Should You Pursue Hyatt Elite Status in 2021?

Hyatt's elite status requirements were slashed this year, making it a good time to go for status.

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Earning World of Hyatt elite status got easier in 2021 — for more than one reason.

For starters, Hyatt lowered the requirements to reach each tier of status by 50% through the end of the year. Then, in July, Hyatt announced a relatively easy way for AAdvantage elite members to earn Hyatt status.

Both are great opportunities to either re-qualify for status or earn it for the first time if it’s your first time pursuing elite status in the World of Hyatt program.

Hyatt elite status rises above the rest

Hyatt elite status is a pretty swanky achievement to have. The World of Hyatt program holds the title of best overall hotel elite status program for 2021 according to NerdWallet's deep-dive analysis of hotel programs. More specifically, Hyatt Globalist is the winner of best high-level status.

With more than 950 properties in 67 countries, the Hyatt Hotels chain is smaller than massive hotel companies like Marriott. But Hyatt is popular with travelers because there are no blackout dates on award nights, resort fees are waived on award bookings and you can redeem points at all-inclusive hotels.

Adding World of Hyatt elite status perks on top of these basic benefits can enhance your travel experience.

Why 2021 is the best year to pursue Hyatt elite status

It’s now half as easy to earn status

For the 2021 calendar year, World of Hyatt reduced elite status qualifications by 50%, meaning you can earn those elite benefits in half the time — either by staying half the number of nights or earning half the number of base points required in a calendar year.

Usual qualification requirements

Qualification requirements to earn status in 2021

Discoverist

10 tier-qualifying nights or 25,000 base points.

5 tier-qualifying nights or 12,500 base points.

Explorist

30 tier-qualifying nights or 50,000 base points.

15 tier-qualifying nights or 25,000 base points.

Globalist

60 tier-qualifying nights or 100,000 base points.

30 tier-qualifying nights or 50,000 base points.

AAdvantage members have an even easier path to Hyatt elite status

If you already have American Airlines elite status, you’re on a fast track to elite tier status with Hyatt. As long as you’re an eligible AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum member, register by Sept. 30, 2021, to immediately earn a trial period of Hyatt Explorist status for 90 days following registration.

From there, you’ll have to complete qualifying activity within the three-month period immediately following registration. Qualifying activities vary by individual and are based on your existing status. Generally speaking, you're required to stay a reduced amount of nights to retain status.

If you complete the qualifying activity, you’ll get to hold World of Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status through February 2023. Similarly, American Airlines has also created a program for Hyatt elite status members to fast track their way to AAdvantage elite status.

You can earn status faster with Hyatt’s credit card

If World of Hyatt elite status seems intriguing, but you don’t think you can accumulate enough hotel stays to qualify, consider signing up for World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Cardmembers get automatic Discoverist status, five elite night credits plus two more elite night credits for every $5,000 of spending. The card is also offering a welcome bonus: 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. There’s a $95 annual fee.

This means that in 2021, you can combine the perks of being a cardholder with the reduced elite status requirements to achieve status more easily.

Hyatt status levels

The World of Hyatt loyalty program has four status tiers. Here’s what you need to qualify for each tier while the 50% off requirements apply through 2021:

  • World of Hyatt member: All members start as World of Hyatt members and it’s free to sign up.

  • Discoverist: Stay five qualifying nights or earn 12,500 base points.

  • Explorist: Stay 15 qualifying nights or earn 25,000 base points.

  • Globalist: Stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points.

As you move up the World of Hyatt elite status ladder, the benefits get better. Top-tier Globalist status is extremely desirable because you earn 30% bonus points on paid stays, which means you’ll accumulate points faster and can redeem for award nights earlier. Globalist elites enjoy waived resort fees on all bookings — even stays paid for with cash.

Further, Globalists are entitled to a complimentary automatic upgrade to a standard suite, subject to availability, and can get a status match to Gold with M life Rewards (the loyalty program of MGM Resorts International).

Top perks of the World of Hyatt loyalty program

Easy ways to earn points

World of Hyatt is popular because it’s relatively easy to earn points — through paid stays, with the World of Hyatt Credit Card or by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.

Transparent redemption options

World of Hyatt uses an award chart to determine the number of points you need for a free night, with standard rooms starting at 5,000 points at a Category 1 hotel. Redemption options go up to 40,000 points per night at a luxurious Category 8 property.

Eventually, Hyatt will introduce peak/off-peak pricing for points redemptions, which will make certain award stays more expensive. Take advantage of the program's affordable and transparent redemption options while you can.

New properties to check out

Hyatt has recently added new properties, including names you might not know are in the Hyatt family, like Joie de Vivre, Alila and Thompson Hotels. This means you can redeem points for stays at popular hotels like The Cape, A Thompson Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Nerdy tip: Hyatt has a separate award chart for its Miraval Resorts all-inclusive wellness properties in Arizona, Massachusetts and Texas.

The bottom line

The requirements to earn World of Hyatt elite status are reduced by 50% through 2021. Instead of staying 60 qualifying nights or earning 100,000 base points to earn top-tier Globalist status, you can achieve status with 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points. Signing up for the World of Hyatt Credit Card can get you there even faster.

The hotel's loyalty program is worth joining this year, even if you’re not chasing Hyatt elite status. Hyatt points are relatively easy to earn and redeem thanks to the program's award chart. Elite status will enhance your travel experience with perks like extra bonus points on paid stays, automatic suite upgrades when available and status matching to other hotel programs.


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 2021, including those best for:

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