Yesterday I spent some time at the Andaz 5th Avenue in New York learning first-hand about the new World of Hyatt-branded Chase credit card. As such, my hotel stay, lunch, and flights were covered by Hyatt so that I could participate in the discussion and report back to you all. I found that Hyatt and Chase have revamped the credit card so that it is worth both having and using. Here’s why.
Generous Welcome Offer
Some of you decided to pass on getting the Hyatt credit card when the sign-up bonus changed, providing only 40,000 bonus points instead of two free nights at any property back on June 29, 2017. (Forty thousand bonus points are only enough for one free night at some hotels.) You’ll be pleased with the new World of Hyatt credit card welcome bonus.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card now offers the following welcome bonus:
• 40,000 World of Hyatt bonus points after spending $3,000 within three months
• 20,000 additional World of Hyatt bonus points after spending $6,000 total within six months
World of Hyatt currently has 600+ properties divided into 7 categories of hotels, ranging from great-value Category 1 hotels like the Hyatt Regency Wichita to luxury Category 7 properties like the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
60,000 World of Hyatt points is enough to redeem for 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world, even those in the highest Category 7 properties that require 30,000 points per night.
The $6,000 spend required is triple that of the $2,000 within three months that was formerly required to earn the two free nights, but with 60,000 points you also have more options. Points are sometimes preferable to free nights since they don’t expire as quickly and can be used in more ways. For example, you can even redeem for 12 free nights at a Category 1 if that is your preference.
Annual Free Nights
The annual fee for the card goes up from $75 to $95 with the new World of Hyatt card, but you’ll get the opportunity to earn an additional free night. Here are the annual free night benefits via the press release:
Every year after your card member anniversary, you’ll get a free night award redeemable at any Category 1–4 hotel. Frankly, in my opinion, the free anniversary night is the best benefit of the Hyatt card in its current form, and continues to be a great benefit with the new World of Hyatt card. A free night can easily cost several hundred dollars, especially around popular travel dates or at desirable Hyatt properties. Getting a free night offers value that potentially makes up for the annual fee by itself. And, once a cardmember hits the $15,000 spend threshold each year, the additional Free Night Award will show up in the “Awards” section of the cardmember’s World of Hyatt account within 2-3 weeks of earning.
Perhaps the most attractive feature of the new World of Hyatt credit card is that it will help cardmembers earn elite status, even up to the top tier. This is something that the initial version of the Hyatt credit card offered, but that went away when Hyatt Gold Passport transformed into World of Hyatt.
Card members automatically get Discoverist status, which is the second tier in World of Hyatt membership that otherwise requires 10 qualifying nights. As a cardholder you’ll get five qualifying night credits, which count towards elite status. A valuable additional benefit is that for every $5,000 you spend on the card, you’ll also receive two qualifying night credits.
This is great in so many ways. With Hyatt’s fairly small footprint, maintaining Globalist status especially can be hard now that 55/60 nights are required rather than the 25 stays or 50 nights previously required. For those who need just a boost reaching the elite status level of choice, 5 qualifying nights can make all the difference. And, if you realize you’ll fall short of your desired status level for the year, you now have the option to get there with credit card spend.
Top tier Globalist status requires 60 nights per year but World of Hyatt cardholders would only need to earn 55 nights, as 5 night credits are given every year. Doing some quick math that means you could earn Globalist status with $137,500 spend on the credit card without staying a single night. If you currently have Globalist status, that number drops down even further to $125,000 as only 55 nights are required to re-qualify (and 5 night credits are given to cardholders). Of course, most cardholders interested in Globalist status will likely have a combination of nights + credit card spend.
In the past year there have been some Globalist fast-track promotions, where Globalist “lite” status was achieved that did not include all of the benefits of the standard Globalist status (such as the four confirmed suite night upgrades, and the ability to re-qualify for Globalist status after only 5 nights). I was concerned that earning status via World of Hyatt credit card spend might be similar in the way of benefits, so I asked Amy Weinberg, senior vice president with World of Hyatt, about Globalist status earned via credit card spend. To my relief, she confirmed that all the standard Globalist benefits would be included when earning status via World of Hyatt credit card spend, such as the suite night awards, free Category 1-7 night, access to My Hyatt Concierge, and the ability to re-qualify at 55 nights. Therefore, the status earned via credit card would not be “lite”.
Points Earning Opportunities
Here’s a look at the World of Hyatt credit card points earning opportunities at a glance, from the press release:
A key here is that World of Hyatt cardholders will earn 4 points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts, rather than the current 3 points per $1 spent on the current Hyatt card.
Those familiar with the current Hyatt credit card will notice that the 2 points per $1 spent earn option with car rental agencies goes away with the new World of Hyatt card. However, there are two new interesting additions for earning – fitness clubs/gym memberships, and local transit plus ride share services.
Wellness is an increasingly important focus for Hyatt as it is for many travelers. Whether you’re into ClassPass, SoulCycle, or just logging miles on your local gym treadmill, you’ll be earning Hyatt points at the same time as making wellness a priority. In the future there may even be some bonus opportunities focused in the well-being realm.
While it is obvious that gym memberships won’t accumulate a ton of points, if you use Uber or Lyft frequently I foresee that as a good opportunity especially now that Starwood has done away with their extra points earning partnership.
On the Fence about the World of Hyatt credit card?
Keep in mind that this card is not subject to Chase’s 5/24 policy, meaning that Chase does not limit approvals for this card to those with fewer than 5 new card accounts in the last 24 months.
Additionally, there will continue to be no foreign transaction fees and points don’t expire as long as the credit card account remains open.
Existing Hyatt Credit Cardmembers can upgrade to the new World of Hyatt Credit Card at any time, and for a limited time can earn 2,000 Bonus Points if approved for the new product. If you already have the Hyatt Credit Card and switch over to the new product, note that your current year to date spend would not count towards elite night credit with the new card.
The new World of Hyatt credit card is an attractive card for long-term Hyatt members. Good welcome bonus aside, the free annual nights, instant Discoverist status (which comes with complimentary premium internet, 2PM late check-out, a complimentary bottle of water), points earning opportunities, and the ability to earn status with credit card spend are all valuable and rewarding benefits.
I had been somewhat disappointed with the current Hyatt card as there was no path to higher elite status earning/requalification, so more often then not I saw the Hyatt card as one better to keep in the drawer rather than use it. I tended to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points via the Sapphire Reserve and transfer to Hyatt as the earning rate was the same and the Ultimate Rewards currency was more flexible than Hyatt points. With the new World of Hyatt card increased earn to 4 points per $1 spent plus the addition of higher elite status earning opportunities via spend, it is enough to move the needle on actually using the World of Hyatt card. can find a link to apply for the World of Hyatt Credit Card here.