What Is Hyatt Elite Status Worth in 2020?

What Is Hyatt Elite Status Worth in 2020?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The World of Hyatt program is a hotel loyalty program known for offering impressive perks at all three tiers of elite status. As a member, you get the opportunity to earn benefits like lounge access and suite upgrades that can make you feel pampered — and valued — during your next stay.

Even travelers who stay at Hyatt properties only a few times a year may find it worthwhile getting Hyatt status through the co-branded Hyatt credit card, which adds even more value to that status level.

But is Hyatt elite status worth it for you? And if it is, which tier should you try to attain? Read on for an overview of the World of Hyatt loyalty program, the benefits offered at each of the three elite tiers and the average dollar value of those perks and savings.

World of Hyatt benefits

The World of Hyatt program has three tiers: Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. Each elite status tier comes with an array of benefits, ranging from additional bonus points for every dollar you spend to free nights and discounts on amenities. In addition to earning a long list of benefits at each status tier, the Hyatt elite status program offers unique “milestone benefits,” as detailed below.

Hyatt elite status levels

BenefitDiscoveristExploristGlobalist
Bonus points on stays10%20%30%
Bonus points on American Airlines flights1 Hyatt point per dollar spent on American Airlines1 Hyatt point per dollar spent on American Airlines1 Hyatt point per dollar spent on American Airlines
Premium internetXXX
Complimentary water bottlesXXX
Late checkout2 p.m.2 p.m.4 p.m.
Room upgradesPreferred room within room type bookedUpgrade to best room, not including suitesUpgrade to best room, including standard suites
Status with M Life RewardsPearlGoldGold
Guaranteed room availabilityWithin 72 hoursWithin 48 hours
Club lounge accessX
Priority access to early check-in based on availabilityX
Complimentary parking on free-night awardsX

Hyatt Discoverist

How to earn it: 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points or 3 meetings/events

Base earnings: 5.5 points/$1

Key benefits: Save up to 10% with member rates, upgrade to a preferred room when available, elite check-in, late checkout until 2 p.m., waived resort fees on Free Night Awards, benefits through partnerships including one World of Hyatt bonus point for every $1 spent on American Airlines flights

You get automatic Discoverist status when you sign up for The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, which has a $95 annual fee — that means you could obtain this status before you’ve ever completed a single stay. Free upgrades, complimentary water and late checkout make Discoverist status worth having if you travel and stay at Hyatt hotels at least a few times a year.

Hyatt Explorist

How to earn it: 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points or 10 meetings/events

Base earnings: 6 points/$1

Key benefits: Discoverist benefits, plus: guaranteed room availability when booked 72 hours in advance, move to upgraded room when available

Reaching Hyatt Explorist status is doable for a frequent traveler. It requires fewer stays than most middle-tier status levels within other hotel loyalty programs, though Hyatt also has a smaller portfolio than brands like Hilton or Marriott. However, keep in mind that Explorist status does not offer that many more benefits than the easy-to-attain Discoverist status.

Hyatt Globalist

How to earn it: 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points or 20 meetings/events

Base earnings: 6.5 points/$1

Key benefits: Explorist benefits, plus: guaranteed room availability when booked 48 hours in advance, priority access to room when checking in early, club access with continental breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres or (in properties without lounges), a free full breakfast for all registered guests (up to two adults and two kids), free parking on Free Night Award stays, late check-out until 4 p.m.

You'll have to travel often and within cities that have Hyatt hotels to have a shot at obtaining this status level. Still, Globalist status is definitely worth it for frequent travelers who often stay in Hyatt hotels. The club access or full breakfast for four registered guests alone adds plenty of value to this status. Priority access and extra late check-out will make you feel even more pampered during your stays.

Hyatt milestone rewards

Milestone rewards are not linked to any elite status tier, which means anyone can earn them based on the number of qualifying nights they stay or the base points they earn. As you achieve certain milestones within each status tier, you'll earn extra perks that add a lot of value to the World of Hyatt program. However, you’ll have to complete each eligible activity within one calendar year in order to earn the associated milestone rewards benefit.

Milestone rewards start when you reach 20 qualifying nights, and then you get another one after every 10 qualifying nights (up to 100). Here’s a chart that shows you the rewards you can get for each milestone:

ActivityBenefit
Stay 20 qualifying nights or earn 35,000 base pointsTwo club lounge access awards
Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base pointsOne free-night award in a category 1-4 hotel and two club lounge access awards
Stay 40 qualifying nights or earn 65,000 base pointsYour choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card or savings of 10,000 points on a FIND experience
Stay 50 qualifying nights or earn 80,000 base pointsTwo suite upgrade awards
Stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base pointsOne Free Night Award in a category 1-7 hotel, two suite upgrade awards and access to a personal Hyatt concierge agent
Stay 70 qualifying nightsYour choice of 10,000 bonus points or one suite upgrade award
Stay 80 qualifying nightsYour choice of 10,000 bonus points or one suite upgrade award
Stay 90 qualifying nightsYour choice of 10,000 bonus points or one suite upgrade award
Stay 100 qualifying nightsYour choice of 10,000 bonus points or one suite upgrade award

Once you reach a Milestone Rewards threshold that allows you to choose a reward, you’ll receive an email with a link that will take you to your online Hyatt account where you can make your selection. You will have 90 days to choose your reward.

Club lounge access awards

Globalist is the only World of Hyatt tier that automatically gets club lounge access. However, Explorist members will earn four club lounge access awards through milestone benefits — and even Discoverists can get two lounge access awards through milestone benefits as they work their way to the next tier of status.

For example, a Hyatt member who got Discoverist status by opening The World Of Hyatt Credit Card may get two lounge access awards through milestone benefits after they stay 10 qualifying nights. That’s because they received a credit of 10 qualifying nights through a special offer, getting them halfway to that milestone benefit.

Club lounge access comes with a complimentary continental breakfast and appetizers in the evening. If the hotel you’re staying at doesn't have a club lounge, you'll be granted a free full breakfast each day for you and up to one other adult and two children.

Free Night Awards

Hyatt Free Night Awards are relatively flexible and easy to apply. You can use them at any hotel, without blackout dates, as long as that hotel is within the limits specified by your Free Night Award. Most Free Night Awards are restricted to category 1-4 hotels — this does exclude many luxury properties and resorts, but plenty of great properties would still be available.

Some Free Night Awards do include category 1-7 hotels: For example, you get a category 1-7 Free Night Award as a Milestone Reward when you reach 60 nights or 100,000 base points. Plus, Lifetime Globalists get one category 1-7 Free Night Award each year. With these Free Night Awards, you can book any hotel in the Hyatt portfolio. However, the hotel must have standard room availability on your selected dates.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card comes with one Free Night Award for category 1-4 hotels each year after your cardmember anniversary and one additional Free Night Award for category 1-4 hotels if you’ve spent $15,000 or more during the previous year.

You'll be able to see your Free Night Awards when you log into your World of Hyatt account in the “My Awards” section. You can then redeem your Free Night Award directly through the World of Hyatt system, or give them a call.

Suite upgrade awards

While all Hyatt elite members qualify for certain upgrades automatically, they're based on availability, at the discretion of the hotel. You're also limited to certain room types depending on your elite tier.

For example, Discoverists will be offered a preferred room when available. A preferred room may be a corner room, a room on a higher floor or one with a better view, but within the same room type and price point as the room booked. Explorists will be offered the best room available at the time of check-in minus suites and club lounge-access rooms. Only Globalists will be offered the best room available that includes standard suites and club lounge-acess rooms.

With suite upgrade awards, you can confirm a suite upgrade when you book, rather than getting upgraded if a suite is available when you check in. You can get suite upgrade awards through Milestone Rewards, though Lifetime Globalists will receive four complimentary suite upgrade awards each year.

How much is Hyatt elite status worth?

Gaining status with the World Hyatt program can be extremely valuable. We estimate Hyatt status to be worth $110 to $4,350, depending on your level of status, the types of perks you use and how frequently you use them.

Hyatt Discoverist
Value: $110
Hyatt Explorist
Value: $760
Hyatt Globalist
Value: $4,350
  • Premium internet: $10
  • Late checkout until 2 p.m.: $20
  • Room upgrades to preferred room: $50
  • Pearl status with M Life Rewards: $30
  • Premium internet: $30
  • Late checkout until 2 p.m.: $60
  • Room upgrades to best available room, excluding suites: $300
  • Gold status with M Life Rewards: $50
  • 4 club lounge access awards: $120
  • One free-night award at any category 1-4 hotel: $200
  • Premium internet: $60
  • Late checkout until 4 p.m.: $150
  • Room upgrades to best available room, including standard suites: $1,200
  • Gold status with M Life Rewards: $50
  • 4 club lounge access awards: $120
  • One free-night award at any category 1-4 hotel: $200
  • Club lounge access: $1,200
  • Early check-in: $60
  • Complimentary parking on free-night awards: $80
  • Milestone choice gift of 5,000 bonus points or $100 Hyatt gift card: $100
  • One free-night award at any category 1-7 hotel: $500
  • Two suite upgrade awards: $300
  • Two additional suite upgrade awards: $300
  • Hyatt concierge: $30

For this estimate, we make a few assumptions about your stays:

  1. You complete just enough qualifying nights to earn each status level. For example, at the Discoverist level, the assumption is that you've completed 10 qualifying nights. At the Explorist level, we assume you've completed 30 qualifying nights, and at the Globalist level, we assume you've completed 60 qualifying nights. In reality, you may well surpass this threshold at least a little.
  2. You spend, on average, $150 per night during your stays.
  3. You stay with full-service properties half of the time and limited-service properties the other half.

Premium internet: $10 to $60

All guests at Hyatt properties get free access to regular Wi-Fi, and the difference between that and Hyatt's “premium internet” is usually negligible. For that reason, we’ll assign this perk a value of $1 per night.

Late checkout: $20 to $150

Discoverists and Explorists get late checkout until 2 p.m. based on availability, while Globalists can stay as late as 4 p.m., again based on availability. We'll value this perk at $2 per night for the lower two tiers and $2.50 per night for Globalists.

Room upgrades: $50 to $1,200

Room upgrades are based on availability and offered at the discretion of the hotel, which means you won't always get upgraded, and you might have to ask for an upgrade at check-in. That being said, some travelers have reported receiving more generous upgrades than they would as Hilton or Marriott elite members. We'll value Discoverist upgrades, which are only up to preferred rooms of the same type, at $50. For Explorists, who get upgrades that exclude suites, we'll value this benefit at $300. Finally, upgrades for Globalists include suites, so we'll value those at $1,200.

M Life Rewards: $30 to $50

M Life Rewards is the rewards program for MGM Resorts, so a lot of people may not use this benefit. However, if you regularly spend time in Las Vegas, M Life Rewards status is worth a decent amount. Pearl status, which is awarded to Discoverist members, gets you a 10% bonus on points earned playing slots and a dedicated line at the buffet, plus hotel room discounts and 10% shopping discounts at participating retailers, so we'll value it at $30. Gold status, which is awarded to Explorist and Globalist members, gets you a dedicated line at the buffet and participating restaurants, plus a 20% bonus on points earned playing slots, priority check-in, a room upgrade subject to availability and VIP access at select night clubs. We’ll value that at $50.

Guaranteed room availability: $0

The guaranteed room availability is offered by most major hotel loyalty programs. But while the ability to guarantee room availability at any hotel at the last minute sounds like a great perk, in practice, it's very difficult to use. There are a lot of loopholes involved, like blackout dates during major events, and even when you can get guaranteed room availability, room rates are generally sky-high. While you could potentially use this benefit in a pinch, we won't assign any value to it.

Club lounge access awards: $30 each

You can only use these awards at hotels with club lounges, which can be limiting. Club lounges are typically found at Hyatt Regency properties and sometimes at Hyatt Grand and Park Hyatt properties. Lounges offer continental breakfast in the morning, and snacks and beverages in the afternoon and evening. While some lounges offer enough to substitute an entire meal, particularly abroad, others are more minimal. We'll value these at $30 each.

Club lounge access: $1,200

This benefit is arguably even more valuable at full-service properties without a lounge, because at these properties, your club lounge access gets you complimentary breakfast at the hotel's restaurant for you and up to one other adult and two children traveling with you. This perk can really add up at luxury Hyatt properties and resorts that don't have a club lounge, as their breakfast spreads can cost upward of $50. Using a club lounge access award on a two-night stay with you and three family members could save you $300 on breakfast. We'll value this benefit conservatively at $20 per night or a total of $1,200, though it could be worth more depending on where you stay and whether you travel with guests.

Early check-in: $60

This benefit, only offered to Globalist members, can save you money by letting you get into your room early instead of having to wait in a nearby cafe. You can check in as early as 9 a.m. local time, based on availability. (Note: Hyatt Place hotels now offer early check-in free to Explorists as well.) We'll value this perk at $60.

Free parking: $80

Globalist members get complimentary parking on Free Night Awards. Parking at nicer Hyatts, particularly in urban areas, can cost upward of $50. Assuming you earn two free-night awards per year (it's certainly possible to earn more), we value this benefit at $80.

Free-night awards for category 1-4 hotels: $200 each

Explorist members will earn one free-night award at a category 1-4 Hyatt property through milestone benefits. A category 4 hotel costs 15,000 points, and the room rates often fall in the $200 to $400 range. Because these expire, we’ll value them at $200 each.

Milestone choice gift: $100

Globalists get their choice of a Milestone benefit. You have the option to choose a $100 Hyatt gift card, so we'll value this at $100. It's worth noting you can also choose 5,000 Hyatt bonus points, which would be worth $115.

Free-night awards for category 1-7 hotels: $500

Globalist members will earn an additional free-night award at a category 1-7 Hyatt property. Plenty of Hyatt’s category 7 hotels go for $800 per night or more. However, these awards expire and require standard room availability. You also wouldn't want to build an entire trip around one free-night award, so you might only travel in areas that have category 5 or 6 hotels. For this reason, we'll value free-night awards for category 1-7 hotels at $500.

Suite upgrade awards: $150 each

You'll earn these on your way to Globalist status: Two suite awards after completing 50 qualifying nights, and another two when you hit Globalist status, after completing 60 qualifying nights. Suite awards are extremely valuable — not only do they allow you to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking, but they’re valid on stays of up to seven consecutive nights. If you use them on a longer stay, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars. We'll value these awards at $150 each for a total of $300 for a member on their way to Globalist or $600 for a Globalist.

Hyatt concierge: $30

With elite status, you already get access to a priority customer service line. In addition to that, Globalist members get a personal Hyatt concierge to help them do anything from taking care of special requests to planning trips. We'll value this at $30.

How to join World of Hyatt

You can become a World of Hyatt member for free by signing up online. Go to the World of Hyatt website and select "Join Now" in the top right corner of the menu bar.

World of Hyatt
Screenshot taken from World of Hyatt Website in August of 2020

From there, you'll have to fill out a brief form that asks for your contact information and an account password. Once you submit that form, your World of Hyatt member account is created instantly. Going forward, you can log in to your account using your member number or username, last name and the password you created.

Once your account is set up, you’ll be able to see your current point balance and track your progress toward elite status and milestone benefits. You’ll also be able to see any Free Night Awards you’ve earned.

Hyatt Dashboard
Tip: Get the World of Hyatt mobile app on the App Store or Google Play to find hotels, manage your stays, request amenities or room service and keep track of your progress toward Milestone Rewards or the next tier of status.

How to earn Hyatt elite status

Hyatt elite status is earned by hitting a certain number of qualifying nights, base points or qualifying meetings and events in a calendar year. The numbers required for qualification varies based on the elite tier. Here’s what these terms mean:

  • Base points — Base points are points that count toward qualification for elite status. They are earned when paying for eligible charges, such as paying an eligible rate for a hotel room or buying meals or spa services.
  • Qualifying nights — A qualifying night, also known as a tier-qualifying night, is a night that counts toward qualification for elite status with Hyatt. It is defined as any night a program member stays at a Hyatt hotel or resort or at an M Life Rewards location, pays an eligible rate or redeems a Free Night Award, and has their World of Hyatt membership number linked with the reservation.
  • Qualifying meetings and events — A qualifying meeting or event is one that counts toward qualification for elite status with Hyatt. It’s defined as one night with 10 or more rooms occupied by attending guests.

To earn a certain level of status, you'll have to hit the qualifying threshold for only one of these measures, as follows:

Hyatt DiscoveristHyatt ExploristHyatt Globalist
Base points25,00050,000100,000
Qualifying nights103060
Qualifying meetings/events31020

Fast tracks to Hyatt status

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

In addition to gaining status by completing qualifying nights, stays or events, Hyatt offers a co-branded rewards credit card with Chase that gives you elite status.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
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The best hotel credit cards offer cardholders a fast track to elite status in their respective rewards program, and that’s the case with The World Of Hyatt Credit Card. The card offers only the lowest level of Hyatt elite status, Discoverist, and there’s no way to open a card to gain instant access to the higher Hyatt elite tiers. Fortunately, Discoverist elite status is packed with value compared to the lowest levels of some other hotel loyalty programs.

In addition to a generous sign-up bonus, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card offers plenty of benefits that make it well worth paying the $95 annual fee each year. You'll get a free-night award, which can get you $200 or more in value depending on which hotel you book, well outweighing the annual fee on its own. Automatic Discoverist status is a nice boost, and the five qualifying night credits you receive when you first open your account (with a limited-time promotional offer, you can receive 10 if you do so before Aug. 31, 2020) and each year after your account anniversary get you closer to Explorist or Globalist status. You'll even get two additional qualifying night credits each time you spend $5,000.

There’s no limit to how many qualifying night credits you can earn, so big spenders can essentially "buy" a higher tier of Hyatt elite status. That being said, if you spend enough to do that, you might get more value out of putting your spending on a more flexible and high-value travel rewards credit card.

Hyatt status match

Unlike Hilton and Marriott, Hyatt rarely runs public status match challenges. However, it doesn't hurt to contact Hyatt directly and ask if the company would be willing to match your status with another hotel loyalty program. Send an email to [email protected] with a screenshot of your current status with another hotel loyalty program, and explain that you're considering switching your loyalty to Hyatt but would like to try out its loyalty program first.

Hyatt is currently running a status match challenge open to World of Hyatt members who register with their work email address by Nov. 16, 2020, and work for a company that has received a special invitation. Hyatt recommends checking with your company’s corporate travel manager to see if your company is eligible.

Hyatt lifetime status

World of Hyatt offers Lifetime Globalist status to members who earn 1 million base points over the course of their membership with Hyatt. Upon achieving Lifetime Globalist status, you'll enjoy the benefits associated with the Globalist tier for life without ever having to complete the annual requirements.

Is Hyatt elite status worth it?

World of Hyatt is known as one of the more valuable hotel loyalty programs available to travelers. Even the lowest tier of the rewards program, which is easy to obtain, is packed with lucrative benefits. The co-branded The World Of Hyatt Credit Card offers an attractive welcome bonus, instant Discoverist status and some of the highest ongoing value of any of the available hotel credit cards.

While the credit card charges an annual fee of $95, Discoverist status alone is worth over $100, and the extra benefits on the card add hundreds of dollars in extra value, making it an easy decision to get status through the card. In comparison, Explorist status is worth almost $1,000 while Globalist status is worth over $4,000.

The value of each tier of Hyatt status depends on staying the number of nights required to attain that status level. You only get value from the program when you use the benefits, so staying at Hyatt hotels more than the minimum number of required nights will make the program even more lucrative for you. It’s also important to consider how much you personally value the benefits.

Overall, World of Hyatt is a popular program for its high-value points and numerous perks. The most loyal and frequent Hyatt travelers may find it's worth going for Globalist status, which is packed with value for those who can take advantage of the benefits.

FAQs about Hyatt elite status

What is World of Hyatt?

World of Hyatt is the hotel loyalty program offered by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. The program offers free membership and three tiers of elite status: Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. Through the program, guests can get special savings, earn extra points toward free stays and get perks like room upgrades, free breakfast and late checkout.

How long does Hyatt status last?

Hyatt elite status lasts for at least 14 months. The total length of time it lasts depends on when you qualify. When you meet the qualification requirements for a tier, you get that level of status for the rest of the calendar year, the entire following year and the first two months of the next year. For example, per Hyatt terms & conditions, if you earned status in September 2019, you would get it for the rest of 2019, all of 2020 and January and February of 2021.

How long does Hyatt Globalist status last?

Hyatt Globalist status lasts at least 14 months, and the length of time depends on when you earned it. You get Globalist status for the rest of the year in which you earn it, the whole year following and the first two months of the year after that. However, if you earn 1 million base points you can get Lifetime Globalist status. In that case, Globalist status lasts for the rest of your life with no need to requalify.

How do you become a World of Hyatt member?

You can join World of Hyatt by enrolling online, calling Hyatt by phone at (800)-544-9288 or asking to join the program at any Hyatt hotel.

Do Hyatt points expire?

Hyatt points do expire after 24 months of inactivity. This is similar to the points expiration policy in the Marriott loyalty program, and more generous than the Hilton loyalty program, in which points expire after 15 months of inactivity.

Here are some of the ways you can easily keep your account active in order to hold onto your points:

  • Earn Hyatt points (by completing a stay or earning through Hyatt partners)
  • Redeem Hyatt points
  • Transfer Hyatt points to another member or another rewards program
  • Gift Hyatt points
  • Purchase Hyatt points
  • Have a Hyatt co-branded credit card open and in good standing

Do Hyatt award nights count toward status?

At Hyatt, both stays booked with points and using free-night awards count toward elite status.

Allie Johnson is a freelance content writer who covers personal finance, small business and travel. She writes about maximizing credit card rewards, jetting around the globe on points and miles and an array of other topics. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).