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If I were to make a 2018 miles and points wish list of things I hoped that would happen in the coming year, there is no question that a few of the wishes would relate to the World of Hyatt program. Earning top-tier Hyatt Globalist status now requires 60 eligible nights per year and their second-tier status, Explorist, still requires a relatively hefty 30 eligible nights but doesn’t offer nearly the number of perks as the top tier status. In other words, in 2017 Hyatt intentionally or otherwise locked many of us who travel to Hyatt properties regularly, but just not constantly, out of their best perks when the World of Hyatt program launched on March 1st.
Award nights count towards earning Hyatt status
However, 2018 may look a little brighter for those who enjoy Hyatt as much as my family does, as beginning on January 1, 2018, all award nights count toward earning Hyatt status! This includes award nights paid with points, those with the credit card Category 1-4 certificates, and those with the Category 1-4 or 1-7 awards that come from hitting certain thresholds within the World of Hyatt program. They not only (finally) made award stays count towards status, but they did it in the best way possible without asterisks, strings, or confusing terms and conditions.
For those of us in the miles and points world, this is huge as I know many of our Hyatt stays are paid for using points and award nights. As I peek at my own 2018 planned Hyatt stays, all of them that are already booked from my account to places like Park Hyatt St. Kitts, Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica, Park Hyatt Vienna, and more are all booked on points. Josh travels a hefty amount for work, so we have a good number of paid Hyatt stays already booked for him in 2018, but being able to use points when we want to save cash without worrying about if we will then still hit the status thresholds is really helpful and does bring the various Hyatt elite status levels more within range.
180 days to use Hyatt free night awards
Another really positive change that Hyatt is starting with the awards issued on January 1, 2018, the Category 1-4 free night awards you earn when you stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points in a calendar year and the Category 1-7 free night awards you earn when you stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 base points in a calendar year will no longer expire in just 120 days, but instead will be valid for 180 days!
For traveling families, having roughly 6 months instead of 4 months to use those awards does make them much more useful, in part because you are now guaranteed to have access to them during a big school break such as winter break, spring break, or summer break since you can’t go 6 months without overlapping with at least one big school break.
Hyatt is making these two positive changes effective January 1st without also announcing some other new “gotchas” at the same time. These are just pure and simple program improvements that they are implementing after listening to customer feedback, so let’s cross our fingers that it is part of a tide of good things that Hyatt has in store for us in 2018.
How will these positive changes from Hyatt impact your family’s travel strategy?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.