What World Of Hyatt Means For Hyatt’s Credit Card

Filed Under: Credit Cards, Hyatt

Last week we first learned about World of Hyatt, which will replace Gold Passport as Hyatt’s loyalty program as of March 1, 2017.


Some people will love the changes to the program, while others will hate them, as I’ve explained in a previous post. These changes are ultimately positive for those who spend 55+ nights per year at Hyatts, while they’re negative for Diamond members who qualified on 25 stays rather than 50 nights.

So the qualification requirements for top tier status are going up, but the benefits that go along with it are improving. Most notably, top tier World of Hyatt Globalists will receive unlimited space available suite upgrades, and will also be able to use their four annual confirmed suite upgrades on outright award stays, which wasn’t previously possible.

Hyatt also has a great co-branded credit card that I’ve had for a long time. While I don’t put much spend on the card, I do hold onto it for the annual free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property, which more than justifies the $75 annual fee, in my opinion. There are also occasionally promotions targeted at cardmembers, which can also pay off.

With the introduction of World of Hyatt, it can be confusing to keep track of what the new program means for Hyatt’s co-branded credit card, so here’s a rundown:

What’s not changing about the Hyatt credit card

  • The Hyatt credit card will continue to offer entry level status for as long as you have the card. On March 1, 2017, all cardmembers will automatically receive Discoverist status, which comes with 2PM check-out subject to availability, premium wifi, etc.
  • The Hyatt credit card will continue to offer an annual Category 1-4 free night certificate on your account anniversary each year.
  • The Hyatt credit card will continue to offer triple points on Hyatt spend and double points on restaurants, airline tickets, and car rental.

Grand-Hyatt-Berlin - 4
Redeem your annual free night certificate at the Grand Hyatt Berlin

What’s being taken away from the Hyatt credit card

You can no longer earn elite qualifying nights and elite qualifying stays towards status with the Hyatt credit card. Previously you could earn:

  • Two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status after spending $20,000
  • An additional three elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights after spending another $20,000

That meant spending $40,000 on the card got you five elite qualifying stays and 10 elite qualifying nights towards status, which is 20% of the way to Diamond status. As of next year, spending money on Hyatt’s credit card will no longer help you reach top tier status.

Putting spend on Hyatt’s credit card will no longer help you achieve top tier status

What’s being added to the Hyatt credit card

  • Those who have the Hyatt credit card prior to March 1, 2017, will receive an additional 5% points bonus on in-hotel spend between March 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018. This only applies to Discoverist members (the status that comes with the card), and this is being done because the points bonus for entry level status is decreasing from 15% to 10%. So it’s not really a net positive, but it at least offsets the status bonus being reduced for the next year.
  • You can earn Hyatt’s mid-tier Explorist status by spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year, which gets you a 20% points bonus, room upgrades subject to availability, and four club lounge access awards annually.

Grand-Hyatt-Hong-Kong-Grand-Suite - 38
Earning Explorist status will get you four club upgrades per year

Bottom line

Whether the changes to the Hyatt credit card are good or bad news really depends on your spend and stay patterns:

  • For those like me, the value of the card remains the same, as I keep it for the annual free night certificate, plus the targeted promotions that sometimes come with the card
  • For those who put $40,000 of spend on the card per year to boost their elite nights towards Diamond status, these changes are terrible; Hyatt is simultaneously raising top tier qualification requirements while also eliminating the ability to fast track status using the card
  • For those who put a lot of spend on the card but don’t earn enough elite nights to earn top tier status, the ability to get Explorist status through spend may prove lucrative, especially as the status will come with four confirmed lounge passes

How do the changes to Hyatt’s credit card impact you?

  1. “…four club lounge access awards annually…”
    does it mean 4 days of access or free access during 4 stays?

  2. Any word on what effect this will have on the Chase United MilagePlus Club and the discontinued Presidential Plus card? Currently the cards provide Hyatt Platinum status, so I am assuming it will be replaced by Discoverist. However, the benefit could also be removed or perhaps there is a slight change that it could be Explorist instead?

  3. “You can earn Hyatt’s mid-tier Explorist status by spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year, which gets you a 20% points bonus, room upgrades subject to availability, and four club lounge access awards annually.” LOL!!!!!! Why on Earth I would spend $50k on a Hyatt card to get those benefits? I will only stay in a Hyatt hotel IF the price compared to a SPG, Marriott or Hilton makes sense. Hyatt is now an alternative and not a priority in my travel plans.

  4. “Two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status after spending $20,000
    An additional three elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights after spending another $20,000”


    “As of next year, spending money on Hyatt’s credit card will no longer help you reach top tier status.”

    This actually doesn’t kick in until March 1st 2017, which gives some unusual one time only mattress run opportunities for the two first months of next year.

  5. There is no longer any incentive to put spend on the card, even at Hyatt properties. 3 UR > 3 Hyatt. But the biggest bummer to me is that the CC no longer matches to Gold with Mlife, which was a nice benefit for those who frequent Vegas (I generally qualify for Gold or Plat on my own, but it was a nice fallback). Even for those who qualify for Globalist, like Ben, no Hyatt status matches to Mlife Platinum anymore which is unfortunate.

  6. @Brian K raises an issue I have been pondering and see a ray of hope for those who carry the Chase United Club (UC) card, considered a “premium” card: “Any word on what effect this will have on the Chase United MilagePlus Club and the discontinued Presidential Plus card?”

    I believe that if Chase is to have the UC card remain a competitive “premium” card, they might want to look to AMEX and Citi co-brand cards for hotel loyalty programs that have three elite status levels, as WHO! will have. As long as Hyatt GP had only two elite status levels, it made sense to award holders of “premium” cards their loftily named “Platinum” elite status, rather than the more valuable Diamond level. Now that Hyatt has a program with three elite levels, and by analogy to Citi and AMEX who offer the mid-tier HHonors level to holders of their for-fee co-brand cards, Chase should negotiate with WHO! to award the mid-tier “Explorist” elite level to holders of the UC card.

    I won’t be surprised if that happens and you heard it here first 😉

  7. We are staying at many park hyatts in Europe in October 17! We have Hyatt credit card thus platinum.

    Is there any benefit to booking prior to all these changes?

    I have received available upgrades in the past at this status when available. Is that still a possibility for celebrating special occasion after march 17?

  8. The card is basically useless for me now. I put $40k on it to help me reach Diamond. Now that I’ll need 55 nights rather than 40, I don’t have a chance. Which means I’m not going to be loyal to Hyatt after my current Diamond status expires, as the lower levels aren’t work much.

    I’m going to convert my card to another Chase product, since I’m currently over 5/24. Any suggestions? I have CSP and Freedom.

  9. I can’t imagine spending $50k on the card to get mid-tier status — basically to get four club passes. That’s a hilariously poor value.

  10. My biggest disappointment with the changes involves the Hyatt-Mlife relationship. Previously, the Hyatt CC got you Hyatt Plat, which matched to Mlife Gold. I generally qualify for Gold or Plat on my own merit, but it was nice having a fallback. Now the Hyatt CC comes with Discoverist which only matched to Mlife Pearl. On top of that, there is no longer a way to match top-tier Hyatt status with Mlife Plat or vice-versa, which means Globalists like Ben who occasionally visit Vegas no longer get Mlife Plat.

  11. @dbeach — The whole new program is a joke…really. Even die-hard HGP loyalists have been left struggling and doing word gymnastics to come up with just a few nice things to say about it.

    One has got to wonder what they were thinking, but maybe that’s just it: no one was thinking when the monstrosity aptly acronymed WOH! was hatched.


  12. Good point. Why would anyone spend 50K on the Hyatt card to get mid-tier status, when one can obtain the highest status with Hilton with 40K of spending on their cards? It’s as if the development team paid no attention to what their competitors are offering when thinking this up. This was developed in a complete vacuum. As was the nomenclature of the program itself, and the nonsensical words that they invented for the new levels. Their team did not seek consultation with anyone one the outside world, or they would have been told that “Globalist” is a poor choice, with negative connotations. I hope that someone in Corporate is awake and reading the feedback on blogs such as this. Hopefully they will find a graceful way to rename and restructure the overall program in a year or two, without losing face.

  13. Trying to get this straight. So we have effectively 14 months to earn status for this year as opposed to 12? I’m at 23 nights on the year and don’t think I’ll be getting to 30 before the end of the year to get to Explorerist. However if I have until March 1 then that is more doable.

  14. Yeah, this change ends Hyatt and the credit card for me entirely. I’m actually relieved they made it such an easy decision.

    What’s ironic is that all of the changes to hotel and airline programs have made me less loyal to everyone. The hotel programs all make you jump through hoops to get status, then when you achieve it you get the rude awakening that your chances of an upgrade are slim and there always seems to be some fine print they can quote to not give you anything for your status other than bottles of water. Then you acquire points with a redemption in mind, but they get devalued before you can use them.

    Customers aren’t stupid, that’s why you see 100,000 sign up offers and Hilton doing things like double and triple point promotions. They realized that when they devalued their point currency from a penny of value to a half penny of value, it doesn’t help drive customer behavior anymore. So they have to double and triple the points in promotions to try to drive behavior. What they don’t realize is that there will be diminishing marketing returns because at each iteration of this ponzi scheme, more of us realize triple points won’t be worth anything later either. So if they want to drive behavior they will have to keep escalating what they offer at greater cost than if they had just resisted the urge to devalue in the first place.

  15. This also downgrades your MGM MLife transfer status to Pearl (register now and you’ll be Gold through September). Gold gets you expedited Check in which can be worth a lot at those mega resorts! Pearl doesn’t get you much…

  16. I currently have Diamond Hyatt status through the twitter match earlier this year. In March will I soft land at explorerist or will I be downgraded to discoverest since I have the hyatt credit card?

  17. Convert your status to MGM gold now before the Hyatt Changes. Then you’ll be able to convert your status BACK to Hyatt after the changes and earn “Explorist” Status

  18. @Rob S I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been blowing Hyatt up on social media trying to make the same point. I am currently a Diamond and have re-qualified for next year, but going forward I am done with Hyatt.

  19. These changes basically gut the program for those with 3 or 4 Hyatt stays per year. With easily obtainable gold status on SPG and Marriott (including free breakfast), I will be staying at Hyatts less often and then only to burn my award points.

  20. Rob S is right on target. I’m done with Hyatt and have lost my loyality to programs where I have status – like lifetime Platinum on United. It isn’t worth anything.

  21. Oh, boy…I am a HH Diamond and a UA 1K and a million miler and I find both to be highly rewarding programs, especially with UA visibly beginning to turn things around — been on a UA flight lately? You should!

    @Rob S’s comment is undoubtedly heartfelt, but wrong in its generalization. Hotel loyalty, or loyalty travel in general, is not as dystopian as it’s being painted. The picture being painted is, in fact, a highly myopic view based on a rude awaking to reality after years of reading travel blogs that promoted SPG and HGP as the “best anything” in the world of hotel loyalty until both programs came crashing down at about the same time, not because of the claimed loyalty world dystopia, but because both were fundamentally and structurally weak programs that were unworthy of the pedestals on which they had been hoisted by travel bloggers.

    By contrast, you have a program like HHonors, which was much maligned by travel bloggers, but is currently without a doubt a thriving, highly vibrant and rewarding program, precisely because of what travel bloggers claimed it lacked: ability to attract highly loyal members! The reality, however, is that when Hilton was acquired by the Blackstone Group, which handpicked and installed the visionary Christopher J. Nassetta as Hilton’s CEO, HHonors and its members were immediately perceived as a key asset to the company’s financial performance and health. The following summarizes the business “philosophy” that emerged to shape HHonors as a revenue driver because Hilton’s top brass understood the value of an effective loyalty program to the company’s health [the following is publicly available in Hilton’s 2015 form 10K financial report filing to the SEC. Look it up!]:

    “The program [HHonors] provides targeted marketing, promotions and customized guest experiences to approximately 51 million members [up from about 40 million in 2013 BEFORE the “thermonuclear devaluation” that was supposed to kill the company and the program!]. Our Hilton HHonors members represented approximately 52 percent of our system-wide occupancy and contributed hotel-level revenues to us and our hotel owners of over $15 billion during the year ended December 31, 2015. Affiliation with our loyalty programs encourages members to allocate more of their travel spending to our hotels. The percentage of travel spending we capture from loyalty members increases as they move up the tiers of our program. The program is funded by contributions from eligible revenues generated by Hilton HHonors members and collected by us from hotels in our system. These funds are applied to reimburse hotels and partners for Hilton HHonors points redemptions and to pay for program administrative expenses and marketing initiatives that support the program.”

    Much about HHonors is explained by the above. For example, because HHonors drives the lion’s share of the company’s profit, the CEO can play hardball and force every property to participate in “global” promos or else: the result has been that not a single property has been ALLOWED to opt out of HH promos in over 2 years. It also explains why HHonors appears to easily give away the HH Gold status and has even begun to status-match to the HH Diamond status, which they seldom did in the past: the company believes or understands that “The percentage of travel spending we capture from loyalty members increases as they move up the tiers of our program”, i.e., give them status and they will come! [WOH! just did the opposite, presaging more WOE ahead!]

    The result has been the most palpably vibrant and overall rewarding loyalty program out there at the moment, when SPG has gone belly and HGP has transformed into, well, WOH!… 🙂

    There remain great and highly rewarding hotel loyalty programs out there. You just won’t know it if the travel blogosphere has been your only source of info for the past several years, since you’re full of the “SPG or Hyatt is the best in the business” kool-aid, which has now been revealed as a toxic brew! 🙂


  22. Funny how there is only a single spitting voice ever touting Hilton, and it shows up in Every Single Goddamn BA Post, hotel-related or not.

    News flash – barely any readers care about your propaganda. Go back to your corner of IF and start your own HH wankjob blog.

  23. @UA-NYC: “News flash – barely any readers care about your propaganda.”

    The village idiot, indeed: Don’t you see how silly [read: stupid] it makes you sound to claim that “barely any readers care” when it is clear that the comment unhinged so much you had to step in here and declare that no one cares? YOU care.

    Now can you address the content of the comment? I did not think so…

    Get lost.

  24. Here’s the deal…you are a tool. It’s pretty much universally known on these blogs. You rant and rave about Hilton, when pretty much everyone knows its the definition of mediocrity – mediocre selection of brands (heavily weighted towards budget), mediocre loyalty program, mediocre benefits overall. You convince absolutely no-one with your never-ending diatribes on things that aren’t even benefits (“guaranteed executive floor upgrades” and “no limits imposed on checkout times and upgrades” – GMAFB).

    Seriously, go back to your dark lab and shut it for a change Dikoma.

  25. Except that I’d called it right all the way: SPG has gone belly up and WOH! is not even a WIP anymore, it’s joke…


  26. …and stop using my real name in this forum (other people know it too so you are not that clever). That’s foul and unhinged.

    @Gary admonished you multiple times but you won’t quit. Why should he still tolerate your presence here? I do not care but there has to be a limit and this is it.

    @ Gary, please toss this guy out if you stand by the sacred rule of your profession.

  27. There is nothing “belly up” about SPG at this time, other than in your own mind (it’s the same program for the next year an a half, and may actually continue on in its current form)…bring some intellectual honesty to your posts one time, and I’ll show some respect in return.

  28. Just FYI, I got a message from Chase regarding the United Club Card Hyatt benefit: United MileagePlus Club customers are eligible to receive complimentary Discoverist tier status in the new program.

  29. Now no benefit to spending $50,000 on Hyatt card. I remember last year something about with “new” program $50,000 spending had benefit. Clearly Hyatt no longer competitve and not consistent with information provided.

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