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Earning hotel elite status provides valuable benefits that enhance your stay while allowing you to earn bonus points and save money. While top-tier World of Hyatt status offers the best perks, most people don’t travel enough to earn it.
Mid-level elite status, like Hyatt Explorist, is more attainable for the average traveler. Here’s everything you need to know about Hyatt Explorist status, including how to earn it, the included benefits and if it’s worth it.
Hyatt Explorist benefits
The World of Hyatt hotel loyalty program has four levels of elite status — Member, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. Additionally, members can earn Lifetime Globalist status based on their cumulative spending at Hyatt properties.
When you reach this elite status level, numerous benefits improve your stay. The best Hyatt Explorist benefits are:
20% bonus points: All World of Hyatt members earn five base points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties. With this 20% bonus, you’ll earn six points per dollar.
Complimentary upgrades: Explorist members are eligible for a free upgrade to the best available room when checking into their hotel and resort. However, suites and rooms with Club lounge access are excluded.
Late checkout: Enjoy your room longer with a 2 p.m. late checkout at no extra charge. This benefit is based on availability and may not be an option at some locations.
Guaranteed room availability: Explorist members receive guaranteed room availability when booking a paid reservation at least 72 hours in advance. This benefit ensures availability at a sold-out property when making advanced reservations.
Waived resort fees: Resort fees are hidden charges that many travelers don't know about until finalizing their reservation or when checking into a hotel. These fees are waived for all members booking award reservations at Hyatt properties. Eligible reservations include rooms booked with points, credit card free nights and other free night certificates. Points and cash or paid stays do not include this benefit.
American Airlines bonus miles: Earn one World of Hyatt point for every dollar spent on qualifying American Airlines flights when you link your loyalty accounts. These miles are in addition to the miles earned from your flight.
» Learn more: The guide to Hyatt status
How to earn Hyatt Explorist elite status
There are three primary ways that you can earn Hyatt Explorist status. The first two are based on the number of nights you stay or how many points you earn per year. A third option involves hosting meetings or events at Hyatt properties. Here’s how to get Hyatt Explorist status.
Staying at Hyatt properties
World of Hyatt members earn Explorist elite status by earning 30 qualifying nights per year. Qualifying nights include paid nights, award nights, and points and cash nights.
Limited-time promotions, such as staying four nights and getting a fifth night free would only count as four qualifying nights.
Holding a Hyatt credit card
The World of Hyatt Credit Card includes five qualifying nights just for being a cardholder. These qualifying nights combine with nights earned from your hotel stays. The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card does not include qualifying nights just for being a cardholder.
Spending on your Hyatt card
Both Hyatt credit cards earn qualifying night credits based on your annual spending. You’ll receive two additional qualifying night credits for every $5,000 spent on the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card earns five qualifying night credits for every $10,000 spent each year. Cardholders can combine nights earned from spending with their hotel stays to earn elite status.
Earning base points
Base points earned from hotel stays, on-site restaurants and other activities count toward the 50,000 points needed for Hyatt Explorist status. Members earn five base points per dollar on all eligible purchases at Hyatt hotels, Small Luxury Hotels of the World and other activities.
Bonus points earned from promotions, welcome bonuses and credit card purchases do not count as base points. They are "bonus points," which can be used to book hotel rooms but don't earn elite status.
Host meetings or events
Members who host ten or more meetings or events at an eligible Hyatt property earn Explorist elite status. To qualify, at least 10 paid guest rooms must be booked for the same night as the event. In some cases, there may be additional requirements for the events.
» Learn more: The pros and cons of the Hyatt rewards program
How much is Hyatt Explorist status worth?
In NerdWallet’s annual analysis of the best hotel elite status programs, we sought to determine how much value the major U.S. hotel loyalty programs deliver to guests. Here's how the World of Hyatt did.
Value of benefits
Cost to earn
Elite earning rate
» Learn more: How to redeem Hyatt points for maximum value
What else you need to know about Hyatt Explorist
Take advantage of Hyatt promotions
Throughout the year, Hyatt offers promotions that may accelerate your path to elite status. These promotions may include extra qualifying night credits or base points that count toward earning status. Even if you don’t have any hotel stays planned, register for every promotion in case your plans change. This will help you maximize every trip you take.
Status matches are available
Travelers that have elite status with other hotel or airline loyalty programs may qualify for a World of Hyatt status match correlating to your current status. Status matches provide elite status for a limited time. You’ll retain your elite status for the rest of the year if you meet the qualifying nights or points requirement during the promo.
How long does Hyatt Explorist status last?
The Hyatt program year runs through the end of February each year. You earn Hyatt elite status based on your activity during the calendar year. When you earn elite status, you’ll enjoy Hyatt Explorist benefits through the end of the following program year.
For example, if you achieved Hyatt Explorist status in September 2023, your elite status is good through February 28, 2025.
World of Hyatt lifetime elite status
Hyatt doesn’t offer lifetime Hyatt Explorist status, but you can earn Lifetime Globalist status based on your cumulative points earned. Ironically, you can qualify for Lifetime Globalist even if you’ve never earned Globalist status in any single year.
To qualify for Lifetime status, you need to earn 1,000,000 lifetime base points. At five base points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties, this equates to $200,000 in total spending.
» Learn more: How to earn Hyatt points
Is Hyatt Explorist status worth it?
Hyatt Explorist status offers numerous benefits that make focusing your hotel reservations with one brand worthwhile. Benefits like complimentary upgrades, late checkout and waived resort fees on award nights improve your trip and save you money.
It takes 30 nights per year to earn Explorist elite status, which is an average of 2.5 nights per month. The World of Hyatt Credit Card makes it easier to earn status through additional night credits based on your annual spending.
(Top photo courtesy of Hyatt)
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 2023, 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