Which Hyatt Milestone Reward should you choose?

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Earning elite status with your favorite hotel chain is rewarding enough in its own right. Your many nights spent on the road unlock bonus points, free food and drink, and maybe even an elusive suite upgrade. But it can be a long road to get there — especially if you’re starting from scratch.

Many brands have added “milestone bonuses” that reward you for qualifying activity before (and after) you reach a certain tier of elite status to incentivize loyalty further.

World of Hyatt is one of these programs. In addition to its three tiers of elite status, Hyatt offers a large number of activity and milestone bonuses starting as low as 20 nights a year. Further, you can choose between different perks when you earn some of the higher Milestone Rewards.

That said, it can be hard to pick between the Milestone Reward options at these levels since each has the potential to be lucrative. So here, I’ll give you a quick overview of Hyatt Milestone Rewards and discuss which you should pick at higher levels.

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A closer look at Hyatt milestone Rewards

One thing that makes Hyatt elite status so valuable is the Milestone Rewards you earn as you qualify for status. These are perks earned when you stay a set number of nights or earn a set number of base points in a single calendar year.

These bonuses start at 20 qualifying nights or 35,000 base points. This is Hyatt’s roster of Milestone Rewards:

Milestone or activityReward
Stay at five different Hyatt brands and pay an eligible rateFree night award in a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel, or M life Rewards destination.
Stay 20 qualifying nights or earn 35,000 base points in a calendar year2 club lounge access awards for use at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts at the time of reservation.
Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points in a calendar year

Free night award in a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel, or M life Rewards destination.

2 club lounge access awards for use at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts at the time of reservation.

Stay 40 qualifying nights or earn 65,000 base points in a calendar yearYour choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card or save 10,000 points on a FIND experience.
Stay 50 qualifying nights or earn 80,000 base points in a calendar year2 suite upgrade awards to use at the time of reservation at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts.
Stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base points in a calendar year

Free night award in a category 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort, Small Luxury Hotels of the World hotel, or M life Rewards destination.

2 suite upgrade awards to use at the time of reservation at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts.

Access to My Hyatt Concierge agent for reservations and personalized service.

Stay 70 qualifying nights in a calendar yearYour choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.
Stay 80 qualifying nights in a calendar yearYour choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.
Stay 90 qualifying nights in a calendar yearYour choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.
Stay 100 qualifying nights in a calendar yearYour choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award.

Note that while many rewards, such as free night certificates, are repeated at different tiers, the expiration dates vary slightly (from 180 days to one year), so be sure to double-check the terms and conditions at each milestone.

Related: Best ways to earn points with the World of Hyatt program

What Milestone Reward should I pick at 40 nights?

You can pick between the following three Milestone Rewards when you hit 40 qualifying nights in a single calendar year:

  • 5,000 bonus points
  • A $100 Hyatt gift card
  • Save 10,000 points on a FIND experience redemption

If you frequently shop through Hyatt’s FIND experience platform for tours, meals, events and other experiences, the 10,000-point discount could be convenient. Note that Hyatt values the redemption value to roughly 1.4 cents per point through FIND, so you’d be saving about $140 this way.

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UP NEXT

If you don’t use FIND, you’ll want to go with 5,000 points or the $100 gift card. In this case, based on TPG’s valuations, the 5,000 points ($85) fall short of the $100 gift card, though it’s easy to find Hyatt redemptions that net more than 2 cents per point, making the points the better option.

This is one reason I keep a spreadsheet tracking my own personal redemptions, so I can see if and where my travel diverges from TPG’s published valuations. So look through your future travel plans and see which reward yields the most value for your upcoming trips.

Related: Best Ways to Earn Points With the World of Hyatt Program

Should I pick points or a suite upgrade award at 70+ nights?

Hyatt members can choose between two awards at 70, 80, 90 and 100 qualifying nights in a calendar year:

  • 10,000 bonus points
  • A suite upgrade award

Per TPG’s valuations, 10,000 points are worth $170. That’s just shy of the 12,000 needed for a free night at a Category 3 hotel, and it’s easy to get $200+ per night in value at this level.

I’ve found Hyatt’s suite awards to be more generous than Marriott’s Suite Night Awards. However, Hyatt requires you to use one award per reservation (up to seven nights) instead of one award per night. This means that the value of the suite award varies massively depending on how you use it.

If you never stay in the same hotel for more than two nights, you might have trouble getting a good value out of that certificate. Still, if you’re planning a week-long vacation with your family, the extra space could be valuable.

The biggest drawback is that suite upgrade awards are valid only for standard suites, as defined by each property. This might mean that you’re upgrading into a junior or queen suite that isn’t much bigger than a standard room.

In addition, a 70-night Globalist member would already have four suite upgrades — two for reaching 50 nights/80,000 base points and another two for passing 60 nights/100,000 base points. It’s possible that a fifth certificate wouldn’t provide additional value.

Look at your travel patterns to try and figure out how much value you would get out of this certificate — or if you’d even be able to use another suite upgrade. Personally, I wouldn’t choose the suite upgrade unless a) I had a stay of four nights or more planned without an existing suite upgrade allocated to it, or b) I frequently stayed at aspirational Park Hyatt and Andaz properties where a suite upgrade would be more valuable.

Related: Your guide to maximizing redemptions with World of Hyatt

Bottom Line

While suite upgrades are one of the most enjoyable benefits of hotel elite status, they might not be the best choice for a milestone bonus. Hyatt limits these suite awards to standard suites, making this award hard to value and highly dependent on the length of your stay.

If you’re already Hyatt Globalist, odds are the benefits of your elite status — and the four already-earned suite upgrades — will make it easy for you to score a high-value redemption, which is why points are usually the way to go.

Additional reporting by Andrew Kunesh

Feature photo of the Hyatt Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi by Katie Genter/The Points Guy

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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