Hyatt Credit Card $15K First Year Sweet Spot

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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In 2018 we saw the introduction of The World of Hyatt Credit Card. This is one of my favorite hotel credit cards thanks to its great welcome bonus, perks just for having the card, and ongoing rewards for spending.

World Of Hyatt Credit Card Benefits

One of the reasons I consider this card to be so well thought out is because Chase and Hyatt created a card that’s not just worth keeping for the perks, but that’s also worth spending money on.

In my experience it’s often one or the other — some cards are worth keeping for the perks but not worth spending on, while other cards are worth spending on but don’t otherwise offer many perks.

Perks For Having The Hyatt Card

The World of Hyatt Card offers several great perks just for having the card, including:

I’ve used my Category 1-4 free night certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon

Perks For Spending Money On The Hyatt Card

Beyond the perks for just having the card (which more than justify the annual fee, in my opinion), The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers the following incentives for spending:

  • Two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card, which can help you towards earning Globalist status
  • A second Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in a cardmember year
  • 4x points for spending at Hyatt hotels and resorts, and 2x points on dining at restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, on fitness club and gym memberships, and on local transit and commuting, including ridesharing services

Globalist members receive suite upgrades, subject to availability

The $15,000 First Year Sweet Spot

While different people will value spending money on this card differently, it is worth explicitly calling out the sweet spot that exists for spending at least $15,000 on the card per year, especially the first year.

The 50K Welcome Bonus

The World of Hyatt Credit Card currently offers a welcome bonus of up to 50,000 bonus points:

  • Earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months
  • Earn another 25,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 within the first six months

To earn the full welcome bonus you need to spend $6,000 within the first six months. That’s a reasonable spend requirement when you consider that only $3,000 has to be spent within the first three months, so you just need to spend an average of $1,000 per month for six months.

Redeem Hyatt points at Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman

Category 1-4 Free Night Certificate

Just about everyone is going to want to spend at least $6,000 to earn the full bonus, but then you’re already 40% of the way towards the spend threshold for earning a Category 1-4 free night certificate (in addition to the one you’ll get on your account anniversary every year).

Ordinarily a Category 4 hotel would cost 15,000 points per night, so spending an incremental $9,000 would get you a night at one of those hotels.

Keep in mind that the value of this certificate is potentially increasing as of March 2020, as Hyatt is introducing peak and off-peak award pricing. With these changes, a Category 4 property would cost:

  • 12,000 points during off-peak period
  • 15,000 points during standard period
  • 18,000 points during peak period

Now, whether or not you actually want to value that free night certificate at up to 18,000 points is up to you. Given the lack of flexibility (you have to redeem at exactly a Category 4 to maximize value, it’s only valid for a year, etc.), some might apply a discount to valuing it.

However, if you’re able to get full value out of it, spending $9,000 on the card would earn you 9,000 World of Hyatt points, plus a certificate worth up to 18,000 points, which could be well worth it. That’s a value of up to 27,000 points, which is the equivalent of up to 3x Hyatt points per dollar spent, which I’d consider to be excellent.

That assumes you’re not spending in the categories that are eligible for 2-4x points, in which case you’d be earning even more points.

The Park Hyatt Istanbul is a Category 4 property

Six Additional Elite Nights

For spending $15,000 on the card in a year you’d earn six elite qualifying nights towards status, in addition to the five you earn annually just for having the card. That’s a total of 11 elite nights per year.

To some people that may be worth hundreds of dollars, and to others that may be worth zero. In my case that helps me requalify for Globalist status.

The Hyatt Card helps me earn Globalist status

Spending $15,000 In Subsequent Years

For what it’s worth, I picked up this card in 2018, and spent $15,000 within the first cardmember year. I received my additional Category 1-4 free night certificate in March 2019.

Now my strategy remains the same — I always spend money on this card towards the beginning of the year. My cardmember year (for the purposes of earning the Category 1-4 free night award) ends in March, but I am waiting to spend because I’d rather get the additional elite nights from spending for this year.

I didn’t need them last year, since I had already qualified. So that means by spending $15,000 on the card in the next couple of months I’ll start the year with 11 elite nights with Hyatt (the five you get just for having the card, plus an additional six for spending).

Bottom Line

Overall I think hotel credit cards are incredibly underrated, since they can be worth holding onto just for the perks they offer, if nothing else. There aren’t that many hotel credit cards that are actually worth spending money on, though The World of Hyatt Credit Card is an exception.

In addition to the big welcome bonus and ongoing perks offered by the card, it can also be worth spending money on the card, both to earn a free night certificate, and to spend your way towards Globalist status.

This is exactly what I’ve done, for example — I spent $15,000 on the card in the first year I had it, and am doing the same for the second year.

While it’s especially worthwhile to spend that much in the first year (given the bonus, which requires $6,000 of spending), I think the value proposition is also there in subsequent years.

If you have The World of Hyatt Credit Card, how much spend are you putting on the card in the first year?

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  1. Lucky I have a question which I cannot find the answer to.

    If I have the $75 Hyatt credit card for 3-4 years now, can I apply for this one and get the bonus or is this considered the same product as the $75 card?

    I know with the IHG card, you pointed out you can have both cards. The $49 and the $89 card. I did that and I still hold on to both cards. Does Hyatt work the same as IHG or not?


  2. @ Izz — Unfortunately you can’t have both. Here are the relevant terms:
    “The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Hyatt Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Hyatt Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.”

    So you can either product change, or if you have the other card you could cancel it and then in the future get this card, assuming you haven’t received the bonus on the other card in the past 24 months.

  3. Question on the 15K spend in the card member year. Where can I find where my card member year ends (on the Hyatt or Chase site), and while the card member year applies to the extra category 1-4 free night does it also apply to the incremental 2 elite qualifying nights for every 5K in spend? Or does the elite qualifying nights spend reset at the calendar year?

  4. @ Josh — It’s not all that easy to figure out, unfortunately. The best way is to just look at when you were billed your last annual fee, which coincides with a new cardmember year. The elite nights posting has nothing to do with the cardmember year, but rather it’s just ongoing — for every $5,000 you spend you get two elite nights, and that doesn’t reset during the calendar or cardmember year.

  5. I really like this card, and completely agree that it’s worth holding for ongoing spend. I appreciate that the extra free night is good for a year. Since I travel for work nearly every week, this gives me time to use it on a personal trip. One thing I do find annoying is the 1-4 cert given at 30 nights and 1-7 given at 60 nights are both only good for 6 months. I’m not going to be able to use the 1-4 this time around….which is a bummer.

  6. Well it’s not 27k points. If unbonused spend its 9k points and a cat 4 cert that maybe you get 18k point value out of maybe you don’t. A straight 27k points would be much much better.

  7. While not specific to having the card one can also get a free cat 1-4 certificate for every 5 different brands. Relatively easy to get to at least 5 of the most common brands. That certificate, the annual with the card and the 15k spend night can get someone 3 nights. Plus when you reach 30 nights there’s another night and a cat 7 at 60 nights. Really the card is a perfect pairing to this program.

  8. @Wendy

    An elite night is an elite qualifying night. We need to earn 60 elite qualifying nights (mainly butt in bed at the hotel) to make the highest status with Hyatt (Globalist). But just for having this card, they give you 5 of these. You can get 6 more on top of that by following Lucky’s advice above- meaning you would only need 49 butt in bed nights.

  9. Chase is targeting some WOH members for 70k point sign up bonuses – 35k after $5k spend in first 3 months and another 35k after a total spend of $10k in the first 6 months. The remaining $5k spend in the last 6 months is a no brainer

  10. Can you apply for the WOH card without cancelling the original card and then cancel it upon approval? Would this mean that he would get denied first and have to call the reconsideration line to get approval as they could help him cancel his old card? My husband will be under 5/24 for the first time in a long time. I’m a bit worried about cancelling his card without approval for the WOH card. Or can he cancel his old card and ask to be reinstated if he doesn’t get approved for the WOH card? How long do you have to reinstate a Chase card and is it a sure thing? Thanks for your help!!!

  11. We both have Hyatt , Wyndham, Hilton, Choice , IHG CCs since 2014. BWR since 2019.
    I finished most travel booking for 2020.
    I just booked 5 free nights in April at Nashville Hyatt House (class 3).
    We are attending a William Henry seminar and touring the area.
    Save $2800 with 2 free night awards and 36000 pts (12000/night) .
    Just had to book 4 reservations to make it work but no problem on web site.
    Save $ 530 with 2 free nights 30000 points Wyndham great smokies lodge near Dollywood .
    Save $ 600 4 nights with points plus night free Hilton Albany NY .
    Save $ 400 2 nights with 60000 points Niagara on the lake Best western.

  12. Great article…When you spend the $15K, does the ‘free night’ automatically deposit? Or do you need to wait for your anniversary to get the ‘anniversary night’ and the ‘free night’?

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