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Many airline and hotel frequent flyer programs offer lifetime status, whereby you can earn status for a “lifetime” (whether that’s your lifetime or the lifetime of the program is a different question). 😉
World of Hyatt Globalist is my favorite hotel status, and in this post I wanted to take a closer look at how you can earn lifetime Globalist status in the World of Hyatt program.
In this post:
Earning World of Hyatt lifetime Globalist status
While the World of Hyatt program has three elite tiers — Discoverist, Explorist, and Globalist — the program only offers lifetime status for the top Globalist tier. In order to earn lifetime Globalist status you need to earn one million base points:
- With Hyatt you earn five base points per dollar spent, so that’s the equivalent of $200,000 worth of “qualifying” spending with Hyatt
- The number of nights stayed is in no way considered for lifetime status, so it doesn’t matter if you reach that threshold after 20 nights or 2,000 nights
- In the past you had to have status in the program for 10 years as well in order to qualify, but that’s no longer the case; in theory you could spend $200,000 on a single hotel stay and earn lifetime Globalist status that way
What base points count toward lifetime status?
You earn five base points for each dollar of eligible spending with Hyatt:
- This includes money spent on qualifying rates when booking directly through Hyatt (this includes Hyatt Privé rates), as well as incidental spending at Hyatt properties
- Generally speaking, taxes, service charges, gratuities, and third party charges for certain items won’t count as eligible spending for the purposes of earning base points
- This doesn’t just include hotels managed directly by Hyatt, but it also includes everything from Small Luxury Hotels of the World stays, to MGM Rewards stays, to Lindblad Expeditions experiences
So yeah, if you were to book a $50,000 cruise to Antarctica through Lindblad Expeditions, that would qualify toward your lifetime Globalist status.
Can you earn lifetime Globalist with credit card spending?
While the World of Hyatt Credit Card(review) and theWorld of Hyatt Business Credit Card(review) are useful hotel credit cards that can help you earn elite nights and status, the cards can’t help you earn lifetime Globalist status:
- The cards do offer elite nights, but elite nights aren’t considered for lifetime Globalist status
- Base points don’t include any points earned through credit card spending
How can you track your progress toward lifetime status?
Oddly the World of Hyatt website doesn’t actually show your qualifying lifetime base points (if anyone from Hyatt is reading this, I’m sure many people would like to see this feature added), so there are two ways you can figure out your progress toward lifetime Globalist:
- You can contact World of Hyatt by phone or through Twitter and ask
- The monthly account summary that World of Hyatt sends out to members lists “lifetime base points” at the top right
- When you’re within 25,000 base points of earning lifetime Globalist status, you’ll receive an email from Hyatt letting you know how close you are — this has the subject line “You’re So Close to a Lifetime of Rewards”
Benefits of lifetime World of Hyatt Globalist status
World of Hyatt Globalist status comes with all kinds of great perks, so which of those perks do lifetime Globalist members receive? What can make the World of Hyatt program confusing is that there are perks associated with elite tiers, and then perks that are earned as Milestone Rewards, which you earn when passing certain elite night or base point thresholds.
World of Hyatt Globalist members receive the following “basic” perks:
- Room upgrades at check-in, up to standard suites
- Club lounge access and/or restaurant breakfast
- Guaranteed 4PM check-out, except at resorts, where it’s subject to availability
- A 30% points bonus
- Waived resort fees on all eligible rates
- Free parking on award stays
- Access to the Guest of Honor program
On top of that, every single year lifetime Globalist members receive:
- Four suite upgrade awards (each of which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking for up to seven nights)
- A Category 1-7 free night certificate
- Access to a dedicated My Hyatt Concierge agent
That’s some pretty incredible value.
What happens if you also earn Globalist status annually?
What happens if a lifetime Globalist member also qualifies for Globalist status on an ongoing basis, by earning 60 elite nights or 100,000 base points in a calendar year?
Well, those members would still be able to pick Milestone Rewards and would receive standard Globalist benefits. All the lifetime Globalist perks are incremental, so you’d potentially receive eight suite upgrade awards, two Category 1-7 free night certificates, and more. That’s pretty awesome.
Are lifetime Globalist members treated better than “regular” Globalist members?
While hotels can tell if you are a lifetime Globalist member or just a “regular” Globalist member, it’s my understanding that there’s not any official differentiated recognition.
This means that at least officially, it’s not that lifetime Globalist members are prioritized for upgrades over “regular” Globalist members. However, it all comes down to the individual hotel and employee, I suppose. Many lifetime Globalist members do report receiving special treatment, including with upgrades.
Is it worth trying to earn World of Hyatt lifetime status?
The concept of earning lifetime status is always tricky. It obviously requires a significant amount of loyalty and a huge investment, but there’s so much risk. While management of the World of Hyatt program has been extremely trustworthy, in my opinion, I don’t love the precedent set by other airline and hotel loyalty programs when it comes to lifetime perks. For example, we’ve seen:
- Programs add higher elite tiers, so there’s nothing preventing Hyatt from adding a tier above Globalist in the future
- While you are promised lifetime Globalist status, the specific perks offered aren’t guaranteed to stay the same forever; it’s no guarantee that suite upgrade awards, free night certificates, etc., will be program perks in the future
- In many cases it can take a decade or more to earn lifetime status, so there’s a risk that eligibility requirements for lifetime status change at some point
- In the event of a merger or takeover, we could see a new program with new elite tiers introduced
With that skepticism out of the way, let me note that I did recently earn lifetime Globalist status, and I’m really excited about that. Having lifetime Globalist status offers significant ongoing value even if you’d otherwise earn Globalist status, since you’re getting incremental, tangible perks.
Even though I now have this status, my hotel elite status strategy won’t be changing anytime soon. I’ll keep qualifying for Globalist status the “normal” way, allowing me to double dip perks.
How does Hyatt compare to other hotel programs for lifetime status?
To compare World of Hyatt’s lifetime status to the lifetime status perks of competing programs:
- Hilton Honors offers lifetime Diamond status when you have maintained Diamond status for 10 years, plus have stayed a total of at least 1,000 nights or have accumulated at least two million base points since joining the program
- Marriott Bonvoy offers lifetime Silver, Gold, and Platinum status based on a combination of lifetime nights and years of status; earn Silver after 250 lifetime nights and five years of status, earn Gold after 400 lifetime nights and seven years of status (minimum Gold), and earn Platinum after 600 lifetime nights and 10 years of status (minimum Platinum)
I’d argue that Marriott Bonvoy lifetime status is easiest to earn, given that credit card elite nights count toward lifetime status. To compare Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt lifetime status, it really depends on your stay patterns. With Hilton you could earn lifetime status based primarily on award stays, while with Hyatt only paid stays count. To Hyatt’s credit, there’s no minimum number of years of status.
I’d argue that Hyatt’s lifetime Globalist status is the most valuable lifetime hotel status out there. Not only do you get all the standard perks associated with Globalist status, but you also get a free night certificate annually, as well as four suite upgrade awards you can use to confirm an upgrade at the time of booking.
Add in the fact that these perks can be stacked with standard Milestone Rewards earned by Globalist members, and you could be earning eight suite upgrade awards per year, or possibly even more.
To Hyatt loyalists, what do you make of Hyatt’s lifetime Globalist status? Are there any questions about lifetime Globalist status you still have?