Classy: Hyatt Counting Award Stays Retroactively For 2017

A few days before the new year, World of Hyatt announced some fantastic program changes. One of these changes was that starting in 2018, World of Hyatt free night stays count towards earning status. That means that when you redeem a free night certificate or points for a stay, that night will count towards the requirement for Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist status.

This was really a case of Hyatt playing catch up with their competitors, as Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, etc., all offer elite credit on award stays. With Hyatt’s smaller global footprint (meaning that it takes more effort to be loyal to Hyatt), it was long overdue that they made this change.

This policy only formally kicked in as of January 1, 2018, though Hyatt is doing something really classy. World of Hyatt members are reporting that they’re getting emails indicating that award nights are being counted retroactively, for 2017.

Specifically, Hyatt has tier awards above Globalist status — when you stay 70, 80, 90, or 100 qualifying nights in a year, at each milestone you can choose whether you want an additional 10,000 points or an additional confirmed suite upgrade.

Those who would have reached an additional milestone if award nights counted are reporting receiving an email along these lines:

Thank you for letting World of Hyatt be part of your travels and the unforgettable memories you’ve created.

We understand every night matters. That’s why we recently announced nights on free night awards will now count as tier-qualifying nights. Plus, they will count toward achieving more rewards when you complete 70, 80, 90 or 100 qualifying nights in a calendar year.

In appreciation of your loyalty, your nights on free night awards in 2017 will count toward more rewards. With your free night award nights and your other eligible nights in 2017, we’re excited to let you know you achieved one of these milestones. You will soon receive an email to choose your reward–a suite upgrade award or 10,000 Bonus Points.

Note that this isn’t a published policy, so there’s no guarantee everyone who would be eligible will receive an email. This also seems to be helping those who would have earned or requalified for status if award nights had counted, so I’m seeing reports of people being upgraded from Discoverist to Explorist, from Explorist to Globalist, etc.

Well done, Hyatt! I’m very impressed by what they’ve been doing with the program the past few weeks. This is a lovely gesture of goodwill.

Did you benefit from Hyatt retroactively crediting elite nights for 2017 awards?


  1. I can report that I received an email that I achieved Discoverist from no status as a result of adding one reward day to my 9 paid days from last year… appears this also applies to moving up in status.

  2. Yep – got the email. Had 80+ nights last year and this bumps me into the 90s. The 10k tier bonuses “Somewhat” make up for the loss of 1k points at check-in. Realized recently that on a 6k/$75 pts/cash Stay I didn’t even earn 500 pts. Even with the 30% globalist bonus. That is Scrooge-worthy. Have moved all my 2018 over to SPG. This backdate was nice, but the stingy points structure, lack of bonuses, smaller footprint and higher elite criteria mean Hyatt needs to do a LOT more now if they want to retain my 100 nights a year …

  3. I definitely wouldn’t call it “classy” rather they know they f’d up (with the ridiculous number of nights for top tier status) and now are trying to hold on to the few elites that are still around in their program.

  4. I’m not happy at all. I had 31 cash/ C+P stays plus another 15 or so stays on all points in 2017. If they had this policy before I might have done some more stays or done some cheap mattress runs to reach globalist status. There are some cheap Cat 1 Hyatts available in my area.

  5. @Josh: The usage of the word “retroactive” is appropriate in this instance, as it has to do with the application of an action or a policy to past dates.

  6. I got this e-mail today, adding that by including my award stays from 2017 it allows me to remain Globalist (and gave me a free night stay for any 1-4 category hotel). Very nice touch, Hyatt!

  7. 91 nights last year… not too many awards, actually, maybe four nights wouldn’t have counted otherwise (MLE).

  8. Got the mail as above – exactly 100 nights including awards. So pretty happy I’ve managed to make every night bonus.

    Haven’t got the mail letting me choose points or TSU as of yet though.

  9. Absolutely brilliant & thoughtful
    You think Marriott would do something like this?
    I believe it’s very much the former Starwood touch (where both execs hail from)
    and how they would have handled it years ago when SPG was an amazing program
    Thanks Ms Weinberg and Mark V well done!
    This gives me hope that more greatness is yet to come with Hyatt
    After point devaluations the loss of free night promotions g bonuses
    Escape awards bed guarantees and best rate guarantees all in the toilet
    perhaps there is life after Gold Passport death 🙂

  10. This does nothing retroactively for me since I pushed stays elsewhere in 2017. Had this been the policy all along I would have done more. They’ll need to work harder to win back my loyalty now, unfortunately.

  11. This move pushed me from 62 to 77 nights in 2017, so I view today’s news as a “surprise & delight” moment from Hyatt. That being said, the evolution of HGP to WOH had so many customer unfriendly moves (in particular, the switch from stays to nights, the elimination of the Diamond welcome amenity, and the shorter window for Suite Upgrade Award redemptions), that the program is still woefully uncompetitive. I have only a handful of Hyatt stays on the horizon and unless there are some significant WOH improvements announced soon, I’ll be done with them.

  12. Got the email today. offered me 10K points or 1 suite upgrade. except when i choose one it tells me that “We don’t recognize this membership number. Please try again.”
    i guess not so classy after all

  13. I went from 71 nights to 90+, happy to get either 20K points or 2 more suite upgrades. But did they eliminate a free Cat 1-7 if you stay at 10 brands?

  14. @basil – I think you’re referring to the Brand Explorer awards, which get you a free cat 1-4 night for every 5 brands you try. Staying at 10 brands would get you 2 free nights at a cat 1-4. Hyatt has pretty good tracking of this on both their full website as well as their app.

  15. This has less to do with Hyatt being classy, and more to do with Hyatt looking at the numbers and realizing they need to do something to bring in more elites.

    I went from 80 night under HGP to 15 nights under WoH, and I am not alone. Hyatt has made earning/redeeming points so hard, or at least such a bad value proposition, that this one time bump is a necessary, but insufficient, hail Mary.

    Hyatt has more work to do.

  16. If you call being caught with your pants down classy then sure.

    Too little too late. Perhaps Hyatt should educate themselves on creating value through proactive measures as opposed to reactive.

  17. I might be a little late here, but my account just updated yesterday, Jan 26th. I received a free promotional night (exp: 07/18) and 4 suite upgrade awards (exp:01/26/19). My requirement went from 60 to 55 now. Looks like they counted both my “Guest of Honor” award nights and personal award nights for myself. I had 47 paid nights, 5 awards nights, and 8 Guest of Honor award nights making it exactly 60 nights total. Lucky me 🙂

    To be honest, I gave up on World of Hyatt (the loyalty program, not the hotels) last year because of the unsatisfactory experience. One quick example was the “stay at 5 different properties = 1 free cat 1-4 award night.” I was at 4 and about to stay at the 5th hyatt property, but since the free night only last 120 days and I don’t want it to go to waste, I’ll just stay at SPG across the street instead. See how stupid that is? World of Hyatt make customers book away from Hyatt hotels.

    My last hotel stay at Hyatt was October 2017 when I decided it was not worth the time and money to try and make Globalist since I heard the free promotion cat 1-7 earned is only valid for 90 days. That means if I wanted to make it last, I would have to stop at 59 nights and save night #60 for end of December, but it was too much hassle for a free night that only last 90 days. I decided to switch over to SPG.

    I am thankful for the nice gesture from World of Hyatt, no question about that, but it is also something that should have been fix last year. With that said, I will consider giving World of Hyatt another chance this year.

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