Posted in Credit Cards and Loyalty Programs

The World of Hyatt Credit Card – Our First Anniversary Review

Hyatt hotels are great places to stay and a good value whether you are booking paid stays or award nights. They have a mix of property types that offer a price range for every budget.

For example, Hyatt has 3 different property options in Waikiki.

Several years ago I signed up for the Hyatt Loyalty program which allowed me to earn points on all of our stays. But I soon realized that I could be earning points toward award nights much faster with the addition of a World of Hyatt credit card. So when the time was right last year, we pulled the trigger and signed up.

Perks, Points, and Possibilities

Signup Bonus

The World of Hyatt credit card has a wonky two-tier signup bonus that requires you to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months to earn 30,000 points. Then you can receive up to 30,000 additional points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent. Zoinks, this one is a bit tricky to navigate.

Using the Hyatt Waikiki example, those 60,000 points could get you 5 nights at the Hyatt Place, 4 nights at the Hyatt Centric, or 3 nights at the Hyatt Regency.

Although I wish they would simplify their offer, we carefully navigated through the cumbersome process and earned the full 60,000 points plus qualified for a Free Night Certificate. We immediately applied our points to a 5-night stay at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. Definitely worth the effort. This was our first win with the new card.

The World of Hyatt credit card has a $95 annual fee. This is typical for travel reward credit cards. The card includes some solid benefits.

  • Discoverist Status
    • Late Check Out up to 2pm
    • Room Upgrades
    • Waived Resort/Amenity Fees
  • Anniversary Free Night at a category 1 – 4 property
  • Additional Free Night for every $15,000 in spend on the card during the calendar year

I always try to get as much bang for my buck as I can from hotel Free Night Certificates. We just used the certificate that we earned during our signup because it was getting close to its expiration. Our stay at the Thompson Hotel in Chicago would have cost $440 for the room rate plus tax and a $17 Amenities Fee. I would say that $460 is a pretty good value!

Earning Points

One of the most important things when opening a travel reward credit card is knowing you will be able to earn plenty of points to use toward award stays. This card doesn’t have high points categories but it does have a few unique places to earn points.

  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent for local transit and commuting
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent for flights purchased directly from the airline
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on fitness clubs and gym memberships
  • 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent for wherever life takes you
  • 9 points total per $1 spent for Hyatt stays including restaurants and spas
    • 4 Bonus Points per $1 you spend with your card
    • 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member

I like to use this card for Bus or Train passes, Street or Airport Parking and to pay for Hyatt Hotel stays. I can get more points with other cards on most of the other 1-2 point categories. Except when there is a points promotion.

Bonus Points Promotions

One of the ways that we have been able to quickly build our points balance has been to sign up for quarterly bonus point promotions found at the Chase My Bonus link. These promotions aren’t really advertised and usually start at the beginning of each quarter. These secret bonus offers can be found for most Chase credit cards. I check all of our Chase cards each quarter to see if any of them qualify. I am not sure how Chase makes their determination, but not all cards will qualify for a bonus points promotion every quarter and the bonus points and categories can differ from month to month.

We are currently registered for one of these promotions where we earn a 5-point bonus on up to $1500 of purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants through 6/30/23. During these promotions, we redesignate our gas and grocery spending to the World of Hyatt card (or whichever other card qualifies) to boost our points on hand.

If I spend an average of $100 on every grocery trip, I could earn an extra 2,000 points per month during the promotion on groceries alone. With some awards as low as 5,000 to 8,000 points per night, it would be easy to earn enough points for an award night during one of these quarterly promotions.

Bonus Journeys

The Bonus Journeys promotions are not that exciting to me, but I always register for them just in case. I don’t go out of my way to try to earn these points unless I am already going to be staying at a Hyatt during the Bonus Journeys promotion. Recently when we planned a trip to Chicago for 2 nights, I split the nights at 2 different hotels in order to qualify for the 3,000 Bonus Journeys points.

Brand Explorer Challenge

World of Hyatt Members (with or without the credit card) can earn a Free Night Certificated by completing the Brand Explorer Challenge. After you stay at 5 different hotel types under the Hyatt property umbrella, you earn a Free Night. The good news is this is an ongoing promotion and once you have earned a check for a property it does not expire. For instance, the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House checks on this account were both earned in 2019 and the Hyatt Residence Club was in 2021. The bad news is if you stay at the same hotel type frequently you will only get a check for the first stay there.

On our recent Chicago trip, my husband checked the box for 2 different property types. We now both have 3 of the 5 needed for a Free Night Certificate. The reason we have 2 accounts is that I often travel without him and it makes sense for me to have a separate membership. Hopefully this year we will both complete our challenges giving us 2 more Free Night Certificates.

Final Thoughts

During our first year with the World of Hyatt credit card, we worked hard to earn the full signup bonus and took advantage of several bonus points promotions in order to steadily build our points bank. Combining that with other Hyatt promotions and a knowledge of their loyalty program we have been able to earn even more points and Free Night Certificates. Since the number of points required for an award stay at Hyatt Hotels is very reasonable, we have already been able to redeem them for great stays in Waikiki and Chicago.

I am happy that we chose to add the World of Hyatt credit card to our Travel Rewards Tool Box because it provides great value for $95 per year. I look forward to the next great hotel stay we will be able to book with it this year.

Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure!