Everything You Need to Know About World of Hyatt

Everything You Need to Know About World of Hyatt
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We've written extensively about the changes that have come from Hyatt's new loyalty program, World of Hyatt, which replaced Hyatt's old program, Gold Passport, on March 1st. Now that things are up and running, and I've had a chance to experience the new program myself, it's time to take a deep dive into the World of Hyatt.

In this guide we'll be detailing:

A brief history of the Hyatt brand:

Hyatt was born when Jay Pritzker bought the Los Angeles International Airport motel from a man named Hyatt Robert von Dehn in 1957. From there, growth skyrocketed nationwide, and the brand opened cutting-edge properties like the world's first atrium hotel in Atlanta. In 1969, Hyatt opened their first international hotel in Hong Kong, and in 1987, Hyatt's original points program, Gold Passport (#RIP), premiered.

Despite their smaller-than-average footprint for a major hotel brand, Hyatt does a good job of catering to nearly anyone's needs. The hotel brand now has more 96,000 employees, nearly 700 hotels, and owns 13 full-service, select-service, extended-stay, all-inclusive, and timeshare hotel brands, which we've detailed below.

Hyatt-Capital-Gate-Abu-Dhabi-Exterior-Skyline

Hyatt

The first brand, Hyatt, is what you might consider a typical mid-sized hotel. They're usually located in city-centers, nearly always feature large meeting spaces, and sometimes include club lounges for elite guests. Surprisingly, there are only 19 "Hyatt" branded hotels around the world. Probably the most iconic is the Hyatt Capital Gate in Abu Dhabi (pictured above), which leans at an 18 degree angle!

Hyatt-Regency-Huntington-Beach-Lounge-Patio-Masthead

Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency is the most prevalent brand in the full-service category, with 181 properties currently open or in development. Many include club lounges for elite guests, meeting rooms, and can be located in the city center, in the suburbs, or even on the beach! My favorites include the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch and the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, which had its own bridge over the Pacific Coast Highway to the beach (pictured).

Grand-Hyatt-Playa-del-Carmen-Resort-P200-Pool-Deck.masthead-feature-panel-medium

Grand Hyatt

With both city center and resort locations, Grand Hyatts are some of the best in the Hyatt hotel catalogue. Nearly all feature club lounges, and you can find them in 51 locations worldwide. My favorite is clearly the Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen, where I got engaged in 2016 and will be having my wedding later on in 2017!

Park-Hyatt-Sydney-Exterior-Opera-House-View

Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt is the high-end luxury brand of Hyatt, which has a portfolio of 42 properties around the world. These are all in the best locations of their respective cities or resorts, and are truly decadent. I recently stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney as part of the $20,000 vacation I took for nearly nothing, which features views of the Sydney Harbor Opera House, pictured above.

Andaz-Peninsula-Papagayo-P146-Lounge-Close-Up-1280x427

Andaz

Andaz is Hyatt's lifestyle brand, which has recently grown to 18 properties around the world. Brand standards include a free mini bar with every room packed with non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, and most properties include a wine happy hour each evening. Think of this as the Hyatt's answer to Starwood's W brand. I recently checked out the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica, and can confirm that it is, in fact, awesome. Lots of activities are included in the resort fee and the food and cocktails (pictured above) are delicious!

Hyatt-Centric-Waikiki-Beach-P024-Lobby-Terrace-View.masthead-feature-panel-medium

Hyatt Centric

Hyatt's Centric brand of trendy boutique hotels scattered throughout the world is still fairly new. Currently, there are 14 properties worldwide, but many are coming in future months and years. In fact, many existing Hyatts are being rebranded as Centric. One of the latest to join the brand is the Hyatt Centric Waikiki, which is close to the beach.

Driskill-Hero-Unbound

Unbound Collection

Similar to Starwood's "Luxury Collection" brand, the Unbound Collection are independently-minded properties that appeal to those looking for a hotel that's not quite so standard. My favorite in this collection is the Driskill in Austin, Texas, which is one of the most historic hotels in the state. Currently, there are only five Unbound properties worldwide.

Hyatt-Ziva-Los-Cabos-P151-Infinity-Pool-Sunrise.masthead-feature-panel-medium

Hyatt Ziva and Zilara

Hyatt's all-inclusive brands are the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara, which are currently only located in Mexico and the Caribbean. Hyatt Ziva appeals to families, while Zilara is adults-only. Many of the properties feature suites with a personal hot tub on the balcony! Currently, there are four Hyatt Zivas, and two Hyatt Zilaras.

Hyatt-Place-UC-Davis-P001-Exterior.masthead-feature-panel-medium

Hyatt Place and Hyatt House

Hyatt's no-frills hotel brands are Hyatt Place and Hyatt House. Hyatt Place is a "business" hotel, with all the features a business traveler might need, like desks, a pull-out couch, and free breakfast in the morning. Hyatt House is more "extended-stay," with full kitchens and free breakfast in the morning. Currently, there are 290 Hyatt Places and 81 Hyatt Houses worldwide.

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Hyatt Vacation Club

Hyatt also has 16 vacation club properties in which you can use your points. These are a great choice for traveling families who need more room, or who want to save money by cooking their own meals. I recently stayed in Sedona at the Piñon Pointe property, which had 360-degree views from their hilltop pool of the surrounding red rock.

miraval

Miraval

Currently being added to the portfolio of hotel is Miraval, a ultra-high end spa resort in Tucson, Arizona that's boasted guests like the Kardashian clan in the past. Look for growth with this brand in the coming years!

How to earn World of Hyatt points:

The World of Hyatt is, as mentioned, a replacement of the long-running Hyatt Gold Passport program. There are more similarities than differences, with most of the balance coming from elite benefits. Regardless, here are the basics of the program.

You'll earn, at a minimum, five base points per every dollar spent on your hotel reservation, and money spent on-property during your stay for eligible rates. You won't earn base points on any taxes paid on the reservation, nor will you earn them for some charges, like when a hotel concierge charges your room from a third-party tour operator. Restaurants, spas, and gift shop purchases do count towards base point accrual.

If you'd rather earn air or auto miles, you can, and here is a list of participants. But it's usually not a good deal, given the value of Hyatt points.

In addition to base points earned on your stay, there are a number of opportunities for bonus points. For one, your elite status can get you up to a 30 percent bonus on your base points earning. We'll dive into elite benefits more below, but Discoverist and Explorist members earn a 15 percent bonus, and Globalist members earn a 30 percent bonus.

Furthermore, Hyatt often has promotions throughout the year that can add to your points balance. Usually, these align with a quarterly counter, like last fall, when Hyatt had a "More Points, More Play" promotion, which gave you up to 75,000 bonus points for staying 25 nights.

I've also received points in the past as an apology for a service error. If there's something wrong with your stay, I find it helpful for all parties to voice my concerns in a polite manner, both with the front desk and with World of Hyatt customer service. For example, there was once another Mark Jackson staying at a Hyatt at the same time as me, who was accidentally given a key to my room, which I was occupying at the time. The front desk apologized profusely, and gave us both free breakfast, drink tickets, and 15,000 points for our trouble.

If you use Avis for your car rentals, you can earn 500 Hyatt points per reservation.

If you're an event planner (or hosting your wedding), you can also earn Hyatt points for each event that you host. This can really add up, and you can even earn status from hosting a lot of events during the year.

You can also transfer points from other members for free. This is a relative rarity in the hotel industry, which usually doesn't allow such things.

If you're desperate for points, you can buy them straight from Hyatt. This is rarely a good deal, but there are sales throughout the year. You can purchase up to 55,000 points per year, which would cost you $1,320.

Finally, you can earn points from credit cards. Hyatt has a co-branded credit card that earns three Hyatt points per dollar at Hyatt hotels, one point per dollar on all other purchases, and has an incredible sign up bonus of two free Hyatt nights anywhere in the world after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of membership. The card is $75 a year, but you receive a free Category 1-4 night each card anniversary, which more than makes up for that fee.

Additionally, you can earn Hyatt points by transferring from a Ultimate Rewards earning credit card, like the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve cards, or Ink Business Preferred cards. The Sapphire cards each have a 50,000 point sign up bonus right now, and Ink Business has an 80,000 point sign up offer. Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio into Hyatt.

How to use your World of Hyatt points:

While earning World of Hyatt points can be fun, using the points is even more fun! With seven categories of hotels, and top tier-rooms only costing 30,000 points per night, Hyatt is one of the best programs for efficiently using points. As a contrast, top-tier rooms at Hilton can cost 95,000 miles, and at Marriott, 70,000 points. Here's a list of each category, and the points per night you'll need for a standard and club level room. You'll also find the hotel's "Points and Cash" rate, operates just like it says- you'll pay a set points rate, plus a cash co-pay, per night.

World of Hyatt redemption categories:

Category
Standard Room:
Regency/ Grand Club Room:
Points + Cash Rate:
Category 1
 5,000 Points
7,000 Points
2,500 + $50
Category 2
 8,000 Points
12,000 Points
4,000 + $55
Category 3
12,000 Points
17,000 Points
6,000 + $75
Category 4
15,000 Points
21,000 Points
7,500 + $100
Category 5
20,000 Points
27,000 Points
10,000 + $125
Category 6
25,000 Points
33,000 Points
12,500 + $150
Category 7
 30,000 Points
39,000 Points
15,000 + $300

In addition, there are some "exceptions" to the chart, with Hyatt's All-Inclusive and Timeshare properties. For all-inclusives, you may have to call in to reserve your room, and points only cover double-occupancy. You can, however, pay a points supplement for up to two additional guests.

All-inclusive property points redemption chart:

Hotel
Standard Room:
Suite:
Club Room:
Additional Person, per Night:
Hyatt Zilara Cancun
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
 -
12,500 Points
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
 -
12,500 Points
Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
20,000 Points
32,000 Points
-
10,000 Points
Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta
20,000 Points
32,000 Points
-
10,000 Points
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
33,000 Points
12,500 Points
Hyatt Ziva Cancun
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
-
12,500 Points

Timeshare properties were once much simpler. However, in 2016, without notice, Hyatt changed their redemptions to this chart.

Hyatt timeshare properties redemption chart:

Timeshare Property
Award Category:
Standard Point:
Suite:
Hyatt Pinon Pointe, a Hyatt Residence Club
4
15,000 Points
24,000 Points
Hyatt Hacienda del Mar, a Hyatt Residence Club
4
15,000 Points
24,000 Points
Hyatt Sunset Harbor, a Hyatt Residence Club
5
20,000 Points
32,000 Points
Hyatt Coconut Plantation, a Hyatt Residence Club
5
20,000 Points
32,000 Points
Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch, a Hyatt Residence Club
5
20,000 Points
32,000 Points
Hyatt Mountain Lodge, a Hyatt Residence Club
6
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
Hyatt Main Street Station, a Hyatt Residence Club
6
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
Hyatt Beach House, a Hyatt Residence Club
6
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
Northstar Lodge, a Hyatt Residence Club
6
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
Hyatt Windward Pointe, a Hyatt Residence Club
6
25,000 Points
40,000 Points
Grand Hyatt Aspen, a Hyatt Residence Club
7
30,000 Points
48,000 Points
The Residences at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, a Hyatt Residence Club
7
30,000 Points
48,000 Points
Hyatt Siesta Key Beach, a Hyatt Residence Club
7
30,000 Points
48,000 Points
Hyatt Carmel Highlands, a Hyatt Residence Club
7
30,000 Points
48,000 Points
Maui Ka’anapali Beach
7
30,000 Points
48,000 Points
Hyatt High Sierra Lodge, a Hyatt Residence Club
7
30,000 Points
48,000 Points

Finally, you can also use your points to upgrade a paid stay to a club level room, or suite. A club level room will cost you 3,000 points extra per night, and a suite costs 6,000 points per night. This can be especially lucrative if you find a low cash rate at a property, as you can then upgrade to a standard suite for only 6,000 points.

World of Hyatt elite status categories:

The major changes from the World of Hyatt comes in regards to elite status benefits, and earning that status. Here are the basics.

Basic Earned With: Automatic. Points Earning: 5 base points per dollar. Room Upgrades: None. Club Lounge Access: None. Breakfast: None. Expedited Check-In: No. Suite Awards: No. Late Check-Out: No. Internet: Standard. Resort and Parking Fees: Waived resort fees on award nights. mLife Status: Sapphire. Other Benefits: Share points with other members. Discoverist Earned With: 10 nights or 25,000 base points. Points Earning: 5 base points + 10% bonus. Room Upgrades: Preferred rooms (same category, but preferred room or floor). Club Lounge Access: None. Breakfast: None. Expedited Check-In: Yes. Suite Awards: No. Late Check-Out: 2 p.m. Internet: Premium. Resort and Parking Fees: Waived resort fees on award nights. mLife Status: Pearl. Other Benefits: Exclusive reservation line. Explorist Earned With: 30 nights or 50,000 base points. Points Earning: 5 base points + 20% bonus. Room Upgrades: Free upgrade at check-in, except club rooms and suites. Club Lounge Access: 4 Club Lounge access awards yearly (on paid or points reservations). Breakfast: None. Expedited Check-In: Yes. Suite Awards: No. Late Check-Out: 2 p.m. Internet: Premium. Resort and Parking Fees: Waived resort fees on award nights. mLife Status: Gold. Other Benefits: 72-Hour Room Guarantee. Globalist Earned With: 60 nights or 100,000 base points Points Earning: 5 base points + 30% bonus Room Upgrades: Free upgrade at check-in including standard suites. Club Lounge Access: Yes. Breakfast: Either in the Club Lounge, or in hotel's restaurant for hotels without lounge (up to 2 adults and 2 children). Expedited Check-In: Yes. Suite Awards: 4 Suite Night Awards per year. Late Check-Out: 4 p.m. Internet: Premium Resort and Parking Fees: No resort fees on any reservation; waived parking fees on award nights. mLife Status: Gold Other Benefits: 48-hour room guarantee; guest of honor benefits: 2 United Club passes yearly.

Here are the benefits of each level, more fleshed out.

Basic

park hyatt vienna

Nothing has really changed for basic members with the transition, besides the fact that members can now waive resort fees on award nights, which is nice. You'll earn five points per dollar spent during your stay, and receive standard internet free (as long as you book your stay directly with Hyatt or through a travel agent). You'll also receive reciprocal Sapphire status with mLife, which is their basic membership as well.

Discoverist

grand hyatt NYC

Once you reach 10 nights, or 25,000 base points (that's $5,000 in spend), you'll receive Discoverist status. Keep in mind, you get this status free with the Chase Hyatt credit card. You'll earn 5.5 points per dollar on all spend at hotels, and receive preferred rooms (same category, but preferred room or floor). You'll also receive expedited check-in and late check-out until 2 p.m. Plus, you'll receive premium internet, and waived resort fees on award nights. mLife status is bumped up to Pearl. There's also an exclusive reservation line.

Overall, the benefits are small for this level of status, but something's better than nothing!

Explorist

park hyatt tokyo

You'll earn Explorist status with 30 nights or $10,000 in spend (50,000 base points). In addition to all the benefits of Discoverist status, you'll also earn six points per dollar on all spend. You'll get a free upgrade at check-in, except club rooms and suites, and four Club Lounge access awards yearly (on paid or points reservations). Your mLife status bumps to Gold, and there's a 72-Hour Room Guarantee for you in case of last-minute bookings. You'll also earn a category 1-4 night each year when you stay 30 nights or earn 50,000 base points.

Globalist

hotel du louvre

Globalist status, Hyatt's top tier, is now hard to earn: you'll need 60 nights or 100,000 base points ($20,000 in spend) per year. For your efforts, you'll earn 6.5 points per dollar on all spend, and receive free upgrades at check-in, up to standard suites if available. You'll also automatically receive club access, and free breakfast in the lounge or in the hotel's restaurant if there's not a lounge (for up to two adults and two children). There's also four suite night awards per year, which you can use to confirm (after booking) a suite, up to six nights per award. There's guaranteed late checkout, and parking fees are waived on resort redemptions. There's a 48-hour guaranteed room availability, the ability to "gift" the benefits of your status to someone using your points using the "Guest of Honor" benefit, and two United Club passes yearly. You'll also earn a Category 1-7 night to use once you hit 60 nights or 100,000 base points. You'll also only need 55 nights each additional year you requalify for Globalist status.

Stay 70, 80, 90, or 100 nights in a year, and receive an extra 10,000 points or a free suite award at each level.

Other World of Hyatt secrets:

Hyatt's mLife reciprocal status program can make your time in Las Vegas a bit more fun. For top-tiers, that means room upgrades at places like the Bellagio, MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay, VIP access to nightclubs, and more. You can view all the benefits for your respective tiers here.

Additionally, with the rollout of World of Hyatt comes a new scavenger hunt of sorts. Every time you pay an eligible rate at a Hyatt brand, that counts towards a once-in-a-lifetime award that gives you a Category 1-4 night for every five Hyatt brands you stay with. Right now, there are 13 brands, so the most you can earn is two nights, but that's something!

How do you feel about the new World of Hyatt program? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!