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In 2018, Hyatt was one of many hotel brands to revamp its cobranded credit card, and overall the changes were welcome news, especially for those who may have looked elsewhere for hotel elite status after the chain did away with its popular Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program and introduced “World of Hyatt.”
The revamped World of Hyatt Credit Card offered up to 60,000 points (with a two-tier offer structure) when it launched last year, but that’s just been replaced with a slightly lower offer. Now, you can earn up to 50,000 points when you sign up for the card. You’ll earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and another 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total in the first 6 months.
Based on TPG’s valuations, 50,000 World Of Hyatt points are worth $850. You’re getting $170 less in value compared to the previous bonus of up to 60,000 points, but considering that Hyatt award nights start at 5,000 points, this can still take you pretty far.
The new World of Hyatt card has no foreign transaction fees and carries a $95 annual fee, which is $20 more than the fee on the old Hyatt card. It’s fair to say the additional benefits more than make up for the extra cost, but if you already have the existing Hyatt card, you can keep it and maintain its $75 annual fee and existing perks. However, the old card is no longer available for new applications.
The new card has several new bonus categories compared to the older version, along with increasing the earning rate on transactions at Hyatts. With this card, you’ll earn…
- 4 points per dollar on purchases at Hyatts (including on-site restaurants and spas)
- 2 points per dollar at restaurants
- 2 points per dollar on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines
- 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting, which includes ride-shares, taxis, mass transit and tolls
- 2 points per dollar on fitness clubs and gym memberships
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
The old Hyatt card only offered 3 points per dollar at Hyatts, and 2 points per dollar at restaurants, on airline tickets and at car rental agencies. So only one bonus category has been eliminated (car rental agencies) while extra points can now be earned on local transit and commuting, plus fitness clubs and gyms.
The new categories seem more likely to get regular use than the old car rental one, and the fitness club category in particular is intriguing since very few other cards offer bonus points for it. It’ll be simple enough to park your monthly gym membership on this card and earn Hyatt points for it each and every month. That being said, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3x on all travel (excluding $300 travel credit), so aside from purchases at Hyatt itself, you’ll want to keep your travel spend on your CSR if you have one.
When Hyatt switched its program to World of Hyatt in 2017, it also axed the ability to earn 10 elite nights by spending $40,000 on its cobranded card in a calendar year. That was a double whammy, coming on top of Hyatt eliminating the ability to earn status based on stays and increasing the number of nights required for top-tier status from 50 to 60 (with requalification at 55 nights for those who have Globalist status in the previous year). The only elite status features that remained on the old Hyatt card were automatic Discoverist status just for having the card, and the chance to earn mid-tier Explorist status by spending $50,000 in a calendar year.
The new World of Hyatt card retains the complimentary Discoverist status, but replaces the one-size-fits-all Explorist option with two new features. First, the new card comes with 5 free elite-qualifying nights each year just for having the card, effectively dropping the elite night requirement for anyone who has the card to 25 nights for Explorist and 55 nights for Globalist (or 50 nights for those who already have Globalist from the previous year). Second, for every $5,000 spent on the new card, you’ll earn credit for an additional 2 elite nights, with no cap on the number of elite nights you can earn.
This effectively means that if you wanted, you could outright spend your way to Explorist status for $62,500 a year, or Globalist for $125,000 per year (assuming you’re already a Globalist). But it’s more likely that you’ll want to combine actual nights stayed at Hyatt with elite credits from this card. Since Hyatt has a small footprint with only 700+ hotels in its portfolio, this change allows customers to still maintain loyalty to Hyatt while not having to focus every last ounce of energy on finding a Hyatt in every city they travel to.
An important note is that any status earned with these elite night credits — whether in whole or in part — will be considered earned status, not a stripped-down version of elite status. That means those who earn Globalist with any form of elite night credits from the card will still get all the features of that status, including confirmed suite night upgrades and a My Hyatt Concierge.
Free Night Certificates
One other popular feature of the old Hyatt card was the anniversary free night certificate usable at any category 1-4 Hyatt property. That benefit remains on the World of Hyatt card, but is augmented with the ability to earn an additional Category 1-4 free night by spending $15,000 on the card in a card member year.
These free nights will be valid for one year after you earn them, so the expiration date on the anniversary night certificate will roughly correspond with your card anniversary date, while the additional free night will expire roughly one year after you hit the $15,000 spend threshold.
Existing Hyatt Card Holders
If you’re an existing card holder and want to upgrade, unfortunately an upgrade bonus is no longer available, but it’s still possible to make the switch. Note that just like the Marriott family of Chase cards, you cannot have both the old and new Hyatt card at the same time. Also, like the Sapphire and Southwest lines of cards, if you’ve earned a sign-up bonus on the old Hyatt card in the last 24 months, you won’t be eligible for the new sign-up bonus until the 24 months have elapsed and you’ve closed your existing Hyatt card.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, unfortunately, the World of Hyatt Card is now subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. This means that if you’ve opened 5 or more cards across any issuers in the last 24 months, you won’t be approved for this card. It used to be that the Hyatt card was one of the few Chase cards this rule didn’t apply to, but according to widespread data points from late 2018, this card along with several other cobranded holdouts are now subject to 5/24.
Additional reporting by Julian Kheel.
Featured image by pcruciatti / Getty Images.
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- 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