World Of Hyatt Milestone Rewards: Which Are Best?

Filed Under: Hyatt
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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:

…and more! You can learn all about the World of Hyatt Card here, and see this post for the best credit cards for earning Hyatt points.

Bottom line

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?

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Comments
  1. I was recently able to status match my Caesar’s rewards Platinum (from AMEX Platinum via Wyndham) to MGM Gold, and then Hyatt Explorist! Great easy way to get status.

  2. How long after hitting a milestone reward that offers a suite upgrade until the certificate is available in your account?

  3. With the current bonus journeys promo…if I get the WOH card and get 5 elite nights are those counting for 2020 and 2021?

  4. @ Nick — The World of Hyatt Card offers five elite nights annually, so you’d get them for 2020 and 2021 (and any subsequent year you have the card).

  5. My only significant complaint about World of Hyatt’s awesome program is the cap at 100 nights on earning milestone rewards. With Hyatt crediting Autumn 2020 stays as 2021 qualification nights, there are going to be legions of people hitting the 100-night mark in 2021. Ideally there would be incentives that kept people pushing up their night count once they hit that mark. We now have top-tier status in three different hotel loyalty programs — premium credit cards are making that much easier to keep — and consumers like us are faced with choice once we’ve topped out the night count.

    For the last two years we’ve exceeded 120 qualifying nights through a combination of stays and credit card spend. Before getting into the WoH program, we spent 0 nights a year at Hyatt hotels. If the goal of the program is to create demand where none existed before, it has been wildly successful in our case.

  6. @Lucky: here’s an outside-the-box nights earning question. MLife nights in Vegas match to WoH: a stay at Mirage, Mandalay Bay, or ~11 other Vegas hotels earn qualifying nights in Hyatt’s program. Have you investigated whether nights that are comped or significantly discounted also earn on WoH? With a bit of gambling, it is not hard to receive solicitations for free or heavily discounted rooms in MGM properties.

  7. I had the one year where I did 350 nights. It just suites me. I complained through both hotels I stayed about the cap and through my concierge. In all cases I got a token response. It was a mistake on my part. I should have moved to another hotel as I knew I would be staying the year.
    I also took the points.

  8. Slightly related. I was planning to do a Hyatt mattress run to achieve the Milestone rewards & Globalist. Individual nightly rates were reasonable, BUT when going to book, the aggregate total cost of all nights were much higher! In fact, the nightly rate(which were all the same price) in the aggregate total was greater than any one night if looked at individually. In other words, you cannot just look at each individual nightly rate on the Hyatt website, add them up and think that’s the price you’ll get – Hyatt somehow prices it higher when booked as a whole. What a farce.

  9. @Hoodwinkd by Hyatt Your account doesn’t make a lot of sense. Is it possible that what you’re noticing is that Hyatt specifies a nightly rate corresponding to each night of your stay, but that on the confirmation page, it has added in all of the state taxes, municipal taxes, special municipal taxes, and resort fees that as a non-Globalist you’re obliged to pay? Particularly in cities like San Francisco, the cornucopia of additional taxes increase the overall bill hugely. As a non-Globalist, “destination fees” or resort fees will also add a lot to your bill. My advice: make Globalist ASAP.

  10. @Kendor @Hoodwinkd by Hyatt: Coincidentally, this past week I’ve also noticed this “phenomenon” for the property that I’ve been running/sleeping at (for dates well into the next year) and was about to throw the spreadsheet with the data and my calcs at the GM and demand answers… guess I’ll hold off now seeing that this might be a Hyatt thing and see if anyone can shed some light on this… I’ve been loyal to Stariott the past 12-15 years and so have never seen rates not averaging out properly like this…

  11. Oh, and @Kendor: no this has nothing to do with any taxes or fees… I saw this with pre-tax Standard rates. And yeah, I’m Globalist

  12. @NewToHyatt @Hoodwinkd by Hyatt So interesting. What happens if you try to reserve/book the same stay as a series of 1 night stays?

    Wild guesses: perhaps Hyatt’s algorithm has figured out you’re gaming for your self-described “mattress run” and is discouraging an excessive number of stays in a property you’re not truly interested in being at? No judgment, just trying to figure out what’s up here.

  13. @Kendor: If I book it as a series of single days then I would supposedly pay less for the stay… However, for a variety of reasons that’s not always feasible.

    And no, the reservation system is not discriminating against me, it’s showing me publicly available rates.

  14. @NewToHyatt Are you booking multi-day stays in a low-cost Hyatt, checking in, and then leaving the hotel for many days and not actually staying there the whole time? That’s one of few reasons I can think of why you might not want to book the stay as a series of single day stays (which can easily be merged by the front desk.) And its conceivable their system is set up so that people suspected of this can be identified and/or “punished.” Again, no judgement.

    What’s interesting about what your reporting is that in my experience, usually you are punished for shorter stays, due to municipal taxes that are applied to each and every reservation. Very interesting what you are reporting.

  15. @Kendor: No, I’m sleeping and taking most of my meals on the property. Also, there are no sales tax or hotel taxes in this jurisdiction.

    Has anybody else experienced cases where published non-single night stays cost more than the average daily rate of each night? Thanks

  16. @Lucky

    You left out the part where for milestones with a choice, you have 90 days to select or the option disappears. After that date, YMMV on whether you can convince someone to make a points adjustment to your account of an equal value.

  17. I think the only gap in the milestone program is the club upgrades. If you qualify as globalist year in, year out, why do you want 4 club lounge upgrades? You literally can’t use them because they happen automatically as a Globalist. I’d spend 100 WoH points just to get them from cluttering up my award interface.

  18. @Andrew I agree it would be nice to get an option at 20 and 30 nights. Even if it’s only 2,500 points instead of the club upgrades, at least it’s something for Globalists.

  19. For our situation, the choice between points and confirmed suite upgrade certificates is a no-brainer: I always take the certs and I always make sure I earn all the certs I can by earning 100 nights for the year. With the right redemption — and some of Hyatt’s suites are amazing — each up-to-7-night-stay cert can be worth many thousands of dollars.

  20. Hyatt should announce an expansion on the Milestone Rewards beyond 100 nights and/or rollover nights. The absence of this will lead me to pursue Marriott Titanium again next year. Also, Hyatt should announce lifetime Globalist for 1000 head in bed nights.

  21. @Ben – I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll think about it once I’m social again. 🙂

    @MattR – totally agreed.

  22. How it affects globalist for life members? Will they still get all their previous perks such as an anniversary 1-7 free night certificate?

  23. @JoeSchmo – Agree 100% on extending Milestone Rewards beyond 100 nights, there are a lot of Hyatt Globalists that are going to very quickly get to 100 in 2021 because of the rollover of 4Q 2020 nights, and a lot of people who will be “most of the way” to another hotel’s top tier due to credit card incentives (getting the two AMEX Marriott card gives you 30 qualifying nights right off the bat.) Perhaps beyond 100 Hyatt could offer extended rewards that don’t actually cost them that much (e.g. drinks at the bar, spa services, dinner credit some of the lifestyle experiences they’ve been promoting.) Or maybe encourage people with crazy night counts with aspirational awards at 125, 150, and 200 nights.

    OTOH, there’s a good argument to be made that the incentive for sticking with Hyatt beyond 100 nights is the simply the experience and benefits they offer Globalists. I have learned that Hyatt check-in folks are presented extended information about a guest’s recent stay habits: it notifies the receptionist if a guest is one of the top guests for that property in terms of night count. Presumably they may use that information to make some decisions on how to treat people, assign rooms, and so on. Officially Hyatt doesn’t have higher tiers of Globalists, but my experience is that it is often noticed when a guest comes in with an exceptionally high night count.

  24. I’m troubled to understand if its better to SPEND MONEY at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts right now or USE POINTS under the available promos. Any thoughts here? (25% back on points or 4x earned)

  25. Ben:

    I believe that nights with points count towards nights’ stays.

    Do free night awards also count?

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