Hyatt Award Stays Will Count Toward Elite Status

Park Hyatt St Kitts

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Hyatt Hotels has announced a couple of changes to their World of Hyatt loyalty program, and as a pleasant surprise, they both appear to be positive for most members.

Starting January 1, 2018, World of Hyatt will begin counting award stays toward the requirements for earning elite status in the program.

In addition, the free night award certificates that members receive when reaching a new elite status level will have their expiration dates extended from 120 days to 180 days.

The management team that runs World of Hyatt recently had some turnover, and these moves represent the first steps in the new team’s goal of improving the program by enhancing available benefits.

What This Means

Hyatt has a long way to go to bring their program back to a favorite again for many travelers, but these announced changes are definitely moving in the right direction.

Award Stays Counting for Credit

Before this change, only fully paid nights and nights booked with cash & points rates would count toward the necessary requirements to earn elite status with World of Hyatt. There was no way to earn a night credit without any out of pocket expense.

This new change allows award stays booked fully with points to count for credit in the same way as a paid stay.

World of Hyatt members will now be free to choose any method they want for booking a night, with no worries that using points would keep them from reaching their desired elite status level.

Starwood Preferred Guest has been counting award stays toward elite status for more than 5 years now, so it’s great to see Hyatt finally coming around and adding this benefit to their program as well.

Bottom Line: It will now be possible to earn top-tier Globalist status in the World of Hyatt program with no out of pocket expense. You can use points earned from your credit cards for all of the required stays and still be recognized for your loyalty to the brand.

Free Night Certificate Extension

The extension of free night certificate expiration from 120 to 180 days is great for those members who reach elite tiers and earn these certificates.

It is not always easy to schedule travel within a set amount of time to be able to take advantage of these certificates. The move from a 4-month expiration to a 6-month expiration means that members will have greater flexibility in using their certificates.

As such, the perceived value of these certificates will go up for many members. Ease of use for free nights is very important, and it’s nice to see Hyatt recognizing this for their elite members.

How to Earn Hyatt Points

Hyatt Bund Shanghai
Use your points for a stay at the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai, China, and you will still earn elite stay credit — even though you’re spending your cash on the delicious food throughout the city instead of your hotel nights. Did we mention the view?

In addition to earning points with paid stays at Hyatt properties, it is fairly easy to earn a lot of World of Hyatt points through credit card spending.

Chase is the only bank to deal with if you are looking for Hyatt points. Not only do they have a co-branded Hyatt Credit Card, but they also allow 1 to 1 transfers of points from their Ultimate Rewards program to the World of Hyatt program.

For many more ways to build up your balance, check out the best ways to earn World of Hyatt points.

Final Thoughts

This is huge news for those of us who like to use our points instead of paying cash for hotel rooms. Earning top-tier Globalist elite status is now possible without any out of pocket expense.

Those who spend a lot of money with Hyatt throughout the year may see these changes as negative, possibly enlarging the elite member numbers and making it more difficult for them to get upgrades.

However, it is nice to see Hyatt finally recognizing the loyalty of those members who earn points through credit cards and regularly stay at Hyatt properties. Sure, it may be a different type of loyalty, but Hyatt makes money on the points they sell for partners to give out, so they are still earning income from those of us who prefer to use points.

The number of stays necessary to reach Globalist with Hyatt is still quite high, but for those who earn a lot of Ultimate Rewards points through their businesses, earning elite status just got a lot less expensive. As a bonus, members will have a bit longer to use their free night certificates too.

All in all, it’s great to see positive changes coming from Hyatt, and we hope to see many more true enhancements coming down the line. Many of us were very unhappy when the new World of Hyatt program was released last year, so hopefully this new management team will restore its status as a leader in the industry

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