While many travel providers have extended their customers’ elite status and benefits during 2020 due to the decreased travel caused by the pandemic, that isn’t sustainable. People will have to start traveling again at some point. However, it’s nice to see that Hyatt is providing an easy path back to normal as it adjusts its World of Hyatt program terms.
For the 2021 program year, World of Hyatt elite status qualifications will be reduced 50% whether you choose to earn your status with qualifying nights or base points. (Base points are calculated on the amount you spend at Hyatt properties, regardless of how many nights you stay, and do not include bonus points.)
Reduced 2021 World of Hyatt elite status qualifications include:
- Discoverist – Stay five Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn 12,500 Base Points
- Explorist – Stay 15 Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn 25,000 Base Points
- Globalist – Stay 30 Tier-Qualifying Nights or earn 50,000 Base Points
This is great news. A 50% reduction in qualification criteria acknowledges that some travel is resuming even if we don’t know yet how long it will take to return to normal. I think the recent announcement of multiple Covid-19 vaccines is a promising sign, but it isn’t going to fix things overnight. It could take months and likely more than a year to manufacture and administer these vaccines to a global population.
I personally achieved Globalist status this year through almost exclusive use of my World of Hyatt credit card to pay for new furniture and a home remodel, while also making it my primary card for many everyday purchases. The card offers 2 qualifying nights per $5,000 spent and for a time this summer was offering a bonus night — total of 3 nights — for each $5,000. So you can definitely earn status without a lot of nights in a hotel. But I don’t expect that spending spree to continue, so lower qualification criteria are welcome.
And remember that Hyatt has already announced that stays booked this fall through the end of the year will count twice for earning status in the 2020 and 2021 program years. Bonus Journeys includes double elite night credit, plus 3X points on every stay. That means a recent night I booked at a Hyatt House over Thanksgiving will earn me a credit now and again next year. I’ll also get 5 nights at the start of 2021 thanks to my World of Hyatt credit card from Chase.
So that puts me at 6 nights already without completing a single stay in 2021. Since Hyatt is lowering the qualification requirements by 50%, I’ll need a total of 30 nights — 24 more in my case — to re-qualify for Globalist next year. That should be pretty easy to swing. Resorts in Hawaii are beginning to reopen, and my wife and I really hope that we can take our son there next year. Hyatt is currently offering between 15% and 25% off free night redemptions through February, and recent rule changes mean that award nights count toward status, too.
What are your plans for 2021? Do you see yourself beginning to travel more often, or have you already hit the road? How much will these new lower criteria help your strategy to maintain status in an age of reduced travel and social distancing?