see many of you at the Hyatt Place Toronto/Mississauga in late December! 😉