Hyatt Introduces Milestone Rewards & Increases Globalist Requirements

Filed Under: Hyatt
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Some significant changes have been announced to the World of Hyatt program. Whether or not they’re good or bad depends on the type of traveler you are, so let’s look at these details, starting with the bad news.

World of Hyatt increasing Globalist requalification criteria

The World of Hyatt program was launched at the beginning of 2017. Prior to that, Hyatt’s loyalty program was Gold Passport, and the top tier status was Diamond, which required 25 stays or 50 nights.

With the new World of Hyatt program, Hyatt requires 60 nights to qualify for Globalist status, or 55 nights to requalify for Globalist status.

Starting in 2020, Hyatt will require 60 nights to requalify for Globalist status. In other words, there will no longer be a reduced threshold if you’re requalifying rather than qualifying to begin with.

This is of course a negative change, though in fairness, Hyatt has arguably made it easier than ever before to earn status, in particular for those in the US:

Obviously this is negative. I actually don’t think it’s unreasonable as such, as I do think the World of Hyatt program has improved overall, though:

  • Adding five elite nights as a credit card benefit and then requiring five more elite nights to requalify for status a bit over a year later isn’t exactly cool
  • The inconsistency is a bit frustrating — in 2016 a top tier elite needed 50 nights, in 2017 60 nights, in 2018 55 nights, in 2019 55 nights, and then in 2020 60 nights

World of Hyatt is introducing Milestone Rewards

World of Hyatt says that members have been telling them that they want to be “rewarded sooner and more frequently as they travel,” which is why they’re introducing the new Milestone Rewards program as of March 1, 2019.

Hyatt describes this as “an evolution of member benefits that rewards members for benchmarks achieved as they travel.”

Very big picture this means that you’ll simply be earning rewards at different thresholds than before. You’ll earn rewards in increments of 10 elite qualifying nights, all the way from 10 to 100 nights. As far as what this means for status:

  • Nothing is being taken away from Globalist status, and quite to the contrary you’ll be earning an additional reward — the choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card, or the ability to save 10,000 points on a FIND experience
  • Nothing is being taken away from Discoverist or Explorist status, and you’ll actually be able to earn club lounge awards without being an Explorist member, and you’ll be able to earn suite night awards without being a Globalist member

Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Hyatt Milestone Rewards details

The above is a big picture summary of what’s changing, though now let’s look at the rewards at each threshold:

World of Hyatt’s current elite tiers

Before I get into what these changes mean for those at every World of Hyatt elite tier, here’s a reminder of Hyatt’s current elite tier requirements:

  • Discoverist status: 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points (equivalent to $5,000 of spend)
  • Explorist status: 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points (equivalent to $10,000 of spend)
  • Globalist status: 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points (equivalent to $20,000 of spend)

What Milestone Rewards mean for Discoverist members

As before, you receive Discoverist status just for having The World of Hyatt Credit Card. No benefits are being added or taken away for those who just barely qualify for Discoverist status.

However, “overqualifying” Discoverist members have the opportunity to earn more rewards.

At 20 qualifying nights, Discoverist members receive two club lounge access awards, each of which can be used to confirm a club upgrade. These were previously reserved for Explorist members.

Discoverist members will be able to earn club lounge access awards

What Milestone Rewards mean for Explorist members

One of the primary benefits of Explorist status is the four club lounge access awards, and that’s not changing. What changes is that you’ll earn two of these earlier, as you’ll earn two at 20 qualifying nights, and the remaining two at 30 qualifying nights.

Furthermore, there are some additional perks you can earn:

  • At 40 qualifying nights you receive the choice of 5,000 bonus points, a Hyatt gift card, or the ability to save 10,000 points on a FIND experience
  • At 50 qualifying nights you receive two suite upgrade awards, which were previously reserved for Globalist members

Explorist members will be able to earn suite upgrade awards

What Milestone Rewards mean for Globalist members

One of the primary benefits of Globalist status is the four suite upgrade awards, and that’s not changing. What changes is that you’ll earn two of these earlier, as you’ll earn two at 50 qualifying nights, and the remaining two at 60 qualifying nights. Note that in 2019 you’ll still receive the last two at 55 nights if you’re requalifying, based on the current criteria.

Furthermore, there are some additional perks you can earn:

  • At 40 qualifying nights you receive the choice of 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card, or the ability to save 10,000 points on a FIND experience
  • As before, at 70, 80, 90, and 100 qualifying nights, you have the choice of either 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award

Globalist members can receive an extra 5,000 points or $100 gift card

The timing of all these rewards

The timing of all of these rewards can be a bit confusing:

  • Even though the Milestone Rewards program starts on March 1, 2019, activity starting January 1, 2019, will count towards earning Milestone Rewards
  • You can’t “double dip” in the event that you pass any milestones before March; in other words, if you requalified for Globalist status by the end of February 2018 (by staying almost every night at a Hyatt) you’d earn your four suite upgrade awards, but it’s not like you’d earn an extra four in March
  • The increased Globalist qualification criteria kick in starting in 2020, though in 2019 you’ll still be able to requalify with 55 elite nights
  • As before, all club lounge access awards and suite upgrade awards will be valid for the entire remainder of the member year in which they’re earned, for the entire following year, and through February of the year after that (so if you earn two club lounge access awards in March 2019, they’d be valid through February 2021, for example)

The expiration of suite night awards and club access awards won’t be changing

My take on these changes

Obviously the increased requirement to requalify for Globalist status is disappointing, but hardly surprising. I really think Hyatt’s loyalty program is quite compelling at this point, and I’m a happy Globalist member. On the plus side, for earning Globalist status you’re looking at an extra 5,000 points or a $100 Hyatt gift card every year.

Beyond that, I really think what Hyatt did here is smart. One of the issues has long been that while Globalist is a valuable status, Hyatt struggled with offering compelling mid-tier status benefits. The program was almost only worth it if you went for Globalist.

I think it’s smart of Hyatt to add more rewards along the way, like being able to earn club access awards without being Explorist, being able to earn suite upgrade awards without being Globalist, etc.

I think the one risk with this new program is that it can be confusing. Are we supposed to remember what we’re earning at every tier? I guess the flip side of this is that perhaps it’s intentionally a bit confusing, in hopes of making members more engaged, checking the World of Hyatt website more often, etc.

What do you make of these World of Hyatt changes?

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  1. This also means that MLife members who match to Explorisr will no longer automatically receive the club upgrade awards, right?

  2. If they’re gonna bump up requalifying for Globalist to 60 nights in 2020 I feel like in 2019 they REALLY should introduce the automatic ability to rollover extra nights beyond 55 to requalify for the following year. Kind of ridiculous that if you spend say 69 nights (14 above current requalifying) you get nothing extra or if you spend 79 nights all you get for spending 24 nights above requalifying is a lousy 10,000 points or a single tier suite upgrade. I feel like Hyatt really isn’t doing a good job of taking care of their Globalists.

    This announcement stinks and I’m not excited about a single $100 gift card or 5,000 points as effectively the only real benefit for Globalists while they hike up the requalifying threshold to 60 on us. Basically they are throwing away their whole argument from when they launched World of Hyatt last year that existing Globalists should be recognized in some way hence the 55 vs 60 nights.

  3. Ben, you say the 4 club lounge awards for Explorists is not changing, but, the description says “Update: 2 club lounge access awards”, which would be a major downgrade?

  4. Got it now – with the milepost system you now get 2 club awards at 20 nights, and 2 more at 30, rather than all at 30, so it is actually better for those who fall a little short of 30 nights in a year.

  5. I’m trying to get to “globalist” status through Hayatt credit card spending. However, my account closing date is the 19th of the month.
    Will Hayatt consider my points up to December 31st or only till closing date of the 19th??
    (I’ll be short around 20k points by closing date)

  6. @ Shoshana D. — You get two elite nights for every $5,000 spent. However, the actual points you earn don’t count as base points towards Globalist. So it sounds like you may be confused in that sense?

  7. @ Jesse — Since Globalist members already always receive lounge access when there is a lounge, that doesn’t apply for Globalists.

  8. For those of us not based in the US, we don’t have access to the Hyatt Credit Card and we have a lot less properties to stay at. So bumping the qualification requirement to 60 nights really stinks!!
    We have to earn the status the hard way, by actually staying 60 nights in a small pool of properties…
    The irony is that Marriott gives similar perks to 50 nights Platinums which is easy to achieve given that you can stumble upon a Marriott anywhere.
    Add the negative changes to Points+Cash redemptions and I’m starting to rethink my loyalty to Hyatt

  9. A few things that upset me. A 55 night member will only now be Discoverist and will just get 4 lounge access passes but 2 suite upgrades.

    Secondly, they announce this with just a couple days before it takes effect. That is also poor.

    Count me as not happy at all about the changes.

  10. @ Greg — To clarify, the 55 night change applies as of 2020. So they’re giving over a year of notice for that.

  11. @ Ben — “The inconsistency is a bit frustrating — in 2016 a top tier elite needed 50 nights, in 2017 60 nights, in 2018 55 nights, in 2018 55 nights, and then in 2019 60 nights”. Should the last 2 years be 2019 and 2020?

  12. It’s smart of Hyatt to offer incremental awards for people who aren’t sure they’re able to commit to qualifying for Explorist & Globalist. I think they’ve also correctly seen that there are a LOT of Starriott members looking for a new program right now as things are completely imploding over there (ongoing IT mess & past security breach, elite recognition issues, reduction of resort benefits, point devaluation…etc.)

    Having said that, I’m still not sure why they wouldn’t offer Globalists a bit more for STAYING Globalists. Something like, say, the check-in bonus they used to offer! Offering two tiers where people get club lounge access is completely worthless to your top-tier customers! Why not offer them something valuable like 10k points & 15k points at 20 and 30 night thresholds?

  13. @Greg you can stay 55 nights at Hyatt but not 60?

    Hyatt obviously did their research and found that a good enough portion of their re-qualifying globalists were hitting at least 60 nights, so therefore did not need to have that 55 night exception.

    I still find it ridiculous how much they think people are spending per night to have those base point thresholds… At 61 nights I have ~62,000 base points, whereas Hyatt thinks it should equate to a full ~38,000 MORE base points. I’m a globalist grifter apparently.

  14. @Sean I agree. Once I re-qualified for globalist I had no incentive to keep staying with Hyatt other than that I wanted to get more points to be able to redeem at their new SLH partnership hotels. If they did something like a 10% bonus on all earned points YTD if I stayed x amount of nights over 60 then I would absolutely go for it. Or something else similarly incentivized.

  15. @Super I disagree with your assumption about Hyatt’s research. If everyone was hitting 60 nights either way, there would be no need to raise it.
    I would guess that they saw that it would be easy enough for people to reach the 60 nights even though people are not currently reaching that.

  16. That sucks about not getting the Club Passes through the MLIFE match anymore. Oh well, at least I have 8 more until February 2020!

  17. I am clinging onto my “lifetime Globalist” status from the errant credit card offer a few years back. I imagine that with the many Globalist-lites out there they are trying to make more benefits only through earning which I completely understand. I am careful to ignore any credit card “upgrade” offers as I imagine it would blank out my grandfathered Diamond/Globalist status benefit! I understand there may come a day where Chase just does away with the old card and then I am done…

  18. I don’t really get the rationale for cutting off the milestone awards at 100 nights. Some leisure travelers will easily exceed that threshold (really!). Some business travelers will *vastly* exceed it. This is particularly true since WoH is now counting award and credit card spend nights for qualification. Shouldn’t Hyatt be doing everything in its power to capture price-insensitive business travelers who live on the road?

  19. @Super … thanks for plugging the Hyatt Grifter Index. But clocking in at an HGI of just under 0.62 hardly makes you the worst of this bunch. In fact, when I first saw the headlines about new changes, I got seized with a bad conscience: What if the Hyatt Grifter Index (and the results shown on Flyertalk) convinced Hyatt to crack down on us?

    Fortunately, they have not, and Hyatt remains (IMHO) by a long shot the best bang for the buck, or points — especially when it comes to top-tier “loyalty.”

  20. This is way too long and complicated in order to be funny. Especially given Hyatt, if you discount Hyatt Place and House, has barely any footpring. Let´s be honest…

  21. I’m exploring matched from MLife. My 4 lounge access recently disappeared. Does anyone have similar experiences?

  22. Just give me levels I can understand. I’m globalist but dropping to explorist (is that a word?). Explorist sounds better to me so yay?

  23. Ben, I’m Europe based and I’ll be hitting 30 nights before the 1st of January, so I’ll be Explorist again till February 2020.
    Does the change mean that now instead of receiving the usual 4 club awards on March 1st, now the 20, 30 nights requirement for the club vouchers starts on January 1st?

  24. On a positive note, Hyatt is allowing you to carry forward excess nights to re-qualify for Globalist.

    Qualified for Globalist for the first time on 12/26. Just returned from Andaz Mayakoba beginning on 01/01/19 for 5 nights and account now shows 50 qualifying nights needed to re-qualify for 2020-2021 year (the 55 nights to re-qualify is still in effect for 2019-2020 year).

    I guess a negative of the carry forward would be for true road warriors with 70, 80, 90 plus nights a year, they will no longer earn the guaranteed suite upgrade with every additional 10 nights after qualifying for Globalist.

  25. @Lucky – I am assuming all the milestone rewards at 10 night intervals are also available to those who accumulate elite nights through CC spend.

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