My Hyatt Status Dilemma – Let Me Know Your Thoughts

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Hyatt Status Dilemma
Dinner Spread

My Hyatt Status Dilemma – Let Me Know Your Thoughts

World of Hyatt came out with some big news this week shaking up how they reward status and perks for elite status.  I have been an Explorist with Hyatt for a few years now because of the MLife to Hyatt status match.  This earned me 4 lounge access certificates which was perfect for my needs.  In the past I have never come close to earning status with Hyatt since I almost always use points when traveling.

Hyatt changed their rules earlier this year and allowed points stays to count towards status. Because of that change I am very close to reaching Explorist status naturally this year. I wasn’t really worried about it since I planned to do the status match again next year but that all changed this week, it will no longer work. I’ll still get Explorist status but I will no longer get the lounge access certificates, which is the main thing I want. That access can save you hundreds of dollars at certain properties.

Hyatt Status Dilemma

My Situation

I currently sit at 24 nights for 2018.  If Hyatt had made the new changes for this year I would have already earned two lounge access certs. Those would have paired nicely with the two I still have left over from this year.

I earned 11 of the nights because of the World of Hyatt card.  It gave me a 5 night head start and then I earned 6 more via spend to get my $15K free night.  If I had more time I would just spend some more on the card to earn the four nights I need.

I will be booking two nights for my parents to stay at a Hyatt over the holidays that leaves me 4 days short.  Luckily I live very close to several 5K a night Hyatt Place properties. That means I could mattress run the 4 nights at a cost of 20K Hyatt points.  That is still a steep cost at around $400 in points value.

However, once I reach 30 nights I would get a category 1-4 free night certificate.  These are less valuable than points since they are more restrictive but it is essentially like getting 15,000 points back, if I max it out.  So now I am looking at $100 worth of points to reach Explorist status and earn the 4 lounge access certificates.


I am leaning towards doing it since the lounge certs are good for essentially 2 years.  I know I would most likely get more than $100 in value out of them.

But I do hesitate since I hate using points just to use points.  That and the fact that I still have 2 left over for all of 2019. I know that I can pretty easily hit the 20 mark next year for 2 more. I could use those 20,000 points in 2019 to get up to 4 stays under my belt.

Share your thoughts – should I trade in 20,000 World of Hyatt points for a 1-4 Category free night with an expiration date and 4 lounge certificates? Or should I go forward with the two lounge certs I have now and pick up 2 more when I hit 20 nights next year?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Absolutely do it. We’re all so used to getting everything for free/close to free that it bugs us to get off our wallet or points bank – and not get an oversized ROI. Sometimes you’ve got to do things like this, just like sometimes we have to redeem for less than an optimal return. It smarts thought. Been there, done that!

  2. Hi Mark,

    you’re in dtw someone mentioned. so am i! not many people like us here and I like to reach out and meet anyone nearby. let me know if you’d like to meet up at some point.

    • Shabbir we do have Detroit area meet ups every month or two. If you are in our Facebook Group I usually post info in there about it.

  3. I would probably go for it, mainly induced by the free night. It really depends on the mileage you will get out of the lounge upgrades as well. We did have a stay earlier this year where I spent 20,000 points to hit my fifth Hyatt brand and was rewarded with a free night. Since we needed a stay anyway, it was pretty much a net spend of 5,000 points, but you could also look at it as only getting one night when we could have gotten four.

    Personally, I’m shooting for Globalist next year. I have 16 Hyatt nights booked, will convert my old Hyatt card to the new one on Jan 1 (curses, for the implementation of 5/24 across all cards), and will count on work stays and reselling spend on the WoH card to get me to the number of nights I need by the end of the year.

    • Just make sure you complete 15K by whatever your anniversary date is on the old card when you upgrade since they stick with the old date. If you time it right (depending on when your anniversary is) you could earn 2 nights next calendar year.

      Good luck in reaching Globalist – amazing status for sure!

  4. There’s a couple of additional factors that you may want to consider. What other statuses do you plan on having and retaining next year? If Hyatt is your main program, that makes it a lot more important. If you have primo status with a couple of other programs that you intend to continue with, Hyatt becomes a lot less pressing. Also, you hadn’t mentioned it, but I presume that you have the points to do this.
    Offhand, I’d say that you should absolutely do this. With the way that Marriott has eviscerated the SPG program, I suddenly decided to re-up my Globalist status in September. I did a lot through the new credit card, but I still had to MR around 10 nights. For me, the benefits will be worth it. For you, the new elite benefits seem like they would do pretty well. Either way, good luck.

    • Hyatt is my first choice but since they have a small footprint I stay at Hilton often as well and have Diamond via the Aspire card. Yeah points are not an issue for the rooms. I agree Marriott/SPG is dead to me since the program is a mess and there is no way to rack up points outside of paid stays.

  5. Some Amex cards have a “spend $200, get $60” offer for Hyatt House/Place expiring 12/31/18. My Amex Blue Preferred does. This applies to the base room rate only.

    For my last few nights required for Globalist, this tipped me to cash spend instead of using points.

    • The ones they issued me last year are good till Feb 2020 – I think they changed the way they date them this year.

  6. If you cannot rematch in Jan/Feb, my suggestion is to spend the effort to get to 20 nights as soon as possible next year. Since you already have two lounge certificates, you will have some of those 20 nights with lounge access. Also, you may be able to spend more on the Hyatt card to get nights. And third, those 20K points can be used next year if you still need to get lounge access-mattress runs don’t have to happen at the end of the year!

  7. It all depends where you will use the club level upgrades. I have become disappointed in the number of properties that offer quality lounges. For example, I am currently at Coconut Point and the club lounge has definitely changed since my last visit 2 years ago. Today it is overrun with unsupervised kids grabbing all the sodas and snacks. As a matter of fact, at 1pm there were no snacks, no sodas, and the coffee machine didn’t have milk and we could only get hot water. I can only imagine what this evening and tomorrow breakfast will be like. I guess my point is, if you know where you are going to use them and the club will def add value/save you money, go for it. I am four nights nights shy of Explorist and was deciding whether to mattress run the next four nights while here, but since check in today and what I’ve seen so far, it made me realize that I just don’t see the value that I used to. I will be using my last lounge upgrade at Hyatt Regency in Maui the last week of February (the lounge there is worth it!).

  8. Go for it! Your 4 night mattress run in Detroit would give you not only those valuable lounge certificates, but also a free night at the Hyatt Centric in San Francisco!

  9. Have you thought about doing the run as a revenue stay? You can try stacking veteran/AAA/member rate, Citi Prestige 4th night free, and two Hyatt promos (2,000 points back on 4+ night stays at Hyatt Place/House; 1,000 AAdvantage miles for Hyatt Place/House stays).

    • I don’t have the Prestige and I tend not to use cash when I don’t have to. Plus since these are cat 1 hotels the points values are usually 2-3 cents per point in value.

  10. this is a dilemma most people can only dream of. I always encourage blogger to ‘go for it’: (1) you dont know when the program is going to change (2) the peace of mind (3) all the math aside you are still getting equal or more value back

  11. Do it.
    If the nearby 5K Hyatt Place properties are going for less than $90-$100, you should pay cash (with the Hyatt card) rather than 5K Points, which reduces the overall spend of $400.

    • Thanks Apx. These hotels are almost always in the $120-150 range when taxes etc are added in so points tend to be the better play.

      • Reach out to the hotels and explain your situation that you are purely looking for a night to count and don’t actually even need a room. I was able to do this (although it was back in 2009) and they just booked me into a room that they typically don’t sell. (Although I stayed at this property every week for 2+ years so knew the GM). You never know!


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