The most valuable hotel points: World of Hyatt Credit Card review

Nov 4, 2019

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The World Of Hyatt Credit Card is one of the best hotel credit cards. With it you 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, according to TPG’s valuations. 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 changing 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 from 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.

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Who is this card for?

The card doesn’t have the heavy-hitting benefits you’ll find with more premium 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 able to open it 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 is one of the best hotel credit cards.

Bonus

The World of Hyatt card offers a two-tiered sign-up bonus: 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening and 25,000 more bonus points after spending $6,000 total on purchases in the first six months of account opening. Those 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 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 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 year after your 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 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 earn you two additional qualifying nights. 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.

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

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 on purchases at all Hyatt properties, two points per dollar on airfare, restaurants, local transit and commuting (including ride-sharing services) and, notably, fitness club/gym memberships.

Four 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 one of the best credit cards for dining or a top travel rewards card for restaurant or airfare purchases.

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.

(Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt New York.)

How to redeem

By far the best use of your Hyatt points is for free nights and upgrades at all 17+ Hyatt brands. 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.

You can also choose to upgrade paid stays with your points. With 3,000 points, you can get an upgrade to a Club room; between 6,000 and 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.

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 6x points on eligible Marriott purchases 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 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three 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.

(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. Those who don’t make an effort to stay at Hyatt properties or who aren’t concerned with earning elite Hyatt status should combine the World of Hyatt Card with a few other hotel cobranded cards to take advantage of other free-night certificates or consider earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points which transfer directly to Hyatt and 12 other travel partners.

Apply here: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Addition reporting by Jason Stauffer.

Featured image by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

 

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn 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
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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