Is The Hyatt Credit Card Worth The Annual Fee?

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Last summer the welcome bonus on The Hyatt Credit Card was modified, as they went from offering a welcome bonus of a fixed number of free nights to offering bonus points upon completing minimum spend. In light of this modified welcome bonus, I figured it made sense to look at the overall value proposition of this card, especially in light of the new World of Hyatt program.

Hyatt Credit Card welcome bonus

The Hyatt Credit Card is offering a welcome bonus of 40,000 World of Hyatt bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first three months. On top of that, the card offers a further bonus of 5,000 World of Hyatt points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within the first three months.

In total that means you can earn 45,000 World of Hyatt bonus points. I value those points at ~1.5 cents each, meaning that the bonus is worth up to $675.

Note that the welcome bonus isn’t available to those who currently have the card, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the card in the past 24 months. However, if you’ve had the card in the past (but don’t anymore) and haven’t received a bonus on it in the past 24 months, you should be eligible.

Also note that this card isn’t subjected to the “5/24 rule,” meaning that you can be approved even if you’ve opened five or more new cards in the past 24 months. This is one of the few Chase cards not subjected to this rule, along with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card and IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card.

45,000 points is enough for nine nights at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Hyatt Credit Card annual fee

The Hyatt Credit Card has a reasonable $75 annual fee. As I’ll explain below, I think most people will find that to be worthwhile.

Hyatt Credit Card annual free night certificate

My single favorite benefit of this card is that it offers an annual free night certificate valid at any Category 1-4 World of Hyatt property. This covers a majority of Hyatt properties worldwide, and almost all of them retail for over $75 per night (which is the card’s annual fee). For example, this past year I used my certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon, where I got a gorgeous suite upgrade as a Globalist. The paid rate at this hotel would have been over $300 for the one night stay.

The certificate is issued on your cardmember anniversary every year, and it’s valid for a year from when it’s issued. Even if you’re not a Hyatt loyalist, almost everyone should be able to get value out of that, in my opinion.

The way I see it, this benefit became even more valuable this year, as stays booked using free night certificates now count towards status, so redeeming this certificate will help you requalify for your World of Hyatt status.

Last year I used my annual free night certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon

Hyatt Credit Card elite status benefits

Having The Hyatt Credit Card can help you with earning Discoverist and Explorist status with Hyatt:

  • You receive Discoverist status for as long as you have the card
  • You receive Explorist status when you spend $50,000 or more on purchases on the card in a calendar year

Discoverist status gets you the following perks:

  • A 10% points bonus
  • Premium internet
  • A complimentary bottle of water
  • Priority check-in
  • 2PM late check-out
  • A preferred room within the category booked

Explorist status gets you the following perks:

  • A 20% points bonus
  • Upgrade to the best available room, excluding suites
  • Four club lounge passes annually, valid for a stay of up to seven nights on eligible rates or when redeeming points for free night awards

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong club lounge

Unfortunately the credit card no longer gets you any incremental benefit if you’re going for top tier status. Still, having some status with Hyatt just for having the credit card is better than nothing, and some may find it worthwhile to put spend on the card to earn mid-tier status.

Hyatt Credit Card promotions

On top of the published benefits of The Hyatt Credit Card there are some other perks that are potentially valuable. Specifically, Hyatt seems to offer several promotions per year for cardmembers. While there’s no guarantee we’ll see the same promotions in the future, in the past year we’ve seen:

Again, we don’t know what these promotions will look like in the future, but if history is any indictor, there will continue to be some great promotions intended to engage cardmembers.

Earning World of Hyatt points is easy

There’s something to be said for accruing a points currency where you can easily top off your account in order to maximize your points. After all, sometimes you don’t earn enough points for a redemption, and need to find a way to earn more points. One big advantage of the World of Hyatt program is that you can transfer over points from Chase Ultimate Rewards, which can be earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Whether you transfer over points with the purpose of going for Globalist status, or for a redemption at the Park Hyatt Maldives (or both), there’s value in accruing a points currency that you can easily top off.

The Park Hyatt Maldives can be booked for just 25,000 points per night

Bottom line

I’ve had The Hyatt Credit Card for years and don’t have plans to cancel it anytime soon, given how much value I get. The card has a generous welcome bonus, and the way I see it the annual free night certificate more than justifies the annual fee, and it just became even more valuable, as it now counts towards status. But on top of that the card can help you earn status and also makes you eligible for some awesome potential cardmember-only promotions.

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  1. Please point to a single blog post over the years where you have said that the annual fees for a card is not worth it.

  2. Lucky – this is the second day in a row that you and Gary have posted about the same card (CSR yesterday, Hyatt today). Seems weird that you both are posting reviews of the same Chase cards, on back to back days, recommending them both. Has there been any encouragement or recent PR push from Chase to get bloggers to write about their cards recently?

  3. @k if you daily read all of these blogs especially from Lucky, you would have remember it, too. I also knew that Lucky cancelled it for various reasons without his pointing it out. Haha. By the way, Lucky would like to add four more cards and I agree with him about the Hilton ascend card being totally with it. Aspire is good, but Ascend is even better. Lucky will also cancel another card soon based on his recent post for it is not that worth it anymore.

  4. The only reason I would get this card is if it gave me qualifying nights, like the 15 I get on my Marriott card. Even if it was 5… heck 3 nights might get me. Hyatt should change that. Otherwise I am sure the math works but just don’t want another card.

  5. After I got my free annual night posted, I recently cancelled my card. After i cancelled, they did not take away the annual night from my Hyatt account. This is at year 2, so i did get a free night a year ago as well. The reason is because I dont have any Hyatt status and it felt like i was having to find somewhere to go use it. While i was able to use it during a vacation at a hotel that was $175 that night, i have too many other cards with annual fees as well and didn’t need another one. I will wait 2 years and see if a good bonus offer is out again and sign up then. If i was more of a Hyatt person, then i would probably have kept it.

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