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When I talk with folks who are new to using credit cards to earn miles and points, I regularly see people assume that to earn hotel points, one needs a hotel credit card. Yes, this might be the case in some circumstances but not always.
Tiffany and Ed were talking about hotel credit cards on his podcast last week, and the topic of which hotel program to focus on for free nights came up. They both mentioned World of Hyatt as being a solid option, so I thought it would be helpful to go through the best ways to earn Hyatt points through credit cards.
While The World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with several bonus categories — plus a few nice perks such as Discoverist elite status and the ability to spend your way to a bump in status, that doesn’t mean it will always be the best credit card for earning Hyatt points.
If you really want to maximize your points-earning for Hyatt award stays, you’ll want to take advantage of the Chase Hyatt Card but also cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points which transfer to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio almost instantly.
By using a combination of cards, you can earn up to 5X points per dollar with many purchases earning 2X or 3X points thanks to a wide variety of bonus categories — sadly, no grocery stores are not one of the categories. You can even set a floor for your earning at 1.5X points on all purchases.
So, if you want to book an amazing award stay at a Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt or Andaz or a ton of cheap stays at a brand such as Hyatt Place, the following cards can help you earn the most points possible.
Now, onto your options!
Best card for restaurants
While the Chase Hyatt Card earns a respectable 2X Hyatt points at restaurants, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is clearly better at 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar. Of course, it comes with a $450 annual fee so I understand if that’s not your thing.
If that’s the case, I’d go with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card which earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points. While this is the same earn rate as the Hyatt Card, Ultimate Rewards points are more flexible so you can use them on Hyatt stays but also for flights if needed.
The Hyatt Card and the Sapphire Preferred both have a $95 annual fee. This fee is waived your first year with the Sapphire Preferred.
Best cards for travel
If you know anything about the Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred, which card to use on travel purchases might seem like a simple decision. Generally, I’d agree but there is one circumstance when the Hyatt Card is actually better.
When you book cash rates at Hyatt properties, you can earn 4X Hyatt points with the Chase Hyatt Card. That’s more than the 3X and 2X earned by the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred, respectively.
For other travel purchases, the Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card will earn 3X and the way to go whether you’re booking flights, non-Hyatt hotels, Uber, Lyft, taxis, train tickets and more.
As I mentioned above, the Sapphire Reserve does have a hefty annual fee but don’t forget that the card comes with a $300 travel credit each cardmember year. This effectively brings the annual fee to $150.
The Sapphire Preferred also earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points.
Best card for gym memberships
When The World of Hyatt Card was launched in late June 2018, the bonus category that had me most excited was fitness clubs and gym memberships. You’ll earn 2X on these purposes with the Chase Hyatt Card but keep in mind that non-traditional gyms such as Soul Cycle won’t earn bonus points.
While I know this won’t mean a TON of spending for many people, I really liked that Chase and Hyatt offered something different. Of course, if you pay for classes, CrossFit or personal training sessions, this might be an easy way to earn double points on these expenses.
Best card for gas stations
When it comes to the best card for purchases at gas stations, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card earns 2X Ultimate Rewards points. In fact, it’s the only Ultimate Rewards card that includes gas stations as a bonus category.
Keep in mind that there is a cap on the 2X points you can earn. Every cardmember year with the Chase Ink Cash, you can spend up to $25,000 and earn 2X on each dollar. After you reach that threshold, gas station purchases will only earn 1X point. This applies to all 2X bonus categories that come with the card.
If you have a long commute to work or just spend a lot of time on the road, these points can really add up quickly.
Best card for internet, cable and phone services
Again, the Chase Ink Cash is the clear winner. For internet, cable and phone services, you can’t beat earning 5X points. As with the gas station cap, 5X bonus categories have a $25,000 cap per cardmember year.
Personally, I take full advantage of the ability to earn 5X on these purchases with my Chase Ink Plus (no longer available for application). Might as well get all I can out of these guaranteed monthly payments!
Alternatively, you can earn 3X points with the Ink Preferred up to $150,000 in spend per cardmember year.
Best card for digital ads
If you’re a business that runs ads on Facebook or Google, the Ink Preferred is a must. You can earn 3X points per dollar but remember that the $150,000 cap applies to all 3X categories combined so you’ll want to factor in travel as well as internet, cable and phone bills.
Best card for office supplies
With office supplies, you have another great opportunity to earn 5X with the Chase Ink Cash. Of course, you’ll need to keep in mind the 5X spend cap of $25,000 per cardmember year.
If you know that you’ll hit the cap via office supplies, it might make sense to leave the internet, cable and phone bills for the Ink Preferred since you can earn 3X on them. It might take a tiny bit of thought, but putting the puzzle together can yield some big results.
Best cards for other everyday purchases
Rather than having different bonus categories, these two cards earn a flat 1.5X on all purchases which guarantees you’ll always be earning more than 1X point per dollar.
Don’t forget Chase’s application rules
Don’t jump to apply just yet. Make sure you read up on the Chase 5/24 rule first. If you’ve opened 5 or more cards — all personal cards and Capital One business cards count — in the last 24 months, you won’t be eligible for Ultimate Rewards cards.
This is why I always hammer home the idea that starting with Ultimate Rewards is the way to go if you are new to miles and points. Why pass up on cards that can help you earn so many valuable points?
Note that the Hyatt Card is not restricted by the 5/24 rule at this time.
If there’s one improvement I’d like to see Chase make, it would be to add a grocery bonus category. That being said, with a wide variety of bonus categories across the Ultimate Rewards cards and the Hyatt Card, pretty much anyone can find a way get their hands on Hyatt points.
If you open a combination of these cards, you’ll be well on your way to earning the points necessary for some great Hyatt stays across the globe.
What cards do you use to earn Hyatt points?