Hyatt’s New Globalist Status Requires Even More Nights Than We Thought

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt

We’re only days away from the launch of the new World of Hyatt loyalty program. As we learned last fall, World of Hyatt will replace Hyatt Gold Passport starting on March 1. I’m in the midst of putting together my thoughts on the new program — spoiler alert, I’m not impressed.

There are a few things to theoretically like in the new program, particularly if you hold top tier status. Globalists, as Hyatt has decided to call them, will get unlimited complimentary upgrades to suites in addition to the four confirmed suite upgrades of the past. Perhaps I was prescient when I wrote “4 Free Upgrades Are Better Than Unlimited Suites, Really” a year ago…


Anyway, that’s about the extent of the good news. There are at least some positives to look forward to for those who can maintain top-tier status, but getting there is going to be a challenge. In fact, it’s arguably harder than most of us thought it was going to be.

Welcome to World of Hyatt email

Hyatt sent out a welcome email to current Diamond members last week. It didn’t really say anything that most of us didn’t already know, but there was one curious line in it.


Much of Team OMAAT — Ben, Tiffany, and I — have Hyatt Diamond status, and have had it for many years. We’re sort of Hyatt fanboys around here. Since the details of the World of Hyatt program have emerged, we’ve had various sidebar conversations discussing the finer points of the new program.

We were all rather well convinced that it would only take 55 nights for current Hyatt Diamonds to requalify for the new Globalist status in 2017. Ben, after all, actually spoke with the Hyatt SVP of Loyalty shortly after the announcement back in October. You’d think he would know….

So we pretty much wrote that section of the email off as a typo and left it that. Others thought the same with Live and Let’s Fly calling it a “False Alarm.”

Park Hyatt Vienna Suite

Globalist will require 60 nights this year

But apparently we were all mistaken.

Hyatt has now clarified that it will indeed take 60 nights this year to requalify as a Globalist. Their logic is this:

Since the World of Hyatt program is brand new, none of us actually qualified as Globalists this year — Hyatt comped us that status out of the goodness of their hearts. Since we didn’t earn it, we have to prove our loyalty to them all over again by staying 60 nights this year. Then, and only then, will we be able to requalify under the 55 night requirement.

I’m betting that most current Hyatt Diamonds — soon to be Hyatt Globalists — thought they only needed 55 nights to requalify this year. I imagine more than a few of them, myself included, have been sharpening their pencils and studying their travel plans to see if they actually have a shot at hitting this ridiculously high target. I mean, let’s put it this way — Ben’s entire job consists of obsessing over and reporting on loyalty programs, and even he thought that only 55 nights were required.

If Ben thought this to be true, then how can any of the rest of us be faulted for thinking this way as well?

Suite at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

The goalposts just moved

Personally, I think this is ridiculous.

Here we are in late February, about one-sixth of the way through the qualification year, and Hyatt has effectively increased the requirements for requalification. People have already planned travel for the year. They have chosen Hyatt over competing chains — possibly paying higher rates or going out of their way — to try to get to 55 nights. And now they are being told, sorry folks you really need 60 nights.

This is the equivalent of moving the goalposts on the football field. At the end of the first quarter. When the other teams has already scored.

You practiced all week on a field that was 100 yards long and now it’s 110 yards. 

Bottom line

I’m not a fan of the new World of Hyatt program. Frankly, it boggles my mind that Hyatt thinks this is the right course of action given the current state of the hotel industry. But whatever, it’s their program and they can do what they want with it.

That said, it’s entirely bush league to change the qualification rules during the year. While I realize they may have intended the 60 night requirement from the get go, that obviously wasn’t well communicated. The folks who run the loyalty program at Hyatt have generally been fantastic communicators, which makes this even more surprising.

Furthermore, it’s a slap in the face to tell current Diamonds that they aren’t real Globalists, that they were merely comped this status and thus won’t be eligible for the reduced requalification requirements until the second year of the World of Hyatt program.

Honestly Hyatt, there’s an easy solution to this. As a show of good faith, I’d suggest that you fully grandfather your current Diamonds into the new World of Hyatt by allowing them to requalify the first year at the reduced 55 night threshold. It seems that would go a long way toward building some goodwill in the new program.

Were you expecting to requalify Globalist with 55 nights?

  1. I agree Travis. Apparently it did not confuse Gary, but certainly confused me. It heartens me that it confused the OMAAT team also! It does appear Hyatt is moving the goalposts here.

  2. Yes. I have been diamond for the last 7 years in a row. I thought it was 55 nights needed for this year. Was quite disappointed to see the email saying i needed 60

  3. It’s a dumb name for a program, and dumb names for elite levels. I’ll lean toward SPG until the merger closes…

  4. Screw Hyatt. Boycott them until they come to their senses.
    Seriously, vote with your wallet. I’m inclined to book away from Hyatt this year.

  5. What about re-qualifying with 55 nights in 2018 to be eligible for the free category 1-7 certificate? Do you still have to stay 60 nights to get that certificate, starting in 2018? Thanks.

  6. Since there is no way can hit 60 nights with Hyatt (just too small a footprint) I’m done with Hyatt. My Diamond life was suite while it lasted. Adios Hyatt!

  7. I’ve been ignoring Hyatt GP and will continue be ignoring WOH for the foreseeable future. No amount of breakfast for a whole family or DSU will convince him to give up the truly global footprint offered by the Marriott+Starwood union (by number of destinations, property choices within a destination, and price points).

    I have 8 leisure trips to Europe in 2017 alone, and in at least half of them, I can’t even locate a single Hyatt property anywhere in the vicinity, at any price.

  8. All of the above – plus you won’t find anything in the FAQ’s or ToS about the “nights/stays” you accumulated this January/February. Try calling the Diamond line and you’ll get different answers from different people when you ask the question: “Do my Jan/Feb 2017 nights count toward the 60 day globalist status requirement?” Got several different answers with 2 reps ADAMANTLY saying they didn’t count and that you start counting March 1. Finally got a definitive answer from a GP manager – in writing – that the Jan/Feb nights do count.

    This new program looks like it was designed by a group of 8th graders. No one at Hyatt seems to be listening to their customers — just look at the Reddit fiasco with Jeff.

  9. I’m not sure this is moving the goal posts since it’s consistent with how the terms and conditions were published from the outset (and so how I understood it). Although I agree it wasn’t made clear in the talking points.

  10. With Hyatt’s footprint, 55 was already tough.

    Hyatt has created a loyalty program that rewards those who travel to places like Bentonville or Reno multiple times each year and slog it out at the Hyatt Places there. I actually think those road warriors are probably the ones who deserve the status the most, but it’s interesting that a program with some pretty nice aspriational properties is diverging so far from the model other big chains use. Congratulations, I guess, Hyatt.

    When planning my business travel and thinking about paying off having to be on the road, obviously places like the Vendome draw my attention and having top tier status would be nice. But it’s not going to happen. The comparison to Starwood and even Marriott is just too stark. Hyatt has not given itself a competitive loyalty program. The Gritti Palace is nice too. Maybe I should thank Hyatt for removing all angst. They’ve made my choices easy on me. I won’t miss that spinach florentine mcmuffin at Hyatt Place one bit.

  11. I’m with Gary. Either I had read it or heard it from Hyatt back in November that you had to qualify for Globalist before you could earn it with only 55 nights. It was said after that the newly minted Globalist this year would need to earn 60 nights to earn Globalist before they could do it with 55. So, not a surprise here.

  12. I assume that anyone you gained diamond status in January and February 2017, still will be Globalist through 02/2019?

  13. It’s written in the detailed T&C which was published a few months ago actually. Ben needs to read in that T&C. some very interesting staff in there including the 5 brand free night is on a once in a life time basis (basically it substitutes the 25/50/75 different hyatt hotel stays mile stone random bonuses).

    Here’s that part of the terms. pretty clear if one reads carefully:
    “After the Effective Date of these Terms, a Member who qualifies for Globalist status by satisfying the minimum Tier-Qualifying Night or Base Point accrual standards set forth above may re-qualify for Globalist status for the following year by either recording a minimum of fifty-five (55) Tier-Qualifying Nights or by earning one hundred thousand (100,000) Base Points during the current Calendar Year. ”

    So the requal of 55 only happens of a 60 night year after the effective date of the new program, which is after 3/1/2017

  14. I also think it was pretty clear that we diamonds would have to hit 60 nights in 2017, then 55 after that. Not sure wherein the confusion lies for most people, except that you certainly could have drawn the conclusion as the wording that I read from Hyatt could’ve been construed in either way.

    That said, the GP powers that be did one nice thing for me: I stayed 8 nights at a property from the 23-31 December, and they credited all 8 nights to 2017. I was already at close to 80 nights for 2016, so win-win. I hope others had this little unplanned bonus, too!

  15. We were one of the few who actually had their question responded to by Senior VP Jeff Zidell in his reddit Q&A session last November.

    At that time we warned everyone that 60 nights was mandatory for everyone in 2017.

    Our article covered the details…

    Disheartening but Hyatt is drinking its own KoolAid (but we suspect there’s an underlying motive…to be revealed in the future)

  16. You’re acting as though you’ve been shot because they require 9% more nights than you expected based on unofficial speculation.
    I remember the good ol days when we had Ben writing 99% of the posts.

  17. I completed 25 stays and I am showing as a Diamond through 02/19 and was given 4 DSU’s that expire on 02/2//17. So, I can only assume on 03/01 I will receive 4 more DSU’s that expires 02/28/18 and will continue to be Globalist through 02/2019

  18. Whether it was 55 nights or 60 nights was a moot point to me, as a Hyatt Diamond. I became qualified on stays, not nights, and since they took that away, I knew I wasn’t going to qualify this year anyway…

  19. @ Travis — I’m with Gary on this one. Many people already understood it to be 60 nights this year because it was answered in Q&As or T&Cs.

    A much bigger deal, IMHO, is that Hyatt increased night requirements while still NOT counting award (points-only) nights. All other major programs count award stays so Hyatt’s unwillingness to do that is baffling.

  20. This really sucks. We have done 24 nights for Hyatt this year and were trying to figure out if we can do 31 more. But now it’s 36 more?!?! Is it really worth making enemies over $500 extra revenue, Hyatt?

    Also, this is like a 100 yard football field becoming 109.09 yards, for what it’s worth.

  21. I agree that Hyatt’s increased top level elite requirements are annoying, but I think it’s silly to say that now one should vote with their wallet and switch loyalty to a different hotel chain. The reason I say this is less because of affection for Hyatt, and more because in my opinion, there is absolutely no reason for credit card enthusiasts to stay loyal to any hotel chain unless they can qualify for top level Hyatt or SPG status. If anyone has a good reason why one should go out of their way (pay a premium) to earn top level status with programs like Hilton, IHG, and Marriott, I have yet to hear it. Mid level status is obviously easily available by having the right credit cards.

    My personal approach for hotel elite status for the future will be as follows. If I think there’s a good chance I can qualify for top level Hyatt status in a year, I will try to do so and pay a small premium for it. If not, I will only stay at hotels because I think they offer the best value for that particular stay and not because they’re part of any hotel chain. In certain cases I will be willing to pay a small premium to stay at Hilton’s or Marriott’s because of extra value I’ll get because of a mid level elite benefit like breakfast for example, but by no means do I intend to limit myself by switching loyalty to either of them.

  22. We were one of the few who actually had their question responded to by Senior VP Jeff Zidell in his reddit Q&A session.

    We also understood and wrote this in our article in November 2016 warning everyone that Hyatt would require 60 nights from everyone in 2017 to meet Globalist status (thereafter 55) going forward.

    Quoted within our post:

    “per Zidell: “You will need 60 nights or 100,000 base points in World of Hyatt in 2017. Then re-qualifying for Globalist status in 2018 would require a minimum of 55 nights.”

    So, no surprise here…but Hyatt is dead to us asfar as an elite program

  23. I suspect Hyatt is far more interested in rewarding customers who are routinely staying with them on a regular basis, likely exceeding the minimum night requirements, rather than those who are desperately scraping together just enough nights (presumably at disproportionately low rates) to just barely qualify for a bunch of rewards.

  24. Don’t think the requal as 60 is the worst part of it. It’s the insult that anything we are getting at the beginning of World of Hyatt is a complimentary gift, not due to requalifying for Diamond. e.g. they are saying the 4 Diamond Suite Upgrades are a gift from them. It’s an earned benefit.

  25. Hyatt should be embarrassed by the roll-out of World of Hyatt. Zidell’s AMA should have been a clear sign to delay and refine the program rather than proceed. I requaled for top tier status last week via a Guest Relations intervention which could only be described as miscommunications and misinterpretations by several Gold Passport front line reps and Guest Services reps. Luckily, I asked those conversations to be documented and in the end, Hyatt stepped up and did the right thing.

  26. @DC-PHLyer — totally agree. When I read that portion of the email last week, I was so irritated. I feel that by their own logic of having a completely new program with WoH, if they want to “gift” us with 4 DSUs, those should be in addition to the 4 DSUs we’ve earned for 2017 activity. Hyatt is trying to have it both ways IMO. Total b/s.

  27. Additionally even Globalists requalifying with 55 nights won’t get suite awards; the 60 night minimum remains for that — that’s not exactly clear given the paralleling of the DSUs with earning Globalist status.

  28. You are so spot on with this post.

    Thanks for an excellent summary. I too have been a hyatt diamond for many many years. I too have been a Hyatt fan boy over the years. And I too presumed that being loyaly, being diamond and now globalist that the 55 nights woudl be a requalification requirement.

    When World Of Hyatt was announced I was really down. I am slowlyy starting to get over it. Really at 60 nights and no more 1000 point bonus/stay (at least 25K less for the year) I think Hyatt is just not worth it. I would do much better to spend my $7000-$10000 per year somewhere else.

  29. I think it is a great way for them to discourage stays. I just hope they see a major decline in business of loyal travelers and have to totally redo their plan again.

    I have status through a tie-in, rarely stay at Hyatts anyway and now I will reduce it to near zero. Hyatt has such a small footprint, this seems like a big mistake, but we and they shall see.

  30. @Travis sez, almost certainly with tongue firmly in each: “Perhaps I was prescient when I wrote ‘4 Free Upgrades Are Better Than Unlimited Suites, Really’ a year ago…”

    You are joking, right? What Hyatt just proved is what I’d been saying all along. The reason they made DSUs “confirmable” and limited them to just 4 per year with a long list of “dont’s”, while explicitly excluding complimentary suite upgrade at check-in, was unquestionably to severely limit how many suite upgrades their top elites got per year — clear programmatic negative!!!

    The proof? Look at what they have done in the monstrosity appropriately acronymed WOH! They made the top elite status, globalist, tough to achieve for most but very very frequent Hyatt hotel guests (i.e., big spenders) and then suddenly they offered unlimited complimentary suite upgrades. It is a clear admission that they consider unlimited complimentary suite upgrades a higher value perk that only their highest value customers deserve. That they first had to “thin the herd” before offering unlimited suite upgrades is all the proof that’s needed

    To be a rocket scientist is not requested to figure that out! -;)

  31. I am with @Gary Leff on this: I read the T&C and nothing has changed. In order to be eligible to make globalist with 55 nights, one had to first make globalist with 60 nights. One way to see this and it is the way I’d understood it, was that the 5 fewer nights on making globalist were a perk for having made it with 60 nights.

    Also, I do not see the big deal. One who is loyal enough to WOH to be willing to make globalist with 66 nights would bitch about needing just 5 more nights?

  32. Hard to have 85 nights with Hyatt last year and be told that they are granting you a favor to give Globalist status in 2017. It really seems as if they are trying to drive away business.

  33. “To be a rocket scientist is not requIRED to figure that out”

    Model phone auto-completion feature: when it works you love it and then get to trust it, until it gets you!

  34. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Hyatt conceded this point and made it seem like all of us disowned Diamonds won something from them. The whole devaluation and so-called enhancement stinks. This disenfranchised diamond is taking his business elsewhere

  35. @James – I had the same thought so I reached out to Hyatt via email and asked them to clarify.

    To be clear, the 4 confirmed suite upgrades are tied to qualifying/re-qualifying for Globalist status (not tied to hitting 60 nights/100,000 base points). So, beginning in 2018, Globalists who re-qualify for Globalist status will be issued the 4 confirmed suite upgrades once they hit 55 nights or 100,000 base points.

    I know the chart on Hyatt’s website looks contradictory on this point, which is why I emailed for clarification (and written proof, should something go awry).

  36. I sort of assumed what Gary thought- that we’d have to spend 60 nights at Hyatt this year to re-qualify. Ridiculous given the footprint of Hyatt. My thoughts are that in the near future, Hyatt is looking to acquire a new brand to expand its existing footprint drastically. If this is stressing loyal globe-trotting Hyatt loyalists already (Globalists?), who actually can visit a lot of Hyatt’s footprint, I don’t think it’s in their long-term plans to keep things so difficult to qualify. In the short term, they’ll weed out some folks (like me), who stayed 25 nights last year to qualify for Diamond, but in the long-term have a more cost-effective membership program that rewards its most profitable members. I can’t argue with them for running a business that way.

  37. Just in case anyone might have missed it…..

    * You can combine your “qualified nights” from 2016 + Jan/Feb 2017 together. If your total combined “qualified nights” are more than 60, you’ll get Globalist until 2/28/2019.

    * If you qualified for Diamond (25stays/50nights) during Jan/Feb 2017, you will receive Globalist until 2/28/2019.

    From January 1st, 2016 – February 28, 2017, I will have 61 nights which will qualify me for Globalist until 2/28/2019. It just sucks that I will still have to stay 60 total nights this year to get the 55 nights re-qualification.

    Hyatt Gold Passport email me and confirmed this.

  38. Based on reading here, I expected 55 nights, but somehow I also got it in my head that either I wouldnt be getting a Cat 1-7 free night this year, or if I did, it would expire after 120 days. Stoked that I’ll be able to use it at PHNY instead of burning 30K points.

  39. @GLeff, I missed the part in your posts where it was clarified that current Diamonds (Globalist ugh in 2017) needed to get 60 nights to qualify for Globalist in 2018. It may be there, but was not clear to me anyway. Globalist is Globalist. If there is a difference for Globalist 2017 versus other years Hyatt should have made that crystal clear!!!

    WOH = World of Hurt! Who moved my cheese? Bye bye Miss American Pie.

  40. I’m not sure why everyone is confused….this was my understanding from the time they announced this silly program

  41. @tiffany — Hyatt website. On the world of Hyatt section. Click on the “transition” tab and at the bottom it mentioned 2016 activity. I saw that and emailed gold passport. They responded and told me that I can combine 2016 activities with jan/feb 2017.

  42. @ kubear — Interesting. What they told us was “Hyatt will go back through everyone’s 2016 activity, and if you would have qualified under the new criteria in 2016, they’ll upgrade your status (in other words, those who met the revenue requirement but not the nights requirement will get the upgraded status).”

    Would you be open to sharing that email with us? That’s super interesting.

  43. @Josh I asked their concierge team on Twitter multiple times to confirm and they said the exact opposite (that the suite upgrades are tied to 60 night not just requalification). One of the biggest stories here is that Hyatt can’t seem to get these details consistent which doesn’t imply great things for implementation.

  44. It’s nuts. Sixty nights is ridiculous. Even 55 nights is ridiculous. There aren’t enough Hyatts. And what good are points, if you can’t ever use them? “Oh, I’d love to redeem points for the Grand Hyatt Kauai for our vacation, but I need the nights to requalify for Globalist next year.” Just stupid.

  45. @kubear @tiffany this is definitely a piece of information I have never heard of. If it is the case, it is definitely great. I guess there are many people out there can reach 60 nights if adding Jan/Feb 2017.

  46. Why is it such a big deal to get 60 rather than 55 nights? I stay at Hyatt every week for work. It isn’t geared for everyone to qualify. I will have over 120 nights for the year. Should those staying 55 have the same status and benefits as me? What’s up with the feeling of entitlement here? Pick a program and actually be loyal to it. Isn’t that the main objective here?

  47. How about the free night certificate (Category 1-7) on March 1 for Globalists? I asked a Hyatt rep about it and she was completely perplexed. I also can’t seem to find it on the Hyatt Website. Is this still happening as far as you know?

  48. @ Noah — The email I received from them says Globalist will receive free night March 1st……….

    “Treat yourself this year”

    “This year, enjoy our gift – a free night in a category 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort and 4 suite upgrade awards (both valid through Febr‌uary 2‌8, 20‌18).”

  49. And per a promotional e-mail this morning, my nights this year suddenly went from 50 to 6, but nights to next tier went to 0. Uh… Clicking on the My Account link took me to an error page saying that the system was down for maintenance…

    This as of 7 pm EST US.

  50. Well, as a Lifetime Globalist member, finally some questions of LT Globalist benefits have been clear after login into new WoH site.

    1. LT Globalists automatically receive Free night award in a Cat. 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort once per calendar year in March without the need to satisfy the qualifying night or base point earning requirements AND LT Globalists may earn one additional Free night (same above) by satisfying the qualifying night or base point earning requirements. That means LT Globalists can earn maximum 2 Free nights per calendar year.

    2. 4 suite upgrade awards have the same scheme as Free night award, LT Globalists can earn maximum 8 suite upgrade awards per calendar year. 4 for free and 4 by satisfying qualifying night or base point earning requirements.

    3. LT Globalists receive My Hyatt Concierge agent service without the need to satisfy the qualifying night or base point earning requirements.

  51. I am a Hyatt EX-fan with the new World of Hyatt, I am currently a Spire Ambassador with IHG, and now a (globalist) with world of Hyatt.. 60 night thresh hold is HIGH but is ridiculous when you take a way Hyatt Card spend nights and do not count award nights! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So really WHO spends 60 paid nights at Hyatt a year besides a few high end business types…
    SPG counts both award nights and gives stay credits through their credit card… GOODBYE HYATT it was good while it lasted!
    I am switching to SPG while their program is still great before their merge hoping they maintain somewhat of separate programs from Marriott…

  52. HYATT fails to realize that you will not be gaining revenue from those people who stay for work 100+ nights per year… The loyalty program is supposed to lure those who would have stayed at a cheaper hotel, those who may not have chosen Hyatt… MAYBE as mentioned WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY WERE THINKING???

  53. Yes, I knew it was 60 nights this year (or 25 stays in Jan/Feb) and 55 nights in 2018. but, I obsseively read all the blogs, including Gary’s (who was probably most accurate), the WOH terms & conditions, and reddit AMA w Zidell, etc.

  54. 8 years as a Diamond at Hyatt – GP since 2001. 25 to 30 nights a year in NFL cities – Usually one sometimes 2 nights per stay. I have full autonomy on what hotel I stay at. Generous expense account that usually included hosting dinner and drinks at Hyatt bars and restaurants. It’s unbelievable Hyatt would change a program and lose guests like me.
    They might increase the number of folks staying at a Hyatt house for $79 a night but they are definitely losing my business.

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