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A Complete Guide to World of Hyatt: Free Nights, Credit Cards & More

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It's not without is flaws, World of Hyatt is hands down our favorite hotel loyalty program … and it's not particularly close. From reasonable award rates to book free stays that make its competitors look laughable to best-in-class recognition for elite members, there's a lot to love. 

That's why we're so bullish on Hyatt compared to the likes of Hilton or Marriott – and we're not alone. But how do you go about staying at Hyatt properties without breaking the bank? That's where points come in. 

And even if you don't have a deep stash of Hyatt points from staying with the hotel chain, they're easy to earn: You can transfer points from other credit cards like the *chase sapphire preferred* or the *bilt rewards card* that you can send straight to Hyatt for an award night. And with rates starting at just 3,500 points per night, you won't need many of them. 

From booking those free nights to combining points with other travelers to earning elite status and more, here's everything you need to know about World of Hyatt. 


Hyatt's Award Chart

Unlike many other hotel programs, Hyatt still has an award chart that spells out exactly what a free night at a particular property will cost. And that’s a good thing – at least most of the time.

If you want to book a standard room at a Hyatt Category 5 hotel, for example, it'll cost you 20,000 World of Hyatt points per night. With peak- and off-peak pricing, the timing of your stay could change that rate … by as much as 5,000 additional points for a stay during peak travel times (or 5,000 points fewer for an off-peak reservation).

Here’s a look at Hyatt’s award chart for your typical hotel property. 


Hyatt Hotel Award Chart


Trying to book a property in Hyatt's growing portfolio of all-inclusive resorts? Hyatt handles the award chart for its all-inclusive properties a bit differently: There's a separate award chart for booking these resorts using your points.

The standard Category 1 through Category 8 award chart you'll find for Hyatt's regular hotels doesn’t apply here. Instead, Hyatt uses Category A through Category F to price these free nights at all-inclusive locations. The further down the alphabet you get, the more points it will cost.

Award rates range from 15,000 points to as many as 50,000 points per night standard night stay.

Here's a look at Hyatt's all-inclusive award chart:


Hyatt All-Inclusives Award Chart


Scope Out Peak and Off-Peak Pricing

Your award rates will change based upon when you want to visit a property, thanks to Hyatt's peak- and off-peak pricing.

A stay during busy times could cost you a few thousand points more while visiting during slower periods could save you a few thousand points. And since every property sets those dates individually, working out the best (and worst) time to book a stay can be tough. 

There's an easy way to pinpoint the dates that will price out cheapest.

When searching for hotels using Hyatt points, you can also access each property's “Points Calendar.” With that tool, you can quickly click through the entire calendar to see how many points each night will cost you. That doesn't mean that a room will be available at that rate … but it is useful if you've got some flexibility in your schedule. 


Hyatt Points Calendar Button

Hyatt Regency Miami Points Calendar


Knowing which days are peak and off-peak could save you a few thousand points per night by simply shifting your check-in date a couple of days either way.  


Pay My Way

If you don't have enough Hyatt points to book a stay at the property you want, you can try using Hyatt's Pay My Way to combine cash, points, and free night certificates into a single booking.

This trick can be especially useful for hotels where the nightly rate varies throughout your stay. For example, if a hotel is charging a higher rate on weekend nights, you could opt to use a mix of points and cash in order to ease the burden on both your points and out-of-pocket cost.


Hyatt Pay My Way


However, Pay My Way isn't available at every hotel – and it won't work on every type of paid room rate. A standard room appears to be your best bet if you want to use this feature, but if the hotel is nearly full or you're booking last minute, you might find yourself out of luck.


Free Night Awards

What's better than using points to score a free night with Hyatt? Using a free night award.

Hyatt has a variety of free night awards you can earn as a milestone reward for ultra-frequent guests, with a co-branded credit card, or even as part of the hotel chain's unique Brand Explorer promotion, which allows you to book a free night at select properties after staying at several of Hyatt's many different hotel brands. 


Category 1-4 Free Night Award

Hyatt's base-level free night award is a Category 1-4 award.

Just like it sounds, these free nights awards can be used to book any Hyatt Category 1-4 property, so long as there's award availability. What's more, you can even use your free night award on “peak” nights, meaning it's possible to book properties that cost up to 18,000 points per night. 

While that puts most of Hyatt's best (and priciest) hotels and resorts out of reach for using these certificates, you can still book some excellent properties like the Andaz Savannah and the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach these free night awards. 

There are a few ways to earn these valuable certificates: 

  • You'll get one of these free night awards each year as a benefit of holding the World of Hyatt Credit Card credit card, though you'll only get it starting in your second full year with the card
    • But you can also earn an extra free night each year for spending $15,000 on your card
  • You'll also get a Category 1-4 free night award after staying in five unique hotel brands as part of Hyatt's Brand Explorer perk
  • Finally, you can get a Category 1-4 free night award after staying 30 nights with Hyatt in a calendar year


Category 1-7 Free Night Award

Hyatt's Category 1-7 free night award used to be the best of the best, letting you book all but a select few number of properties around the globe.

Now there's an even better “Ultimate Free Night Award” that's good everywhere – more on that below. But still, these Category 1-7 free night awards can be incredibly valuable. With one of these awards, you could stay at top-notch properties like the Grand Hyatt Kauai, Park Hyatt New York, or even the Grand Hyatt Vail during peak ski season and not pay a penny out of pocket. 

They're so valuable, there's only two ways to earn them: 

  • You can select a Category 1-7 Free Night Award as a milestone reward upon achieving Globalist status at 60 nights
  • You can select another Category 1-7 free night after racking up 100 nights with Hyatt


Ultimate Free Night Award

The mother of all free night awards comes at a whopping 150 nights: The so-called “Ultimate Free Night Awards” eligible for practically any Hyatt property on the planet.

From Park Hyatts in Beaver Creek, Colorado or Zurich to the all-inclusive Secrets Impression Moxché and even Alila Ventana Big Sur, anything goes.

If 150 nights at Hyatts sounds like a lot, that's because it is. But if you're a road warrior who spends nearly half a year (or more) in Hyatt hotels, you'll get one of these Ultimate Free Night Awards as a token of appreciation. 


Earning & Using Hyatt Elite Status

Hyatt has three different levels of elite status: Discoverist, Explorist, and top-tier Globalist.

Every World of Hyatt member starts at the same basic member level, working their way up the status ladder by accumulating elite nights, base points, or hosting meetings and events at a Hyatt Property.

To earn Hyatt's top-tier Globalist elite status, you'll need to either stay with Hyatt for 60 nights during the status year, accumulate 100,000 base points (through hotel spending), or host 20 meetings.

If two months out of the year sounds like a lot of time to spend in a hotel, there are a few shortcuts that will help get you there a little sooner. Hyatt routinely runs promotions offering members discounted rates, bonus points, and even double elite night credit for stays within a certain timeframe. In some cases, you can even rack up elite nights by spending on a co-branded World of Hyatt credit card.


hyatt elite status qualifications


At the lower status levels, there really isn't much to get excited about. Save for free bottled water and a 2 p.m. late checkout, having Explorist or Discoverist status doesn't feel particularly elite.

But at the Globalist level, things change – in a big way. With Globalist status, you get perks like free breakfast, a 4 p.m. late checkout, and complimentary suite upgrades. You'll also get the benefit of waived parking fees on award stays. Depending on the city that you're staying in, this benefit alone can easily be worth north of $50 per night.


Hyatt elite benefits chart


One exciting perk that used to be exclusively available to Hyatt Globalists (but is now a milestone reward that becomes available at 40 nights) is Hyatt's Guest of Honor. With Hyatt's Guest of Honor benefit, Hyatt elites can book a stay and bestow Globalist benefits on that guest … even if they're not staying at the hotel with them. 


2024 Milestone Rewards Chart 1


Best of all, since this benefit becomes available at 40 nights, you can even use it on yourself to get an early taste of Globalist benefits on your way to full-fledged status. 

And unlike other hotel programs, Hyatt does far better than its competitors at actually delivering on elite benefits. While every program has an outline for what you can expect at a given status level it seems like it can be quite hit or miss with what you actually get. Not with Hyatt, though.

With World of Hyatt elite status, you (generally) get what you deserve – or far more often than you'll find with the other big chains. That consistency is just another reason we think this hotel rewards program reigns supreme.

Related reading: Hyatt Shakes Up Milestone Rewards and Guest of Honor


How to Create a World of Hyatt Account

While you won't need to have an existing World of Hyatt account to search for free nights using points, you will need one once it comes time to book. Thankfully, creating an account with Hyatt is a quick and pain-free process. 

You can start by going to Hyatt's website on either a desktop, mobile phone, or even on Hyatt's app. On desktop or a mobile browser, you'll see the option to “Sign In or Join” in the top right corner. On the mobile app, the button to “Join Now” is in small print below the “Sign In” button. 


Sing In or Join World of Hyatt


From here, you'll be prompted to enter a few pieces of personal information, including your name, e-mail address, state or province of residence, and a password. Additionally, you can enroll in person at any Hyatt hotel or over the phone. 


Join World of Hyatt


After clicking completing your registration, you'll be logged in to your new Hyatt account where you can find your new member number and additional account information. 


How to Search for Award Nights on Hyatt's Website

After creating your World of Hyatt account – or logging in, if you already had one – you can start searching for available hotels in your destination. 

You can do this by simply typing the city name in the search box, selecting your check-in and out dates, number of guests, and marking the box “Use Points.” This last step is crucial to finding the points price for a hotel – without checking that box, you'll only see cash rates. 


Hyatt Award Search


Once you've filled all that information in and hit “Find Hotels,” you'll see the search results. Hotels within your desired city are sorted in list-view, as well as map view to the right. The map can be super helpful whether there's a specific area that you're looking to stay in or if you're just not sure where to start. 


Hyatt Award Search and Map (Miami)


Notice that in the search results, you'll see the starting cash price and points price for a given hotel. Unfortunately, just because the points price is listed in search results doesn't mean that the hotel will be available for your dates. You'll need to click “View Rates” to confirm availability and room type. 


Hyatt Regency Miami Room Types


After clicking “View Rates,” you'll see what room types are available to book with points – and in some cases, that'll even include suites. The default view will be the lowest-priced standard rooms. If there are any suites available, you can switch to see the cost of those as well. 


Hyatt Regency Miami Suite Availability


The fact that you can book straight into a suite using points is just another example of what sets World of Hyatt apart from its peers. This isn't a possibility with the likes of Marriott or IHG – and if you've got elite status, scoring a complimentary is usually a long-shot with either program, too. 


Earning Hyatt Points

There are lots of ways to earn the Hyatt points needed for a free night. From earning points on paid stays, to co-branded credit cards, and bank transfer partners, here's how it's done. 


Staying With Hyatt

Yes, of course you earn points when you stay with Hyatt. Call it the old fashioned way. 

You'll get five base points for every dollar spent. If you've got elite status, you can earn up to a 30% bonus on your paid stays, helping rack up the points a bit faster. 

Paying for your stay with a co-branded Hyatt credit card will earn you an extra four points per dollar, too.


Swiping a Co-Branded Credit Card

While there are more lucrative ways to get Hyatt points, you can also earn more of them by using a World of Hyatt credit card for your day-to-day spending. There's both a personal and a business version to choose from, each with their own unique set of benefits. 


Full Benefits of the World of Hyatt Credit Card

  • Welcome Offer: WoH Bonus Offer
  • Earn 4x points for every $1 spent at Hyatt hotels.
  • Earn 2x points for every $1 spent on dining, airfare (purchased directly with the airline), local transit, and fitness club & gym memberships.
  • Earn 1x points for every $1 spent on all other card purchases.
  • Receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort each year after your cardmember anniversary date (beginning in your second year).
    • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year.
  • Get complimentary Hyatt Discoverist status. 
  • Includes trip interruption and cancellation insurance, secondary rental car coverage, lost or delayed luggage reimbursement, and purchase protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee: $95

All information about the World of Hyatt Credit Card has been collected independently by Thrifty Traveler and has not be verified by the issuer.


The World of Hyatt Credit Card


Learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card (for full disclosure, this is not an affiliate link).


Full Benefits of the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

  • Welcome Offer: *WoH Business Bonus Offer*
  • Earn 4x points for every $1 spent at Hyatt hotels.
  • Earn 2x points for every $1 spent in your top three spending categories each calendar quarter through Dec. 31, 2024.
    • Eligible spending categories include: Dining, shipping, airfare (purchased directly with the airline), local transit, social media and search engine advertising, car rentals, gas stations, and internet, cable, and phone services.
  • Earn 2x points for every $1 spent on fitness club & gym memberships.
  • Earn 1x points for every $1 spent on all other card purchases.
  • Get up to $100 in Hyatt credit each year: Spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and earn a $50 statement credit up to two times each anniversary year.
  • 10% point redemption bonus: Spend $50,000 in a calendar year and get 10% of your redeemed points back for the rest of the year, on up to 200,000 points redeemed.
  • Get complimentary Hyatt Discoverist status for the main cardholder and up to five employees.
  • Spend your way to higher elite status: Earn five tier-qualyfing night credits for every $10,000 in purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Annual fee: $199


*world of hyatt business*


Learn more about the *world of hyatt business*.



Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards

With several great Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards on the market like the *chase sapphire preferred* – or even the small business version, the *chase ink preferred* – you may very well have a way to get a bunch of Hyatt points and not even realize it.

Hyatt is a Chase transfer partner – and arguably its very best one. Sending your Chase points over to Hyatt to book free nights is one of the best ways to use those points.

To move your Chase points to Hyatt, you’ll need to log in to your Chase account and click on your Ultimate Rewards balance. Once you’ve done that, click on “Travel” and choose the option to “Transfer points to partners.”


transfer chase points option


From here, you can select Hyatt from the list of eligible partners. If this is your first time transferring Chase points to Hyatt, you'll need to enter your World of Hyatt member number to link your accounts.

Next you'll need to enter how many points you’d like to transfer over and finally you'll review the transfer details before hitting “Submit.” 


Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer to Hyatt


Chase Ultimate Rewards generally transfer instantly to Hyatt … but in some cases there can be delays – especially if this is your first transfer to Hyatt. In most cases, logging out and back into your World of Hyatt account should solve the problem and show the points reflected in your balance. 


Transfer from Bilt Rewards

While initially targeted toward renters, the *bilt rewards card* is an extremely well-rounded travel rewards credit card that can also help you earn Hyatt points. And if you've got a stash of points from any of Bilt's Rent Day promotions, Lyft rides, or Neighborhood Dining program, you can also transfer them to Hyatt – even if you don't have a Bilt Mastercard. 

Unlike most transferable points programs, you won't be able to move Bilt points to a partner on your desktop. With Bilt, you'll need to have the mobile app to get it done – not shocking from a company whose customer base skews younger.

After logging into the Bilt app, you'll need to ensure that the partner you're planning to move points to is linked to your Bilt account. If you haven't already done so, you'll need to link your Hyatt account to Bilt Rewards – and as an added bonus, you'll even get an extra 100 Bilt points for doing so.

If you skipped step one and don't yet have a World of Hyatt account, you can even create one right from the Bilt app and it will automatically be linked. 


Bilt loyalty partner screenshot


After you find Hyatt in the travel tab you'll be asked how many points you want to transfer. Everyday Blue members have to transfer at least 2,000 points – only those who have earned Silver status or higher can move 1,000 points at a time over to Hyatt or another Bilt transfer partner.


Bilt rewards app transfer to Hyatt


The last step in the process is to simply review and confirm the accuracy of your point transfer request. If everything looks as it should, you'll need to agree to the terms and conditions and hit “confirm transfer.”


Bilt transfer to Hyatt review and confirmation


Just beware: Once your transfer goes through, you can’t pull those points back into your Bilt account. That makes it critical to complete the steps above first. 

Once you hit confirm transfer, points are usually available in your Hyatt account within seconds. Just like transferring Chase points, if you don't see them show up right away, try logging out and back in. 


How to Book a Free Night With Points

Now that you've got the necessary Hyatt points in your account, it's time to book your free night with points. If you had to log out and back in for the points to show up, you may need to recreate your search using the steps above.

Once you've decided what room type will work best for you, you'll need to click on “Select & Book.”


Hyatt Regency Miami (Select & Book)


Depending on the hotel and nightly point price, you might be presented with the option to use only points or a combination of points and cash. While it's not always a great value, this can be a really good option if you're short on points. 


Hyatt Regency Miami Award booking


From there, just review your stay details and confirm your booking. If you don't yet have a credit card on file with Hyatt, you'll also need to enter this for incidentals and confirming your stay. But don't worry: You won't be charged anything (other than points), unless you opted for the “Points + Cash” booking option. Unlike several other major hotel chains, Hyatt doesn't tack pesky resort fees onto award stays.


Hyatt Regency Miami award booking confirmation


One last thing to pay attention to is the cancellation policy. Most Hyatt award stays have very generous cancellation policies, meaning you can cancel up to a day or two before your scheduled check-in date and get all your points back.

But that's not always the case.

Some resort properties or ultra-popular hotels have far stricter cancellation policies: If you don't cancel by the stated deadline (which might be even earlier), it might be more costly than simply sacrificing your points. In some rare cases, your points will be refunded and you'll instead be charged the nightly room rate. If you made a reservation with points on a high-demand night, that rate could potentially be in the thousands.

Be sure to verify the cancellation policy before confirming your booking and set a calendar reminder when that date is approaching – just to be safe. 


Bottom Line

Whether you've already got a stash of Hyatt points (or free night certificates) from nights on the road or you're sitting on a pile of transferable credit card points, using the World of Hyatt program to book a free night can be a great way to save big on your next trip. 


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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