Hyatt has three elite tiers as well as one lifetime elite tier in its World of Hyatt loyalty program. Status is earned by reaching a certain number of elite qualifying nights, base points, or meetings. You only need one of these criteria to succeed. Check out my complete guide to World of Hyatt for more information on the benefits of each tier, including suite upgrades and free night awards.
A few caveats: You get 5 base points per $1 spent on items like room rates and dining, but you won’t earn base points on meetings even though they can be a big chunk of change. I’ll ignore meetings for the rest of this post since most people don’t book these. Exhale spa treatments earn a high rate of 10 base points per dollar. You can also earn elite qualifying nights whether you pay for your room or book a redemption with points, but you need to book directly with Hyatt; third party sites like Expedia are usually disqualified.
Everyone begins as general Member, and they can advance to the Discoverist tier with either 10 elite qualifying nights or 25,000 base points. You get 5 base points per $5 spent, which means this is equivalent to spending $5,000, and I think it is very unlikely you’ll be limiting yourself to hotels that cost over $500 per night ($5,000 / 10 nights) even when activities and meals are included. Discoverist status is also included automatically with the World of Hyatt credit card.
Explorist status requires 30 nights or 50,000 base points. Globalist status requires 60 nights or 100,000 base points. Lifetime Globalist status can only be earned with 1,000,000 base points only, not through nights, so you’re going to pay $200,000 one way or another. Note that along the way you’ll earn additional milestone bonuses — some are linked to elite status and others are achieved at thresholds between status tiers.
Status Challenge from American Airlines
Hyatt has partnered with American Airlines to incentivize travelers to use each other’s services. If you have existing status with American Airlines, you can link your account with Hyatt and may be targeted with a fast-track offer to earning World of Hyatt status. There is no guarantee of an automatic match, although it appears that people with invitation-only Concierge Key status from American may be gifted World of Hyatt Globalist status.
Status Match from MGM M life
Hyatt has a much older partnership with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas that provides some reciprocal elite benefits as well as outright status matches. If you have elite status with MGM’s M life program you may be able to match it to World of Hyatt status.
M life Pearl members are able to match their status to World of Hyatt Discoverist. Other M life members with Gold, Platinum, or NOIR status are able to match to World of Hyatt Explorist.
Get a Friend to Book
While technically this isn’t the same as having elite status, you can get all the same perks if someone else books your stay for you. Top-tier Globalist members are able to book “Guest of Honor” reservations using points. This means they use their points to book a stay for someone else, but that someone else gets to enjoy their Globalist benefits.
Obviously this will stretch your friendship if you try it too often, but it’s easy enough to transfer points between accounts so that your friend doesn’t suffer any out-of-pocket cost. The main downside to Guest of Honor reservations is that they are limited to award redemptions, so you can’t use them for all the other times when you might want to pay with cash.
With a Credit Card
While I’m not a big proponent of manufactured spend, it is possible to earn elite status with World of Hyatt solely through credit cards.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card issued by Chase includes credit toward 5 elite qualifying nights each year after paying the annual fee. You’ll also get automatic status at the Discoverist tier. You can earn an additional two (2) elite qualifying nights each time you spend $5,000 with your card. This means you could potentially earn the entire 60 elite qualifying nights you would need for top-tier Globalist status just for spending enough with the card.
How much would you have to spend? The basic approach is easy to calculate. You already have 5 nights and need 55 more, so spend $140,000 to earn 2 * 28 = 56 elite qualifying nights.
However, the card already comes with a free Category 1-4 award night each year, you’ll earn another such award night when you spend $15,000 (once per year), and you’ll continue earning points with all of that manufactured spend that you could potentially redeem for more free nights. Remember that award nights also count toward World of Hyatt status. It’s possible to spend much less out-of-pocket if you use these free night awards and points to make additional progress toward your goal.
Manufacturing spend with a Hyatt credit card isn’t the best idea because the points aren’t worth as much as those from some other credit cards. However, Frequent Miler has run the numbers and suggested it could make sense for some people — at least compared to using a cash back card to pay for mattress runs instead.
If you’re getting points AND elite status, I think that is a bonus worth considering as long as you are going to actually use the status with real stays in the future. Earning status only with the card implies you aren’t staying at the hotel, and that defeats the purpose of earning status in the first place.