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Hyatt is one of the most rewarding hotel programs and offers a lot of value for those who choose to stay at their properties, especially when it comes to free nights. The World of Hyatt tiers each have their strengths and this article will walk you through the highlights of Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist status so that you’ll know what type of benefits to expect.
If you’re looking to search Hyatt hotels by their award tiers, you can do that here.
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What are the World of Hyatt tiers?
- Discoverist (10 qualifying nights, 25,000 Base Points, or holding 3 qualifying meetings/events per year.)
- Explorist (30 qualifying nights, 50,000 Base Points, or holding 10 qualifying meetings/events per year.)
- Globalist (60 qualifying nights, 100,000 Base Points, or holding 20 qualifying meetings/events per year.)
- Lifetime Globalist status (Earn 1,000,000 Base Points over the course of your program membership)
Note that Hyatt goes by nights and not stays for elite qualification.
Your status will be good through February of the second Calendar Year following qualification. So if you finish 10 stays in May of 2018 you will retain Discoverist status through February of 2020 (the second calendar year).
Free nights with elite status
As you make your way up the elite tiers of Hyatt by actually staying in hotels, you’ll be able to earn different types of free nights. This is a unique benefit offered by Hyatt that really helps to add value to those who earn status the old fashioned way — by actually staying at properties.
|Stay at 5 different Hyatt brands and pay an eligible rate starting March 1, 2017||Free night award in a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort (valid for one year from issuance)|
|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|
|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 Maintain Globalist status after 55 qualifying nights each subsequent year|
|Stay 70, 80, 90 and 100 qualifying nights in a calendar year||Choose to receive 10,000 Bonus Points or a suite upgrade award|
With these free nights, you’ll typically want to maximize your value and stay a property that is the best you can book. For most free nights this means staying in a Category 4 hotel. For a breakdown on the different Hyatt category 4 hotels, you can click here.
The World of Hyatt Card
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The World of Hyatt Card is one of my favorite hotel credit cards and it comes with the following perks:
- Bonus earning:
- 4X spent with your card at Hyatt hotels, including participating restaurants and spas
- 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
- 2X at restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
- 2X on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
- 2X spent on fitness club and gym memberships
- Free nights:
- Receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Elite status:
- Receive 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
- Earn 2 additional qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- $95 Annual Fee ($20 higher now)
The World of Hyatt card allows you to receive 5 qualifying night credits towards elite status and allows you to earn 2 qualifying night credits every time you spend $5,000. The ability to climb the elite tiers by putting spend on your Hyatt card is a great perk and starting off with five free qualifying nights and is a good way to jump start your progress toward obtaining elite status.
If you’re a high spender and a Hyatt loyalist then this card is pretty much made just for you.
- 10 qualifying nights
- 25,000 Base Points
- 3 qualifying meetings/events per year
- As shown above, you can achieve Discoverist status with the World of Hyatt credit card.
Hyatt Discoverist is the lowest elite level for World of Hyatt and so as you would expect it doesn’t offer the richest line-up of benefits. But it’s not worthless either.
As a Discoverist, you’ll receive a ten percent (10%) point bonus on the Base Points earned on the Eligible Rate and Eligible Incidental Charges incurred during such stay.
Note that point bonuses are Bonus Points, not Base Points, and do not count towards the Member’s elite status qualification.
A 10% bonus rate for bottom tier status is not the best as Marriott and Hilton both offer higher bonus rates. However, Hyatt allows you to earn 5 base points per dollar spent and their points are worth more than other programs. If you value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents per point (which is on the low side) that’s a return of 8.25% back, which is actually a very competitive earning rate for bottom tier status compared to Hilton, SPG, IHG, etc.
So for a bottom tier status, Discoverist gives you a very decent return on spending when compared to other major hotel programs.
Upgrades to preferred rooms
The official World of Hyatt Terms And Conditions state:
Subject to availability, Discoverists will be offered a preferred room at time of check-in at Hyatt hotels and resorts. Preferred rooms are determined by each hotel or resort (in its sole discretion) and include rooms on higher floors, corner rooms, or rooms with more appealing views.
So with Discoverist you can hope for an upgrade to a better room but you’re most likely not going to get an upgrade to a suite.
Premium internet access
At Hyatt hotels and resorts offering premium in-room internet access, Discoverists will be offered complimentary access during all stays.
Dedicated Check-In Area
At participating Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Zilara, and Hyatt Ziva hotels and resorts, Discoverists will have access to a dedicated check-in area for elite Members
2:00 PM Late Checkout
Upon request, Discoverists will receive a 2:00 PM late checkout (local hotel time) on day of their departure at Hyatt hotels, provided that (a) late checkout is subject to availability at hotels with a casino and Hyatt resorts; and (b) late checkout is not offered at Hyatt Residence Club resorts or M life Resorts.
- 30 qualifying nights
- 50,000 Base Points
- 10 qualifying meetings/events per year
When choosing points for a stay, Explorists will receive a 20% point bonus on the Base Points.
An additional 20% bonus means that you’ll be earning 6 points per dollar spent. At a valuation of 1.5 cents per point, this amounts to a 9% return on Hyatt purchases. 9% back is a pretty solid return rate for a mid-tier status.
Upgrades to best room available
Explorists will be offered the “best room available” at the time of check-in at Hyatt hotels and resorts, excluding suites and Club lounge-access rooms. The best room available will be determined by the applicable hotel or resort in its sole discretion and may vary from stay-to-stay. The “best room” may, but will not necessarily be, of a room type/category higher than that booked by the Member.
Hyatt explicitly excludes suites and club lounge-access rooms but it’s not unheard of to be bumped to one of those rooms. One important thing to know is that upgrades for Explorists are not limited to rooms within the same type of category. So don’t be afraid to request for upgrades that above the category of room that you initially booked.
Explorist Club Lounge Access Awards
The defining perk of Explorist status is that if offers you four complimentary awards redeemable for Club lounge access. This is a nice perk but its subpar when compared to Hilton Gold which offers free breakfast. However, if you only travel a few times a year then this benefit might be all you need to get a free breakfast for your travels.
Here are a few basic things to know about these awards.
Explorist Club Lounge Access Awards are valid for one (1) year from the date of issuance and must be redeemed in connection with reservations with a checkout date before the expiration of the Explorist Club Lounge Access Award.
It’s really important to remember that this perk is limited to nights booked with points, cash, or cash + points. Free night certificates awarded via the sign-up bonus of the Hyatt Visa Card or its anniversary night are not eligible nor are other free nights described below.
There are a few things you should be aware of when it comes to using these club lounge passes and you can read more in detail about some of the different quirks of this benefit here.
72-Hour Room Availability
Hyatt Explorist offers a guaranteed 72-hour room availability (subject to many restrictions).
Earn a Free Night Award: Category 1-4 Hotel
If you earn your free night by completing 30 Tier-Qualifying Nights or earning 50,000 Base Points in a Calendar Year, you will receive one standard-room Free Night Award redeemable at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.
- 60 qualifying nights
- 100,000 Base Points
- 10 qualifying meetings/events per year
Hyatt has offered status challenges/fast track in the past which have allowed you to earn Globalist status with only 20 nights stayed so be on the lookout for those offers. Some of these tend to go out to Hyatt credit card holders, so you might want to think about getting the card for that reason.
If you’re a Globalist member, you’ll receive a 30% bonus on your base points, which amounts to 6.5 points per dollar spent.
If you value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents per point, that’s 9.75% back. Compared to other programs, which is one of the worst returning rates for a top-tier status. However, if you value Hyatt points closer to 2 cents per point, it’s actually a decent return on your hotel spending.
Suite upgrade awards
You’ll receive 4 suite upgrade awards after 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 Base Points each calendar year. Being able to guarantee a suite upgrade is one of my favorite Hyatt Globalist benefits since you don’t have to deal with the anticipation and potential letdown that comes with relying on status for upgrades sometimes.
Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards are valid on nights for which the Member has paid an Eligible Rate or has redeemed points for a standard-room Free Night Award, a Club Free Night Award, or a Points + Cash Award, up to a maximum of seven consecutive nights.
Note: complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards are to be used for standard suites — they cannot be redeemed for premium suites.
With Globalist you’ll be able to check out as late as 4pm.
Globalists may be upgraded to the best room, up to standard suites. In many cases, you’ll have to proactively seek out your upgrade by asking the front desk about upgrades. Make sure that you’re specific about upgrades for Globalists, too.
Club Lounge Access
Globalists will be given Club Lounge access.
Globalists will be given complimentary parking on free night awards at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts with parking that can be charged to a guest’s room.
Globalists can get a room at participating Hyatt hotels 48 hours in advance of arrival (blackout dates apply.)
Gold status with M-life Rewards
Globalists get Gold status with M-Life, which can get you the following benefits:
- Extended Expiration For Points and Express Comps
- Invitations to Members-Only Events, Tournaments or Promotions
- 20% Bonus on Points Earned Playing Slots at M life Rewards Destinations Nationwide
- 20% Bonus on Express Comps Earned at M life Rewards Destinations Nationwide
- Read more about M-Life Gold status here.
Guest of Honor
You can share in-hotel benefits with friends or family when you gift an eligible award. (Note: this is not available on paid stays and these need to be booked over the phone.)
Lifetime Globalist status
- 1,000,000 Base Points over the course of your program membership
Hyatt has a solid loyalty program. The features that I like most about the program are the following:
- Ability to use the World of Hyatt credit card to climb the elite tiers
- Lounge passes for Explorist members
- Suite upgrades for Globalist members
- Guest of honor benefits
- Free nights when obtaining elite tiers
The biggest knock I have against the program is that it takes earning the top-tier status, Globalist, just to have a guaranteed breakfast. Meanwhile, Hilton Honors Gold, an easily obtainable mid-tier status offered by Hilton offers breakfast as a perk. Also, the bonus earning rates are a little on the low side compared to other programs at similar tiers. And finally, forcing people to qualify by nights with no option for stays, really makes it difficult for those who do longer stays (though they can still qualify with points earned).
But other than that, I think that the World of Hyatt tiers have a lot to offer in terms of their value proposition.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.