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The World of Hyatt (WoH)’s Globalist status is one of the most coveted in the world of Points and Miles, but is it really worth chasing?
I had recently covered the challenges of attaining hotel status in Canada. In that post, I also outlined some of the ways to earn or acquire hotel status as a Canuck. I would like to now cover the hardest hotel status to get.
The major hotel programs are Marriot Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards and World of Hyatt. All four have different hotel status tiers to reward their most loyal members. For most of these hotel loyalty programs, you can easily get either mid-tier or top-tier status. You just have to hold US hotel co-branded credit cards.
If there is a scale on the easiest and most difficult status to have, Hilton Honors would fall on the easy end. You just need to have the American Express Hilton Aspire credit card which comes with their top-tier status of Diamond.
On the opposite end of the scale is the World of Hyatt (WoH) program. This is the most challenging in attaining its top-tier status – Globalist.
World of Hyatt Status Tiers
The WoH has three status tiers. The higher the tier, the more interesting and rewarding the benefits as shown below:
- Discoverist (low-tier) benefits include:
- premium Wi-Fi
- preferred room upgrade
- 2PM late checkout if available
- Explorist (mid-tier) benefits includes Discoverist benefits, and:
- room upgrades (excludes suites and rooms with club lounge access)
- Globalist (high-tier) includes Explorist benefits, and:
- room upgrades to standard suites or rooms with club lounge access
- free parking on award stays
- club access or breakfast for two adults and two children
- 4PM late checkout if available
- Guest of Honour
How to Qualify for Globalist
There are four ways of getting Globalist. You can mix and match between the first two options to get the elite nights needed to reach top-tier status:
- Stay 60 nights at WoH properties throughout the year
- Spend a lot of $$$$ on a Chase WoH co-branded credit card
- Earn 100,000 base points through spend on WoH properties
- Host 20 meetings/events at WoH properties
If you’re a Chase WoH credit cardmember, you’ll only get the entry level status, Discoverist.
There is currently no Chase WoH credit card in the market that grants you immediate Globalist status. This is unlike the US American Express credit cards. They offer mid to high tier status for the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors on their co-branded credit cards.
Given this context, earning Globalist status is no easy feat and comes at a considerable cost. Even more so if you don’t hold one or both of the Chase WoH credit cards.
It’s easy to understand why so many chase Globalist status. WoH is a leader in how well it treats it elite members in comparison to other hotel programs. However, I would argue that for most, the cost of attaining this status outweighs the benefits of having this status. Below is my take on why it’s not worth the pursuit.
5 Reasons Why Globalist Status Is Not Worth Pursuing
- Tiny Global Footprint
Hyatt calls its top-tier status members Globalists. Yet, when you travel around the globe, you won’t find that many Hyatts. That’s right – there’s only just over 1,300 properties globally belonging to the World of Hyatt portfolio.
This pales in comparison to Hilton, which has more than six times the number of proprieties that Hyatt has, sitting at around 7,000 properties. IHG has 6,000 and Marriot comes out on top with over 8,000 properties world-wide.
This means that if you’re travelling, there will be times you would have to go out of your way to find a hotel within the WoH portfolio. You may find yourself staying at an unremarkable Hyatt Place. Or you may stay at a Hyatt that isn’t centrally located just took collect elite nights.
Even worse, there will likely be times where there is no Hyatt at your destination. This may tempt you to become promiscuous, staying at one of the other hotel brands. However, if you’re a passionate and dedicated Hyatt loyalist, you may even manipulate yourself to only travel to destinations that have a Hyatt!
Ultimately, the limited Hyatt footprint reduces your prospect of earning 60 nights, at least organically. You will then convince yourself to waste, ahem spend money on mattress runs to make up for the shortfall of elite nights you’re missing.
- Limited Number of Aspirational Properties
Hyatt definitely has its share of luxury brands with the likes of Alila Hotels, Andaz Hotels, Grand Hyatts, Park Hyatts, Thompson Hotels and Miraval Resorts. The issue is their numbers are limited. With 1,300 plus properties in total, less than 200 of them are amongst the six Hyatt luxury brands.
On the other hand, while Marriot Bonvoy doesn’t have a high percentage of its portfolio in luxury brands, it has more than WoH. This is thanks to owning substantially more brands and properties globally.
Marriot Bonvoy’s luxurious and aspirational properties include: the Edition Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels, the Ritz Carleton, the Ritz Carleton Reserve, St. Regis Hotels, the Luxury Collection and W Hotels. They number approximately 450 properties. Giving you more choice if you’re after luxury.
- Opportunity Cost
I mentioned that you can spend your way to Globalist status as one of the ways of earning top-tier status with WoH. If you hold the Chase World of Hyatt credit card, you start off with 5 elite nights. You can earn 2 elite nights for every $5,000 of spend.
If you go with this option, it works out to a whopping $140,000 of spend to earn 56 elite nights. Combined with the 5 elite nights that comes with the card, you can walkway with Globalist status.
Similarly, holding the Chase World of Hyatt Business credit card grants you 5 elite nights. You can rack up elite nights at a faster rate via this business credit card by earning 5 elite nights for every $10,000 of spend. This means if you charge $120,000 on this card, you’ll become a Globalist.
While dropping this kind of spend isn’t a problem for some, for most of us we would get better value if we directed this spend elsewhere. There is an opportunity cost where you could have spent this money on other credit cards to enjoy lucrative welcome bonuses. This is especially the case with premium credit cards that demand high spend to qualify for their welcome offers.
Just think of all the Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards you’ve left on the table!
- High Elite Nights Requirement
In the case you don’t hold one or both of the WoH credit cards, you’ll have a high mountain to climb to get 60 elite nights. This means you’ll be laser-focused on staying at as many WoH properties as you can during your travels.
The other option is you spend significant amounts of money during your WoH stays to earn the 100,000 base points. You have to keep in mind that any bonus points you earn due to your status or promotions will not count. Hence, you’ll have do some major spend on your hotel stays with WoH to earn these points.
To get to the 60 nights, it’ll be inevitable that you’ll do mattress runs. If you’re able to find a property that will allow you to check-in remotely and it’s a category one, then the math may work out to make it worth it. Otherwise, it can get very costly to collect these elite nights.
If you already have WoH status and you match to MGM, you may be able to score cheaper hotel rates in Vegas by booking MGM properties and crediting them to Hyatt. While this can go a long way in reducing your mattress run costs, you still have to think of the additional costs. If you don’t live in Vegas, you’ll incur the expense of travelling there, along with other spending expenses, not to mention sacrificing your time.
The option of hosting 20 meetings/events at WoH properties throughout the year will be hard to pull off for most people and will cost a lot of $$$.
To sum it up, earning 60 elite nights to reach Globalist status isn’t cheap, unless somebody else is paying for your hotel stays!
- Guest of Honor Benefit
WoH offers Globalists with many of the standard perks that other hotel programs offer their top-tier status members. This includes things like complimentary breakfast, room and suite upgrades and late checkout.
Yet, one benefit that is unique to WoH that Globalists get and is not offered by other hotel programs is the Guest of Honor benefit. This is where WoH stands out from the rest of the pack.
What is Guest of Honor?
This is a benefit whereby Globalists can book hotel stays for their family members or friends interested in staying at WoH properties. Their family members or friends aka Guest of Honor get to enjoy all the perks that come with Globalist status (free brekkie, room upgrade, late checkout, free parking, etc.) even if they themselves have no status with WoH. This is a pretty amazing benefit!
The only catch is it has to be booked by a Globalist using points or award certificates. It therefore doesn’t apply to cash bookings. If you have a Globalist friend or family member, you can combine your points with them. They can then do the hotel booking on your behalf so that you reap all the rewards of Globalist status.
This begs the question, why do all the hard work of getting Globalist status, when you can let someone else do it? Just be friends with a Globalist and enjoy all the perks!
Some will argue that the high barrier to entry is what makes Globalist status exclusive and worthy of pursuit. You can make the case to pursue this status in some scenarios. For example, you travel for work frequently to destinations that have a Hyatt and your company’s picking up the tab. Another scenario is you get Globalist status match/challenge requiring less nights that can fast track you to Globalist.
These scenarios aside, I would argue that for most people, it would be a waste of time, effort and money.
Bottom line – you’ll get more value becoming friends with those who have Globalist status instead of spending a lot of money to get this status.
Don’t let FOMO get you!
This is a great article and thank you for writing it. I do appreciate your take on globalist status and you bring up some valid points. However, IMO you omitted two of the most valuable Hyatt perks (for me as a globalist). First, is the ability to book amazing properties at extremely reasonable rates, when you compare to the other programs it’s a monstrous difference. Now, Hyatt demolished most of those values which strongly supports your claim.- Why stretch to get globalist when the value of WOH points might not even justify using them.
On the other hand, the benefit which keeps nagging at me to plunge forward and get Globalist ,despite all the frictional costs and energy is that Hyatt allows Globalists the ability to make award RESERVATIONS without having the adequate amount of points in your account at time of booking. Currently, In the world of extreme Credit Card bonus points, it has always been an easy task to accrue the amount of points need prior to my travel. For instance, at the moment I have seven (7) future reservations while having a fraction of the points need at the moment (I booked all these shortly before I was downgraded to Explorist last month). This allows me to plan out flights & transportation, pulling kids out of school etc. way in advance. For me the loss of this benefit hurts the most.
I’m still on the fence, but as the clock ticks, the less likely I will pursue Globalist.
Thanks Adam. Hyatt’s recent devaluations are pretty unfortunate, especially for those that most actively participate in the WoH program.
I stay at Marriotts frequently so I’m used to getting Bonvoyed. Even with all the devaluations, I can still get some value out of the program, especially when staying at their aspirational properties.
You may find the same with WoH. Only issue is it just takes a lot more effort and spend to get meaningful status with Hyatt.
Sorry, that should be 9 credit card nights…
Globalist is easy for us — 11 credit card nigbts (5 free + 4 from spend), 15 Hyart Place/House nights when visiting family, 5 airport overnights at SFO or JFK (both GREAT hotels), 20 nights using our 4 suite upgrades somewhere nice like Hawaii, Japan, Thailand, Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam, London. That leaves 11 nights, which always seem to come along. We may do a mattress run, but it will be at a cheap Hyatt Place during a good promotion, maybe costing us about $50/elite qualifying night net.
I am glad to see you discouraging people from using Hyatt, since less Globalists is better for us!
That’s awesome that you’ve found ways to get Globalist cheaply via credit cards and stays at Hyatt Place/House.
I’m happy to contribute my service to dissuade the masses from pursuing Globalist status. In return, I would appreciate it if Globalists do Guest of Honor bookings for me for those occasional times I stay at a Hyatt 😄
You raise some valid arguments although the mattress run being needed is incorrect IMO.
Globalist status is a pain for normal people to obtain but it doesn’t have to be that tough for everyone. I own a small business and I generally spend around $60,000 a year on my personal Hyatt card. That nets me 24 nights out of the 60 needed. Add in the 5 for just having the card and I’m up to 29. That gets me about halfway there. If I’m not looking at spending at least close to 30 nights with Hyatt in a given year, the use of Globalist status is severely mitigated anyway. So far I have 27 nights in actual stays planned for the year but that number will absolutely grow.
The small footprint is at least in part the reason that Hyatt Globalist status is so amazing. If Hyatt was the size of Hilton they wouldn’t need to be the best. Where Marriott, for example, consistently treats engaged loyalty members like enemies, Hyatt treats them well. Nobody else among the big hotel chains offers confirmed free suite upgrades at the time of booking.
The World Of Hyatt program also offers some pretty nice Milestone awards, like club lounge access, free night certificates, and suite upgrades. Upper tier Hyatt elites also get reciprocal earnings with AA, which is a nice freebie.
Guest Of Honor is simply amazing. You’re completely correct that someone without Globalist status would be well served by hunting up a relative or friend that could lend them their status.
Like most things, there’s a lot of YMMV but for me, Globalist status is easily worthwhile.
You check off two major requirements towards being true Globalist – have a co-branded card, and ability to organic spend on it. Perfect candidate to run for Globalist status and enjoy the outsized value of the perks it comes with 🙂
You’re right, if you can do major spend on a Hyatt credit card, then no need for mattress runs. You’re in a position to put $60K of business expenses on a Hyatt credit card, which works out to 30 elite nights on biz card and combined with 5 nights that comes with the card and you’re already more then halfway to Globalist. If you’re able to get status easily then you can definitely make the case for it. Not all of us are business owners though! As well, if we have means/ways of doing major spend some of us prefer to do it on multiple cards instead of just concentrating it on one card.
I agree that with Hyatt being so small makes it easier for them to deliver great and consistent service to its elite members compared to the bigger hotel chains like Marriott/Hilton. Love your comment about Marriott treating it’s members like enemies 😆
I’ve personally had both amazing and terrible experiences with Marriott.
The benefits that come with Globalist status are fantastic and even better if you’re able to get this status easily to reap the rewards during your stays.
For the rest of us that can’t get this status cheaply and easily, I stand by my point that it’s hard to justify the cost. It’s much better value for us to ask our Globalist friends to do GoH bookings for us 🙃
I totally agree. it’s not worth it. I was a globalist member last year. compared with my marriott titanium member status I was not treated very well by Hyatt. I had to flight very hard to get upgraded and had most of the benefit. the properties are not very nice. Small luxury Hotels did not meet the expectations. they were expensive both for revenue base and points. a lot of hotels are very old but they charge you a lot. so for me, its not worth it.
Is it possible that you were globalist through hyatt promotions, and hence didn’t get a chance to enjoy true/all perks of being Globalist? Depending on the city/property, globalist doesn’t always guarantee an upgrade, unless you were using your upgrade cert ofcourse.