Hyatt Credit Cards
50,000 Hyatt points. 25,000 points with $3,000 initial spend, plus an additional 25,000 points if you spend a total of $6,000 during the first six months.There is an alternative offer of 2 free night plus a $50 statement credit. You get 1 night with $3,000 initial spend, and a second free night with a total of $6,000 over the first six months. If you know you can use your nights at a Category 6-7 hotel, this might be a better deal, but 50,000 points are a lot more flexible. Offer link.
$2,000 initial spend
($650 net value, .33/$)Signup Bonus Chart
4x Hyatt Purchases (≈6.8%)
2x Restaurants (≈3.4%)
2x Airline Tickets and local transit (≈3.4%)
2x Fitness Club and Gym Memberships (≈3.4%)
1x Everywhere Else (≈1.7%)
No Foreign Transaction Fee
The Hyatt card has a nice signup bonus. In addition, many people may be interested in holding onto the card for the annual free night certificate (and automatic Hyatt low-level status) or even spending $15,000 on the card every year to earn a second free night certificate each year.
If you stay at Hyatt on a very frequent basis, the ability to use credit card spending to close the gap towards a higher Hyatt elite status level can be indispensable.
Because it is hard to use credit card travel benefits during the pandemic, Chase has made some temporary changes to their cards.
- You'll earn 3x Hyatt points (5.1%) on up to $1,500 per month of grocery store purchases in May and June.
- Any Hyatt certifictes that would have expired between March 1st and the end of the year will be good until the end of 2021.
- You get extra elite status nights for all your spending in May and June. With the World of Hyatt card, you get 3 elite status nights for every $5,000. With the older card, you'll receive 2.
Hyatt Credit Card Options
Hyatt launched a revised version of the Hyatt credit card in 2018, but existing cardholders can stick to the older version of the card.
The previous version of the card has a $75 fee (rather than $95). But it doesn't give you the option of earning the second free night certificate, provide bonus points on fitness club or gym memberships (or local transit and commuting), or earn additional qualifying nights.
If you have the old card and are interested in potentially spending $15,000 to earn an additional free night certificate during a year, it is worth upgrading to the new card. Otherwise, you are usually better off keeping your existing card and paying $20 less per year.
If you want to upgrade and you have the Chase slot, you would be be better off cancelling your card and re-applying. However, there is no guarantee you will be reapproved.
You should be able to get values of more than 1.7 cents per point on many Hyatt award bookings and you can sometimes get much more on particularly good redemptions (when rates are higher than normal). How Much are Hotel Points Worth?
Hyatt points are so valuable because they require far fewer points for an award night than the other major hotel programs. For example, an award night at a comparable hotel would typically cost 15,000 Hyatt points, 50,000 Hilton points, or 35,000 Marriott points. The main drawback is that Hyatt has far fewer participating hotels.
Collecting the Signup Bonus
- It is worth signing up for this card just to collect the signup bonus. The typical signup bonus is 40,000 Hyatt points, valued at $680 (at 1.7 cents per point). After subtracting the annual fee and the opportunity cost of using the card for $2,000 of spending, the calculated net value for the initial year is $650 (33 cents per dollar spent). Your value may be higher or lower, depending on how much you value Hyatt Points. How Much are Hotel Points Worth?.
- It is difficult to collect the signup bonus a 2nd time, because of the Chase 5/24 rule. Normally, you are eligible for a Chase signup bonus, if you haven't already earned the bonus from the same card during the last two years. However, due to the Chase 5/24 rule, if you've been signing up for other cards, you won't be able to get approved when you reapply. You'll need get under the 5/24 limit before you can earn the bonus again. Dealing with the Chase 5/24 Rule.
Free Night Certificates
- You'll receive a free night certificate every you renew the Hyatt card. Certificates can be used at Category 1-4 hotels (out of 7). This corresponds to hotels that cost up to 15,000 Hyatt points per night (or 18,000 points on peak nights). Hyatt Free Night Certificates.
- You'll qualify for a second certificate as soon as you spend $15,000 during a calendar year. The opportunity cost of earning the second certificate is around $100-120. So if you are holding onto the card, sure you will be able to use both certificates, and capable of using the card for $15,000 in spending, it is usually worthwhile to go for the second certificate.
- Hyatt certificates will typically get you a room at a solid hotel. Most cities have nice and well-located Hyatt-branded hotels is in category 4 (or lower) and these hotels are often nicer than available options with a Marriott or IHG certificate. But unfortunately, there are a relatively small number of hotels in the Hyatt program, so there may not be a good option where you want to go.
Hyatt is transitioning from a cardholder year to a calendar year basis for their certificate. Existing cardholders will have till their 2021 anniversary date to spend $15,000 to earn their last cardholder year certificate. They will then have an opportunity to earn yet another certificate by spending $15,000 between their anniversary and the end of the calendar year.
Earning Elite Qualifying Nights
The Hyatt card comes with free Hyatt Discoverist (low level) status.
- You also receive 5 qualifying nights that can make it easier to earn higher-level status.
- Plus, for every $5,000 you spend on the card, you earn an additional 2 qualifying nights. So, if you spend $15,000 to earn the card's second free night certificate, you'll earn an additional 6 qualifying nights, for a total of 11. This can make it substantially easier to get to the 30 qualifying nights it takes to qualify for Explorist (mid-level) status, which entitles you to 4 club lounge access certificates, better room upgrades, and other benefits. Hyatt Status Benefits.
- You can spend yourself all the way to the valuable Globalist elite status level, which comes with guaranteed suite upgrades, unlimited club lounge access, and other lucrative benefits. Globalist requires 60 nights. So, you could get there simply by spending $140,000 on the Hyatt card. Of course, you are likely to earn at least some qualifying nights through paid or award stays, so you wouldn't need to spend the entire amount.
- Most people aren't going to want to earn Hyatt status primarily through credit card spending. Every qualifying night ($2,500 of spending) has an opportunity cost of around $20 on everyday expenses and even more on bonus categories. Similarly, the cost of using a bill payment service is around $20 more than the value of the Hyatt points you would earn. So, qualifying for Explorist strictly through spending would "cost" around $500 and qualifying for Globalist would cost around $1,100. And this is assuming you have some way to actually generate this high level of spending.
- But if you are already staying at Hyatt on a semi-frequent basis, the credit card can be a great way to close the gap to the next status level. For example, if you are already spending 40 nights per year with Hyatt, you would "only" need to spend $45,000 with the card to qualify for "Globalist" status, which would have an opportunity cost of around $320. Some of the spending would be for Hyatt stays and not generate any opportunity costs. And the benefits you'd receive would accrue for all those nights, delivering a large amount of value.
Other Notable Benefits
- Hyatt Discoverist elite status. Entitles you to a preferred room (upon availability), late checkout, enhanced internet service, and a bottle of water. Unfortunately, the card doesn't provide any boost towards the much more interesting Explorist and Globalist status levels. Hyatt Status Benefits.
- 1 Hyatt point for every dollar spent on American. This is technically an additional benefit of the Discoverist status you get with the card.
- Access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. As with all Visa Signature cards, you'll get access to Visa's luxury hotel program. Whenever you book one of the 900+ participating hotels, you'll receive a set of valuable benefits, including free breakfast, late check-out, and a $25 food and beverage credit. The Visa program has slightly weaker benefits than the other luxury hotel programs, but includes a larger number of more affordable hotel options and a best price guarantee. Take Advantage of Luxury Hotel Programs for Valuable Extra Perks.
- Access to Visa Signature Offers. Your card entitles you to a set of special offers available from Visa.
- The Hyatt card earns the most valuable rewards on Hyatt stays. 4x Hyatt points are probably more valuable than what you can earn with any other card. The Amex Platinum Card and some Chase cards earn 5x transferable points, but only for prepaid rooms purchased through their website. The Citi Prestige Card earns 5x ThankYou points for purchases from online travel agencies. It is usually a better deal to book directly at Hyatt using the Hyatt card. However, if you highly valuable premium cabin award travel and/or you prefer to earn more more flexible points, you might prefer to earn rewards with another card. Best Credit Cards for Travel Spending.
- There are better options for your restaurant, airfare, and car rental purchases. 2x Hyatt points are more valuable than what you would get from a good general-purpose reward card, but you can earn even more valuable rewards with other cards. Best Credit Cards for Restaurant Spending. Best Credit Cards for Travel Spending.
- The Hyatt card is one of the only cards to earn bonus points on fitness club and gym memberships. If you have this card, you should almost certainly use it for these payments. The only other options are some of the "choose your own category cards". Credit Cards that Offer Bonus Rewards on Less Common Categories.
- You don't want to use this card for your everyday spending. You'll earn higher rewards from a good general-purpose reward card. Get a Great General Purpose Reward Card and Use It for All of Your Spending.
Getting Rid of the Card
- You can cancel without worrying about losing your Hyatt points. Once you earn them, they are treated like any other points in your Hyatt account.. Any unused certificates are safe as well.
- There are no product change options for the World of Hyatt Card. However, you can do a one-way conversion from the older Hyatt card.
- You can wait to cancel your card until after the annual fee shows up on your statement. As long as you cancel within 30 days of the statement closing date, Chase will refund the fee.
- Unfortunately, you usually won't receive your new Hyatt Free Night Certificate before the cancellation deadline has passed.
- Chase doesn't make retention offers. Unless something has changed, you don't need to bother checking.
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