The World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) is one of my all-around favorite hotel credit cards. It has a reasonable $95 annual fee, and offers all kinds of perks that more than justify it, whether you’re a Hyatt loyalist, or just stay at Hyatts occasionally.
One of the awesome things about the Hyatt Card is that the card allows you to earn elite nights, making it easier to earn status. In this post, I wanted to get into the nitty-gritty of how that works.
We’ll see if this is even needed in 2020 as it’s possible Hyatt will offer a fast track to status, given the huge slump in global demand. However, this topic has been on my list of things to write about for a long time, and I finally have time time to get to it…
Benefits of the World of Hyatt Card
Among other things, the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers:
- Automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open
- Five qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
- Two qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- A Category 1-4 anniversary free night certificate on your account anniversary every year
- A second Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in an anniversary year
This means that you’re getting five elite nights towards status and a Category 1-4 free night certificate every year just for having the card. To me that more than justifies the annual fee on the card, by a long shot (I consistently get $250+ of value out of the free night certificate alone).
That doesn’t even factor in the incremental perks you can get for spending on the card.
Redeem your World of Hyatt points at Calala Island
Earning elite nights with the World of Hyatt Card
With the World of Hyatt Credit Card you can earn elite nights in two ways — there are the elite nights you get just for having the card, and then there are the elite nights you get for spending money on the card.
Receive five elite nights annually just for having the card
Just for having the World of Hyatt Card you receive five qualifying nights towards status with Hyatt every year:
- There’s no spending required to get these five elite nights
- These elite nights go to the World of Hyatt account of the primary cardmember
- You receive them for each calendar year in which you have the card, including the year in which you open the card
How soon do elite nights post from the World of Hyatt Card?
- According to the terms, World of Hyatt elite nights post within eight weeks of when you open the card, and also within eight weeks of January 1 in subsequent years
- In reality, elite nights typically post within days of when you open the card, often before it even arrives in the mail
- In subsequent years elite nights also typically post within days, rather than weeks; for example, in 2020 the elite nights posted by January 4, so just days into the year
Globalist members receive four confirmed suite upgrades per year
Receive two elite nights for every $5,000 spent on the card
To encourage people to actually spend money on the card, you can receive two elite nights for every $5,000 in eligible purchases on the World of Hyatt Card:
- According to the terms, World of Hyatt elite nights post within eight weeks of when you complete the $5,000 of spending
- In my experience the elite nights from spending post within a couple of days of when the statement closes where you complete your spending, so it’s much faster than that
- The Hyatt elite nights earned through credit card spending aren’t in any way tied to the calendar year; in other words, if you spend $2,500 on the card in 2019, and then spend $2,500 on the card in 2020, you’d earn two elite nights at that point (since any amount from the previous year rolls over)
- The elite nights post towards status for the same year where you complete the spending; in other words, if you completed $5,000 of spending in December 2019 but it only posted to your account in 2020, it should still count towards your 2019 status
Earn Globalist status so you can receive free breakfast
Hyatt Credit Card elite nights FAQs
While the above hopefully covers most of the basics, I wanted to address some of the most frequently asked questions I get about earning elite nights with the World of Hyatt Credit Card:
Does Hyatt credit card spending count towards lifetime status?
Hyatt’s lifetime Globalist status is based on earning one million base points in the program. World of Hyatt members earn five base points per dollar spent on Hyatt stays, meaning you essentially have to spend $200,000 at Hyatts to earn lifetime Globalist status.
Credit card spending, and any elite nights earned through the World of Hyatt Credit Card, won’t count towards lifetime Globalist status. That’s because the qualification criteria is based solely on base points, and not based on elite qualifying nights (in which case it would count).
Credit card spending doesn’t count towards lifetime Globalist status
Does Hyatt credit card spend count towards Milestone Rewards?
With Hyatt, not all elite perks are tied directly to having status, but rather some require earning a certain number of elite nights in a year. This is a distinction worth being aware of, since it means those earning status through a fast track may not receive all perks.
Specifically, Hyatt has the following Milestone Rewards, tied to elite nights:
- 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points — earn Discoverist status
- 20 qualifying nights or 35,000 base points — earn 2 club lounge access awards
- 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points — earn Explorist status, plus earn 2 club lounge access awards, plus a Category 1-4 free night award
- 40 qualifying nights or 65,000 base points — earn 5,000 bonus points, a $100 Hyatt gift card, or 10,000 points off a FIND experience
- 50 qualifying nights or 80,000 base points — 2 suite upgrade awards
- 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points — earn Globalist status, plus 2 suite upgrade awards, plus a Category 1-7 free night award
- 70 qualifying nights — 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award
- 80 qualifying nights — 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award
- 90 qualifying nights — 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award
- 100 qualifying nights — 10,000 bonus points or a suite upgrade award
Hyatt elite nights earned through the World of Hyatt Credit Card would count towards Milestone Rewards the same as any other stays.
Credit card spending does count towards Milestone Rewards
Do you get elite nights for the complimentary Discoverist status?
One of the perks of the World of Hyatt Credit Card is that you receive Discoverist status for as long as you have the card. Discoverist status ordinarily requires 10 elite qualifying nights or 25,000 base points per year. As a reminder, here are Hyatt’s elite thresholds:
- Discoverist status: 10 qualifying nights or 25,000 base points (equivalent to $5,000 of spending)
- Explorist status: 30 qualifying nights or 50,000 base points (equivalent to $10,000 of spending)
- Globalist status: 60 qualifying nights or 100,000 base points (equivalent to $20,000 of spending)
One common point of confusion is that people assume this card really comes with 15 elite nights per year. They assume you already get Discoverist status, and then five elite nights on top of that. Note that while this card offers Discoverist status, you don’t get the corresponding elite nights.
This means that if you have this card on an ongoing basis you’ll have Discoverist status and five elite nights every year, though you’d still need 25 additional nights to earn Explorist status, for example.
Redeem Hyatt points at the Andaz Tokyo
Earning Globalist status with the Hyatt Credit Card
World of Hyatt Globalist is my favorite top tier hotel status, and what I love is that the World of Hyatt Credit Card makes it easier to earn that. Let’s look at the best strategy for earning Globalist status with the card.
How much do you have to spend to earn Globalist status?
Hyatt Globalist requires earning 60 qualifying nights in a year. This means that if you’re starting from scratch you’d have to spend $140,000 to earn Globalist status:
- You earn five elite nights just for having the card
- You earn a further two elite nights for every $5,000 spent
- $140,000 of spending would earn you 56 elite nights, plus the five elite nights you get every year, for a total of 61 elite nights
Don’t forget the value of Milestone Rewards
When doing the math on your Hyatt Card spending, don’t forget the perks you’re racking up for passing certain elite thresholds:
- At 30 elite nights earn a Category 1-4 free night certificate
- At 40 elite nights earn 5,000 bonus points or a $100 Hyatt gift card
- At 50 elite nights earn two confirmed suite upgrade awards
- At 60 elite nights earn a Category 1-7 free night certificate plus two more confirmed suite upgrade awards
Then for spending $15,000 on the card you earn an additional Category 1-4 free night certificate.
You shouldn’t earn Globalist status exclusively through spending
Hyatt counts award nights towards status, and just for having the World of Hyatt Credit Card you get a free night every year, plus the opportunity to earn a further three free nights for spending $15,000, earning Explorist status, and earning Globalist status.
On top of that, presumably you want to earn Globalist status because you actually intend to stay at Hyatts with some frequency. Hotel status is worthless if you don’t actually stay at that brand with some frequency.
To be realistic, let’s assume that long term you’re earning 30 elite nights per year through actual stays. There are so many great Globalist benefits to use (like confirmed suite upgrades and your free night certificates), so if you’re staying at Hyatts less than that I question whether Globalist is worth it for you.
On an ongoing basis that means you’d need 30 additional elite nights to earn Globalist status:
- You’d receive five just for having the card
- You’d receive a further two for every $5,000 spent
That means spending $65,000 would earn you a total of 31 elite nights (five for having the card, plus 26 for spending).
Opportunity cost of Hyatt Card spending
When deciding if it makes sense to spend money on the World of Hyatt Credit Card, consider the opportunity cost of the spending.
Looking at my post about the best credit cards for everyday spending:
- The best personal card offers a return of up to ~3.4% by my valuation; that’s the Citi® Double Cash Card (review), which potentially offers rewards up to the equivalent of 2x ThankYou points per dollar
- Another good personal card offers a return of up to ~2.625%; that’s the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card (review)
- The best business card offers a return of ~3.4%; that’s The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (review)
In all cases, there are some restrictions on that return on spending, so it won’t necessarily be that high for everyone.
Personally I value World of Hyatt points at ~1.5 cents each, and in non-bonused categories you’re earning one Hyatt point per dollar spent.
If we were to theoretically assume you’re spending $65,000 on the card per year to earn a total of 31 elite nights, you’re potentially looking at an opportunity cost of up to 1.9% (the spread between a 3.4% return and 1.5% return).
But that’s not factoring in the value of all the other perks mentioned above:
- It doesn’t factor in up to two Category 1-4 free nights, valid at properties costing up to 15,000 points
- It doesn’t factor in a Category 1-7 free night, valid at properties costing up to 30,000 points
- It doesn’t factor in a $100 Hyatt gift card
- It doesn’t factor in four confirmed suite upgrades
For many, I think the above perks could more than justify the difference in return on spending otherwise.
There are many things to love about the World of Hyatt Credit Card, though the ability to get a fast track towards status is probably my favorite perk of the card. I absolutely love Hyatt Globalist status, and this card helps me requalify every year.
We’ll see if this is even needed in 2020 based on the current situation, as they may be willing to renew status for people more easily. But in general, this is great as part of an overall strategy for earning Globalist status.