Hyatt will be giving rewards sooner, starting next year, as you reach certain milestones of nights or base points earned. This will be a nice step to help you redeem such rewards sooner than having to wait until you hit an elite status tier.
Hyatt Introduces “Milestone Rewards”
Link: Hyatt Milestone Rewards
This new handling of member benefits will begin starting March 1, 2019. That is the official start of the elite status year for status earned in 2018.
How the current system works is that you receive things like free nights or upgrades/lounge awards when you hit the elite status tier that awards those benefits. For example, a Hyatt Explorist earns 4 club lounge awards and 1 free Category 1 – 4 night after staying 30 nights or earning 50,000 points. That is because that is the point you earn Explorist status.
However, starting March 1, you will earn 2 Club Lounge awards at 20 nights and then earn another 2 Club Lounge awards and your free night when you reach 30 nights. That means you get those 2 lounge awards early to be able to use them before you actually earn status.
The real rewards start at the 40 night level, however. Here is the complete chart of Milestone Rewards
You can actually start earning towards these rewards as of January 1, 2019.
For Explorist members, the only change is that you will earn half of the current Club Lounge awards at 20 nights instead of 30 nights.
For Globalist members, the changes are that you receive half of the current Suite upgrades at 50 nights and you will earn bonus points, a Hyatt gift card, or a FIND savings when redeeming points (go for the bonus points or gift card!).
Finally, Hyatt will be rewarding Globalist members who stay a significant amount of nights at Hyatt properties. Every 10 nights (up to 100) after 60 nights will give you bonus points or suite upgrade.
The downside to these is that these awards will only be granted to those who stay the nights. This means that, while you can earn status with fast track offers or earn more nights with credit card spend, you will need to stay those nights to get those lounge awards, suite upgrades, or free nights.
Legacy Hyatt credit card holders who earn their Explorist status by spending $50,000 in a year will still earn Explorist status but will no longer get the lounge access awards, starting in 2020. To get those, you will need to stay the nights shown above.
I think this is a somewhat fair trade. It will encourage members to stay with Hyatt after earning Explorist or Globalist status. It will also give rewards earlier than the current system allows.
This can be a nice help, especially for Globalist members, who really want to use their rewards for upcoming stays but may have already used them up. It can also be a huge help for a person who is approaching Globalist status for the first time (and not eligible for complimentary suite upgrades) since they will get 2 suite upgrades at 50 nights.
I think the ability to earn rewards at increments is really a great move overall for members. This will be great for anyone that may not earn Explorist status but could benefit from the Club Lounge Awards and also is nice for someone who may not be able to swing 60 nights for Globalist status but has 50 nights (with the free suite upgrade awards).