Hyatt Credit Card $15K First Year Sweet Spot

Hyatt Credit Card $15K First Year Sweet Spot

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The World of Hyatt Credit Card (review) is one of my favorite hotel credit cards, as there are rewards just for having the card, and also a significant incentive to spend money on the card. This is the hotel credit card that I spend the most on every year, so in this post I wanted to share why.

World of Hyatt Credit Card benefits

One of the reasons I consider the World of Hyatt Credit 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:

The Hyatt Regency Dusseldorf is a Category 4 property

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 toward earning Globalist status
  • A second Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year
  • 4x points for spending at Hyatt properties, 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 World of Hyatt Credit Card $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.

Welcome bonus of up to 60K points

The World of Hyatt Credit Card currently offers a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 World of Hyatt points:

  • Earn 30,000 World of Hyatt bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
  • Earn one additional World of Hyatt bonus point per dollar on purchases that earn one point per dollar on up to $15,000 spent in the first six months from account opening, for up to an additional 30,000 points

To earn the full welcome bonus you need to spend $15,000 within the first six months. That’s a big spending requirement, though on a monthly basis it should be manageable for many.

Redeem World of Hyatt points at Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman

Category 1-4 free night certificate

If you get the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’re probably going to want to spend $15,000 to earn the full bonus, if you can. If you’re going to spend $15,000, then you’re going to get a ton of value beyond that, as you’ll also earn an anniversary Category 1-4 free night certificate (assuming the spending is within a calendar year).

Ordinarily, a Category 4 hotel would cost 12,000-18,000 points per night (with Hyatt’s peak and off-peak pricing), so spending that $15,000 would get you a night at one of those hotels.

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.

The Wellem Dusseldorf is a Category 4 property

Six additional elite nights

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

I love having Hyatt Globalist status, which requires earning 60 elite nights per year. Elite nights earned with credit cards certainly make it easier to earn this status. Also keep in mind that even if you’d otherwise earn status, earning additional elite nights can help you reach the next Milestone Rewards threshold, which could get you valuable perks like suite upgrade awards.

The World of Hyatt Card is useful for earning status

Spending $15,000 in subsequent years

For what it’s worth, I picked up the World of Hyatt Credit Card in 2018, and have spent $15,000 on the card ever year since. I find this to be well worth it for the anniversary free night award and six additional elite nights.

Best of all, much of the spending I put on the card is at Hyatt properties, where I’m earning 4x points, so there’s not really any opportunity cost to that spending. As long as the card’s benefits remain unchanged, I’ll be putting $15,000 on this card for as long as I can.

What about the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card?

In addition to the World of Hyatt Credit Card, there’s also the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card (review), which was more recently introduced. How does the incentive to spend on that card compare?

  • The business version of the card has a more generous welcome bonus with a smaller spending requirement, so if you’re looking for a great bonus, that card is for you
  • The business version of the card doesn’t give you the chance to earn any Category 1-4 free night awards, so that’s a major benefit of the personal card
  • While the business version of the card doesn’t give you any elite nights just for being a cardmember, it racks up elite nights with spending faster than the personal card — you earn five elite nights for every $10,000 spent, which comes out to one elite night for every $2,000 spent (compared to one elite night for every $2,500 spent on the personal card)

Long story short, I think it’s much more compelling to spend $15,000 per year on the personal card than the business card. That being said, if you’re a bigger spender in Hyatt’s card portfolio, the business card will earn you elite nights at a faster pace.

Redeem Hyatt points at Alila Hinu Bay

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 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 toward Globalist status.

This is exactly what I do — by spending $15,000 on the card per year I earn an extra Category 1-4 free night certificate, plus a total of 11 elite nights.

If you have the World of Hyatt Credit Card, how much spending do you typically put on the card annually?

Conversations (11)
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  1. GeorgeBrown12 Member

    Two things. Just a helpful note, my kids' summer camp must have registered as a 'fitness club' or 'gym' because I earned double points. Also, it's just a free Cat 4 cert for the first $15k in spend and not subsequent $15k spending, right?

  2. Roy Thompson Guest

    I am a little confused, can you still earn extra credit on when staying at a Hyatt if you are using points?

  3. Andy Guest

    I always get confused by the $15k spend requirement on whether it is based off the new calendar year or from when you opened your hyatt card account? It feels like there are conflicting information out there regarding this, can anyone confirm which it is?

    1. GeorgeBrown12 Member

      My understanding (and experience) is that the $15k spend is relative to the calendar year (starts at $0 on 1 January). However, the elite nights for each $5k in spend roll through calendar years (eg I spent $4k in Dec 2021, and then $1k in January 2022 and received two elite night credits for 2022, despite only spending $1k in 2022).

  4. Keith S. Guest

    I was just giving some thought to this as well. I already had a WoH card (highly recommended for all the reasons you say), and recently got a WoH Business Card (prompted mostly by your blog - thanks!)

    I travel only a modest amount for work and pleasure, but the WoH card has helped me supplement my status in order to obtain and keep Globalist for years, which I treasure for its value. To maximize...

    I was just giving some thought to this as well. I already had a WoH card (highly recommended for all the reasons you say), and recently got a WoH Business Card (prompted mostly by your blog - thanks!)

    I travel only a modest amount for work and pleasure, but the WoH card has helped me supplement my status in order to obtain and keep Globalist for years, which I treasure for its value. To maximize this, I'm planning to adopt this plan next year:

    1. Spend $15K on the WoH card until I get the Cat 1-4 free night and those 6 status nights.
    2. Switch to WoH Business card to attain remaining status nights faster.
    3. Once I've spent enough to reach Globalist status, taking into account any remaining hotel stays planned through the end of the CY (usually around fall), I switch all my non-Hyatt spending to my airline credit card.

    I was already doing step 1 and 3, but I think the introduction of #2 will get me to #3 sooner.

  5. Willem Guest

    Any way to easily tell how much you’ve spent in a calendar year?

    1. Steve Diamond

      Extremely easy, go to spending report on your online chase account, it sorts by month but also has a year-to-date feature. It takes 5 seconds to see where you stand!

  6. Jack from Maine Guest

    Hi Ben,

    Why wouldn't I just put the $15K spend on the, e.g., Freedom Unlimited, and get 22.5K of points I could transfer to Hyatt for an even higher Category room? Also, the points would remain transferable if I wanted to use them for something other than Hyatt.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Jack from Maine -- For spending $15K on the Hyatt Card after the first year you'd earn a minimum of 15K World of Hyatt points plus a Category 1-4 free night award, which could be redeemed at a property costing up to 18,000 points. On top of that, you'd get an incremental six elite nights toward status.

      I'd value that significantly more than 22.5K Chase Ultimate Rewards points, even though they're more flexible. That's...

      @ Jack from Maine -- For spending $15K on the Hyatt Card after the first year you'd earn a minimum of 15K World of Hyatt points plus a Category 1-4 free night award, which could be redeemed at a property costing up to 18,000 points. On top of that, you'd get an incremental six elite nights toward status.

      I'd value that significantly more than 22.5K Chase Ultimate Rewards points, even though they're more flexible. That's not even factoring in that you'd get even more value with spending that much in the first year, as that would also qualify toward the welcome bonus.

    2. Chris C Guest

      Hey,

      You didn’t ask me, but I’ve been thinking about this too! But I think it’s really about 2 things.
      1. He says most of his $15k in spend is with Hyatt anyways, so the difference in earning those points is less of a factor.
      2. In spending (nonbonus categories) $15k on the card, you’d get 6 elite night credits, 15k Hyatt points, AND the free night certificate.
      But I know for...

      Hey,

      You didn’t ask me, but I’ve been thinking about this too! But I think it’s really about 2 things.
      1. He says most of his $15k in spend is with Hyatt anyways, so the difference in earning those points is less of a factor.
      2. In spending (nonbonus categories) $15k on the card, you’d get 6 elite night credits, 15k Hyatt points, AND the free night certificate.
      But I know for me personally, I don’t spend nearly that much with Hyatt each year, and there’s only so much other spend to go around. I think I’d only shoot for that spend if I’m planning a big award stay or if I’m going to make a run for status that year.

    3. Steve Diamond

      Im in same boat i dont spend anywhere near 15k on hyatt and likely wont requalify for globalist. The extra cat1-4 is nice but some years i get big value from it and others i just use before they expire. I think you have to look personally on if the opportunity cost of using a hyatt card on none bonus spend is worth it on a certain 1-4 redemption. If you can get a good...

      Im in same boat i dont spend anywhere near 15k on hyatt and likely wont requalify for globalist. The extra cat1-4 is nice but some years i get big value from it and others i just use before they expire. I think you have to look personally on if the opportunity cost of using a hyatt card on none bonus spend is worth it on a certain 1-4 redemption. If you can get a good $350+ redemption quite easily then it makes sense to put things like dining on 1x hyatt card vs 3x CSR. If you use hyatt nights on free 100-200 stays then the 15k spend isnt a big deal and i wouldnt shoot for it.

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GeorgeBrown12 Member

My understanding (and experience) is that the $15k spend is relative to the calendar year (starts at $0 on 1 January). However, the elite nights for each $5k in spend roll through calendar years (eg I spent $4k in Dec 2021, and then $1k in January 2022 and received two elite night credits for 2022, despite only spending $1k in 2022).

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GeorgeBrown12 Member

Two things. Just a helpful note, my kids' summer camp must have registered as a 'fitness club' or 'gym' because I earned double points. Also, it's just a free Cat 4 cert for the first $15k in spend and not subsequent $15k spending, right?

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Roy Thompson Guest

I am a little confused, can you still earn extra credit on when staying at a Hyatt if you are using points?

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