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‘One of the most valuable hotel cards’: A review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card

Aug. 18, 2021
13 min read
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With a rewarding loyalty program and generous card benefits, the World of Hyatt Credit Card is one of the top hotel cards on the market. Cardholders earn 4x points on all Hyatt spending and you’ll get a Category 1-4 free-night award each year you keep the card and another when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. Hyatt points are the most valuable hotel points and free nights start at only 5,000 points. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

Thanks to some amazing redemption possibilities and elite benefits, World of Hyatt is one of my favorite loyalty programs around.

And while Hyatt has fewer properties globally compared to other major hotel chains, things are changing. In recent years, there has been an accelerated development of new Hyatt hotels, acquisitions of companies such as Two Roads Hospitality and a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels.

The World of Hyatt credit card gets a top spot in my wallet and even has significant value if you’re an infrequent traveler.

Currently, new cardholders, that sign-up by Sept. 30 and are approved, can earn two tier-qualifying night credits for each eligible night stay through Dec. 31, 2021. That's double what you typically would receive. In addition, you'll earn up to 60,000 bonus points after meeting qualifying spend, although the true value of those points is slightly less.

Let’s dive into the details below.

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Who is this card for?

Confidante Miami (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

The World of Hyatt Credit Card doesn’t have the heavy-hitting benefits you’ll find with premium hotel cards such as the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card. Still, the Hyatt card’s relatively modest $95 annual fee can easily pay for itself.

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The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Here’s how.

First, you’ll get a free night certificate for a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel each cardmember anniversary. Then, you can get a second night if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. The World of Hyatt card is a great choice for Hyatt loyalists or anyone who would stay at least one night a year at a Category 1-4 Hyatt.

There are some incredible Category 4 Hyatt properties out there. For instance, I’ve stayed at hotels with my free night certificates, including The Confidante in Miami Beach (which went for about $300 in cash) and the Andaz San Diego (which went for about $250 in cash). Clearly, with a $95 annual fee, you can already come out way ahead with just the certificate(s) alone.

If you’re considering this card, don’t forget that it’s subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you won’t be approved if you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any bank in the last 24 months.

If you only have a few 5/24 “slots” left, you’ll want to make sure the World of Hyatt Card is worth it for you, especially considering other valuable Chase cards such as those that earn Ultimate Rewards points. Still, this remains one of the best hotel credit cards.

Related: The best Hyatt Category 4 hotels for family vacations

Sign-up bonus

Park Hyatt Aviara (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

The World of Hyatt card offers a two-tiered sign-up bonus worth up to 60,000 points. TPG values Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each, so the full 60,000-point sign-up bonus could be worth up to $1,020 if you consider all 60,000 points a part of the bonus.

First, you’ll get 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Then, you can earn up to 30,000 more points — sort of. So the way this works is that Hyatt is now giving you 2 points per $1 on purchases that normally earn just 1 bonus point per $1, on up to $15,000 in purchases for a total of 30,000 additional points. And while that does indeed add up to 30,000 points, it’s really just 15,000 more points above and beyond the 15,000 you’d earn for those purchases at the usual 1x.

Related: New ‘60,000 points’ World of Hyatt card offer has a major catch

Still, even if you “only” count the bonus as 45,000 points, that’s enough for nine nights at a Category 1 hotel or a good start towards a couple of nights at one of the many higher-end World of Hyatt properties around the world.

In addition, new cardholders can earn two tier-qualifying night credits for each eligible night stay through Dec. 31, 2021.

You won’t be eligible to earn those bonus points or double tier-qualifying nights if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus on a Hyatt card within the past 24 months.

Main benefits and perks

Suite at Hotel 50 Bowery (Photo by Chris Dong/The Points Guy)

The World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with many notable perks that offset the $95 annual fee.

Annual free night certificate

The best ongoing benefit from the World of Hyatt card is the annual free-night certificate at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property, which you’ll receive every account anniversary. This alone can be worth much more than the card’s $95 annual fee. You’ll also get a second free night after spending $15,000 in a calendar year.

Elite status

There are five levels of Hyatt elite status: Member, Discoverist, Explorist, Globalist and Lifetime Globalist. You’ll get automatic Discoverist status simply by having the card, which comes with benefits such as late checkout, preferred rooms and a 10% points bonus on eligible purchases.

Top-tier Hyatt status is incredibly valuable but also difficult to earn. However, in 2021, it’s easier than ever to level up your status with elite qualifications cut in half and promotions aplenty.

You also earn nights toward status with spending on the card at a rate of two nights for $5,000 spent on the card. This means $15,000 in spending should trigger six elite nights toward Hyatt status, in addition to the bonus points and second Category 1 – 4 award.

Related: I use my hotel credit card benefits to travel in luxury — here are 5 ways to do it

Travel protections

Chase issues the World of Hyatt card, so you’ll receive many of the travel protections we’ve come to expect from Chase credit cards.

  • Trip delay reimbursement: If your travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
  • Baggage delay insurance: Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six hours by passenger carrier up to $100 a day for five days.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
  • Trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance: If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.

Given the modest $95 annual fee, you don’t have to be a frequent traveler to get value from the World of Hyatt card.

Related: 5 reasons why I went all-in on the World of Hyatt credit card

How to earn points

The stunning overwater villas at the Park Hyatt Maldives. (Photo by Darren Murph.)

Cardholders will earn 4x points on purchases at all Hyatt properties and 2x on direct airfare purchases, restaurants, local transit and commuting (including ride-sharing services), fitness club, and gym memberships.

Earning 4 points per dollar on Hyatt stays is more than you’ll earn using a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve. But you’re better off using one of the best credit cards for dining or one of the best travel credit cards for restaurant or airfare spending.

It’s also worth noting that as a World of Hyatt member, you’ll earn 5 base points per dollar on Hyatt purchases on top of the 4x points you’ll earn through the card, making that category particularly lucrative.

Bonus category Points per dollar
Hyatt stays and experiences4x
 Local transit and commuting2x
Airfare purchased directly with the airline2x
Fitness clubs and gym memberships2x
Everything else2x (up to $15,000 in the first six months of new card ownership); then 1x

How to redeem

(Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt New York.)

By far, the best use of Hyatt points is for free nights.

You can also transfer points to several airline partners, but the transfer ratio is 2.5:1, which is less than ideal. Hyatt also gives you the option to redeem points for dining, spa visits, Lindblad Expeditions and other experiences, but you’re almost always better off using points for hotel rooms.

Redemptions for standard rooms start at 5,000 points per night at Category 1 hotels and 40,000 per night at Category 8 hotels. Premium suites go for as much as 60,000 points per night at Category 7 hotels.

You also have the option to book Points and Cash awards. You’ll pay half the normal points price and half the standard cash rate. Hyatt properties tend to be slightly less expensive than other hotel programs when it comes to redeeming points for free nights.

Another option is to upgrade paid stays with points. With 3,000 points, you can get an upgrade to a Club room, while 6,000 – 9,000 points will get you into a suite. Redeeming points for free nights tends to be a better deal, but upgrading paid stays can be worth it and won’t bankrupt your point reserves. All of these options for redeeming points make it a great credit card for families.

Related: How to redeem points with the World of Hyatt program

Competing cards

Since the World of Hyatt Card is the only Hyatt cobranded credit card currently open for applications, it doesn’t have direct competition. However, it’s worth noting that Hyatt has a relatively small global network of hotels. Chains like Marriott and Hilton have many more properties around the globe and will provide more options than Hyatt.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is similar, offering automatic Silver Marriott elite status, one free-night award (valid at hotels costing up to 35,000 points) a year, and up to 17x Bonvoy points per dollar spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on gas stations, grocery stores and dining, and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases. The card has a $95 annual fee, just like the Hyatt card.

Another option to consider would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, currently offering a best-ever sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Those points also transfer 1:1 to World of Hyatt.

The Sapphire Preferred won’t provide you with any Hyatt-specific benefits, but you’ll be able to rack up 5x total points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out, 3x points on select streaming services, 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs), 2x points on all other travel, 1x point on all other purchases.

The Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and it has a $95 annual fee. So it’s probably a better fit if you’re only interested in redeeming points for Hyatt award nights and not earning elite status within the World of Hyatt program.

(Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Sydney)

Bottom line

The World of Hyatt Card is a must-have for Hyatt loyalists as it’s the hotel chain’s only cobranded credit card currently accepting sign-ups and the only card that helps you earn elite status within the World of Hyatt program.

The benefits are likely to be worth more to you than the $95 annual fee, even for infrequent travelers. And since the card is a Visa with no foreign transaction fees, you won’t have any problem using it wherever you are in the world.

However, there are more rewarding cobranded hotel chain cards on the market. For example, those who don’t make an effort to stay at Hyatt properties should consider a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred directly to Hyatt and other travel partners.

Official application link: World of Hyatt Credit Card

Addition reporting by Sam Lipscomb and Jason Stauffer.

Featured image by (Photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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