To earn hotel elite status, you must stay a certain number of nights in a calendar year.
If you know you won’t meet the required nights organically, you can supplement your elite status by booking cheap nights — whether close to home or somewhere you can easily travel to — to qualify for status. That is, you can search for cheap nights and book stays to earn elite night credits.
But this strategy is generally only a good idea if you need just a few more nights to qualify.
I earned Hyatt Globalist status in 2021 during some extremely generous Hyatt promotions prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. The status usually requires 60 nights per calendar year, but I got it by staying just 28 nights.
And I love Globalist status — but I will never stay at Hyatt hotels for 60 nights in a calendar year. So if I want to earn it again, I’ll have to supplement my stays with a few cheap nights. Here’s how I plan to do it by leveraging Hyatt’s partnership with MGM.
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You can earn Hyatt elite night credits at MGM Resorts
The Excalibur Hotel & Casino is an MGM property where you can earn Hyatt elite nights. AARONP/BAUER-GRIFFIN/GC IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
MGM and Hyatt are partners. When you stay at MGM properties and attach your Hyatt number to your reservation, you’ll earn elite night credits with Hyatt.
Here’s why that’s amazing: MGM resorts in Las Vegas offer some of the cheapest room rates in the U.S. The hotels are willing to give you an inexpensive stay to keep you gambling for longer. So, if you need a handful of nights to achieve (or requalify for) Hyatt elite status, you can very economically earn elite nights at MGM hotels in Las Vegas.
At Excalibur and Luxor, you can often find nightly rates of $30 or less. The problem is that these properties tack on a resort fee.
My favorite perk of Hyatt Explorist status: Waived resort fees at MGM Vegas properties
Below is a dirt-cheap $24 night at Excalibur. However, a $40 resort fee brings the final cost up to about $64 — still cheap, but probably not worthwhile unless you only need a few more nights to qualify for status. On top of this, you need to factor in the cost of getting to/from Las Vegas if you aren’t local.
If you have Hyatt Explorist or Globalist status though, you can avoid resort fees by matching your Hyatt status to MGM Gold status. Since I currently hold Globalist status, I can book this room — and earn a Hyatt elite night credit — for $24 all-in.
Globalist status, and the Milestone Rewards that come with earning it, have given me thousands of dollars in value over the past year. However, I’m currently 40 nights away from requalifying for it, and I’m 10 nights away from qualifying for Explorist status. If I don’t at least earn Explorist status this year, I’ll no longer get resort fees waived at MGM resorts — and I won’t be able to inexpensively book my way to Globalist in the future.
I’ve given up hope for earning Globalist status this year, but I do plan to earn Explorist status solely so I can continue to circumvent resort fees at MGM properties. Then, I still have the option to supplement my Hyatt stays with cheap MGM nights to earn Globalist at a discount in 2023.
Is Globalist status worth booking hotels you don’t want to stay at?
It probably sounds ridiculous to throw away hundreds of dollars to stay at a hotel you’re not interested in for the sole purpose of earning hotel elite status. So, let me outline the benefits I received from Globalist elite status over the past year:
Suite upgrade certificate used for one night at Thompson Nashville: $600-plus.
Suite upgrade certificate used for three nights at Alila Ventana Big Sur: $900-plus.
Suite upgrade certificate used for three nights at Andaz Maui: $1,200-plus.
Suite upgrade certificate used for four nights at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek: $2,000-plus.
Free night award (up to Category 7 hotel) used at Hana-Maui Resort: $700-plus.
Free night award (up to Category 4 hotel) used at Lahaina Shores Beach Resort: $300-plus.
$100 Hyatt gift card.
Free breakfast at Hyatt hotels: $350-plus.
Free parking at Hyatt hotels during award stays: $400-plus.
That’s more than $6,500 in value for spending about $1,000 on hotel stays for the sake of earning elite night credits. So if you don’t mind traveling to Las Vegas, this could present a good opportunity to keep your Globalist status and make a profit.
If I don’t earn Hyatt Explorist status before my Globalist status expires, I’ll no longer have a way to inexpensively earn Hyatt elite status.
Because Hyatt Explorist and Globalist status match MGM Gold status, I can currently pick up Hyatt elite night credits for as little as $24 each. It’s worth booking several nights at these properties just to earn elite night credits, and I’ll get a trip to Vegas out of the deal.
Of course, you should always physically check in to the hotels you book. Booking hotels, checking in online and not being physically present at a hotel is against the rules and can get your loyalty account shut down. So, proceed with caution and only book stays you can actually use.