Hyatt unveiled a series of changes to the beloved World of Hyatt program for the 2024 membership year and beyond. They favor those who stay well more than 60 nights (as Milestone Rewards now go to 150 nights vs. a previous max of 100 nights) but it’s a mixed bag for the rest of us.
There is no change to elite qualification requirements, elite tiers, or redemptions.
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Hyatt Globalist Guest of Honor
The biggest change is to the Guest of Honor benefit, which will now have to be earned and therefore will be limited in usage per year.
In the current program, a Globalist can gift an unlimited number of Guest of Honor award stays (where the neither the recipient nor the booker receive an elite night credit) and no doubt this benefit has been abused. So now one earns the ability to gift a Guest of Honor award (valid for up to 7 nights) via Milestone Rewards.
They can now be used on cash trips in addition to award bookings, and still cannot have a Suite Upgrade Award applied.
One positive is that you get the first one at 40 nights, meaning you could gift yourself a Guest of Honor stay while you are an Explorist qualifying for Globalist (or not even qualifying for Globalist). That’s pretty suite…
(Another big caveat is that the stays gifted must be within the program year in which you have earned status. So no more “extending” Globalist benefits by gifting GoH to a spouse for the next year. Yes, previously, people would extend their elite years, in a sense, by a year by gifting the next year’s hotel stays to a spouse via GoH. )
But then you won’t get another until 60 nights when you get 2 more. You’d get a further one at 70, 80, 90, and 100 nights.
So someone just hitting 60 night Globalist will now have just 3 awards to gift or use – vs. unlimited now.
If you have qualified this year for 2024, you’ll get 5 of these to use immediately (for dates through Feb 2025). These can be used online, which is also great.
One huge note I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere (I did not receive the embargo on this so I’ve been digesting this all on a flight with spotty wifi 😉 ) is that they are grandfathering in people that currently have status until Feb 2025 or later (which includes someone that earned it this year) for one more year. The only catch is that you’ve used or gifted your 5 awarded GoH awards first.
Per the terms (bolding mine): Should a such Member whose Globalist status expires February 28, 2025, or later apply to reservations or transfer via gift all of their Guest of Honor Awards, they may still make use of the legacy Globalist Guest of Honor benefit described below until February 28, 2025 (or, for any such Member who has Globalist status that – as of December 31, 2023 – expires later than February 28, 2025, until February 28, 2026).
New Milestone Rewards
Milestone Rewards have changed in a pretty big way.
You will now have the choice to take your first Suite Night Award at 40 nights (but that is instead of the Guest of Honor booking – so do you want a guaranteed suite or a possible suite upgrade and free breakfast + free parking on an award stay?).
You’ll still get 2 SUAs at 50 and 60 nights. According to Gary at View from the Wing (though I cannot find it in the T&Cs, he actually met with Hyatt at Hyatt HQ about the changes, so I think he’s correct!), you can now transfer Suite Upgrade Awards, so that is interesting. In fact, he says: “You’ll be able to give free night awards to someone else, gift club access and suite upgrade upgrades, and gift Guest of Honor awards. Many of these will be transferable online or in the Hyatt app.” I like that a lot, especially the Club Access awards that currently expire worthless for most people.
At many levels you now have to choose what you want but can, for the most part, elect for what you would have gotten before.
New: You now get awards for hitting 110, 120, 130, 140, and 150 nights.
And then at 150 nights you get the Big Kahuna, one free night in any participating Category 1-8 hotel, Category A-F all-inclusive resort or Miraval resort.
If you ask me, the 60 night award should have been upgraded to include Category 8 just to keep up with category inflation (same for the 30 night Cat 1-4 which should be valid to Cat 5 by now) but hey, I just report the news 😉
In addition to the “Big Kahuna” at 150 nights, other new choice selections include:
- 2K Next Stay: Earn 2,000 Bonus Points on their next stay at a Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Caption by Hyatt or UrCove hotel.
- FIND Experience Credit: Choose between a $25-$300 FIND credit to use on any FIND experience around the globe, depending on the qualifying number of nights.
- Guest of Honor Award: Give someone they care about – including themselves – Globalist benefits on either award or paid stays, starting at 40 qualifying nights.
- Miraval Extra Night: Stay one night at a Miraval resort to receive a complimentary second night
The Miraval BOGO is a nice one (we used to see this is a promo every summer, but not lately) and can be used on an award stay. However, you don’t have the chance to choose it until 100 nights so I doubt I’ll ever enjoy this one.
Event Planners and Travel Agents Can Earn Elite Night Credits from Events
“Those planning events or booking on behalf of travelers will earn two qualifying night credits toward tier status for every $5,000 USD, up to $150,000, in eligible spend each year on qualifying events, bookings through Hyatt Privé, or when making a qualifying booking through Hyatt channels with an IATA number associated with their World of Hyatt membership. That’s up to 60 qualifying night credits, enough to earn Globalist status.”
I’m blown away by this if I’m reading this correctly. A travel agent booking Hyatt Prive stays, or even any Hyatt stay, with their IATA number entered can reach Globalist pretty easily, on balance. I used to do travel bookings (way back in the 2000’s and this has me thinking about starting up again! 🤔
Overall, it’s an interesting collection of changes. I never over-used my Guest of Honor benefits so I think on balance I like these changes. Still, I’m sure everyone will have their own likes and dislikes.
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