YAY: Hyatt Will Count Award Stays Towards Status Starting In 2018

Filed Under: Hyatt
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As of March 1, 2017, Hyatt replaced their Gold Passport loyalty program with World of Hyatt. While the ways in which members could earn and redeem points remained the same, significant changes were made to elite benefits, branding, etc.

As a top tier Hyatt elite, I tend to think there are pros and cons to World of Hyatt, and I haven’t been shy about sharing how I feel. There’s some fantastic news when it comes to World of Hyatt, which I’m so excited about.

World of Hyatt will start counting award stays towards status

As of January 1, 2018, all free night awards will count towards elite status. Up until this point, only cash bookings as well as Points + Cash bookings have counted towards status, while outright free night redemptions haven’t. In the past Hyatt has claimed that this was due to a technological limitation, though I’m not sure that’s the only reason they didn’t have such a policy.

With just about all of their competitors treating award stays the same as cash stays, it’s fantastic to see Hyatt catching up.

Keep in mind that when the World of Hyatt program was introduced, the requirement for earning top tier status went from 25 stays or 50 nights, to 60 nights (55 if you’re requalifying). Top tier members often receive at least three free night certificates per year:

  • If you have The Hyatt Credit Card, you get an annual Category 1-4 free night certificate
  • For staying 30 qualifying nights or earning 50,000 base points per year, you get an annual Category 1-4 free night certificate
  • For staying 60 qualifying nights or earning 100,000 base points per year, you get an annual Category 1-7 free night certificate
  • While this can only be earned once, World of Hyatt members get one Category 1-4 free night certificate after trying five different Hyatt brands, and another Category 1-4 certificate after trying another five Hyatt brands

So this change is fantastic. At a minimum, Globalist members with The Hyatt Credit Card will receive an additional three elite qualifying nights per year. On top of that, all free night redemptions now qualify towards status. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve redeemed World of Hyatt points for an outright free night redemption, since I always wanted the elite credit. That will be changing going forward.

For those booking Guest of Honor reservations, those stays also qualify towards status for the person actually staying in the room, assuming they add their World of Hyatt number to the reservation.

Award stays, like at the Park Hyatt Maldives, will count towards status in 2018

Hyatt is extending the expiration of some free night certificates

Not only will all free night certificates count towards status, but the expiration dates of some certificates will also be extended from 120 days to 180 days. Specifically:

  • The Category 1-4 certificate for staying 30 qualifying nights on earning 50,000 base points per year will be valid for 180 days
  • The Category 1-7 certificate for staying 60 qualifying nights or earning 60,000 base points per year will be valid for 180 days

As before, the free night certificate issued with The Hyatt Credit Card, as well as the free night certificates for staying at five or 10 Hyatt brands will continue to expire a year after they’re issued.

Annual free night certificates will be valid for 180 days rather than 120 days

This is such fantastic progress for World of Hyatt

I’m so thrilled to see these changes from World of Hyatt. As a Globalist member, the program is competitive in many ways, though there were just some minor policies that really got under my skin, and these were two of them, especially given that Hyatt has a smaller global footprint than their competitors. So seeing these changes is fantastic, and now I think World of Hyatt Globalist status is perhaps the most rewarding top tier status out there.

The way I see it, this also increases the value I can get out of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is a transfer partner with World of Hyatt.

Earn Ultimate Rewards

World of Hyatt is a 1:1 transfer partner, though I’ve been avoiding transfers for the purposes of free night redemptions since I always want to earn elite credit with Hyatt. Now I’ll certainly be transferring more Chase points to Hyatt, since I can use those points to help me requalify for Globalist status.

The one other punitive policy World of Hyatt needs to change

Overall these two changes are huge, and greatly improve my perception of World of Hyatt. The way I see it, the one change that Hyatt still needs to make is adjusting the expiration policy of their Globalist Suite Upgrades. Globalist members who earn status by staying 60 nights or earning 100,000 base points receive four confirmed suite upgrades, each of which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade for a stay of up to seven nights at the time of booking, pending the availability of a standard suite.

What’s illogical is that these suite upgrades are valid for a year from the date they’re issued. This has caused some Globalist members to switch business to competitors, so they can receive them later in the year. For example, if you often go on vacation around Christmas and want to use a suite upgrade then, the only way to get one that’s valid then would be to requalify for status at the very end of the year.

Hyatt should be incentivizing people to requalify early, and not causing their upgrades to expire early, which is illogical. Like virtually any other program that issues these types of upgrades, they should be valid through the end of the year.

For what it’s worth, I had the chance to speak with Amy Weinberg a few days ago, who is the new VP of World of Hyatt. While she said that Hyatt has nothing to announce on this front, she acknowledged that this was a “vocalized point of pain,” and that she’s committed to looking at it. As she said, the idea that they could be causing someone to plan away from Hyatt in order to maximize their benefits is something they don’t like. So I’m hopeful Hyatt will reconsider this as well.

Now World of Hyatt just needs to change their suite upgrade expiration policy

Bottom line

These two changes to World of Hyatt are fantastic, as they were two of my biggest gripes about the program. Hyatt counting award stays towards status is huge, since it’s not something they previously did, and it will help members requalify with the higher status requirements. As far as free night certificates go, while they’d ideally expire after a year, I think a six month window is much fairer than a four month window.

What do you make of these changes to World of Hyatt, and do they change your perception of the program?

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  1. As a Globalist who barely managed 10 nights in 2017, so this wont move the needle for me.

    To me the death knell of the program has been the elimination of counting stays to qualify for elite status and move to only counting nights. With a smaller global footprint, there really is no way I can manage 60 Hyatt nights on my frequent trips, though getting 30 stays was certainly achievable.

    I will continue to focus on my Hilton and SPG status in 2018. Bye Bye Hyatt

  2. The program still disappoints. Globalist here that barely made Discoverist with 11 stays in 2017 as I opted to focus on other programs instead.

    I agree moving away from counting stays was a big hit on my travel planning. With mostly single night stays for work it was going to be highly unlikely I could ever make Globalist based on nights especially with Hyatt having a smaller hotel portfolio compared to folks like Marriot or Hilton.
    I also found Hyatt so underwhelming with promotions in 2017 compared to peers. It was almost like they don’t want our business while other brands had many rich promotions all year long.

  3. They just have too small of a footprint for me to swing them any business. I’m with James above, Hilton (with their huge points promos) and SPG are my focus.

  4. The whole World of Hyatt concept was bungled from the start.
    Another Globalist here who has managed only about 20 nights with Hyatt during 2017. I purposely decided to focus on top elite level at Hilton this year instead and am very happy I did.

  5. Are you sure about the brand explorer free night expiring after 120 days? Everything i’ve read said it’s good for a year.

  6. Meh… Still a depleted sad program compared to 3 years ago. Went form 28-32 stays and ~40 nights for 5 years straight to 1 stay / 2 nights in 2017. Focused on Marriott top tier since 60 nights + the CC got me Plat on both SPG and Marriott. Hyatt – No good promos, no bonus points, and 50% of the properties Hyatt Place/House where status gets you nada…

    I am quite sure the Hilton and SPG/Marriott are about the only people that were happy 2017 changes. I would love to see how many elites Hyatt bled going to 2018. It might not make a difference with now with occupancy had record highs, but it come back to bite them when we have another downturn..

  7. Who cares. Too little too late. They’ve totally ruined their program and their brand. Why anyone would stay with them is beyond me.

  8. It is good news but dont change much the big problem. If it is really difficult for people that travel for work to get 60 nights…imagine for the people that only travel for pleasure like myself. I cant see myself staying 2 months a year in hotels… Hyatt should go back to the 25 stays, or give you night credits or status for credit card use (other than Explorist). Is is sad because I really love the brand. Anyways, writing this from a overwater villa in Park Hyatt Maldives…on points :0)

  9. Sorry Hyatt, too little, too late.
    You missed the boat with the fangled World of Hyatt concept and since have given us a year try out other programs.
    Sad as I really enjoy many Hyatt properties, but the program has gone from first to worst.

  10. @lucky – any word on whether or not Guest of Honor nights will count, and if so, who would get the credit; the individual “granting” the GoH status, or the individual receiving it?

  11. I’ll stick to maintaining SPG / Marriott Plat and Hilton Diamond status, but it’s already something, let’s say, pointing in the right direction. Although to be honest, if you’re from Europe, don’t even try (points transfer etc. don’t exist and we have a high end Hyatt footprint mostly). Too bad, I love many asian hyatt properties.

  12. @ Josh — I’m told that a transferred award night, including Guest of Honor reservations, will count as a qualifying night for the member who stays in the room, if a World of Hyatt account is added.

  13. I actually think that hyatt has a built in mechanism for preventing people from stalling to qualify for Globalist because of the suite upgrades. After all you do earn additional upgrades at 70, 80, etc. nights… if you stay enough at a Hyatt to qualify for Globalist early, say by June or August, I’m sure you have an opportunity to use one of the four expiring certificates.

  14. “So seeing these changes is fantastic, and now I think World of Hyatt Globalist status is perhaps the most rewarding top tier status out there.”

    LOL. Let me get this straight. A mediocre program, at long last implements an elite benefit that other programs’ elites have enjoyed for years; has offered no promos to speak of in, like, forever; remains among the few programs that do not offer the highly coveted “5th award night free” perk; made achieving top elite status a “Pyrrhic victory” in that one goes broke getting there; and suddenly it leapfrogs to become “perhaps the most rewarding top tier status out there”? That right there is how the canards that I have been shooting down the past few years get started!

    Fortunately, based on the response here, it seems that travel blog readers no longer simply accept as statements of fact the outlandish pronouncements of self-anointed ‘travel gurus’!

  15. Tonight is actually my 60th at Hyatt this year (also knocking out the 10th brand at the same time). I’d already decided not to peruse status next year, as it’s just not worth it. The only change with this new policy is that I may be able to earn another certificate after 30 free + paid nights, whereas I didn’t expect to achieve 30 paid nights in 2018 otherwise. But I don’t want certificates, expiring or not! I want points. As others have mentioned, Hyatt simply needs to reinstate HGP as it was. We need a welcome amenity, stay credit, consistent turndown service, and much more competitive promos. And while they’re at it, they need to award points for declining housekeeping service. My current hotel has three signs in the room encouraging that, but there is zero incentive to the guest other than feeling like s/he is making a difference.

  16. If I use my free night certificates, issued in 2017, in 2018, will they count as stays towards elite status? Or will this only be true of certificates issued in 2018?

  17. @Lucky, you are way too excited about this. Both of these are such small changes in the grand scheme of all that is wrong.

  18. And the consensus is: BFD.

    Apparently I am not alone telling Hyatt that with their tiny footprint, 60 nights is just out of the question. I’m back to SPG first, Hilton a reluctant second. WOH broke the “deal”Hyatt and I had to throw 25+ stays to them, and this won’t bring me back.

  19. Lucky, you ought to pass the comments on to Hyatt—. They are wholly representative of what all the other 50-75 night/yr road warriors I meet are saying about World of Hyatt. Do they not care about this demographic? We sure don’t feel the love.

  20. I am divorcing Hyatt after 2 years as a “Diamond.” I hit 180K airline miles this year. I don’t care to count how many months I spent in hotels — but I know that even if I tried I wouldn’t be able to hit 60 nights due to the frequency of short stays in diverse locations (often without Hyatt properties local). It’s been a fantastic run, Hyatt. Passport was an amazing program that drove me to go out of my way to stay at your properties — doing silly things like driving an extra 30 min or an hour away from my morning meetings. I will especially remember my recent stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives. A sad and tearful goodbye as I focus on SPG…

    Hyatt — please bring back elite qualification based on stays. Lucky — please represent us common folks to Hyatt execs! Thanks!

  21. @Johnny Go Fast sez: “It’s been a fantastic run, Hyatt. Passport was an amazing program that drove me to go out of my way to stay at your properties.”

    Gold Passport was never a competitive program. It was “lucrative”, which is travel-blog-speak for “boneheaded.” Those who ran the program, including Ziddell, had no clue what they were doing. As a result, they kept introducing (and pulling) features that, while popular and contributed to the program’s appeal, were utterly ridiculous and unsustainable. WoH was meant to be a “course correction” for the boneheadedness of HGP , but they overcompensated and, as a result, wound up with an even less competitive program…

  22. Hyatt won nothing at the Freddie Award 2017. That says a lot already. I doubt they will win anything for 2018 either.

    As a Globalist, I have to say that World of Hyatt was a disappointment this year. Now that a lot of their previous customers are moving over to other hotel chains, they want to add these extra benefits. While it’s a good move for Hyatt, it’s already too late for most customers.

    My free night award earned from staying at 5 different brands went to waste due to the ridiculous 120 days expiration date. I’ve been to 9 different brands already, but always book away from Hyatt hotels unless it’s a brand that I’ve been to already.

    Due to the ridiculous expiration dates of both the cat1-4 & cat 1-7 award nights, I’ve been staying at other hotel chains for the past few months. As much as I do want Hyatt to succeed, if Hyatt doesn’t update these expiration date to at least 1 year, then I will continue to book my last single qualifying night towards in December. That way it gives me time to plan so another award night won’t go to waste again.

  23. It appears that I’m a minority (at least in the comments on this blog) but I was able to hit the 60 nights (ended up with 66) this year even after only qualifying on stays the previous years. My business travel takes me to big cities so staying at Hyatt’s has been relatively easy (and I prefer Hyatt’s so all things being equal, that’ where I want to stay). I did adjust down the number of SPG properties I was staying at but I was never Platinum status with them anyways.

    I prefer Hyatt because of how I’m personally treated and I like most of their hotels. Plus, I love Hyatt’s when we travel for leisure internationally because we are treated fantastic. Between only having to hit 55 nights next year and award nights counting towards status, I don’t feel that Hyatt is being unreasonable in their expectations for their top tier. As everyone mentions, Hyatt has a lot less hotels than the other chains so it stands to reason that they also need a lot less top tier elites so that they don’t overwhelm the smaller number of hotels.

    IMHO most readers of these blogs are probably not the average business (and leisure) travelers that earn status but I may be wrong, time will tell.

  24. In 2017 I had 100 paid nights with Hyatt and 52 total nights with SPG. I was lucky to be in cities where Hyatt had a good footprint. Hyatt did not get 152 nights with me, because I wanted backup for those times that I do travel elsewhere, or just in case I jump ship in 2018.

    That said, Hyatt has been very kind this year, despite the loss of valuable perks (welcome amenity) and strong promotions (25/75k). I believe they are treating their highly frequent guests well, as I’m about 70-80% on suite upgrades without requests, including a few presidential upgrades at one/two night hotels with family (e.g., properties that don’t owe me a loyalty benefit). They’ve also been quick to offer bonus points when they mess something up, and have worked me in at a few properties with late notice.

    But Hyatt has a long way to go. Counting free nights towards tier credit is a good step. But there is still a lot of lackluster elements. The “concierge” benefit is a joke – or at least my experience with it has been. I’m usually better off calling the member line. The lack of any benefits at Hyatt House or Hyatt Place is a big negative – a welcome amenity at those properties would be appreciated. And perhaps most of all – while I do not expect to see the 25/75k promo again anytime soon… at least let me know that a competitive promo is coming. As of now, I’m spending Jan-Mar in a city with a great Hyatt property, but not knowing if there will be a promo, I’m tempted to stay at the SPG menu of properties in that same city because I know they have a promo. Argh… But there is the rub – if I stay at SPG those 3 months, I might not have access to a Hyatt in other future cities, and therefore might not requalify.

  25. It sucks to hear everyones frustration with WOH. However as a leisure traveller that hit 66 nights this year, I am excited about WOH 2018. My standard suite upgrade rate was 50%+ in 2017, and I am hoping that rate will be closer to 80% with the Globalist pool shrinking.

    If there was one thing I could ask for in 2018, it would be to get additional stay credit for multiple rooms on the same night. Its sucks to see one night credited when I book as many a 3 rooms most of the time.

  26. This is great! I’m in Japan right now on award stays at several Hyatt properties into the new year. Will pick up 8 nights towards status the first week of the year that I wasn’t expecting to count!!

  27. I’ve been informed that my current stay from 26th December to 2nd Jan will not count towards 2017 . I needed 5 nights to make the 60. Am told this stay will count in 2018 . What is the point of having a “ calendar year “ policy if that is not in fact the case .

  28. Enjoyed reading the responses far more than the actual story here. Indeed, Hyatt laid an egg with WOH. Even more than ever, they are the hotel group with the smallest footprint, so they should make it EASY to do business with them… But instead, they rolled out the confusing and complicated WOH program. Most hotels I stay at the Front Desk team does not even know which benefits are included (or not) – e.g. valet parking – but ONLY with award stays !?! It’s a pity, b/c many Hyatt properties are really nice – but all they are rolling out these days is Hyatt Places and Hyatt House. Next time you stay at a Hyatt Place notice how stale the hotels smell – they have not figured out how to get ventilation to ensure it does not smell like a low-end property…

  29. I just got a qualified night for a 5000 point award stay at a cat 1 Hyatt Place. It’s not just free nights that give you it , its also point nights , Huge ! Benefit

    Stay Details
    Qualifying Night(s): 1
    Qualifying Spend: $0.00 USD
    Check-in: Jan/29/2018
    Checkout: Jan/30/2018

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