The most valuable hotel points: World of Hyatt Credit Card review
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The World of Hyatt Credit Card is one of the best hotel credit cards. Cardholders earn four points per dollar on all Hyatt spending and you’ll get a Category 1-4 free-night award each year you keep the card. Part of what makes the card so valuable is the World of Hyatt program itself. Hyatt points are the most valuable hotel points and free nights start at only 5,000 points. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
After rebranding its loyalty program from Hyatt Gold Passport to World of Hyatt in 2017, the hotel chain introduced 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 of the old Hyatt card.
Hyatt has an exceptional loyalty program but relatively few properties compared to the other major hotel chains. It has been working hard to remedy this issue. With its acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality and its partnership with Small Luxury Hotels, there are now more than 1,100 locations where you can earn and redeem Hyatt points. There’s 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 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, but the Hyatt card’s relatively modest $95 annual fee can more than pay for itself with the free-night certificate for a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel that cardholders receive every 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 or Small Luxury Hotels location.
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 Reading: Maximizing Chase Hyatt Free Night Certificates
The World of Hyatt card offers a two-tiered sign-up bonus: 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 more Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spend on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening. Those 60,000 Hyatt points are worth up to $1,020 according to TPG’s most recent valuations.
You won’t be eligible to earn those bonus points if you’ve earned a welcome bonus on a Hyatt card 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.
Main benefits and perks
The World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with many notable perks that help 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 year.
There are five levels of Hyatt elite status: Member, Discoverist, Explorist, Globalist and Lifetime Globalist. You’ll get 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. This card can help you along the way by allowing you to earn five elite-qualifying nights every year you have the card with the opportunity to earn even more elite credit. Every $5,000 in spent on the card will normally earn you two additional qualifying nights.
However, between Apr. 15 – Jun. 30, 2020, this will increase to three qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent. Those who apply for the card through Jun. 30, 2020 will also receive 10 elite night credits (double the usual) as part of the welcome bonus. This is a handy perk to have if you’re a few nights shy of earning the next status level or want to quickly earn elite status.
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 credit cards. Baggage-delay insurance, lost-luggage reimbursement and trip interruption/cancellation insurance are all included.
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 Reading: How to earn Hyatt Globalist elite status without spending a lot
How to earn points
The World of Hyatt card‘s bonus spending categories are markedly different from those of its predecessor (in a good way). Cardholders will earn four Hyatt points per dollar spent on purchases at all Hyatt properties and two points per dollar on direct airfare purchases, restaurants, local transit and commuting (including ride-sharing services) and fitness club/gym memberships.
Four points per dollar 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 five base points per dollar on Hyatt purchases on top of the 4x points you’ll earn through the card, making that category particularly lucrative.
How to redeem
By far the best use of Hyatt points is for free nights and upgrades. 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. Compared to other hotel programs, Hyatt properties tend to be slightly less expensive 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 Reading: How to redeem points with the World of Hyatt program
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 $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points 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, which earns Ultimate Rewards points that transfer 1:1 to World of Hyatt. The CSP won’t provide you with any Hyatt-specific benefits, but you’ll be able to rack up 2x points on travel and dining (and 1x point on everything else).
The Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, 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 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. 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 transfered directly to Hyatt and other travel partners.
Addition reporting by Sam Lipscomb and Jason Stauffer.
Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
- Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
- Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
- Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open
- Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
- 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