Hyatt status review — The best top-tier status perks (extended through 2022 due to COVID-19)

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Chasing elite status with an airline or hotel can be a fool’s errand. Why pay extra to earn free perks when you could have just spent the same amount of money on those benefits without the additional step? That’s not to say elite status is worthless and when it comes to hotels, Hyatt has – hands down – the best hotel top-tier elite status.

Top-tier status isn’t the easiest hotel status to earn — you can’t get it just by opening a hotel credit card. But top-tier Hyatt Globalist status is incredibly valuable and it’s possible to fast track earning it with The World Of Hyatt Credit Card. Let’s breakdown how to earn Hyatt status and what perks you’ll get with each level.

I’m a sucker for free breakfast and Hyatt has the best hotel elite status breakfast perk. (Photo by Jason Stauffer/Million Mile Secrets.)

Hyatt status

A lot of hotel elite status benefits are fairly universal across the major chains.  Things like early check-in, late check-out, and extra bonus points are standard. Hyatt has four different status levels: Member, Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist. The first three tiers aren’t exceptionally valuable, although you can earn useful club upgrades, and a free night after 30 nights (see Milestone Rewards). Where it really gets good for Hyatt loyalists is at the Globalist level.

I found that Globalist perks result in actual cash savings and aren’t just fluff, like imaginary upgrades or a free snack at check-in. For example, on a family trip, I stayed at the Park Hyatt Washington D.C., home to the Blue Duck Tavern which has earned a Michelin Star in the past. We got $360 worth of free breakfast for nine people. Now compare that to IHG’s top-tier Spire status, which doesn’t even include free breakfast.

Here is what you’ll get at each level of status and what requirements you need to meet in order to qualify.

World of Hyatt Member

How to earn: You get Member status just for creating a Hyatt account. Benefits: 
  • 5x points at Hyatt hotels
  • 10x base points on eligible Exhale spending
  • Waived resort fees on award nights
  • Match to M life rewards Sapphire status (MGM status)
  • Small Luxury Hotels benefits (free breakfast, upgrades when available, etc.)

This is the entry level that you start at, so there aren’t many benefits beyond being able to earn Hyatt points and redeem Hyatt points.

Hyatt Discoverist

How to earn: Earn Discoverist status after meeting anyone of the following requirements in a calendar year…
  • Earn 10 elite nights
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points
  • Host three qualifying meetings or events

If you have the World of Hyatt credit card you’ll get Discoverist status for as long as you hold it.

Benefits:
  • All the benefits of Member status
  • 10% bonus on base points earned at Hyatt hotels
  • Match to M life Pearl status (MGM status)
  • Elite check-in
  • Free bottled water (daily)
  • Free premium internet (where available)
  • 2 p.m. late checkout (when available)
  • Earn one Hyatt points per dollar spent with American Airlines

There aren’t many benefits at this level that actually save you money, although you will earn slightly more points than someone with Member status. Hyatt Place hotels normally charge $10+ for a 2 p.m. late checkout, so you will get a bit of savings there.

Hyatt Explorist

How to earn: Earn Explorist status after meeting anyone of the following requirements in a calendar year…
  • Earn 30 elite nights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points
  • Host 10 qualifying meetings or events
Benefits:
  • All the benefits of Discoverist status
  • 20% bonus on base points earned at Hyatt hotels
  • 10x points at Exhale, plus a Week of Wellbeing
  • Match to M life Gold status (MGM status)
  • Room upgrades, excluding suites and rooms with lounge access
  • 72-hour guaranteed availability

Once you’ve earned Explorist status you can maintain it indefinitely by matching it to M life Gold status. The reason for this is that M life status resets each October and Hyatt status doesn’t reset until February. So every October you can rematch your Hyatt status to earn M life Gold and then in February you can match your M life Gold status to Hyatt Explorist.

Hyatt Globalist

How to earn: Earn Globalist status after meeting anyone of the following requirements in a calendar year…
  • Earn 60 elite nights
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points
  • Host 20 qualifying meetings or events

You can also earn Lifetime Globalist status after you’ve earned 1,000,000 lifetime base points.

Benefits:
  • All the benefits of Explorist status
  • 30% bonus on base points earned at Hyatt hotels
  • Resort fees waived on award nights and on eligible rates
  • 10x points at Exhale, plus a Week of Wellbeing and free classes when paying an eligible rate at any Hyatt hotel
  • Match to M life Gold status (MGM status)
  • Room upgrades, including standard suites
  • 4 p.m. late checkout (when available)
  • 48-hour guaranteed availability
  • Free breakfast or club access (up to two adults and two children per room)
  • Free parking on award nights (as long as the parking can be charged to your room)
  • Priority access to available rooms when checking in early
  • Guest of Honor (share your Globalist benefits with others on award nights)

This status can save you $100s on award stays at Hyatt’s most expensive hotels. Valet parking is included in the free parking benefit and can save you $60 or more at some locations. Some locations even include room service as part of the free breakfast benefit, I was able to get free room service at the Park Hyatt Tokyo thanks to Globalist status.

The most unique benefit of Globalist status is that you can share it with friends and family using the Guest of Honor feature. All you have to do is book an award stay (not valid on paid stays) for anyone else through your account. So your friend just needs to transfer their Hyatt points to you and then you can book their stay and they’ll get Globalist perks. The biggest limitation to this feature is that you can only transfer or receive points once every 30 days and it’s not an easy process, you have to fill out this form and mail or email it to Hyatt.

Milestone Rewards

Hyatt’s Milestone rewards are separate from elite status and instead are earned base on the number of nights you stay or base points you earn. So as you earn these awards you’ll also be earning elite status. These perks are actually more valuable than the benefits you get with elite status.

Here’s what you can earn:

  • Two lounge awards after earning 20 elite nights or 35,000 base points
  • A category 1-4 free night award and two lounge awards after earning 30 elite nights or 50,000 base points
  • 5,000 bonus points or a $100 Hyatt Gift Card or 10,000 point savings on a FIND experience after earning 40 elite nights or 65,000 base points
  • Two suite upgrade awards after earning 50 elite nights or 80,000 base points
  • A category 1-7 free night award and two suite awards and a Hyatt Concierge after earning 60 elite nights or 100,000 base points
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points or a suite award for every 10 additional elite nights you earn up to 100 elite nights (so up to four additional Milestone Rewards)

All of the qualifying activities must be earned in a calendar year. Both the lounge access awards and suite awards can be applied to a stay of up to seven nights.

World of Hyatt elite status response to COVID-19

Hyatt is offering extended elite status for customers who held status as of March 31, 2020. Any status set to expire in 2020 will now be valid through Feb. 28, 2022.

Hyatt will also extend the expiration date of any unused Free Night Awards, Suite Upgrade Awards, etc. with an expiration date of between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. The new expiration date will be December 31, 2021. This includes existing awards and awards that you may earn throughout this year with a 2020 expiration date.

Free Night Awards, Suite Upgrade Awards and Club lounge access awards will also be extended through December 31, 2021, if any of the following describes you:

  • You have an address in the area defined as Asia Pacific as of February 18, 2020
  •  You are a member without a mailing address on file who has a Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese/Japanese/Korean language preference on file as of February 18, 2020
  • You are a member without a mailing address on file who enrolled through the WeChat Mini App

Elite status is easier to earn if you have the World of Hyatt card because you’ll get five elite night credits every year you have the card and two elite night credits for every $5,000 you spend on the card.

Another great change Hyatt is temporarily making due to the coronavirus is the way you earn elite night credits through their credit card. If you have the World of Hyatt Card, you’ll normally earn two elite night credits for every $5,000 you spend on the card. But between April 15 and June 30, 2020, you’ll earn three elite night credits, instead. Additionally, if you apply for the World of Hyatt Card between April 15 and June 30, you’ll receive 10 elite night credits instead of te standard five elite night credits that normally come with the card.

FYI, Hyatt’s also made a couple pleasant non-status tweaks, including delaying the majority of their (mostly bad) upcoming category changes until 2021.

Bottom line

It’s fairly easy to earn elite status with many hotel chains. You can get Hilton top-tier status just by opening a card like the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, and Hilton has frequent status match or status challenge opportunities (annual fee $450, see rates and fees) .  But when a hotel hands out top-tier status like candy on Halloween they have to water it down because it becomes expensive to maintain.

In contrast, Hyatt Globalist status is much harder to earn, which is why it is so valuable. Hyatt’s top-tier elite status perks like free breakfast, free upgrades, and free parking can’t be beaten. On top of that, you can actually book award stays for friends and family and they’ll get access to your Globalist perks for that stay.

For rates and fees of the Amex Aspire Card, click here
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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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