World of Hyatt is trying to revolutionize the way loyalty programs work. They want to make the journey to top tier more palatable. In most loyalty programs, you receive benefits once you achieve the higher tier level.

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Example – In Marriott, you get benefits after you finished 50 nights. You become a Platinum member and then said benefits as Platinum members are enabled on your account.

Starting in 2020, Hyatt will require 60 nights to requalify for Globalist status. In other words, there will no longer be a reduced threshold if you’re requalifying rather than qualifying to begin with.

  • Award nights qualify towards status, which makes a big difference for many of us

World of Hyatt is introducing Milestone Rewards

World of Hyatt says that members have been telling them that they want to be “rewarded sooner and more frequently as they travel,” which is why they’re introducing the new Milestone Rewards program as of March 1, 2019.

Hyatt describes this as “an evolution of member benefits that rewards members for benchmarks achieved as they travel.”

Very big picture this means that you’ll simply be earning rewards at different thresholds than before. You’ll earn rewards in increments of 10 elite qualifying nights, all the way from 10 to 100 nights. As far as what this means for status:

  • Nothing is being taken away from Globalist status, and quite to the contrary you’ll be earning an additional reward — the choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card, or the ability to save 10,000 points on a FIND experience
  • Nothing is being taken away from Discoverist or Explorist status, and you’ll actually be able to earn club lounge awards without being an Explorist member, and you’ll be able to earn suite night awards without being a Globalist member

Hyatt Milestone Rewards details

The above is a big picture summary of what’s changing, though now let’s look at the rewards at each threshold:

World of Hyatt’s current elite tiers

Before I get into what these changes mean for those at every World of Hyatt elite tier, here’s a reminder of Hyatt’s current elite tier requirements:

  • Discoverist status: 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points (equivalent to $5,000 of spend)
  • Explorist status: 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points (equivalent to $10,000 of spend)
  • Globalist status: 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points (equivalent to $20,000 of spend)

What Milestone Rewards mean for Discoverist members

Overqualifying Discoverist members have the opportunity to earn more rewards.

At 20 qualifying nights, Discoverist members receive two club lounge access awards, each of which can be used to confirm a club upgrade. These were previously reserved for Explorist members.


What Milestone Rewards mean for Explorist members

One of the primary benefits of Explorist status is the four club lounge access awards, and that’s not changing. What changes is that you’ll earn two of these earlier, as you’ll earn two at 20 qualifying nights, and the remaining two at 30 qualifying nights.

Furthermore, there are some additional perks you can earn:

  • At 40 qualifying nights you receive the choice of 5,000 bonus points, a Hyatt gift card, or the ability to save 10,000 points on a FIND experience
  • At 50 qualifying nights you receive two suite upgrade awards, which were previously reserved for Globalist members

Explorist members will be able to earn suite upgrade awards

What Milestone Rewards mean for Globalist members

One of the primary benefits of Globalist status is the four suite upgrade awards, and that’s not changing. What changes is that you’ll earn two of these earlier, as you’ll earn two at 50 qualifying nights, and the remaining two at 60 qualifying nights. Note that in 2019 you’ll still receive the last two at 55 nights if you’re requalifying, based on the current criteria.

Furthermore, there are some additional perks you can earn:

  • At 40 qualifying nights you receive the choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card, or the ability to save 10,000 points on a FIND experience
  • As before, at 70, 80, 90, and 100 qualifying nights, you have the choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award

The timing of all these rewards

The timing of all of these rewards can be a bit confusing:

  • Even though the Milestone Rewards program starts on March 1, 2019, activity starting January 1, 2019, will count towards earning Milestone Rewards
  • You can’t “double dip” in the event that you pass any milestones before March; in other words, if you requalified for Globalist status by the end of February 2018 (by staying almost every night at a Hyatt) you’d earn your four suite upgrade awards, but it’s not like you’d earn an extra four in March
  • The increased Globalist qualification criteria kick in starting in 2020, though in 2019 you’ll still be able to requalify with 55 elite nights
  • As before, all club lounge access awards and suite upgrade awards will be valid for the entire remainder of the member year in which they’re earned, for the entire following year, and through February of the year after that (so if you earn two club lounge access awards in March 2019, they’d be valid through February 2021, for example)

My take on these changes

Obviously the increased requirement to requalify for Globalist status is disappointing, but hardly surprising. I really think Hyatt’s loyalty program is quite compelling at this point, and I’m a happy Globalist member. On the plus side, for earning Globalist status you’re looking at an extra 5,000 points or a $100 Hyatt gift card every year.

Beyond that, I really think what Hyatt did here is smart. One of the issues has long been that while Globalist is a valuable status, Hyatt struggled with offering compelling mid-tier status benefits. The program was almost only worth it if you went for Globalist. Given how limited and expensive it can be to attain that status made it absolute no go for me. I haven’t stayed at Hyatt more than 4 nights since 2017 because it just doesn’t make sense for me to work my way up for the chain whose properties are usually on higher side and not so much return until I reach Globalist status. Even further, they don’t even offer a breakfast until you reach the Globalist tier making it just not worth it for me.

I think it’s smart of Hyatt to add more rewards along the way, like being able to earn club access awards without being Explorist, being able to earn suite upgrade awards without being Globalist, etc.

I wish they add more features at Explorist level for me to recommend World of Hyatt to anyone. Also, fortunately they have tie up with Small Luxury Hotels (set of independent hotels which allow you to earn and qualify with Hyatt easily. I am yet to see them doing any status match or anything else with the program. But I will definitely check that out.

What do you make of these World of Hyatt changes?

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Cody is a travel consultant and full-time traveler from India. He holds a deep background in Network and Network Security. Something that enabled him to develop the hacker mindset. He uses his hacker mindset to travel Luxuriously and to stay in suites in 5-star hotels and resorts and fly business or first class at very economical prices by applying various travel hacks to enrich his and his client's life. He helps people maximizing their travel portfolio. He believes that your current travel should reward your future travels. Cody initially traveled as a backpacker and stayed in modest locations and over the period has improved his life by using all his travel hacks to stay in top-end luxury locations across the world. Cody has traveled over 60 countries in last 5 years. Cody is a blogger, motivator, storyteller, travel consultant and a life coach. He has been featured in multiple publications such as Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar, magazines such as Men’s Health. He was invited to inspire people on a platform such as TEDx. He has trained over 100s of people achieve their lifestyle goals.


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