While I have quite a few hotel credit cards, in this post I wanted to take a look at the hotel credit card that I spend the most money on. It goes without saying that hotel stays might not be a focus for many right now, but this card can earn you rewards that you can redeem for years to come.
There’s a particularly compelling reason to pick up this card right now if you’re trying to earn World of Hyatt status, especially with the recent announcement that Hyatt has lowered elite thresholds for 2021.
World of Hyatt Credit Card Basics For March 2021
In mid-2018 Chase and Hyatt refreshed their co-branded credit card, and they created what I consider to be one of the best hotel credit cards out there, with the introduction of the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
What makes this card so brilliant is that it’s worth having regardless of whether you want to keep it just for the ongoing perks, or whether you want to spend money on it. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about this card:
Earn Up to 60,000 Points
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 World of Hyatt points:
- Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.
- Plus, 1 additional Bonus Point per dollar on purchases that earn 1 point per dollar on up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months of account opening for an additional 30,000 points
Personally, I value World of Hyatt points at ~1.5 cents each, so to me those 60,000 points are worth ~$900. 60,000 points are enough for up to 12 nights at a Category 1 Hyatt property, as those retail for 5,000 points per night.
Redeem just 8,000 points per night at the Hyatt Regency Bali
The welcome bonus on this card isn’t available to those who currently have any Hyatt credit card, or have received the new cardmember bonus on any Hyatt credit card in the past 24 months.
You’re not eligible for this card if you have the previous version of the Hyatt credit card. If that’s the case, you should be able to call Chase and product change to this card. Note that in January 2021, everyone with the old Hyatt Card will automatically have their card converted to the World of Hyatt Card.
Chase’s 5/24 Rule
Chase has what’s known as the 5/24 rule. This means that if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months you typically won’t be approved for this card. If you do apply for this card, make sure you’re under that limit.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card has a $95 annual fee, and it isn’t waived for the first year. You can add additional cardmembers to your account at no extra cost.
As I’ll explain below, this annual fee is so well worth it even if you don’t spend money on the card, since you get an anniversary free night certificate.
Earning Points With The Hyatt Credit Card
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers pretty good points earning opportunities. While this isn’t the card that I use for all of my spending, I strategically spend money on the card, and it works great for for me.
How good are the points earning rates?
4x Points At Hyatt Properties
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers 4x points for spending at Hyatt hotels and resorts. While I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card for hotel spending at most other hotel brands (as the card earns 3x points), I always use the Hyatt card for spending at Hyatt hotels.
The 4x points apply at all Hyatt properties, and even at Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties that are affiliated with Hyatt.
Earn 4x points at Hotel Ranga, an SLH hotel in Iceland
2x Points At Restaurants
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers 2x points for restaurant spending globally, though personally this still isn’t a card I’d use for restaurants, given that other cards offer 3-5x points.
2x Points On Airline Tickets
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers 2x points on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines. Again, this isn’t the card I’d use for airline tickets, given that other cards offer 3-5x points.
2x Points On Fitness Clubs & Gym Memberships
Hyatt has a focus on wellness, so one of the cool bonus categories they have is offering 2x points on fitness clubs and gym memberships. For anyone wondering, this also includes group fitness businesses, like Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle, etc.
This is an area where the card’s bonus category is industry-leading, as I can’t think of any other card that offers such a good return on fitness spending. Unfortunately, this has become significantly less valuable in recent months, given the coronavirus pandemic.
2x Points On Local Transit & Commuting
The World of Hyatt Card offers 2x points on local transit and commuting, which includes ride share services such as Lyft and Uber. Other cards still offer a better return on spending than this card does, though.
Earn 1x Points On Other Purchases
For categories in which you can’t earn 2-4x points, the World of Hyatt Card offers one World of Hyatt point per dollar spent.
Check For Limited Time Targeted Spending Bonuses
We’re seeing lots of credit cards offer limited-time bonuses and perks, in light of the pandemic.
For example, between January 1 and March 31, 2021, the card is offering 5,000 World of Hyatt points after spending $3,000 for targeted cardmembers. You can check eligibility for this at chase.com/mybonus/hyatt11.
No Foreign Transaction Fees
The World of Hyatt Credit Card has no foreign transaction fees, so it’s an excellent card for purchases abroad. That’s especially true when staying at Hyatts abroad, as well as for dining and commuting outside the US.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card features contactless pay technology. This means you can pay using your card without even swiping it whenever you see the contactless pay symbol.
World of Hyatt Credit Card Benefits
The area where the World of Hyatt Credit Card really excels is when it comes to the benefits it offers. In my opinion, these benefits more than justify the annual fee, regardless of whether you’re spending nothing on the card, or are spending a significant amount.
The first three benefits below are perks that you get just for having the card, while the two after that can be earned for putting spending on the card.
Free Night Every Year
Just for having the World of Hyatt Credit Card you get a Category 1-4 free night certificate on your account anniversary every year. This will be issued shortly after your anniversary and is valid for 12 months.
Categories 1-4 cover a majority of Hyatt’s properties, and I’ve consistently been able to redeem this for hotels that retail for $250+ per night. This alone justifies the annual fee on the card.
I used my free night certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon
Complimentary Discoverist Status
You receive Hyatt’s entry-level Discoverist status for as long as you have the Hyatt Card. The status will post for the primary cardmember shortly after you are approved. Discoverist status comes with the following benefits:
- Upgrade to a preferred room, when available
- 2 PM check-out, when available
- Premium internet
- Daily bottled water
Discoverist members may receive preferred rooms
Five Elite Nights Towards Status Annually
Ordinarily just for having the card you receive five elite qualifying nights towards status annually. You will receive these within eight weeks of being approved for the card (though usually much faster), and in subsequent years they will post within eight weeks of January 1.
This will be useful if you’re hoping to earn Hyatt’s Explorist status, Globalist status, and/or Milestone Rewards. Ordinarily, Explorist requires 30 elite nights and Globalist requires 60 elite nights, so that would lower the number of nights you actually need to stay at 25 or 55 (or 20 and 50 during the current promotion), respectively.
A Second Free Night When You Spend $15,000
While you receive a Category 1-4 free night certificate annually just for having the card, you can earn a second one if you spend $15,000 on the card in a year.
Currently you earn this based on spending that amount in a cardmember year (which consists of 12 statements following when you opened your card), while starting on January 1, 2022, you’ll earn it based on spending that amount in a calendar year (which consists of January 1 through December 31).
The Park Hyatt Siem Reap is a Category 3 hotel
Two Elite Nights For Every $5,000 Spent
In addition to the five elite nights you get just for having the card, you earn a further two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card. This means that in theory, you could spend your way all the way to Explorist or Globalist status, if you wanted to.
Reaching the $5,000 threshold has nothing to do with the calendar or cardmember year — the counter simply resets every time you spend $5,000, and then you start earning towards your next two elite nights.
While there’s no guarantee this will continue to be offered in future years, historically Hyatt has offered additional promotions for World of Hyatt members, particularly when redeeming points.
For example, for the past several months and through February 28, 2021, World of Hyatt has been offering 15% off award redemptions, and those with the Hyatt Card get an additional 10% off, for a total of 25% off redemptions. That’s an incredible value.
One of the great features of Chase cards is access to Chase Offers, which provides savings on purchases with all kinds of retailers. The program wasn’t launched that long ago, but has already saved me a significant amount of money. For example, there was recently a Chase Offers deal to save 10% on a Hyatt stay, and I took advantage of that.
Secondary Car Rental Coverage
The World of Hyatt Card offers auto rental collision damage waiver coverage. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card.
Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the US and abroad. Do note that in the US the coverage is secondary to your personal insurance, though.
Protection With Trip Delays, Lost Luggage, And More
The World of Hyatt Card offers a variety of other protection when traveling. Among these features is:
- Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance — be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip when your trip is canceled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather, etc.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement — if your flight is delayed by more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket
- Lost Luggage Reimbursement — be reimbursed up to $3,000 per passenger if you or your immediate family member check or carry on luggage that is damaged or lost by an airline
- Baggage Delay Insurance — be reimbursed up to $100 per day for five days for essential purchases when your bag is delayed by over six hours
Make sure you check your cardmember agreement for all of the details, since there are terms & conditions.
Redeeming World of Hyatt Points
The best value for redeeming World of Hyatt points is using their free night award chart. The great thing is that you earn elite nights for your stay even if you’re redeeming points or using a free night certificate.
Hyatt’s award chart looks as follows:
There’s value to be had at all levels of the chart. As a general rule of thumb, I try to redeem at properties where I’m getting more than two cents of value per point.
In other words, I’d redeem points at a Category 1 hotel when the paid rate is $100+, I’d redeem points at a Category 7 hotel when the paid rate is $600+, etc.
There’s so much value to be had at all levels of the award chart, and in particular, I love redeeming at Hyatt’s top properties.
Redeem Hyatt points at the Alila in Bali
Is The World of Hyatt Credit Card Worth It?
Let me answer this very simply — if you’re eligible for the card and have any interest in staying at Hyatt properties then yes, the World of Hyatt Credit Card is absolutely worth it. This is a card I personally have, and that I wholeheartedly recommend.
With that simple answer out of the way, let’s talk more about the best strategy to take with the Hyatt Card — how much money should you spend on it, should you be putting all of your spending on this, and more.
Value In Spending $15,000 Per Year
Personally, my approach is to put $15,000 of spending on the World of Hyatt Card every year, and I think that’s a great strategy. As mentioned above, you get an anniversary free night certificate and five elite nights towards status just for having the card.
However, by spending $15,000 on the card in a year you receive:
- A second Category 1-4 free night certificate
- Six additional elite nights towards status, meaning I’m earning a total of 11 elite nights towards status annually with the card
As anyone who is a World of Hyatt Globalist can attest to, the status is really valuable, and for many of us, the co-branded credit card makes it much easier to earn that status.
But even taking the value of the elite nights out of the equation, say you spend $15,000 on the card in categories on which you otherwise wouldn’t earn bonus points. You’re earning a Category 4 certificate that could be redeemed at a hotel costing 15,000 points, and that’s generally exactly how I redeem it.
So to me, that’s almost like earning two World of Hyatt points per dollar spent, which is an unbeatable return on everyday spending.
The reality is that I do even better than that, since a good bit of that $15,000 of spending is at Hyatt hotels (where I earn 4x points), so the math works out even more favorably.
The Park Hyatt Ningbo is a Category 4 Hyatt property
How Much Do You Have To Spend For Globalist Status?
I’ve had some people ask if it’s worth spending your way to Globalist status with this credit card. Hyatt Globalist status ordinarily requires 60 elite qualifying nights, though in 2021 it will only require 30 elite nights.
Historically you’d need to spend $140,000 on the card to earn Globalist status (you get five elite nights just for having the card, plus spending $140,000 would earn you 56 elite nights). However, in 2021 you don’t need to spend nearly as much:
- If you apply for the card now you’d get 5 elite nights for 2021
- You’d then only need 25 more elite nights, which you could earn with $65,000 of spending
While that’s not half bad, personally that’s not the approach I’d take, though. I think the better approach is to better mix-and-match spending. After all, what’s the value in Globalist status if you’re not actually planning on staying at Hyatts with any frequency?
Is Globalist Status Worth It?
Globalist status is my favorite top tier hotel status, and it comes with all kinds of awesome perks. Just to share some of the benefits:
- Unlimited complimentary suite upgrades, when available
- Four confirmed suite upgrades, each of which can be used to confirm a suite upgrade at the time of booking for a stay of up to seven nights, when available
- Complimentary breakfast and/or club lounge access
- Guaranteed 4 PM late check-out, except at resorts
- An additional Category 1-4 and Category 1-7 free night certificate
- Guest of Honor, where you can redeem your points for a friend or family member, and they get your status
- Waived resort/destination fees on all stays, and free parking on award stays
However, do note that some of these benefits are tied to Milestone Rewards, and those in some cases still require earning 60 elite nights.
Room service breakfast & a suite upgrade at the Park Hyatt Paris thanks to my status
Other Options For Earning Hyatt Points
While the World of Hyatt Card is awesome, I’d note that it’s not the only way to earn World of Hyatt points. You can also transfer over points from Chase Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio, which is one of my favorite uses of those points. There could be value in using:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), which offers 3x points on dining and travel
- The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review), which offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent annually on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review), which in conjunction with one of the above cards earns 3x points on dining and drugstores, and 1.5x points on all other purchases
- The Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card (review), which in conjunction with one of the above cards earns 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, and 3x points on dining and drugstores
Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt Credit Card Coronavirus Perks
We’ve seen a lot of credit card issuers add limited time perks to credit cards to get cardholders to keep them. What has been done for those with the World of Hyatt Card?
- There’s currently the promotion offering 15-25% back on award bookings, with those having a co-branded credit card getting an extra 10% of points back
- World of Hyatt has extended all kinds of benefits, including free night awards, suite upgrade awards, and much more
- Some are being eligible for spending bonuses on co-branded Chase cards
World of Hyatt Credit Card Summary
The World of Hyatt Credit Card is exceptional. It’s a card I have, and also a card I spend at least $15,000 on per year.
The card is worth having even if you don’t plan on putting spending on it — you get an anniversary free night certificate you can use at a hotel that costs significantly more than the annual fee, you get complimentary Discoverist status, and you get five elite nights towards a higher status tier.
Beyond that it can be worth putting spending on the card, thanks to the unique bonus categories (4x points on Hyatt stays and 2x points on fitness and gyms), as well as the additional elite nights and second free night certificate.
I’m a huge fan of this card. I’d argue there has never been a better time to pick up this card, thanks to the 5 elite nights you can get for 2021 if you pick up this card, combined with the significantly reduced requirements for earning Globalist status this year.