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After changing its loyalty program from Hyatt Gold Passport to World of Hyatt in 2017, the popular hotel chain took things a step further by introducing a sleek new silver credit card complete with a generous sign-up bonus and a new set of bonus spending categories while retaining some of the key features from the old Hyatt Credit Card.
The Marriott-SPG merger created somewhat of a hotel chain superpower with a new combined rewards program and lineup of new credit cards to boot. Hyatt, on the other hand, has only about 700 properties around the world. So while it probably shouldn’t be the only card in your wallet, there’s still significant value in holding the World of Hyatt Credit Card even if you’re an infrequent traveler. Let’s dive into the details below.
Who Is This Card For?
The card certainly lacks the heavy-hitting benefits that you’ll get from more premium cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, but the Hyatt card’s relatively modest $95 annual fee can more than pay for itself thanks to the automatic free night certificate for a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort that card holders receive every year. The World of Hyatt card is a great choice for Hyatt loyalists and anyone who plans on staying at least one night a year at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property.
If you’re considering this card, don’t forget that it’s now subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you won’t be able to open it if you’ve opened five or more credit cards across all issuers 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.
The World of Hyatt card offers a two-tiered sign-up bonus: 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening and 25,000 more bonus points after spending $6,000 total in the first 6 months of account opening. 50,000 Hyatt points are worth $850 according to TPG’s most recent valuations. You won’t be eligible to earn those bonus points if you’ve earned a Hyatt sign-up bonus within the past 24 months. It’s also worth noting that if you have the old Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll need to cancel it and apply for the World of Hyatt card in order to earn the bonus.
The World of Hyatt Card’s bonus spending categories are markedly different from those of its predecessor (in a good way). Card holders will earn 4 points per dollar on purchases at all Hyatt properties, 2 points per dollar on airfare, restaurants, local transit and commuting (including ride-sharing services) and, notably, fitness club/gym memberships.
4 points per dollar is more than you would have earned with the old Hyatt Credit Card and more than you’ll earn using a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, but you’re better off using a card with a better point bonus at restaurants and on airfare.
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.
By far the best use of your hard-earned Hyatt points is for free nights and upgrades at all 14 of Hyatt’s brands. While you can transfer points to several airline partners, 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 and other experiences, but you’re almost always better off by simply 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, with premium suites going for as much as 60,000 points per night at Category 7 hotels. You also have the option to pay for awards half in points and half in cash. Compared to other hotel programs, Hyatt properties tend to be slightly less expensive when it comes to redeeming points for free nights.
You can also choose to upgrade paid stays with your points. 3,000 points will get you an upgrade to a Club room, and between 6,000 and 9,000 will get you into a suite. Redeeming points for free nights tends to be a better deal, but upgrading paid stays can occasionally be worth it and won’t bankrupt your point reserves.
- Annual Free Night Certificate — You’ll earn a certificate for a free night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property every year after your account anniversary. This is by far the biggest perk of having the card, as it can help cover the card’s $95 annual fee. You’ll also get a second free night after spending $15,000 in a year.
- Complimentary Discoverist Status — Hyatt has four levels of status: Member, Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. You’ll get Discoverist status simply by having the card, and you’ll enjoy benefits such as late checkout, preferred rooms and a 10% points bonus on eligible purchases.
- Elite-Qualifying Nights — You’ll earn 5 elite-qualifying nights just for having the card, but you also have the opportunity to earn more toward elite status based on how much you spend. Every $5,000 spent on the card each year will earn you 2,000 base points, making higher levels of status quite attainable.
- Travel Protections — The World of Hyatt card is issued by Chase, so you’ll receive many of the travel protections we’ve come to expect from other Chase cards. Baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and trip interruption/cancellation insurance are all included.
These perks aren’t the best on the market, but given the modest $95 annual fee, you don’t have to be a frequent traveler to get a benefit from the World of Hyatt card.
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 far more properties around the globe and will provide more options than Hyatt. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is particularly similar, offering automatic Silver elite status, one free-night award (up to 35,000 points) a year, and 6 points per dollar on Marriott purchases (2 points per dollar on everything else). The card has a $95 annual fee, just like the Hyatt card.
Another option to consider would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, as it earns Ultimate Rewards points that transfer 1:1 to World of Hyatt. While the CSP won’t provide you with any Hyatt-specific benefits, you’ll be able to rack up 2 points per dollar on travel and dining (and 1 point per dollar on everything else). The Sapphire Preferred recently increased its sign-up bonus to 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, and it has a $95 annual fee. It’s probably a better fit if you’re only interested in redeeming points for Hyatt award nights and not in earning elite status within the World of Hyatt program.
The World of Hyatt Card is a must-have for those who seek out the Hyatt brand, 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 will likely to cover 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.
That said, there are certainly more rewarding co-branded hotel chain cards on the market. Those who don’t make an effort to stay at Hyatt properties or who aren’t concerned with earning elite Hyatt status should likely look to combine the World of Hyatt Card with a few other hotel cobranded cards to take advantage of other free night certificates, or simply look elsewhere altogether.
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- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening - free nights start at 5,000 points
- Receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships