The most award-friendly hotel program: Everything you need to know about World of Hyatt

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The World of Hyatt program is a favorite around the TPG office, even though it has a smaller — albeit growing — footprint than Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors. With reasonable rates and how easy it is to get even base elite status, many stay at Hyatt properties whenever they have the option.

We value World of Hyatt points at a whopping 1.7 cents per point, one of the highest among hotel programs. Hyatt has some amazing properties at reasonable redemption rates and valuable partnerships with companies like Small Luxury Hotels of the World, American Airlines and MGM Resorts International.

From earning and redeeming points, to the different levels of elite status and more, here’s everything you need to know about the program. 

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In This Post

Overview

Hyatt has over a dozen brands and more than 950 properties in over 65 countries. They range from the ultra-luxurious Park Hyatt, boutique Destination Hotels, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara and family-friendly Hyatt House and Hyatt Place properties:

  • Hyatt
  • Park Hyatt
  • Andaz
  • Alila
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara
  • Miraval
  • The Unbound Collection by Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Hyatt Centric
  • Hyatt House
  • Hyatt Place
  • Thompson Hotels
  • Destination Hotels
  • Joie de Vivre
  • Hyatt Residence Club
  • Urcove by Hyatt
  • Exhale Spa & Fitness

Program partners

The World of Hyatt loyalty program has multiple partners, including American Airlines AAdvantage, MGM Resorts International and Lindblad Expeditions

All World of Hyatt elite members can earn one World of Hyatt bonus point per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines fares. American AAdvantage members with Platinum status or higher can earn one AAdvantage bonus mile per dollar spent on qualifying Hyatt stays and experiences after linking their accounts.

Through World of Hyatt’s partnership with MGM’s M life Rewards, World of Hyatt members can earn 5x base points at participating M life Rewards destinations, receive a status match and more.

World of Hyatt members can get the following benefits on Lindblad Expeditions overseas itineraries when booked through Lindblad Expeditions’ cobranded Hyatt site, a Hyatt Global Contact Center or Lindblad Expeditions’ contact center:

  • $250 onboard credit
  • Elite tier qualifying night credits for eligible nights on a Lindblad expedition
  • Members can purchase specially curated Lindblad Expedition experiences through FIND

Elite status 

There are three status tiers in the World of Hyatt loyalty program, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist, each offering different perks. If you don’t have Hyatt status, it isn’t hard to earn. Like many other hotel and airline loyalty programs, Hyatt announced it would reduce elite status requirements by 50% for the 2021 qualification year. And remember, any status earned in 2021 will be valid all the way through Feb. 28, 2023.

Here’s a look at how the 2021 tier requirements break down:

  • Discoverist: Stay five tier-qualifying nights or earn 12,500 base points ($2,500 in spending)
  • Explorist: Stay 15 tier-qualifying nights or earn 25,000 base points ($5,000 in spending)
  • Globalist: Stay 30 tier-qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points ($10,000 in spending)

These requirements may be even lower if you have a cobranded Hyatt card. Those with the World of Hyatt Credit Card automatically get five qualifying nights each year just for having the card. Additionally, cardholders earn two elite-qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card.

Here’s an overview of how to earn Hyatt elite status and the perks you can enjoy. 

Discoverist

The lowest tier in the World of Hyatt program is Discoverist status, which you can typically earn after ten nights, 25,000 base points or three meetings/events. It’s also included as an automatic benefit on the World of Hyatt Credit Card. Here’s what you’ll get as a Discoverist:

  • A 10% point bonus when staying at Hyatt properties
  • Space-available upgrades to preferred rooms within the same category, including ones with a preferred view or location
  • Late checkout 
  • Earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on qualifying American Airlines flights when you link your two loyalty accounts
  • 2 p.m. late checkout
  • Status match to M life Pearl
  • Benefits at Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties
  • Premium internet access
  • Bottled water at check-in

All Hyatt members also get waived resort fees on award nights, which can really add up.

Related: Getting elite-like perks at Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Explorist

The next tier in the World of Hyatt program is Explorist status, which you earn after 30 nights, 50,000 base points or ten meetings/events. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Earn 20% bonus points
  • Upgraded room, excluding suites and club rooms
  • Guaranteed room availability when booked at least 72 hours in advance
  • Status match to M life Gold 

Globalist

Finally, the most elite tier in the World of Hyatt program is Globalist status, which requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points or 20 events/meetings. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • 30% bonus on eligible purchases
  • Space-available room upgrade, including standard suites
  • 4 p.m. checkout 
  • Access to Club lounges where available and complimentary full breakfast at hotels without lounges.
  • Guaranteed room availability when booked at least 48 hours in advance
  • Waived resort fees on eligible paid rates
  • Priority room access when checking in early
  • Ability to share elite status benefits on award stays through Guest of Honor
  • Status match to M life Gold 

Related: What is World of Hyatt elite status worth?

How to earn 

There are several ways to earn Hyatt points, from credit cards to staying at Hyatt’s many hotels.

Hotel stays

You can earn points on all Hyatt hotel stays booked directly through Hyatt. This includes Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties and the Thompson and Joie de Vivre brands added as part of the Two Roads Hospitality integration. The exact number of points you’ll earn depends on how much you paid for your stay, your elite status tier and whether you registered for promotions.

Hyatt awards 5 points per dollar spent on Hyatt hotel stays and other qualifying room charges. This number is consistent across the board, so you’ll earn the same number of points at a Hyatt Regency as you would earn on a Hyatt Centric for the same price. Hyatt also partners with select Mlife hotels — these hotels also earn 5 points per $1 spent.

Here’s how many extra points each tier earns:

  • Discoverist: 10% bonus (0.5 extra points per dollar spent)
  • Explorist: 20% bonus (1 extra point per dollar spent)
  • Globalist: 30% bonus (1.5 extra points per dollar spent)

If you’re a World of Hyatt Globalist member staying at a Grand Hyatt hotel for three nights at $150 per night, you will earn the following:

  • $150 x 5 points per dollar x 3 nights = 2,250 points
  • 2,250 points x 30% bonus = 675 points
  • TOTAL = 2,925 points

You’d earn nearly 3,000 points on your hotel stay, a haul of almost $50 based on TPG’s valuations. While this may seem like a small amount compared to Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club, Hyatt has lower redemption rates than many other chains, with awards starting at just 5,000 points per night for Hyatt Category 1 hotels.

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Related: The best ways to earn Hyatt points

World of Hyatt Promotions

World of Hyatt frequently runs promotions for its members to earn bonus points. The Bonus Journeys promo appears to be the best of Hyatt’s current promotions, especially if you have elite status.

Members who register by May 15, 2021, for stays through June 15, 2021, will earn 2,000 bonus World of Hyatt points for every two qualifying nights. Those with a World of Hyatt Credit Card earn an extra 500 points per two nights. Plus, all members can earn a Free Night Award valid at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel after ten qualifying nights during the promo period.

Related: Promotions that will make your next hotel stay more rewarding

Credit cards

I’ve redeemed more than 50,000 World of Hyatt points in the past year, earned through various travel rewards credit card sign-up bonuses. Here are a few credit cards that can get you to your next redemption.

World of Hyatt Credit Card  

The World of Hyatt card ($95 annual fee) offers up to 60,000 bonus points. You’ll earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total per $1 spend on purchases that normally earn 1 point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening. Here’s what you’ll get with the card:

  • One free night every year after your cardmember anniversary, valid at any Category 1 to 4 property
  • You can earn a second free night by spending $15,000 on the card in your card membership year
  • Automatic Discoverist status for as long as your account is open

Other cards

You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards to World of Hyatt. Points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card transfer to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. TPG values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents per point and World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents per point. 

Related: The best sweet spots with Chase Ultimate Rewards

How to redeem 

Award chart info

Hyatt prices its award nights by hotel category, similar to other major hotel chains. The higher the hotel category, the more points you’ll need for a free night redemption. 

Generally speaking, the more upscale brands like Park Hyatt and Andaz, along with hotels in more desirable cities, are in higher categories. You’ll find lower redemptions at chains like Hyatt House and Hyatt Place.

Although initially postponed due to the pandemic, World of Hyatt is planning to launch peak and off-peak pricing later in 2021. Luckily the prices will still be pretty reasonable all things considered. Category 1 properties could drop to as low as 3,500 points per night, while Category 8 properties could go as high as 45,000 points per night. Here’s what the new pricing will look like:

Off-peak (% change)StandardPeak (% change)
Category 13,500 (-30%)5,0006,500 (+30%)
Category 26,500 (-18.75%)8,0009,500 (+18.75%)
Category 39,000 (-25%)12,00015,000 (+25%)
Category 412,000 (-20%)15,00018,000 (+20%)
Category 517,000 (-15%)20,00023,000 (+15%)
Category 621,000 (-16%)25,00029,000 (+16%)
Category 725,000 (-16.67%)30,00035,000 (+16.67%)
Category 835,000 (-12.5%)40,00045,000 (+12.5%)

You can find which hotels are in a category by looking at Hyatt’s “Search Hotel by Category” page. Just enter a location and category and you’ll be presented with all hotels in your selected region.

World of Hyatt’s portfolio includes some unique brands, such as Miraval, a trio of wellness resorts and spas. When you stay on points at these properties, you not only benefit from Miraval’s all-inclusive rate (which includes meals and many activities), but you’ll also get a $175 credit per person, per night to put toward spa treatments, alcoholic beverages and additional activities that come with a fee.

Related: Reader success story: A $14k stay at the Miraval Arizona for 195k Hyatt points

If you don’t have enough points for a redemption, you can book a Points + Cash award instead, which allows you to combine points and cash for a discounted stay. When available, these awards should appear during an award search. To book this rate, you’ll need to pay half of the standard rate plus half of the standard points rate. Alternatively, you can pay using a combination of cash and points via the new Pay My Way option.

Redeeming points for upgrades

Another great use of World of Hyatt points is for upgrades on paid stays. The rates are very reasonable, ranging from 3,000 points per night for upgrades to club-level rooms to 9,000 points per night for premium suites. Upgrades to the club level can be especially valuable when traveling with a companion and the property offers a generous club breakfast.

Note that you will have to call to begin the upgrade process and that some properties are excluded.

Related: How to redeem Hyatt Points for upgraded rooms

Other redemption options

You also can redeem points for dining, spa or meeting credits at Hyatt properties, but it’s not the best bang for your buck. Meeting credits start at 15,000 World of Hyatt points for a $200 credit, or about 1.3 cents-per-point value. It’s still far less than TPG’s valuation, however.

Related: How to redeem points with the World of Hyatt program

Sweet spots 

Category 1 Hyatt hotels

One of my favorite aspects of the World of Hyatt program is that you can take advantage of Category 1 hotels worldwide, especially in the Middle East and Asia. You can get steals on hotels such as the Hyatt Regency Kuantan Resort for just 5,000 points a night. When do you ever see redemptions this low?

Related: The best international Category 1 Hyatt properties

Hyatt reward night certificates

You can earn World of Hyatt Category 1 to 4 free night certificates three ways on an annual basis:

  • On your cardmember anniversary for the World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • When you spend $15,000 on your World of Hyatt card during a cardmember anniversary
  • By staying 30 nights or earning 50,000 base points at Hyatt properties

These free night certificates are a great way to enjoy some mid-tier hotels nationwide, including at some of my favorite Hyatt hotels in Washington, D.C., Hyatt Place Washington DC/White House and Grand Hyatt Washington.

You can use your certificate at any Category 1 to 4 hotel worldwide. A hotel I’ve wanted to visit is the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, a Category 4 resort in Tanzania.

Related: Hotel credit cards that come with an annual free night

Top-tier World of Hyatt hotels

Hyatt’s relatively reasonable redemption rates mean that you can stay at its Category 7 and 8 hotels, some of its best properties, for only 30,000 to 40,000 points a night.

You’ll find some of Hyatt’s best in these categories, like the Park Hyatt Sydney (Category 7) and Calala Island (Category 8). These are great deals for hotels that routinely sell for close to $1,000 but can climb even higher during peak season. Calala Island, for instance, is a real steal. Rooms at the all-inclusive resort in Nicaragua regularly go for over $2,000 per night.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with World of Hyatt

Bottom line

The World of Hyatt program doesn’t get enough props compared to larger chains like Marriott and Hilton. Even though it’s not that easy to earn Hyatt points, when you do have them, it opens up to insane redemptions like a private island in the middle of the Caribbean.

Coupled with some sweet perks like bonuses for elites on American Airlines flights and incredible top-tier Globalist elite status perks, World of Hyatt remains the go-to chain for many savvy travelers.

Additional reporting by Benji Stawski.

Featured photo of the Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Hyatt

SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.

And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free. 

These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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