World of Hyatt as of March 1, 2017

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Back in October 2016, we reported the coming changes to the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program. The new program goes live as of March 1, 2017, and Hyatt has released even more details of the new program—unsurprisingly like almost every loyalty program overhaul in the last decade, or so there are some good points and bad points. While there seem to be several generous additions to the new program, there are also some hidden devaluations and quirks. Here is the low down on some of the upcoming fundamental changes to the Hyatt program.

Major Changes as Gold Passport Becomes World of Hyatt

The changes to the program are extensive, and some of the key aspects are as follows:

  • The program is changing its name
  • The program is moving from 2 Elite tiers to 3 Elite tiers
  • You can qualify on spending as well as nights (but no longer on stays)
  • You can earn free nights for staying at different brands (once per lifetime benefit)
  • Hyatt Credit Cardholders receive complimentary Discoverist Status
  • Elite members get unlimited suite upgrades
  • No welcome amenity for Globalists
  • Tier-based Free Night Awards

Name Change to World of Hyatt

The first and most noticeable difference is in the name, the Hyatt Gold Passport program ceases to exist at the end of February 2017, and a new program called World of Hyatt will take its place effective March 1, 2017.

World of Hyatt 

Three Elite Tiers

Hyatt Gold Passport had two Elite tiers, whereas World of Hyatt offers four membership levels with three Elite tiers—Discoverist, Explorist, and a top tier Globalist—while the entry-level tier will be called Member.

World of Hyatt Membership Tiers

Below is a chart that illustrates the key benefits of the new tiers within World of Hyatt.

World of Hyatt Tier Breakdown

Transition Levels

Members of the old program will be transitioned to the new World of Hyatt. Hyatt released the following chart to show at which level you will be transferred.

World of Hyatt Transition Tiers

Earn Status on Spending

This is a great improvement which rewards big spenders since it is unreasonable to treat someone who regularly spends $600 a night the same as someone typically spending $100 a night. Requiring both to stay the same number of nights to earn Elite status seems unfair. The new qualifying options are illustrated in the following chart. All members earn 5 base points per dollar spent so that'd be $5,000 for Discoverist, $10,000 for Explorist or $20,000 for Globalist. Not an easy feat, but if you're easily earning a lot of base points with high room rates, you now have the opportunity to reach status. World of Hyatt Earning Elite Status

Earn Free Nights for Stays at Different Brands

All members will be eligible to earn a stay at any category 1-4 hotel after staying at 5 different Hyatt brands; you can earn a further stay after staying at another 5 brands. Ultimately you are restricted to 2 free nights since Hyatt only has 12 brands.

World of Hyatt Brands

Sadly, the new perk is not retroactive, and the new counter will start on March 1, 2017. Any previous stays in 2017 will not count towards this new benefit. This benefit is a once in a lifetime benefit per account.

Hyatt Credit Card Holders Receive Discoverist Status

Previously, if you had the Hyatt co-brand card you received complimentary Platinum Status. Cardholders now receive Discoverist status. Unfortunately, Hyatt cardholders will now lose some of their points bonus for stays, since they will be earning a 10% points bonus on stays rather than the 15% they used to earn previously.

Globalist Members Receive Unlimited Suite Upgrades

One of the best improvements to the Hyatt program is the unlimited upgrades to the best available room including suites. This new benefit is available to Globalist members and is in addition to their four confirmed suite upgrade certificates. The confirmed upgrades are only valid for 12 months from the date they are deposited in your account. If you have planned a family vacation or have some aspiration travel plans, you might need to do some pre-planning when you hit Globalist status and earn you certificates, to maximize their use.

No More Welcome Amenity for Globalists

One of the costlier devaluations for Elite members is the abolishing of welcome amenities. You will no longer earn points or welcome drinks upon check-in. When you consider that the amenity points are 1,000 for a full-service property and 500 for any other Hyatt property this can be a significant hit. A Globalist with 50 nights could easily end up losing 15,000 to 20,000 points or more, which is enough points for a night at a category 3-4 hotel or even more nights at lower tier properties.

Luckily, Globalist do have some enhanced benefits with Club Lounge access, 4-suite upgrades, 48-hour room availability guarantee, and a 4 PM checkout time, in addition to the usual 30% points earning bonus.

Tier-Based Free Night Awards

To seemingly make up for the loss of the welcome amenity, Hyatt has introduced a new benefit—you will earn a free night certificate at a category 1-4 property after staying 30 nights, and a free night certificate at any Hyatt property after completing 60 nights stay.

At first glance, this seems like a great new perk, with Hyatt Globalists now earning a free night at any Hyatt property worldwide. The major issue with the award is that it is only valid for 120 days from the time it is issued.

The award could be worth up to $1,000 at one of the Hyatt’s top properties, but an individual who is very close to reaching Globalist by completing 60 nights, may opt to stay away until his aspirational stay is within the 120-day window, and then come back to Hyatt to hit Globalist so that they can use the free night perk at their desired top tier location. 120 days is simply too limiting, and something Hyatt should consider changing.

Overall

The changes to the Hyatt program are interesting; like most changes, there will be winners and losers depending on your stay and spending patterns. It is clear from the changes that Hyatt has decided to focus their loyalty program on people who are not only more regular users of the company but also on big spenders who stay at high-end Hyatt properties. This is in line with most airlines and hotels loyalty programs today who are moving towards a revenue-based program, as opposed to a usage based one. How will the new program affect you? Are you going to be one of the World of Hyatt winners, or do you feel the new changes will affect you badly?

World of Hyatt as of March 1, 2017
4.3 (85.71%) 7 votes
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Comments

  • Program changes, as a general rule, are always going to offer less value than the previous iteration (with some rare exceptions). But I laugh at the names here. World of Hyatt? And all the “ist” levels? Just seems and sounds stupid to my feeble mind. It doesn’t matter in the end, but it makes me hope they didn’t spend too much time on the names.

    • I have to agree, ‘World of Hyatt’ sounds like a really silly name to me. Hyatt Gold Passport sounded like a much more impressive and aspirational name. I guess though that in the end the name doesn’t really matter as long as the program works the members. Unfortunately though for me Hyatt have too few hotels in locations I am likely to stay to make it of interest to me.

  • I’ve been loyal to IHG and SPG, does Hyatt compare well to these two?

    • It honestly depends on your travel style. I’ve long been loyal to SPG, but have been VERY impressed with Hyatt and have shifted a significant portion of my travel from Starwood to Hyatt.

      • Although they do have some terrific properties, Hyatt’s Achilles heel has always been its small footprint. For many people, like myself, it’s always been difficult to devote a significant amount of nights/stays to them. I’ve never managed any Hyatt elite tier without a match (or credit card), and now with WOH, unfortunately, it will be even more difficult to earn/keep elite status due to more restrictive qualification standards.

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  • Traveling on my own dime, I have only stayed at high end Hyatt properties on award stays. These changes will not be a benefit for me.

  • I think the changes are for the better.

  • Unless you were a Diamond who qualified based on stays, I think the worst part of the change is the name.

  • I am currently a Platinum member. I do have quite a bit of spend and stays planned for this year so we will see how it works out. Glad to see the 5% bonus at least.

  • Not happy about the downgrade of the Hyatt credit card now giving globalist status which gives only MGM Pearl. I quite enjoyed MGM gold status and its benefits.

  • I see no good reason for the free nights to expire so soon.. it’s a kick in the teeth after the considerable effort involved in acquiring status.

  • I’ve seen this status thing with a credit card with IHG too. Wouldn’t this devalue the Discoverist level? A change is a change. Everything will change and there will be value in something. Interesting name they came up with though…World of Hyatt. It does get very tiring and makes me SO happy I have ya’ll helping me!

  • What a let down. Hyatt Gold Passport was a great program. They’ve just made it a whole lot worse and will lose a lot of customers. SPG/Marriott will probably gain from this change.

    • I don’t know. As a top tier elite with Hyatt (testing it out as an SPG long time Platinum) I’m pretty pleased with the upgrades in addition to the confirmed upgrades and upgrades on award stays!

  • Change is hard on people. Travel programs’ changes ask a lot of customers. The travel industry never stays the same. It’s like, lead, follow, or get out of the way. I hope Hyatt accomplishes all they aim for on their bottom line w/their program changes, but I fear a lot of loyal customers have been and will be scratching their heads.

  • I have a feeling WOH will be a disaster, but we shall see in the coming months. 🙂

  • The 5-brand bonus isn’t per year, it’s a one-off.

  • amzsinger@gmail.com says:

    I’m a pretty consistent Marriott and Starwood customer. Does it make sense to look at Hyatt now?

  • for those of us who qualify on nights, this is not a bad change at all

  • love the late check out.

  • It seems strange that Guaranted Room Availability is bigger for Explorist than Globalist

  • Do MGM nights count? Have 5 nights coming up. Already told them I want Hyatt points and gave them my Hyatt #

  • Just got the Hyatt card. Unfortunate that status given isn’t as good on WOH, but still excited to stay at the Park Hyatt Vendome for free!

  • 60 nights to qualify is a lot of hotel nights in a year. probably too much for most

  • presently on the phone with Hyatt. The hotels are not properly trained for the new program and have no idea what they are doing yet.

  • The new program is so inferior to what Hyatt used to be like! And they couldn’t even get their website work properly on the day the program was launched

  • Christine Hong says:

    New tier names don’t give any indication of value/status… poor effort by their marketing team.

  • finally resolved a problem after several days of phone calls. At least my free night as a globalist is now in the account.

  • You say there are winners and losers in this new program. I’ve been a diamond member for 3-4 years now. I’m seriously wondering who are the winners? Hyatt?

    I’ll give you some facts: You no longer get an amenity bonus in points if you decline the amenity . In fact there is no amenity, unless you include a small bottle of water an amenity (which I always got anyway). Why is this a big deal? The bonus was always 500-1000points for most stays. I used to get 1200-1900 points per stay on average. I now get 800-900 points. that’s about 50% few points paid out per stay. They are not dropping the cost when using points.

    Hyatt will tell you they are now giving you free night vouchers when you reach milestones… like stays at 5 different brands. ( a pain in the you know what but easy enough) . That voucher expires in 120 days. So good luck using it on a planned vacation during Christmas or spring break.

    The big upgrade to this program is the suite bump you get at check in. I’m hearing members tell me they get rejected suite upgrades because they’re unavailable. Mean while you can book a suite with cash. So not really a perk if if you can’t use it. I suspect Hyatt hired a consultant to create this new program. It’s got “consultant” written all over it. It’s a huge mistake because they clearly don’t understand who their customers are.

    • Chad,

      You summed up how my husband (who has been a Diamond Member for well over 10 years) feels about the new “World of Hyatt” program and probably countless other customers. One thing that is clear from Hyatt’s new program is that they care a lot more about money and a lot less about their loyal customers. The new program offers very little incentive for longstanding diamond members to remain loyal to the Hyatt brand.

      • I understand the need to save $ or increase profits for any business. I just think Hyatt took their devaluation too far. Cutting the benefits in half is insanely aggressive. I wonder if Hyatt isn’t in trouble financially and this is an idea to increase margins. It’s IMO a step away from just walking away from loyalty programs all together. It bothers me because I didn’t want to leave hyatt. I want to be their customer but I don’t have a choice. I have to switch to another chain.

        Cutting your point payout in half is brutal. I would actually be willing to pay more $ for my rooms to keep the amenity bonus and change the expiration dates on the free vouchers to a year (not 120 days) . If they need to increase profits raise your price. Hyatt’s are often cheaper than Hiltons and Marriott.

        I can’t ever recall a company so clearly telling customers they don’t want your business. There’s only a few explanations for a move like this. #1 they think loyalty programs don’t work. #2 Hyatt wants to lower prices and cover it with half the loyalty program? #3 They don’t think I’ll leave. They’re wrong. I’m leaving. This is my last week of hyatt bookings. (Cincinnati & Louisville) . Plan right now is to switch to SPG/Marriott.

        • Just one final comment. The last 2 hyatt regency’s I booked did not give me a suite upgrade even though they were available to purchase. So the suite upgrade isn’t what they’re trying to tell you it is. So far I’ve been given an upgrade twice and rejected 3 times.

  • Anyone notice that Chase waited until 2017 to announce that cardholders with a $50K> spend earn Explorist level for 2017? Those of us who were so close were never given the chance to add to our 2016 spend. Unfair. If you are in this “almost” category, please join me in faxing Chase’s executive offices and request the Explorist level or at least the opportunity to apply dollars from your 2017 spend to the 2016 amount. We’d still be held to the $50K level to earn 2018 status but at least we’d have Explorist benefits in 2017. FAX #1-847-787-5509.

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