One aspect of World of Hyatt that some members find confusing is the Milestone Rewards program. In this post I wanted to provide an in-depth look at how exactly the Milestone Rewards program works, and how you can maximize the value you get through it.
This is especially worth understanding given that World of Hyatt has reduced 2021 elite thresholds by 50%, but hasn’t reduced Milestone Rewards thresholds.
What are Hyatt Milestone Rewards?
With the World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards program, you receive certain perks when you pass thresholds over the course of a calendar year.
For context, Hyatt has three elite tiers, which ordinarily have the following requirements:
- Discoverist status: 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points (equivalent to $5,000 of spending)
- Explorist status: 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points (equivalent to $10,000 of spending)
- Globalist status: 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points (equivalent to $20,000 of spending)
However, for 2021 these requirements have been cut in half, as follows:
- Discoverist status: 5 qualifying nights or 12,500 base points (equivalent to $2,500 of spending)
- Explorist status: 15 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points (equivalent to $5,000 of spending)
- Globalist status: 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points (equivalent to $10,000 of spending)
In addition to that, World of Hyatt offers perks for every 10 qualifying elite nights you earn over the course of a calendar year, up to 100 qualifying elite nights. There are also rewards for earning a certain number of base points, ranging from 25,000 to 100,000 (the equivalent of $5,000 to $20,000 of spending). These goalposts haven’t been adjusted for 2021 (and most likely won’t be).
Receive additional perks through the Milestone Rewards program
Full list of Hyatt Milestone Rewards benefits
With the above out of the way, it’s probably easiest to explain the program by going through all of the Milestone Rewards. Here are the Milestone Rewards, from 10 elite nights, all the way up to 100 elite nights:
10 nights or 25,000 base points
For earning 10 elite nights or 25,000 base points (equivalent to $5,000 of spending) you ordinarily earn Discoverist status, which is the first Milestone Rewards perk. This offers a 10% points bonus, premium internet, upgrades to preferred rooms, late check-out, and more.
However, for 2021 you actually earn Discoverist status with just five nights or 12,500 base points.
20 nights or 35,000 base points
For earning 20 elite nights or 35,000 base points (equivalent to $7,000 of spending) you receive two club lounge access awards. Each can be used to get you club lounge access for a stay of up to seven nights on an eligible stay, whether paying cash or redeeming points.
Receive two club lounge access awards
30 nights or 50,000 base points
For earning 30 elite nights or 50,000 base points (equivalent to $10,000 of spending) you ordinarily receive several perks:
- Explorist status, which gets you incremental perks like a 20% points bonus, room upgrades to the best available non-suites, and more
- Two more club lounge access awards
- Category 1-4 free night award
However, for 2021 you actually earn Explorist status with just 15 nights or 25,000 base points.
40 nights or 65,000 base points
For earning 40 elite nights or 65,000 base points (equivalent to $13,000 of spending) you can choose from one of three perks:
- 5,000 World of Hyatt bonus points
- $100 Hyatt e-gift card
- 10,000 World of Hyatt points off a FIND experience
Personally I tend to think the Hyatt e-gift card option is the best of these. If you select this option, Hyatt will instantly send you a $100 e-gift card. The e-gift card doesn’t expire, and can be redeemed at participating Hyatt hotels and resorts in the Americas (though they’re not accepted at locations outside the Americas). Here’s a full list of participating locations.
Personally I find that to be a better deal than the 5,000 points, since I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, giving the points option a $75 value. Lastly, the FIND experience points discount sounds compelling, but this is extremely limiting due to how few experiences are available.
You can’t really go wrong with the 5,000 points or $100 gift card, though.
50 nights or 80,000 base points
For earning 50 elite nights or 80,000 base points (equivalent to $16,000 of spending) you receive two suite upgrade awards. Each can be used to confirm an upgrade at the time of booking to a standard suite for a stay of up to seven nights during an eligible stay, whether paying cash or redeeming points.
Receive two suite upgrade awards
60 nights or 100,000 base points
This is without a doubt the most exciting threshold. For earning 60 elite nights or 100,000 base points (equivalent to $20,000 of spending) you receive several perks:
- Globalist status, which is Hyatt’s awesome top tier status, offering a 30% points bonus, upgrades to the best available rooms (including standard suites), 4PM late check-out, breakfast and/or club lounge access, and more
- Two additional suite upgrade awards
- Category 1-7 free night award
- Access to My Hyatt Concierge
However, for 2021 you actually earn Globalist status with just 30 nights or 50,000 base points.
Receive a free night award
70, 80, 90, or 100 nights
At each threshold of 70 elite nights, 80 elite nights, 90 elite nights, or 100 elite nights, you can choose between the following two Milestone Rewards (there’s no option to earn these rewards through base points):
- 10,000 World of Hyatt bonus points
- One additional suite upgrade award
Since I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, I value the 10,000 points at $150. Which choice is better comes down to how much you value a suite upgrade award. Would you pay $150 for an incremental suite upgrade award? If so, by my valuation that’s a better option.
Hyatt Milestone Rewards FAQs
There’s some more nuance to the Hyatt Milestone Rewards program, and I figure it’s best to address that in the form of some frequently asked questions:
Why does Hyatt have the Milestone Rewards program?
The Milestone Rewards program was introduced in 2019. With this change, the idea is that some perks that were previously associated with qualifying for a certain status tier can now be earned earlier.
For example, Globalist members used to get four suite upgrade awards per year upon earning status, but now already get the first two upon reaching 50 elite nights. The idea is to reward members more often, though admittedly it can create a bit of confusion.
There’s a big gap between earning Explorist and Globalist status (30 nights vs. 60 nights), so this program offers some incremental perks for those who over-qualify for Explorist, but don’t quite reach Globalist.
To the contrary, in situations where there’s a status fast track promotion (as we’re essentially seeing in 2021), those who qualify for status with fewer nights may not receive all the perks.
Do elite nights earned through credit cards count towards Milestone Rewards?
Absolutely! The World of Hyatt Credit Card makes it easier to earn status, as the card offers elite nights — you earn five elite nights annually just for having the card, and two elite nights for every $5,000 spent. Those elite nights count towards Milestone Rewards.
If you apply for the card by December 31, 2020, you’ll even receive 10 elite nights for 2020, and 10 elite nights for 2021.
Do promotional elite nights count towards Milestone Rewards?
Yes. For example, with Hyatt’s current global promotion you get one elite night for next year for every qualifying elite night earned during the promotion period. Those bonus elite nights would count towards Milestone Rewards.
Do you earn Milestone Rewards if you status match?
While World of Hyatt doesn’t have a formal status match program, we have sometimes seen targeted status matches, including for American AAdvantage members.
If you do status match then you won’t receive Milestone Rewards. These are entirely related to the number of elite nights in your account, rather than your status, and a status match typically doesn’t come with any elite nights.
Similarly, if you earn Globalist status in 2021 with 30 elite nights, you’ll only receive the Milestone Rewards corresponding to 30 elite nights.
What base points count towards Milestone Rewards?
World of Hyatt members earn five base points per eligible dollar of spending at Hyatt hotels. Those are the base points that would qualify towards Milestone Rewards. Meanwhile points earned through credit cards aren’t considered “base points” for these purposes.
Do you earn Milestone Rewards every year?
You sure do! Milestone Rewards aren’t a one time thing, but rather are an ongoing benefit. Furthermore, you can earn all Milestone Rewards every year. In other words, if you were a Globalist last year, you’d still be able to receive rewards at all tiers this year.
Why aren’t there Milestone Rewards beyond 100 nights?
That’s a great question, and something I’ve wondered as well. My speculation would be that Hyatt has decided that those staying 100+ nights per year at Hyatt would do so either way, and there’s limited value to incremental benefits. I’m not sure that’s actually true, but it’s the only explanation I can come up with.
How much time do you have to select Milestone Rewards?
For Milestone Rewards tiers where there’s a choice you have to make your selection within 90 days. Meanwhile for those Milestone Rewards where there isn’t a choice, they’ll automatically be deposited in your account within days.
Do you need to register for Milestone Rewards?
There’s no registration required, and World of Hyatt members automatically earn these upon reaching thresholds. For the benefits where there are no choices, the Milestone Rewards will automatically post, while for those where there’s a choice, members will receive an email asking them to make a selection.
How to earn Hyatt elite nights
On the most basic level you earn one elite night for every night you stay at Hyatt when booking directly through Hyatt channels (this includes both award and revenue nights). On top of that, the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers the opportunity to earn additional elite nights:
- You receive five elite nights annually just for having the card (those who apply by December 31, 2020, will receive 10 elite nights for each of 2020 and 2021)
- You receive two elite nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card
Those are only some of the perks offered by this incredible card, as the card also offers:
- A Category 1-4 free night certificate on your account anniversary every year
- A second Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in a cardmember year
- Discoverist status for as long as you have the card
The Hyatt Milestone Rewards program offers benefits for every 10 elite nights you earn annually, all the way up to 100. In some cases Milestone Rewards offer perks that previously weren’t offered to elite members, while in other cases Hyatt added perks with the introduction of this program.
This will perhaps cause more confusion in 2021 than in the past, given that the requirements to earn elite status have been lowered by 50%, while Milestone Rewards thresholds haven’t been lowered. In other words, if you qualify for Globalist with 30 elite nights, you won’t receive any Globalist Suite Upgrade Awards.
What has your experience been with the Milestone Rewards program? Do you have any questions about Milestone Rewards that I haven’t answered?