World of Hyatt Changes Announced for 2019
I will say Hyatt does not sit still. They have been tweaking the World of Hyatt program since launching a few years ago. It was dead on arrival when it was launched but they improved a lot of areas earlier this year. Well they are not finished, they announced some new changes today that launch March 1, 2019. I think there are some positives to this new set up but it comes with 2 big negatives.
Hyatt is adding what they dub “Milestone Rewards”. These are simply new levels where you earn perks. These levels are more spread out than the old Elite levels were. One sly change is that nothing will be earned based on reaching Elite Status anymore. That is considered a separate achievement and the milestones are what get you the goodies. Here is the new list of Milestone Rewards:
As you can see none of the perks you could earn last year are going away. Some are just being issued sooner. This is nice for people that are stuck in between Explorist and Globalist status. They can pick up bonus points or a Hyatt gift card at 40 nights. Also people who only get to 20 nights but fall short of 30 get some lounge access now etc. It has become easier to get the perks of staying with Hyatt. And I believe the 40 night perk is completely new and is in addition to everything that was already there. The rest looks like the perks of reaching status simply spread out and made easier to obtain.
I have also confirmed that World of Hyatt credit card 5 night credits and the 2 nights earned per $5,000 in spend will count towards the milestones.
What About The Bad Stuff?
I did say there were two bad things that come with these changes and the first one was hinted at above and directly affects me. Hyatt has separated Elite status from the perks that come with it by creating these Milestone Rewards. That means that status matches, like MGM Mlife to Hyatt status, no longer brings the suite perks along with it. You have to actually earn the 20 and 30 nights to get them. I assume a challenge may bring the same results as well. You will still earn the bonus points and automatic upgrades etc. but there is no easy way to get the perks for free anymore.
The second bad thing is they are moving the goal line for all Globalists back to 60 nights. Currently if you are a reoccurring Globalist then you only had to get to 55 nights. That will be changing once again next year.
They also say that if you hurry to get Explorist status before March 31, 2019 you will get the 4 lounge access certs but you won’t get them again after March 31st. So there is no way to double dip that and I know some of you were probably considering it.
This will be the final year that old Hyatt cardholders can earn Explorist perks by spending $50,000 on their card as well. You can still earn it by spending $65,000 on the new World of Hyatt credit card which would give you 30 elite night credits.
I am happy to see Hyatt make it easier to rack up perks for those loyal to their brand. And I am glad that they are not only keeping all of the old perks but adding a new one in. This new system also offers people stuck in-between 30 and 60 nights perks to shoot for.
Removing the backdoor way into status perks will hurt some of us though for sure. And adding that 5 nights back on to Globalist status is tough. Many just barely get to 55 so I foresee some 5,000 a night Hyatt Place bookings happening next December for sure.
You can still use the World of Hyatt card to bridge the gap. Everyone should be spending at least $15,000 a year on it which will next you a free night (cat 1-4) and 11 night credits.