Maximize your points for the most possible benefits.

By Eric Rosen
July 26, 2019
Courtesy of Hyatt

Earning hotel points is just as important as accruing airline miles and racking up credit card points for any savvy traveler’s rewards strategy. With hundreds of hotels and millions of members around the globe, World of Hyatt is one of the world’s largest travel rewards programs. Here’s how you can make the most of it.

What is World of Hyatt?

Courtesy of Hyatt

World of Hyatt is the loyalty program of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, which today comprises over 850 hotels in 60 countries, and includes nearly 20 brands thanks to some recent acquisitions and partnerships.

In addition to household names like Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Andaz, Hyatt now also features lesser-known labels like the unique properties that are part of The Unbound Collection, a handful of Miraval destination spas, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara resorts, and road-warrior redoubts such as Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, among others.

Hyatt recently acquired Two Roads Hospitality, which comprises Alila Hotels and Resorts, Destination Hotels and Joie de Vivre Hotels and Resorts, so members should be able to use World of Hyatt points at most of those properties soon.

World of Hyatt also has partnerships with MGM Resorts International as well as Small Luxury Hotels of the World. SLH is an affiliation of independently owned boutique hotels with over 500 member properties in more than 80 countries. World of Hyatt members are now able to earn and redeem points for stays and enjoy elite-status benefits at around 200 SLH hotels, with more coming online every month.

How to Earn World of Hyatt Points

Courtesy of Hyatt

World of Hyatt members earn five base points per dollar spent on room rates and other purchases like dining and spa treatments at Hyatt brands, M Life properties, and participating SLH hotels. Points expire after 24 months of no account activity.

Aside from stays, Hyatt recently launched an experiential and wellness platform called FIND with nearly 140 experiences in over 35 destinations. Members can book FIND excursions like horseback riding in Abu Dhabi, or guided hikes with wolves in Southern California, and either pay cash for them to earn 10 points per dollar, or bid on them using points.

To increase their earning opportunities, members can apply for the World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase. Its sign-up bonus is currently up to 50,000 bonus points for spending a total of $6,000 in the first six months of account opening. That’s enough for 10 nights at a budget hotel, or two nights at some of the chain’s nicest properties.

The card earns four additional bonus Hyatt points per dollar spent on Hyatt purchases, nearly doubling your base earning on stays. It also earns two points on fitness club memberships, on local transit and commuting services such as rideshares or subway passes, at restaurants, cafes and coffee shops, and on flights purchased directly from an airline. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.

The card confers automatic Discoverist elite status with perks like preferred room assignments, late check-out, free premium in-room internet and a daily bottle of water. Every year you renew your card and pay the $95 annual fee, you also receive an award night worth up to 15,000 points, and can earn another one by spending $15,000 or more on purchases each year.

How to Redeem World of Hyatt Points

World of Hyatt members can redeem their points in a number of different ways, including for hotel stays. Like other hotel loyalty programs, World of Hyatt has an award chart with properties grouped into eight categories. Free nights range from 5,000 points each at a low-level Category 1 hotel, such as the Hyatt House Charlotte Airport, up to 40,000 points per night at a top-tier Category 8 property, such as the historic Hotel Nimb in Copenhagen. (As an exception, Miraval Resorts cost 45,000 points per night.) The more expensive or luxurious the hotel, the more points you will likely need for a free night there.

That said, there are some bargains to be found in the middle tiers, such as the gorgeous Park Hyatt Saigon in Vietnam, which is Category 4 property, and where room rates start at around $240 per night, or 15,000 points. One thing to note is that resort fees, which can range up to around $50 per day in some cases, are waived on award stays, which is a handy savings benefit.

Members can also redeem points for premium rooms and suites ranging from 8,000-48,000 points per night, or use a few thousand points to upgrade rooms on paid stays to club-level accommodations or suites.

Adding another level of flexibility, World of Hyatt offers Points + Cash awards, which are sort of like hybrid awards that cost half the amount of points as a normal award night plus half the paid rate for that night. For instance, a Category 7 hotel like the Park Hyatt Sydney would normally cost $700 per night or 30,000 points. However, with Points + Cash awards, you could instead pay 15,000 points plus $350.

It is also possible to redeem points toward on-property charges like in-room movies, parking and meals at fixed rates ranging from 2,000 for a $10 credit up to 120,000 for a $1,000 credit. However, these rates are generally not great, so avoid it if possible.

World of Hyatt Partners

World of Hyatt has several interesting partners that make earning and redeeming points even easier. First and foremost is the program’s partnership with Chase. Folks who have a credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the popular Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, can transfer their points at a ratio of one Ultimate Rewards point to one World of Hyatt point instantaneously, making it extremely simple to top up your Hyatt account for an award redemption.

Members can earn 500 World of Hyatt points on Avis rentals here. They can also opt to earn miles with almost airline partners instead of hotel points on stays, though this is generally a poor-value choice. For example, you could earn 500 American AAdvantage miles on a stay. But considering you’d only need to spend $100 on the stay itself to earn 500 Hyatt points, this is not a tempting choice.

It is also possible to convert World of Hyatt points to airline miles with partners like Delta and Southwest, but you only get one mile for every 2.5 Hyatt points, and must convert a minimum of 5,000 Hyatt points at a time, and in 1,250-point increments from there. You do receive 5,000 bonus miles when converting 50,000 or more points, but the return on value is not the best, so this is not recommended.

Hyatt and American Airlines recently launched a partnership so that American AAdvantage elite frequent fliers earn a bonus AAdvantage mile per dollar spent at Hyatt properties, and World of Hyatt elites earn one bonus World of Hyatt point per dollar spent on qualifying American Airlines flights, among other benefits.

Elite Status Tiers and Benefits

Speaking of elite status, World of Hyatt members who spend a certain number of nights at Hyatt properties each year can earn elite status, which confers benefits such as bonus points-earning opportunities, room upgrades, free breakfast, and more. Paid stays as well as award nights and Points + Cash awards all count toward elite qualification.

The program currently has three tiers of elite status, starting with Discoverist, which is achieved by staying 10 qualifying nights or earning 25,000 base points (spending $5,000 at hotels) in a calendar year. It is also a standard benefit of the World of Hyatt Credit Card. Discoverist status comes with a 10% points-earning bonus on stays, possible upgrades to preferred rooms, a complimentary daily bottle of water, free premium internet and late check-out based on availability.

The next tier is Hyatt Explorist status, which is earned with 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points (spending $10,000 at Hyatt hotels) in a calendar year. Explorists earn 20% bonus points on stays, get better upgrades (though still to rooms and not suites), and guaranteed room availability on paid reservations at least 72 hours prior to arrival. They also receive four Club lounge access awards, which they can redeem on stays of up to seven nights, and which comes with perks like free breakfast, dedicated reservation and concierge services, and more.

World of Hyatt’s top tier of elite status is called Globalist. To get there, you need to stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base points ($20,000 spending) in a calendar year. Globalist status includes earning 30% bonus points on stays, a better shot at room upgrades, four confirmed suite upgrades on paid and award stays of up to seven nights, club lounge access or free breakfast at most properties, availability-based early check-in and late check out extended to 4:00pm, and waived resort fees on all stays, among other benefits.

In case you spend enough, the World of Hyatt credit card automatically confers five qualifying night credits each year and earns an additional two qualifying night credits for every $5,000 spent, so that might be enough to put you over the top to the next tier of status.

Pros and Cons of World of Hyatt

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The advantages of World of Hyatt are manifold. Members can easily combine points with one another for free once per month, which makes it easy to shift points around to various accounts and redeem them for awards. The award redemption rates are well below those of other loyalty programs, and it is easy to rack up points thanks not only to the World of Hyatt Credit Card, but also the program’s partnership with Chase Ultimate Rewards. World of Hyatt has also dramatically increased its scope through its recent hotel acquisitions and its partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

That said, World of Hyatt’s global hotel footprint is still far smaller than that of competitors like Marriott and Hilton, so it can be more difficult to find hotels where you can earn and redeem points. The structure and benefits of its elite-status tiers can also be complex, which makes it more difficult to ensure you are getting the benefits you deserve.

How to Sign Up

Joining World of Hyatt is free and only takes a moment and a minimum of personal information, so you might as well sign up if you haven’t done so already.

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