How Las Vegas Just Became the Best Place to Earn Hyatt Elite Status

Hyatt's partnership with MGM Rewards makes Las Vegas a great place to work toward status.
Apr 28, 2022

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Are you interested in Hyatt elite status? Join the party. While other hotel loyalty programs offer great benefits, Hyatt rewards its most loyal customers with perks that others just can’t match.

However, unlike other hotel programs, Hyatt doesn’t give you the ability to earn top- or even mid-tier elite status by simply holding a co-branded hotel credit card. Although there are several ways to acquire those coveted elite night credits and thus earn elite status, one way in particular has just become incredibly lucrative: staying in beautiful Las Vegas.

Take a look at why Las Vegas has just become the best place to earn Hyatt status.

The benefits of Hyatt elite status

Hyatt offers four levels of elite status. Only the bottom tier, Discoverist status, can be earned by holding a co-branded credit card.

Hyatt elite status requirements by nights, base points and meetings and events.

Elite status level

Nights

Base points

Meetings and events

Member

0.

0.

0.

Discoverist

10.

25,000.

3.

Explorist

30.

50,000.

10.

Globalist

60.

100,000.

20.

Each tier of elite status is entitled to different perks, but the most generous come with Hyatt Globalist. Along with increased bonus points, late checkout and premium internet, Globalist members receive some premium perks. This includes things like:

  • Upgrades to suites.

  • Waived resort fees on all stays.

  • Free breakfast.

  • Free parking when traveling on an award stay.

However, 60 nights is a significant amount of time to spend anywhere, let alone within a property in the Hyatt portfolio. Base points and meetings also require serious commitment. The other big barrier to earning Globalist status? Cost.

If you don’t already have plenty of traveling planned, it likely doesn’t make sense for you to create additional stays and add additional costs just to earn status. Thankfully, there’s another — much cheaper — way to make this happen.

How to earn Hyatt elite status

As we outlined earlier, there are three main categories that will help you earn elite status:

  1. Nights.

  2. Base points.

  3. Meetings and events.

The most common method you’ll see is by spending a certain number of nights at Hyatt. However, this can get pretty pricey, pretty quickly. Even with a relatively low room rate of $100 per night, you’d still be spending over $6,000 per year just to snag this status.

Nerdy tip: Both the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card offer you the ability to earn unlimited elite night credits via spend.

Happily, Hyatt has a reciprocal partnership with MGM Resorts, the large hotel and gaming company. This means that you can book a hotel stay with MGM, provide your World of Hyatt number and receive both elite status credits and Hyatt points for your stay. It also means that any Hyatt elite status you have will be matched to MGM at the following tiers:

World of Hyatt membership level

MGM Rewards tier

Member.

Sapphire.

Discoverist.

Pearl.

Explorist.

Gold.

Globalist.

Gold.

Why is this important? Because MGM has just revamped its reward program to waive resort fees for members with Gold status and above. This is a big deal, especially in resort-heavy Las Vegas, where room rates are rock-bottom but resort fees are not. Be aware that rooms must be booked directly with MGM to qualify for this benefit; it doesn’t apply to rooms booked via Hyatt.

As a Gold member, you’ll also receive free valet parking, room upgrades and complimentary show tickets, among other benefits.

Using Las Vegas to earn elite status

If you’re already an Explorist member or above, earning elite status with Hyatt for another year has just become far cheaper thanks to this partnership with MGM Resorts. Even if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll have to pay those resort fees for only the first 30 nights. After you stay 30 nights with Hyatt, you'll earn Explorist status, which translates to MGM Resorts Gold and allows for your resort fees to be waived on stays at MGM properties.

So what does this mean for Hyatt members? Here’s a look at the Excalibur Hotel & Casino, where a three-night stay can add nearly $120 in resort fees to your stay. Those fees alone can cost more than the room rate.

When testing example bookings, we found room rates around $34, on average. But with Hyatt Explorist status — which also means MGM Gold — those resort fees are no more. You'll also save $45 in parking fees when taking advantage of MGM Gold’s free parking perk. Add on various other perks and discounts and you could save hundreds on your next stay in Las Vegas.

Nerdy tip: Don’t forget to use a shopping portal such as Rakuten to earn additional rewards for your MGM Resorts hotel stays.

As an Explorist and above

Say that you became a Globalist last year and want to repeat the experience. Those suite upgrade awards are really something special, and now that you’ve had a taste, you can’t go back.

If you don’t have any other travel plans and don’t otherwise hold a World of Hyatt credit card, you’ll need to spend the full 60 nights in order to requalify for status. Using the $34 room rate we mentioned earlier — and with resort fees waived — this means you’ll end up paying just over $2,040 out of pocket to earn Globalist status.

Since NerdWallet estimates that Hyatt Globalist status provides upwards of $5,000 in value per year, you’re getting a steal to earn this for just $2,040 plus taxes.

Starting from scratch

Now, say that a friend of yours has been touting Hyatt’s elite status for years and you’ve finally decided it’s time to dive in. Since you have no status of your own, you’re going to be shelling out for resort fees until you become an Explorist — which takes 30 nights.

Keeping the room rate of $34 per night, you’ll still end up with $2,040 over the course of 60 nights to earn Globalist. However, you’ll also want to factor in that until you reach Explorist, you'll be on the hook for resort fees.

In the Excalibur example we used earlier, those fees were around $40 per night. The $40 per night you’ll be charged on your first 30 nights adds $1,200 to your bill.

All-in, this means you’ll be paying $3,240 for the year in order to earn Globalist elite status. Keep in mind, however, that requalifying for status in subsequent years will be cheaper since resort fees will be waived from the start.

Things to consider

It’s important to note that room rates in Las Vegas fluctuate wildly. Those used in the example above are during the weekdays, when occupancy is low. Rates on the weekend jump exponentially, which would make booking a long, continuous stay far more expensive.

If you can swing it, heading out solely for the cheapest nights is going to save you the most money, though practicality also takes a hit if you need to take off work or fly. Still, even when factoring in additional costs for travel, you’ll end up far ahead versus other options.

If you’re looking to earn Hyatt elite status

The recently revamped MGM Rewards program and its partnership with Hyatt has just opened a brand new door for those seeking elite status. Thanks to waived resort fees, Explorist members and above can enjoy hotel stays for around $30 per night while earning full elite night credits. Finally, needing to spend just $2,040 in a year to become a full-tilt Globalist has officially transformed Las Vegas into the best place to earn Hyatt elite status.


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:

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