Hyatt, American Airlines Offer Reciprocal Shortcuts to Elite Status

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Hyatt and American Airlines just launched a new round of reciprocal elite-status fast track match-challenges. Elites of both programs have the opportunity to quickly earn elite status with the other by completing qualifying activity. This particular promotion presents a valuable opportunity.

Partnership Overview

Hyatt and American Airlines announced their partnership in April 2019. It was designed to mutually benefit loyalty members of both programs with several reciprocal perks and offerings. We wrote all about it at the time. But to refresh your memory, the partnership consists of:

  • World of Hyatt elite members earn one bonus Hyatt point per dollar spent on qualifying American Airlines flights.
  • AAdvantage elite members earn one bonus AAdvantage mile per dollar spent at qualifying Hyatt properties.
  • Elite members of both programs will get the chance to take part in special status match-challenges.
  • American Airlines Concierge Key members—AA's special invitation-only elite status—receive complimentary top-tier Hyatt Globalist status.

New 2021 Elite Status Match-Challenge

Hyatt and American have offered two rounds of elite status match-challenges — one each year. The original status match-challenge ended on October 1, 2019. Then, Hyatt and American offered another match from March through September 2020. But, elite members have been without a status match-challenge option since.

Now through this offer, elites members of both programs have an opportunity to fast-track to elite status. These offers are appealing for two reasons:

  1. The requirements to earn elite status through a fast-track challenge are only a fraction of those necessary to earn status through the typical route.
  2. Members can register for these promotions any time through September 30, 2021. So, you can wait to register until it suits your travel schedule.

Hyatt Status Challenge for American Airlines Elites

American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum elites can register to immediately get Explorist status for 90 days. Then, elites can complete a fast-track challenge to earn either Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status.

  • You must register for this challenge by September 30, 2021.
  • You will have 90 days after registration to complete the challenge.
  • Hyatt status earned via challenge will be valid through February 2023.
  • To earn Hyatt Explorist, you must complete 10 elite-qualifying nights.
  • For Hyatt Globalist, you must complete 20 elite-qualifying nights.

American Airlines Hyatt fast-track offer

Both of these challenges will let you earn Hyatt elite status in one-third the number of nights typically required. However, you're only given one-forth of the year to complete the challenge. Still, the ability to earn top-tier Globalist as an AA Executive Platinum is particularly lucrative.

The terms and conditions also mention that only eligible rates—including award nights—will qualify. That means that elite-qualifying nights earned through spend on the The World of Hyatt Credit Card will likely not count for this challenge.

The World of Hyatt Credit Card
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • Up to 9X points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4X points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2X points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1X point per $1 everywhere else

Another factor worth considering is that Hyatt status earned through a challenge is considered “light” status. This is because even though you'll receive all applicable elite benefits, you won't receive any of the Milestone Rewards you'd normally receive for completing the standard elite-night requirements. These include Free-Night Awards, Suite Upgrade Awards, and Club Lounge Access Awards.

American Airlines Challenge for Hyatt Elites

Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist members can complete a fast-track challenge to earn AA Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Pro status. The terms of these challenges aren't public. So, eligible members will need to log in to see their challenge.

  • Members must register for this challenge by September 30, 2021.
  • After registering, members will have three months to complete a challenge after registration.
  • Qualifying activity is earned when a member flies on eligible tickets for flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle.
  • American Airlines status earned via challenge will be valid through January 2023.

Hyatt-American elite status challenge email

Once you have secured American Airlines elite status, utilize that elite status on more flights by signing up for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®. This card is currently offering an excellent 65,000-mile bonus after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®
Annual Fee$99, waived for first 12 months
Welcome Offer Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.
The AA Business Card is a great card to hold for any business owner that travels at least a few times per year with American Airlines. Get a free checked bag on domestic itineraries, priority boarding and a 25% discount on in-flight purchases. With these perks, it's easy to justify the annual fee of $99, waived for first 12 months.
  • Free checked bags for you and up to 4 companions on domestic itineraries
  • Priority boarding to help you win the race for overhead bin space
  • A 25% discount on inflight food, beverage, and Wi-Fi purchases
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on cable and satellite providers
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent at gas stations
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on select telecommunications merchants
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on car rentals
  • Earn 2X miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • Earn 1X mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Final Thoughts

When this partnership was first announced in 2019, we honestly didn't know how often to expect these “special status-match challenges”. It's great to see that it's at least a once-per-year opportunity.

Not all of us are ready to get back to travel just yet. Thankfully, both promotions have a generous window to register. That means that even if you can't take advantage of it immediately, it could still be a viable option once the traveling world starts getting back to normal. And that is something that we can all look forward to.

Has anyone completed one of these challenges before? Anybody hoping to partake this year? How valuable do you find these elite statuses?

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  • Marcia Morris says:

    I completely forgot I signed up for this but then again I sign up for everything. And I one trip to Texas back in April and two trips in the last two weeks for work. One of the trips was 4 legs. After I completed 2 of 4 legs I got an email that I received AA Gold status. Went into my account and yep Gold till Jan 2023. At least my return flight home I was upgraded to First Class on 3rd leg and Comfort on 4th. Now this damn variant is raring it’s ugly head when I’m finally Gold from challenge.

  • Whoops. I activated this too soon. Be careful when you register! I don’t think I can make it in 90 days.

  • For some reason, after registering my Hyatt account, it took a call (with a long, long wait time) to have a customer service rep work her magic for Explorist to show up as my status within the Hyatt program, noting the status was good through mid-Oct. With a couple Hyatt stays already planned, I will see how it goes.

  • Buenisima la promo !! Que bueno que se esten agregando diferentes maneras de conseguir millas addvantaje. Ojala pronto aparezcan otros beneficios. Dormir y ganar millas…me encanto. !!

  • Hyatt already reduced the number of nights needed to upgrade your elite status. In my opinion, you will lose the milestones bonus and the other benefits like suits upgrade and lounge access after registering at this challenge!
    What do you think?

    • That’s what I was thinking, it seems that it would be better to forget the AA part and go for the real Hyatt status and hopefully get offered the AA status.

  • Status in nice but the diluting effect of the promotions makes having status less valuable.

  • I wish Hyatt had more flexible Hawaii properties….

  • This is diluting the worth of each program even more. Have to admit to being amused by the emails from AA offering the opportunity to be an Explorist with Hyatt. Already sitting at 88 nights.

  • I just hope that this current situation ends soon so that I can make use of all this.

  • It is certainly nice to see this being offered. Fast track to elite status is always nice. Elite status with Hyatt is one of the more valuable statuses to get. If you are an elite member of American Airlines, you should go for this.

  • I don’t think even too many platinum elites can complete the required 20 nights by September 30.

  • Interesting partnership, I would have seen AA more aligned with Marriott, however I guess Delta got in there first

  • Ah well. The one time I let my elite status drop down from Exec Plat to Gold because I couldn’t see staying loyal to AA. Love Hyatt, but just don’t see myself returning to AA.

  • I received this status challenge to Explorist. Nice, but since I’m already a Globalist due to my travel this year, it doesn’t do me much good!

  • I love Hyatt. Unfortunately their footprint is just way to small to be a viable option for me. 🙁

  • Too bad the Hyatt to AA rules arent made public, I dont want to start the 90 day timer before I know the rules.

  • AA should offer a mileage expiration holiday indeed.

  • Any news on deferred expiry of current elite status?

  • The offer is good but in these times is difficult to plan a trip

  • I love that this is back, but question the timetable – with all that is going, I except that most people will not be able to even start thinking about new travel until July earliest – and we need to wait if the places we want to go / fly to even are back open again. So very likely the best option will be to only book flights you can rebook / cancel for a fee (and make that a bet you are willing to take) and book the hotel only on rates that can be cancelled – and to bookmark an overview like this to revisit in a few months 🙁

  • Maicon Fernandes says:

    Great news, i pray that the covid-19 is resolved as soon as possible and can travel.

  • AA even makes “social distancing” arrangements onboard right now.

    • Yes, they’re actually blocking off half of all middle seats. And, customers, not surprisingly, have more flexibility to move to other seats, subject to weight and balance concerns.. Policy currently applies thru 5/31.

  • nice offer but things will have to settle down before it makes sense to take it.

  • Excellent news, hopefully the covid-19 will be resolved as soon as possible.

  • Very much needed once we are over this period and will help us get back in the air and into hotel rooms!

  • I’m in the wait and see camp to see when the stay in place orders are lifted.

  • I had all my flights lined up before COVID-19 shut everything down. Now I won’t be traveling at all. Challenges are only good if you can travel. Hope they come up with an alternative that is feasible (since most international flights and various hotel locations are closed off)

  • Unfortunately with COVID-19, my traveling for work has stopped and will not start up again for the foreseeable future.

  • Steven William Van Meter says:

    This looks splendid. With 60,000 points, that alone could ALMOST put me where I want to be in terms of affording an internal flight. External flights are on hold right now anyway.

  • The only “Sensible” post is from Ron Vaughan

  • Anyone else experiencing a slowing in points posting to your account? AA, in particular, seems to take forever. I know they’ve got a lot of issues on their hands, but I thought this sort of thing was automated.

  • Hay alguna aerolinea que planee extender el vencimiento de las millas por el covid-19?

  • says:

    Given current travel uncertainties, it seems unwise to register now because it will be so difficult to meet the challenge in the next 90 days. How about doing a repost when travel starts to normalize so I can remember to register then.

  • I already have am an Explorist and a Platinum Pro from my travel so this doesn’t help me at all. I will say that I am very happy to earn the additional points from the other program each time I fly American or stay with Hyatt so I still can take advantage of the benefits of this partnership even though the challenge doesn’t do anything for me. Due to the decreased travel, these challenges might be useful in the future so it is definitely a good thing they do this periodically.

  • This is great news! but Do you know if, due covid-19, American Airlines and Hyatt will change it rules to avoid expiring miles ?

  • Me sumo al desafio!

  • Sigh,
    I was supposed to be in Argentina right now, and earning AA status from the flights. luckily I hadn’t activated yet, so if travel gets back to normal, i still have a chance.

  • I doubt anyone want to travel or stay at hotels due to covid.

  • el tema de corona virus hace muy dificil planear viajes este año ,ojala esto pase lo mas pronto posible y podamos utilizar todos estos beneficios

  • This is great news! I’m going to join the challenge.

  • MARIO CASTRO says:

    Do you know if, due covid-19, American Airlines will change it rules to avoid expiring miles ?

    • American should definitely make some accommodation in light of the crisis.

    • It’s likely that you will see some accommodations (airlines are going to want your loyalty after this ends), but keep in mind you can easily keep your points active spending $1 on their shopping portal.