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If you're a fan of free things, then Hyatt elite status is for you. Exceedingly generous with its top-tier members, the World of Hyatt program offers benefits that other programs simply don’t.
But is it worth the time and money to invest in the program? Should you pursue Hyatt elite status in 2023? Here’s a look at the perks of Hyatt elite status and how the program can be lucrative.
» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now
Hyatt elite status rises above the rest
We already hinted at this in the introduction, but Hyatt’s top-tier Globalist elite status offers some truly stunning perks compared to other programs:
Waived resort fees
On all stays.
On award stays.
Yes; up to four people (two adults and two children).
Yes; up to two people.
Depends on the property.
Will upgrade (up to a standard suite), when available.
Will upgrade (up to a one-bedroom suite), when available.
Will upgrade (up to select suites), when available.
4 p.m., subject to availability.
By request and subject to availability.
4 p.m., guaranteed.
Waived parking fees
On award stays.
Suite upgrade awards
Yes, valid for seven nights each; can clear immediately.
Yes, valid for one night each; will start clearing five days in advance.
The biggest distinction is that the World of Hyatt program will upgrade you to a better room at check-in, while both Marriott and Hilton leave this to the discretion of front desk staff. You can also save a lot of money in both resort and parking fees as a Globalist member, especially in expensive locations.
» Learn more: The pros and cons of the World of Hyatt Program
Hyatt 2023 status requirements
There are four Hyatt status levels: Member, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist.
Entry-level members are not required to stay any number of nights or earn any number of base points. Instead, they automatically receive perks like waived resort fees on award bookings and the chance to earn 5x points per eligible dollar spent with the brand. Once they earn elite status, the number of perks will increase.
Hyatt elite status requirements
A member must stay the following number of nights or collect the following number of base points in a calendar year to reach a certain level of elite status. They may also earn status by holding a certain number of meetings or events per year at Hyatt properties.
Elite status level
Meetings and events
If staying several nights or earning thousands of points sounds challenging to you this year, consider this alternative for earning Hyatt points quickly: a Hyatt co-branded credit card.
Hyatt credit cards
Hyatt offers consumers two different co-branded credit cards — one for business travelers and one for personal travels.
World of Hyatt Credit Card: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.
World of Hyatt Business Credit Card: 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
While the welcome bonuses for these cards are nice, the true driver of elite status is ongoing spending with the cards. The World of Hyatt Credit Card earns you 2 elite night credits for every $5,000 you spend, with no upper limit.
The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card, meanwhile, will give you a slightly better 5 elite night credits for every $10,000 you spend on your card — with no upper limit.
You’ll also receive complimentary Discoverist elite status as long as you hold either card. Although Discoverist elite status doesn’t give you much, it does grant free premium internet, room upgrades and bottled water during your stays — not to mention a head start on the Explorist or Globalist tiers.
Hyatt / MGM partnership
Because of a partnership between Hyatt and MGM, those who hold at least Explorist elite status in Hyatt's program can get a status match to MGM Rewards Gold.
Staying at Las Vegas hotels can be a great way for Hyatt elite members seeking to re-qualify for Hyatt elite status. Plus, waives resort fees for its Gold and above elite members, so Hyatt Explorist elites and above will be able to skip those pesky fees when they stay at MGM properties in Sin City.
You'll need to act fast though. Hyatt's partnership with MGM is ending in October 2023. Read more about the changes.
» Learn more: Which is better, Hyatt or Hilton?
World of Hyatt vs. competitors: How it stacks up in 2023
Hyatt came out on top in NerdWallet’s annual rankings of best hotel rewards programs.
Unlike many other hotels that might have ranked high in one category and low in others, Hyatt ranked consistently high across the board. Its points are valuable and the company is good to its elite status holders.
There’s just one category where Hyatt ranks pretty terribly: fees. Our fee analysis found that Hyatt’s average resort fees average 5.4% the price of your overall room rate, and that figure includes properties that don’t typically charge resort fees at all, such as the budget-minded Hyatt House and Hyatt Place brands.
When you narrow down fees simply by Hyatt properties that charged them, it’s also not good news. The average resort fee was $50.40 per night.
There are some ways around the fees, though. If you hold Hyatt’s highest elite status level called Globalist, you won’t pay resort fees even on rooms booked with cash — another reason why holding elite status at Hyatt is valuable.
Out of six hotel brands analyzed, here's a closer look at how the World of Hyatt competed across categories:
World of Hyatt points, however, are worth the most of any hotel loyalty program points. According to our most recent valuations, when using points for free hotel nights at Hyatt properties, travelers should target 2.3 cents in value for each Hyatt point. That means that when you divide the cash price by the number of points required for any given award booking, a figure above 2.3 cents is a great deal, a figure equal to 2.3 cents is a good value, and a figure below 2.3 cents is a bad deal.
» Learn more: What is the current Hyatt points value?
This is a higher point value than you'll get with similar loyalty programs from brands like Hilton (0.5 cent) and Marriott (0.8 cent).
Elite status program value
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
Top perks of the World of Hyatt loyalty program
Ways to earn points easily
Although top-tier Globalist members only earn an additional 30% bonus on stays, Hyatt points are still easy to earn. Even if you don’t hold either co-branded Hyatt credit card, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards® over to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio, meaning one Chase point becomes one Hyatt point.
Chase’s popular travel credit cards include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, both of which offer lucrative earnings on categories such as dining, travel, online groceries and select streaming services.
A semi-fixed award chart
Unlike many other hotel reward programs, Hyatt still maintains its own award chart. Although you’ll pay varying prices depending on demand, you’ll never need to shell out more than the published prices.
You can choose to redeem your rewards for multiple room types, including both standard suites and premium suites.
Hyatt’s suite upgrade awards will grant you guaranteed upgrades to a standard suite on stays of up to seven nights. This upgrade will clear as long as there is standard suite availability
» Learn more: A guide to Hyatt's best sweet spots
Hyatt elite status is industry-leading, with benefits such as free parking and completely waived resort fees beating out competitors such as Marriott and Hilton. And thanks to its semi-fixed award chart and easy-to-earn points, snagging a stay at a Hyatt hotel is both cost-effective and simple. Finally, those who have balked in the past due to Hyatt’s limited geographic footprint will be pleased to find that Hyatt’s aggressive expansion program continues adding new properties around the world.
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