Awesome: Hyatt to count award stays for status

World of Hyatt made a huge announcement today: Beginning in 2018, award stays will count towards elite status. This is a big improvement in the program that will surely sit well with many miles and points aficionados.

When the new World of Hyatt program was announced last fall, Greg summed up his feelings about the program in two posts that covered all of key facets of the new program:

Those posts really highlight the main things to love and hate about the program. I’ve experienced a love-hate relationship with Hyatt that mostly mirrors Greg’s points. This year, I’ve saved a ton of money on parking fees on award stays and enjoyed some great suite upgrades (both with and without using a suite upgrade award) and I’ve been able to share Globalist benefits with friends by booking award stays for them. But on the other hand, despite the fact that I’ve cumulatively spent several weeks at Hyatt hotels this year, I’ve only earned a few nights toward elite status due to Hyatt’s previous policy not to count award stays.

Park Hyatt Mallorca Suite living room

My recent award stay in this suite at the Park Hyatt Mallorca did not count towards elite status with Hyatt

But that’s about to change

Today Hyatt announced that beginning in 2018, all free night stays will count towards elite status. Note the wording — not just award stays will count, but also:

  • The annual free Category 1-4 night that comes with the Hyatt Credit Card
  • The free Cat 1-4 free night earned after 30 elite qualifying nights
  • The Cat 1-7 certificate earned after 60 elite qualifying nights
  • The free Cat 1-4 certs earned after staying at 5 and then 10 brands (note that you only earn these once).

This is a welcome and awesome change!

The Park Hyatt Saigon, where I received a suite upgrade as a Globalist member without using a suite upgrade certificate

Previously, only cash stays or cash & points stays counted toward elite status. Because of this and Hyatt’s 60-night qualification threshold for top-tier Globalist status, many people made more frequent use of cash & points stays rather than completely free night awards. The problem with that is that, at the high end of the spectrum, a cash & points stay would still cost you $300 cash for the night. That’s a sum that might be attractive compared to the cash cost and perceived value of the points, but still a big chunk of change. Now those who prefer full award stays with no cash co-pay will earn elite credit.

I recently saved a nice chunk of change on parking by using points for an award stay at the Park Hyatt New York, where I also used a suite upgrade award

That’s not all – free night certs will have an extended shelf life

Hyatt didn’t stop the good news at award stays counting toward status: they have additionally announced that World of Hyatt is extending the validity of some of those free night certificates noted above. Currently, free night certificates earned after 30 and 60 elite qualifying nights expire after 120 days. That’s a pain — many people have vacations planned farther in advance or won’t necessarily get a chance to use the earned certificates within the period of validity. Furthermore, Gary Leff at View from the Wing reported that he didn’t even receive notification when he had earned one of them — increasing the chance of missing out on the ability to use one before it expired. The good news is that those certificates will enjoy an expanded expiration policy started next year, moving from 120 days to 180 days of validity next year.

How exciting are these developments?

I think it’s easy to see that these are net positive developments for World of Hyatt members. Hilton, SPG, and Marriott already count award stays toward status requirements. Hyatt was behind on this front and I’m glad to see that they have finally caught up. Furthermore, I think that the inclusion of award stays makes it a lot easier for many members to reach Explorist status. While Explorist status certainly won’t feel generous compared to Gloablist status, the 4 annual Club Lounge upgrades can be quite valuable, especially for those traveling with kids. Four upgrades per year will likely cover leisure travel for most members. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either.

Chase Hyatt credit card w/ $50K spend gives you Explorist status

On the other hand, I think that Hyatt is still demanding far too much in terms of top-tier qualification requirements for a program with such a small footprint. Hyatt simply isn’t everywhere I need them to be. Beyond that, while Hyatt’s top-tier properties can be amazing, the vast majority of the chain consists Hyatt Place and Hyatt House locations where elite benefits don’t mean much. This quarter’s promo for credit card holders to earn Gloablist status with just 20 nights indicates that Hyatt probably isn’t keeping quite as many 60-night guests as they thought. It’s good to see Hyatt is responding to that with some improvements to the program.

Bottom line

Hyatt’s move to award elite credit for award stays in 2018 is a change that is good to see. I still don’t imagine I’ll be spending sixty nights at Hyatt hotels — but I imagine that quite a few folks will be close enough to consider mattress running a few award nights to re-qualify. Furthermore, it’ll become theoretically possible to manufacture spend for elite status — even if it makes about as much sense as MSing for a month in New York City.

H/T: One Mile at a Time

 

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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12 Comments on "Awesome: Hyatt to count award stays for status"

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Mike
Guest

Now if we could just them to count GOH……..towards status

Biggie F
Guest

No doubt this is a very good development. This said, I’m going to cavil about it.

The context is that I like Hyatt. They give, on balance, good value for money.

This said, the World of Hyatt rollout has been so ham-handed. Was 25 stays or 50 nights too little for top-end status, especially when you could qualify up to 5 and 10 off of Chase Hyatt Visa spend? Maybe it was.

But instead of an incremental racket, they went whole-hog. They got rid of the credit card spend, thereby devaluing at the same time what had been one of the better cards in the firmament. They got rid of the stays option, thereby orphaning those of us who don’t (can’t) stay for more than 1 or 2 night weekend things. (Lots of empty rooms most places most weekends.) And then, instead of just letting us Diamond-wannabe’s suck it up and work harder to bridge the credit card and the loss of stay qualification thing, they took the 50 nights that were already not 40 or 45 nights with credit card spend and made it a hard 60.

So any number of us — look at the threads on Flyertalk — realized that there was little advantage in going at Hyatt full-throttle anymore, looked in the mirror, said “I guess I’m not the type that Hyatt wants,” and moved along. My favorite is the way that the short duration on certificate use (now fixed, but more on that in a moment) caused many heavy-hitters to pause at 59 so they did not get their certificates before they could anticipate using them. I pulled up at 30 nights — I was never going to make 60 and figured that Explorist was better than nothing — and have been learning about IHG Intercontinentals.

There was the usual stuff on Flyertalk and elsewhere that maybe we really were leeches and Hyatt was better off without us, but the rapidity and severity and stupidity of the new program seems to have alienated everyone from the leeches to many of the heavy-hitters. I infer that from the fact that World of Hyatt is relaxing things, as documented in the post here.

Which, as I say, is good; except that — here’s the cavil — they are doing this in the most tone-deaf way imaginable. After skimping on promotions and discouraging additional stays in 2017, they suddenly did an about-face and started to give out Globalist-light for 20 stays in the 4th Quarter. Or Explorist for 10 stays. Forgive me, but isn’t a little late for this? True, for some it was a gift, but for many of us former loyalists who had already planned our year out under the severe (dis)incentive structure, it was thin gruel.

So now, yeah, the free nights help, but again the timing is lousy. I have been burning my free night certicates (I had about 4) in 2017 precisely because paid stays in 2017 had ceased being useful. And maybe I’ll find a sweetspot somewhere, but Greg has a great cash vs. P+C vs. points Hyatt calculator, and my experience was that points beating points+cash was not a common find. In fact, it’s uncommon. (I would like to be wrong — someone please give me some counter-examples.) Of course, P+C alread qualify (a long-time Hyatt plus, to be sure).

It’s not like I have been thinking much about this ….

Steve
Guest

I wonder if MyVegas reward stays at MLife hotels will count toward Hyatt status? I’m not confident they do currently since they are not paid stays. But now?

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Great question

Paul
Guest

Biggie F is spot on, it’s too little, too late.

I gave up going for Globalist at the time of the announcement of the fast-track for Hyatt CC holders ( ie the card not available to members in most countries, including mine). So I have Explorationist for a year but have a decided lack of interest in pursuing any status with them.

I’ll miss: Churchill ( and hope that Marriott has a decent alternative given that the SPG properties in London are pretty ordinary), Milan, Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, Bangkok ( but all have more than decent SPG and IHG properties).

Hyatt thinks it’s ok to have a 2 class qualification system, with the fast track for members with access to the CC. It was a pathetic decision, born of desperation it would seem, and has alienated the many members who aren’t thrilled by the prospect of staying more nights but receiving fewer benefits than some of those who are cardholders. A really DUMB move at a time when they needed to maintain interest in the program in every sector/region.

eds
Guest

Meh… Still a depleted sad program compared to 3 years ago. Went form 28-32 stays and ~40 nights for 5 years straight to 1 stay / 2 nights in 2017. Focused on Marriott top tier since 60 nights + the CC got me Plat on both SPG and Marriott. Hyatt – No good promos, no bonus points, and 50% of the properties Hyatt Place/House where status gets you nada…

I am quite sure the Hilton and SPG/Marriott are about the only people that were happy 2017 changes. I would love to see how many elites Hyatt bled going to 2018. It might not make a difference with now with occupancy had record highs, but it come back to bite them when we have another downturn..

Ryan
Guest

Who cares about the junk. I stay 100 nights per year. This means they give away Globalist to more people. What a dumb thing to do when what they really need to do is focus on the benefits.
-Hyatt Place – maybe a couple food items
-Bring back Check in bonuses
-Make free nights certs last longer

Anything is better than making status easier. That just means even more dilution of benfits on the way. Absolutely idiotic. Free nights should never count. Do you see Airlines letting you count award flights ?

Delta Segment Flyer
Guest

Kudos to Hyatt. That was my biggest beef, every night should count. Now needing only 55 nights and award stays counting it will be so much easier.

dan
Guest

nick/greg,
if 1 has a recent chase hyatt cc which gains explorist status, what’s the least cost effective methods to MS to achieve globalist?

dan
Guest

for a leisure travel, will the extra costs of MS be worth it to get the globalist status?

Dan
Guest

Definitely changes the status math. With chase sapphire points competitively transferring to Hyatt (vs. the lousy Marriott transfer rate), it starts to make sense to get Hyatt status through award stays.

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