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.
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.
Earning Explorist status will get you four club upgrades per year
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?