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Although Hyatt is a smaller hotel program when compared to Hilton and Marriott, Hyatt still has 26 brands and more than 1,150 properties all over the world. Hyatt’s status program also offers its elites a lot of perks. Whether your stays include a lot of Hyatt properties or you’re perhaps looking to switch loyalty, here’s what you need to know about the World of Hyatt elite program.
Hyatt status summarized
Lower-level World of Hyatt elite status can mean tiny touches to improve your travels like free bottled water and late checkout. But for the most elite of elite members, World of Hyatt Elite status can mean VIP treatment, including suite upgrades, club access and money-saving perks like free parking and waived resort fees.
The World of Hyatt elite status program is broken out into three tiers beyond its free-to-join, entry-level Member designation: Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist.
How to earn World of Hyatt status
There are two chief ways to earn World of Hyatt status: Through a combination of stays and points or by adding a Hyatt credit card to your wallet.
Earning through stays and points
You can earn World of Hyatt elite status through a combination of annual qualifying nights and points earning. Meetings also play into the mix.
Elite status level
Meetings and events
There's good news for travelers aiming to reach Hyatt status this year. Based on NerdWallet's most recent analysis, Hyatt has the most favorable ratio for dollars-spent-to-benefits-earned.
This "elite earning rate" represents the expected value you can expect to receive from Hyatt as a percentage of the cost of earning a status tier with the hotel brand.
» Learn more: The best hotel credit cards
Earning World of Hyatt elite status with a credit card
Having the World of Hyatt Credit Card can provide a jump-start to elite status. Every year you hold the card, you'll receive five elite night credits, as well as two elite night credits for every $5,000 of spending.
Though it has a $95 annual fee, you’ll get one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary, which can easily make the card worth it.
Plus, just for having this credit card, you'll get automatic Discoverist status for as long as you keep it.
Business owners also have the option to apply for the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card.
» Learn more: What is the best Hyatt credit card?
Hyatt status levels and benefits at every tier
There are four levels: Member, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. Let's look closer at each.
Basic "member" status is the equivalent to a hotel-loyalty participation trophy: You achieve this level just by signing up for the World of Hyatt program. But just because there’s virtually no effort required doesn’t mean it’s not worth having. To achieve this status, head over to the Hyatt website and sign up for a free account.
As a World of Hyatt member, you earn 5 points per eligible $1 spent at Hyatt properties, which can be redeemed for free nights, upgrades and experiences. You'll also have access to member rates that can save you up to 15% at participating hotels and resorts. Those pesky resort fees are waived at participating locations when you book with points.
Although free breakfast isn’t a perk at this status level, when you stay at a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property, you’ll receive complimentary continental breakfast for up to two people, free Wi-Fi, early check-in and late check-out, plus a next-category room upgrade, when available.
The MGM Rewards program — the loyalty program for MGM Resorts International — will match your member status to their Sapphire level upon request, so you can enjoy benefits when staying at those properties as well.
» Learn more: World of Hyatt: What you need to know
Hyatt Discoverist status can be achieved when you complete 10 nights, earn 25,000 points or schedule three qualifying events at a Hyatt property. You’ll also earn World of Hyatt Discoverist status by holding the World of Hyatt Credit Card or the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, for as long as the cards are open.
Discoverist members have the same benefits as base members, along with a few extra perks. Hyatt Discoverist members earn 5 base points per eligible $1 at Hyatt properties, plus 10% bonus points on all eligible purchases.
Added benefits of being a Discoverist are complimentary premium internet, daily bottled water and upgrades to a preferred room within the same type you booked (based on availability at participating locations). Discoverist members also enjoy 2 p.m. late check-out, subject to availability.
Hyatt Discoverist members can also get matched to MGM Rewards Pearl status.
You will reach Hyatt Explorist status once you complete 30 eligible nights, earn 50,000 points or host 10 qualifying meetings or events.
For a boost toward Explorist status, consider holding the World of Hyatt Credit Card. By holding the card, you’ll receive five qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year (you’re automatically granted Discoverist status), as well as two qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card.
Although the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card doesn’t typically provide automatic qualifying night credits like the personal card, for every $10,000 you spend, you receive five qualifying night credits. However, for a limited time, if you apply by Oct. 6, 2022, and get the card to receive 2 Tier-Qualifying Night Credits for each night you stay from August 23, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022.
Hyatt Explorist members earn 5 base points for every eligible $1, plus 20% bonus points. Beyond this, the incremental benefits of being an Explorist are negligible.
You'll receive the same benefits as a Discoverist member when it comes to member rates, waived resort fees, Small Luxury Hotels program access, premium Wi-Fi, bottled water and late check-out.
The one valuable difference is that you'll get room upgrades to the next available category, though this still depends on availability at check-in. Explorist members also get an availability guarantee, which ensures room availability at participating Hyatt hotels up to 72 hours in advance (with applicable blackout dates).
MGM Rewards will match Explorist members to their Gold status level upon request.
Hyatt's highest membership tier requires you to complete 60 eligible nights, earn 100,000 points or hold 20 qualifying events or meetings.
Hyatt Globalist members receive all the same benefits as previous levels, with some excellent additional perks.
Instead of earning 20% bonus points, Globalist earnings jump to 30% bonus points. This is crucial, as it means you'll rack up points faster so you can start enjoying free nights earlier. Resort fees will be waived on not just award nights — as is the case for all other World of Hyatt status tiers — but on eligible paid rates as well.
You'll get an automatic complimentary upgrade to a standard suite, when available. There's a 48-hour availability guarantee to ensure a room is available when you book last-minute.
Late check-out is extended from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., which is great when you want to squeeze the most out of the last day of your trip. Additionally, in locations where your parking can be charged to your room, you get comped parking when staying on a free night award.
Globalist members can relax with snacks, drinks, continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres every day at the club lounge. If your hotel does not have a lounge, you'll get a free full breakfast every day for up to two adults and two children, provided they’re registered guests.
As a Globalist, Hyatt allows you to extend the benefits of your status to a guest. This "Guest of Honor" perk allows Globalists to book award stays for someone else, which includes access to the same elite benefits.
MGM Rewards will match Globalist members to their Gold status level upon request.
World of Hyatt status match
It’s sometimes possible to gain Hyatt elite status through a status match from other travel loyalty programs. Some status matching programs are easy, simply requiring you to register to receive reciprocal elite benefits. Others require a bit of work, such as still requiring you to stay a certain amount of nights at Hyatt to earn elite status, albeit at a lesser rate than what’s typically required.
Hyatt MGM status match
MGM Rewards is the loyalty program for MGM Resorts — the owner and operator of casinos worldwide, but with a heavy presence in Las Vegas properties including The Mirage, Bellagio and Mandalay Bay.
Thanks to a partnership between MGM Rewards and Hyatt, you’ll receive:
Reciprocal elite benefits and status matching.
The ability to use World of Hyatt points at participating MGM Rewards hotels.
The opportunity to earn the partner’s reward currency for your stay.
And with MGM Rewards membership, you’ll get benefits at MGM Resorts including discounts on rooms, shows and participating retail shops, plus pre-sale tickets to events, concerts, flights and more.
Hyatt American Airlines status match
Although previously American Airlines and Hyatt offered a limited-time promotion for a status challenge, the promotion is over now. Now, only American’s highest status level — ConciergeKey — is able to status match to Hyatt’s highest level, Globalist.
If you’re not a ConciergeKey or Globalist elite, don’t despair. The Hyatt American Airlines partnership allows everyone (regardless of status) to earn:
1 AAdvantage mile for every $1 you spend on Hyatt stays and experiences. The miles earned are in addition to the Hyatt points you’ll already earn.
1 World of Hyatt point for every $1 spent on qualifying American Airlines flights. The Hyatt points you earn are in addition to the American Airlines miles you would already earn as an AAdvantage® member.
If you hold status with American Airlines and Hyatt, you can earn an additional 1 AAdvantage mile per $1 spent on Hyatt stays and 1 additional Hyatt point per $1 spent on American Airlines. Further, the AAdvantage miles earned for Hyatt stays count toward elite status with American Airlines. This is a great opportunity for elites of both programs to accelerate reaching the next status level.
How much is Hyatt elite status worth?
Of all the hotel loyalty programs we reviewed, the World of Hyatt program came in at the top in terms of overall value. And here’s just how much value you can earn from it:
By our estimates:
Discoverist status is worth $19.
Explorist status is worth $610.
Globalist status is worth $5,243.
To determine these estimates, NerdWallet performed a comprehensive analysis of the elite status benefits that are fairly quantifiable, such as resort fee waivers or free breakfast.
But it’s important to remember that everything comes at a price, and there’s a cost involved to earn these benefits. By dividing the benefits by the cost, you can determine an “elite earning rate” for each level.
Value of benefits
Cost to earn
Elite earning rate
And these are also just estimations. Depending on where and how often you stay at Hyatt hotels, status could be worth more or less. If you have Discoverist status and are lucky enough to get a space-available room upgrade during a peak weekend, you could get hundreds of dollars of value in one stay.
Then again, if you have Globalist status but don’t stay at properties with club lounges and skip the free breakfast anyway, you may not see the full value of your Globalist status.
» Learn more: Should you pursue Hyatt elite status this year?
Is Hyatt status worth it?
NerdWallet ranks World of Hyatt No. 2 among hotel loyalty programs in 2022.
Despite coming in second, World of Hyatt points have the most value out of any hotel loyalty program points. According to our most recent valuations, each Hyatt point is worth about 2.8 cents (compare that to Hilton, 0.6 cent each, and Radisson, 0.8 cent each).
Here are some high-value ideas for ways to redeem Hyatt points:
The secret to booking 5,000-point hotels in major cities (Spoiler: Its with Hyatt points)
Because of the brand's recent expansion efforts, the ease of earning points and the ease of using points due to of the program's semi-fixed award chart, earning Hyatt status is worth it for travelers considering hotel loyalty this year.
» Learn more: What is the current Hyatt points value?
Final thoughts on Hyatt elite status
With an ever-expanding portfolio of hotels, the Hyatt brand may have a hotel wherever your next destination happens to be.
While achieving top-tier elite status might be a bit of a stretch for anyone other than heavy business travelers, it’s worth keeping in mind that with World of Hyatt, some valuable benefits start kicking in once you earn low-level Discoverist status — so it's not a bad choice of loyalty program for casual travelers, either.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card