World of Hyatt is a popular hotel loyalty program among frequent travelers and points aficionados alike. Its popularity can mainly be attributed to the substantial amount of aspirational properties in its portfolio, superior member benefits at the top tier Globalist level, and last but not least, its partnership with Chase Bank both as a transfer partner from Ultimate Rewards as well as the Chase Hyatt visa.
In this blog, we will dive deeper into the World of Hyatt and how it differs from other hotel loyalty programs.
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The Hyatt Hotel corporation relaunched its old loyalty program called Hyatt Gold Passport as World of Hyatt on March 1, 2017. The program is divided into four tiers, three of which are elite tiers which are as follows:
Discoverist is the lowest elite tier in the program. It requires 10 nights or 25,000 base points within a calendar year. Benefits include room upgrades within the same category (e.g corner rooms or rooms on high floors with superior views), early check-in and late check-out, as well as free bottled water and premium internet access. Discoverist members earn 5.5 points per dollar on all eligible spend at Hyatt.
Explorist is the mid-tier of the program which requires 30 nights or 50,000 base points within a calendar year. In addition to all the benefits of the previous tier, Explorist members also enjoy upgrades to higher room categories (excluding suites and club rooms). Explorist members earn 6 points per dollar on all eligible spend at Hyatt.
Globalist is the highest official tier of the program which requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points within a calendar year. In addition to the benefits of the lower tiers, Globalist members enjoy upgrades to higher room categories including suites, guaranteed access to club lounges where available, complimentary breakfast for two, free parting on award nights, and waived resort fees on all stays. Globalist members earn 6.5 points per dollar on all eligible spend at Hyatt.
In addition to the membership tiers, World of Hyatt also offers milestone rewards. These are benefits which are earned based on the nights stayed irrespective of the membership tier. Milestone rewards include free night certificates, club lounge access certificate, suite upgrade certificates, Hyatt gift cards, and bonus points.
For the 2021 qualification, World of Hyatt halved the requirements for reaching elite status which means that only 30 nights are required to reach the Globalist tier, whereas the milestone rewards require the same number of nights as before.
Unlike its main competitors, Hilton and Marriott, Hyatt doesn’t offer its members to earn Globalist status instantly by signing up for a credit card. Instead, cardholders of the World of Hyatt Visa card earn 5 elite qualifying nights when signing up for the credit card and two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card. For the 2021 membership year, it’s possible to earn Globalist status by spending $65,000 on the card which may not be an easy task for many.
This in combination with Hyatt’s smaller footprint of just 1,000 properties worldwide means that there are fewer Globalist members in circulation, enabling Hyatt to provide better benefits compared to competing chains.
Upgrades to suites is the aspect where Hyatt excels the most, as it is able to consistently upgrade top tier Globalist members to suites, where available. Additionally, members who have spent at least 50 nights within a membership year earn two suite upgrade vouchers which can be used to confirm an upgrade to a standard suite. This is a fairly unique benefit which neither Hilton nor Marriott offer to their members.
Earning and Burning Points
World of Hyatt points are by many regarded as the most valuable hotel points currency. Base members earn 5 points per dollar on all eligible spend, 5.5 points per dollar for Discoverist, 6 points per dollar for Explorist and 6.5 points per dollar for Globalist. On the surface, these points earnings may seem low compared to Hilton and Marriott where top tier members earn upwards of 20 points per dollar.
While the earnings may seem low on the surface, we must also account for the fact that World of Hyatt prices its award nights much lower than Hilton and Marriott which effectively cancels out the lower point earnings. The lower award rates do, however, make Hyatt points incredibly valuable when transferring points from Chase Ultimate Rewards as the transfer ratio to Chase’s hotel partners is 1:1 regardless of which partner you transfer to. More on that later.
Unlike Hilton and Marriott, who use variable points pricing to some extent, Hyatt still maintains a traditional fixed award chart. However, this is set to change on July 1, 2021, when Hyatt plans to introduce its peak and off-peak award pricing where the price fluctuates depending on season or day of the week. Until then, the old award pricing still applies, and bookings made with the old pricing for stays past July 1st will be honored. In cases where the new price is lower, the difference in points will be refunded which is a nice touch by Hyatt.
As a point of comparison, these are the points charts of Hilton and Marriott.
Hilton Honors doesn’t publish a points table, but the below chart gives an indication of its points prices across the different categories.
It’s easy to tell by the charts that Hyatt points are worth roughly three times as much as points with Hilton, where the highest Hyatt category costs 40,000 points per night and the highest Hilton category sits at 120,000 points per night.
As is the case with most hotel loyalty programs, the best value is extracted either at the lowest or the highest redemption categories. The middle categories typically don’t offer as good of a value on a cents per points basis. Hyatt points are on average valued at 1.5 cents per point so any redemption exceeding that value is to be considered a good value redemption.
What makes World of Hyatt unique is the fact that it has many aspirational properties in its portfolio. The term aspirational property or ”points hotel” is thrown around a lot in the miles and points world. Essentially, these are hotels that offer great value with points that normally wouldn’t have been justifiable to book with cash. Down below are our top three picks for aspirational points redemptions with World of Hyatt.
On the lower end of the spectrum, there are possibilities to achieve similar cents per point values at the category 1 and 2 properties. Here are three of our top picks.
Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, Nepal
Category 1 at 5,000 points per night
Cash price approximately $130 per night
Value per point ≈ 2.6 cents
Park Hyatt Chennai, India
Category 1 at 5,000 points per night
Cash price approximately $100 per night
Value per point ≈ 2 cents
Story Hotel Riddargatan, Stockholm
Category 2 at 8,000 points per night
Cash price approximately $160 per night
Value per point ≈ 2 cents
If you’re based in the United States, World of Hyatt is a great hotel loyalty program. While its footprint is limited compared to Hilton and Marriott, you can still earn and redeem points easily either through hotel stays, by points transfers from Chase Ultimate Rewards, or by signing up for the Chase Hyatt Visa card.
The number of aspirational properties in the portfolio sets Hyatt apart from its competitors, and while standard room award availability may be scarce at the most popular hotels, such as the Ventana Big Sur, it’s still a worthwhile program for those looking to maximize the value of their points.
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