As a result of the current economic conditions and travel restrictions, a lot of people aren’t earning points and stay credit as quickly as they normally would. That has made it difficult to redeem free night awards that have a fixed expiration date, and it has made others worried about being able to maintain their existing elite status.
World of Hyatt Elite Status
World of Hyatt announced today that they will be extending elite status for existing members through February 28, 2022. This means that if you already have Discoverist, Explorist, or Globalist status as of March 31, 2020, that same status will be extended until 2022 automatically. You won’t have to worry about it expiring in 2021 if you don’t stay enough nights to requalify this year. This is great for some top elite members since Globalist status normally requires 60 nights to earn.
The new expiration date should be reflected by April 15, 2020.
There are no plans yet on how to assist people who don’t have status, or who are hoping to jump up a tier. For example, I am an Explorist member but was planning to earn Globalist status this year. Hyatt says they’re still evaluating the situation and will “[announce] more opportunities for members to accelerate point earning and status throughout the year as we continue to see through the evolving situation.”
Free Night Awards, Suite Upgrades, and Club Lounge Access
Many of you probably have a mix of free night awards and other awards that you earned through status or with a World of Hyatt credit card. The expiration dates on those awards will be automatically extended, as well. If the current expiration date is between March 1 and December 31, 2020, then they will be extended to December 31, 2021.
If you had awards that already expired between March 1 and March 31, 2020, then those will be replaced with new awards by April 20.
Expiring World of Hyatt Points
World of Hyatt points, like points in most other programs, will be forfeited (expire) if you go too long without activity in your account. This could be as little as earning or redeeming a single point. Hyatt’s rule is 24 months of inactivity.
However, just to be safe during the current uncertainty, World of Hyatt is suspending all points forfeitures through December 31, 2020. You might still be at risk of losing points if you have no inactivity and January 1 comes around, but at least you have the rest of the year to earn or redeem at least a single point to keep your account active.
Updated Change Policies for Reservations
Hyatt already waived fees for changing new or existing reservations. Now it has revised those policies with new dates given the ongoing travel disruption.
Existing reservations for travel through June 30, 2020: All existing reservations booked on or before April 1 with arrivals through June 30 can be changed or cancelled at no charge, including Advance Purchase reservations. You must contact Hyatt at least 24 hours before your scheduled arrival.
New reservations for any future travel: With limited exceptions, any new reservations for any future arrival date, when booked between April 2 and June 30, 2020, can be changed or cancelled at no charge. Again, this includes Advance Purchase reservations.
The exceptions for new reservations include any Special Events Rate or reservations booked at Destination Residences. New reservations at these properties will be subject to the normal cancellation policies described in the rate rules.
In addition, any reservations booked through a third party (such as Expedia) will need to work with that provider for a cancellation. However, if you booked a stay at a Hyatt Residence Club through a third party (such as renting a timeshare from a member) you can contact Hyatt Residence Club to discuss alternate arrangements.
Overall, these are good changes to see from Hyatt and similar to the automatic extensions offered by Hilton Honors last week. I’m still waiting to see what kind of incentive will be offered to people like me to earn status “the hard way” this year, but I guess it will take another month or two before we have clarity on that matter.