New to earning hotel points? If you want to earn hotel elite status you should know the difference between base points and bonus points. Only a few hotel loyalty programs let you earn status with points.
It may seem like all points are equal. But base points aren’t the same as bonus points. There’s a big distinction between bonus points and base points. Here’s why you need to know which points count towards earning elite hotel status.
Reader Emily (she asked that I not use her real name) emailed asking,
I’m new to travel hacking. I read your posts about getting free upgrades and free breakfast at hotels and want to earn elite status. I applied for the World of Hyatt credit card and got Discoverist. How does Hyatt caluculate points? What’s the difference between base points and bonus points?
I stayed at the Hyatt Centric Santa Clara Silicon Valley recently and earned 1,419 points. The breakdown description lists it as 835 base points, 84 Discoverist bonus, and 500 new hotel bonus points.
Are base points different from bonus points? Does the 1,419 points count towards Globalist status?
Base Points vs Bonus Points
Base points vs bonus points. Bonus and base points count towards the total number of points earned in the World of Hyatt loyalty program. You can use both types of points for free stays at Hyatt hotels.
But you don’t earn these points the same way.
The most important difference between Hyatt base points and bonus points is what counts towards earning elite status and lifetime elite status.
Only base points count towards earning tier status. Whereas bonus points do not.
What Are Base Points
Base points are points earned from eligible paid hotel stays and qualifying incidental purchases such as dining, spa, and other charges at World of Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide.
Paid stays at participating SLH hotels and MGM Resorts in Las Vegas also earn Hyatt base points.
You can also earn base points on Lindblad Expeditions cruises and FIND Experiences. Because of world events over the past couple of years, FIND has been temporarily discontinued. It is unknown when or if the program will return.
How Are Base Points Calculated
When you stay at a World of Hyatt hotel you earn 5 base points per $1 spent on eligible charges. These include the hotel room, onsite restaurants, the spa, and other experiences.
Pro-tip: To earn points on paid stays, you have to book an eligible rate through the Hyatt website, app, or a travel agent. Rooms booked through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) such as Expedia do not earn points nor elite qualifying nights.
You can earn points on up to 3 rooms per night at the same hotel.
It’s a good idea to charge everything to your room unless you know that certain charges won’t be accepted. Be sure to pay with your World of Hyatt Credit Card or your World of Hyatt Business Credit Card to earn an additional 4 base points per $1.
Pro-tip: Only purchases at Hyatt-owned and operated restaurants, shops, and other venues count as qualifying purchases. Some hotels like Grand Hyatt Baha Mar have multiple restaurants, many of which are not operated by Hyatt. At these hotels, use a card with a travel bonus category such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card.
What Are Bonus Points
Bonus points are points earned from elite tier bonuses on qualifying cash stays at World of Hyatt hotels & resorts, partnerships like SLH and MGM Las Vegas resorts, and promotions.
Promotions vary from year-round, quarterly, or one-offs. Current promotions include earning 500 Hyatt points for stays at new hotels and earning Hyatt points on paid American Airlines flights.
Pro-tip: You can also earn bonus points from the signup bonuses on the Hyatt Card and Hyatt Business Card
Earn Elite Status With Points
You can earn World of Hyatt elite status with points or nights.
Hyatt elite tiers:
- Discoverist: 10 nights or 25,000 base points
- Explorist: 30 nights or 50,000 base points
- Globalist: 60 nights or 100,000 base points
Earning Hyatt status is based on earned qualifying nights or based points earned in a calendar year. It’s either-or and not a combination of nights and points.
This means that you can’t stay 30 nights and earn 50,000 base points to become a Globalist. You have to either have 60 nights or 100,000 base points.
As a Globalist, you can Guest of Honor your perks to someone so they get free breakfast, an upgrade (including up to a suite, early and late checkout, and more!
Paid stays earn base points and tier qualifying nights. Free stays using points and free night awards also count towards elite tier nights. You can use the World of Hyatt points calendar to find point costs for hotels.
You can also earn elite tier nights through spending on your World of Hyatt Credit Card and your World of Hyatt Business Credit Card.
For every $5,000 you spend on the Hyatt card, you earn 2 elite qualifying nights. You earn 5 elite qualifying nights for every $10,000 you spend on the Hyatt Business card.
Pro-tip: You can get both the personal Hyatt card and business Hyatt card.
Here’s what you need to know about the Hyatt business card.
You can earn base points and bonus points on your Hyatt stays. Your available Hyatt points show both types of points.
You can redeem these points for free nights at Hyatt hotels and partnership hotels like MGM Resorts in Las Vegas and SLH hotels.
But only base points count towards earning elite status.
Emily’s stay earned a total of 1,419 points but only 835 points were base points. She can use all 1,419 points towards a free stay. But only 835 of those points count towards earning Globalist status.
If she wants to earn Globalist via points, she would need to earn 99,147 more based points by December 31.
Photo courtesy Alila Kothairfaru Malidives
Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining , $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®