Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards Changes: A FAQ of Everything You Need to Know

by Bill Shuman
As an educator, one of the things I pride myself upon is making sure that everyone in my classroom is always learning something. Sometimes that can be a reading lesson, other times writing, and on most days I’m also teaching life skills. One thing I always tell my students to do when they are unsure is to ask questions until they understand. Today, it wasn’t the students asking questions to me as we are out for the holidays, but rather the PMTTP team asking questions of Hyatt.
With the introduction of Hyatt’s new Milestone Rewards program PMTTP author Shelli and I examined the Winners and Losers of the changes. As noted in that article, some items were ambiguous and unclear, which meant that it was time to put on our learner’s hats and start asking Hyatt questions to provide more clarity and direction. For ease of reading and to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the program, this post was written in a question and answer format.

Earn access to the Grand Hyatt Singapore Grand Club Lounge with Hyatt’s Milestone Rewards program.

Club Access Awards

How do I earn Club Access awards?

Starting March 1, 2019, Club lounge access awards are no longer tied to the Explorist tier.  Instead, members can earn some of these awards sooner – with 2 at 20 nights or 35,000 Base Points and an additional 2 at 30 nights or 50k Base Points. This allows members who do not reach the night or Base Point criteria for Explorist status to still enjoy some of these awards, and Explorists can achieve this valued benefit earlier in the calendar year. This change is designed not to devalue the Explorist tier, but to instead reward members sooner and provide further motivation to get to the next tier threshold.

Can I earn more than 4 Club Access awards?

No. Members who earn Explorist status in 2019 before March 1st and receive four Club lounge access awards with their Explorist status will not be eligible to earn additional Club lounge access awards in 2019.  Similarly, a member who earns four Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards by completing the Tier-Qualifying Night and/or Base Point-earning requirements in 2019 before March 1st will receive those four awards, but will not receive any additional Complimentary Suite Upgrade Awards in the remainder of 2019. The same goes for members who complete the Tier-Qualifying Night and/or Base Point earning requirement for the 40 night milestone.

When can you use them?

A Club Access award can only be used during:

1) Paid Stays
2) Points Award
3) Cash  +  Points Award
4) Free Night Award
5) Suite Free Night Awards

How long are the Club Access awards good for?

Each Club Access award is good for one stay, up to 7 consecutive nights.

Can I use a Club Access award with my Credit Card Anniversary Nights?

No, a Club Access award will not attach to those bookings.

Are there other types of stays where I cannot use Club Access awards?

Unfortunately, yes. They cannot be used in conjunction with 5-brand Free Night Awards, Category 1-4 Free Night Awards. or any other promotional Free Night Award.

When using my Club Access award is anything going to change?

No. Members who use a Club Access award will have access to everything in the lounge just as they currently do.

Can I still use a Club Award to get free breakfast at a property with no Club Lounge?

No. If there is no Club lounge at a particular property no substitution will be provided.
  • If there is a Club Lounge at the property –  Members who use a Club Access award will have access to everything in the lounge just like they currently do.
  • If there is no Club Lounge at the property – No substitution will be provided, which means one shouldn’t be able to attach a Club Access award to a booking.

Credit Card Holders

Are Hyatt Credit Cardholders going to earn Club lounge access in 2019?

Hyatt Credit Legacy Cardholders will still earn 4 Club lounge access awards after spending $50,000 on purchases in 2019.

That seems like a lot of spending. Can I earn more than 1 Base Point per dollar anywhere to gain Club access awards faster?

Yes, the current options are:

  1. Exhale – Members are able to earn 10 Base Points per dollar spent at participating Exhale locations.
  2. FIND – In addition, members can earn 10 World of Hyatt Base Points per dollar spent on FIND experiences.
  3. Hyatt Properties – With a World of Hyatt membership member are able to earn 5 Base Points per eligible $1 spent at Hyatt properties. In addition, eligible spending will earn 4 Bonus Points, but those Bonus Points will not count towards earning Milestone Rewards.

What about 2020 and beyond?

Starting in 2020, Club lounge access awards will only be awarded based on nights stayed or base points earned through qualifying Milestone Reward activity. World of Hyatt Credit Card members receive 5 qualifying night credits every year. They also receive 2 qualifying night credits for every $5,000 in spend. These qualifying night credits count fully as a Tier-Qualifying Night toward the earning requirements for Milestone Rewards. World of Hyatt Credit Card members can combine the qualifying night credits received from the card with their qualifying nights stayed to help achieve Milestone Rewards.

M life Status Match

Am I still able to match my status with M life to Hyatt?

Yes. Hyatt and M life status matching are still able to occur.

If I have my status matched during 2019 am I still get all 4 club awards?

An Mlife rewards member who matches to Explorist prior to March 1, 2019 will receive Club Lounge Access Awards as part of the Explorist tier. Note: Members that receive Club Lounge Access Awards between Jan 1, 2019 – Feb 28, 2019 will not receive additional club lounge access awards when the member completes 20 qualifying nights or 35,000 Base Points or 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 Base Points.

What about on/after March 1, 2019?

An Mlife rewards member who tier matches for the first time to Explorist after March 1, 2019 will not receive four club lounge access awards as starting March 1, 2019 the Club lounge access awards will no longer be awarded with Explorist status. In order to earn Club lounge access awards members must completes 20 qualifying nights or 35,000 Base Points or 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 Base Points.

Do I still retain my other Explorist benefits?

Yes, the member still retain all other Explorist benefits.

Globalist Members

What if I lose my Globalist and become an Explorist next year?

Downgrading from Globalist to Explorist on 3/1/19 will be considered receiving Explorist status through 2/28/19. Members who downgrade to Explorist on March 1, 2019 as part of program renewal will receive 4 Club Access on 3/1/2019. The maximum of 4 per year still applies in this case.

What is the rationale for moving Globalist status requirements from 55 nights to 60 nights?

Over the past year, Hyatt evolved the program to offer more opportunities for members to engage and achieve elite tier status, through things like award nights counting toward tier status, spend on the World of Hyatt Credit Card and the introduction of more places to earn points at participating SLH properties. Because of these recent program changes, starting in 2020, all members will need to stay 60 qualifying nights (including paid and award nights) to re-qualify for Globalist status. Members will no longer re-qualify at 55 nights.

Final Thoughts

First, the PMTTP team would like to thank Hyatt for taking the time and effort  to answer all of the questions that we asked. Beyond that, Hyatt has shown that they are not afraid to change and evolve to expand their brand. With the many successes shared by Hyatt including the acquisition of SLH, a St. Lucia property, and Two Road Hospitality, to name a few.  Even those members who might not be thrilled with the changes should be able to find something here to celebrate during the holiday season.




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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VX_Flier December 20, 2018 - 7:15 pm

Your justification for raising the minimum requalification to 60 was so poor, it sounds like Hyatt’s PR handed you the copy.
The bottom line is that Globalists got 5 more nights handed to them with nothing to warrant adjustment.

Bill Shuman December 21, 2018 - 1:24 pm


Thanks for reading! This article was based off of a very lengthy conversation with Hyatt. If you are looking for my opinion on the changes please see the previous article:

Eastern Traveler February 10, 2019 - 4:48 pm

broken link?

Bill Shuman February 10, 2019 - 5:27 pm

Which one are you getting as broken? They appear like their are working from my end.

Mlife to Hyatt Status Match Should Work One More Time December 24, 2018 - 11:12 am

[…] I wrote about my Hyatt status dilemma.  In the comments Bill at Point me to the Plane shared a nugget of wisdom that changed my thought process.  He spoke with a Hyatt rep and they […]

Mike Saint December 24, 2018 - 11:42 am

Thanks for taking the time to gather this valuable information. Especially about the status match to MLife and Clarification about upgrades and deadlines for them. Extremely valuable info.

Mike Saint December 24, 2018 - 11:54 am

Also, I just noticed that when I got comped to Explorist status last year they made my expiration of my Explorist February 28, 2019 so are you saying that I wouldn’t be able to get the Club Upgrades because theoretically my Explorist wouldn’t expire until March 1 so I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the upgrades again?

Mike Saint December 24, 2018 - 3:33 pm

Also, it’s important to note that back in mid-2018 Hyatt changed the expiration dates to my 4 Club Upgrades to February 29, 2020. So it seems like they purposely thought this through and will be interesting to see if I can get more Club Upgrades for 2019 but it sounds like probably not because my Explorist (matched from MLife) from 2018 doesn’t even expire until February 28, 2019. So that means the soonest I could match again would be March 1, 2019 therefore making the Club Upgrades out of reach. 🙁


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