How to Get the Most from the World of Hyatt Credit Card

If you can meet the spending milestones, you can maximize earning award nights and elite night credits.
Oct 1, 2021
How to Get the Most from the World of Hyatt Credit Card

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The World of Hyatt Credit Card packs a punch. Though it carries a $95 annual fee, this hotel credit card comes with an impressive lineup of perks that easily outweigh the fee if you can take advantage of them. Here’s how to get the most out of World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Earn the welcome bonus

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus 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. Those points can go a long way in booking a hotel award stay given that the lowest-priced rooms in the World of Hyatt program start at just 5,000 points per night. Of course, only charge that much to the card if you can pay off the balance in full each month. Otherwise, interest fees will likely defeat the purpose of earning free hotel nights.

Accumulate bonus points with strategic spending

You also earn points for every dollar spent on purchases, but some purchases pay more than others.

Always use this card for spending at Hyatt:You get an additional 4x points on spending at Hyatt hotels and resorts as a cardholder for a combined 9x point per dollar spent at Hyatt (thanks to the 5x points you already receive as a World of Hyatt member). This includes spending at some Hyatt partners including participating Small Luxury Hotels properties and Lindblad Expeditions experiences purchased through the World of Hyatt program.

Use it at gyms, and maybe other dining or travel, too: Cardmembers also earn 2 World of Hyatt points for every dollar spent at restaurants and on airfare purchased with the airline, local transit, gym memberships and FIND experiences through World of Hyatt. Few cards offer bonus rewards for gym spending, so this is card might come in handy especially for folks with fancy gym memberships.

All other purchases pay 1 point per dollar.

Use your free award night every year

One of the most valuable benefits of the World of Hyatt Credit Card is the free night award. Every year, you’ll get an award night at any Category 4 or lower World of Hyatt property, excluding Miraval, Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva properties. The award night is issued up to 10 weeks after your cardmember anniversary, though you may get it sooner. The award night expires 12 months after its issuance.

Charge $15,000 to get another award night (maybe)

If you spend $15,000 during your cardmember year, you will earn a second award night at a Category 4 or lower property. The second award night also expires 12 months after its issuance.

We're only marginally jazzed about this benefit though.  Remember, the card earns just 1 point per dollar on most purchases, and you have to consider the opportunity cost of earning points on another credit card. With that said — unless you're able to take advantage of bonus categories like gym memberships (and even a $300 monthly gym membership would only get you to $3,600 per year) —you might be better off putting those purchases on something like a cash-back credit card, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. That card has a combined 2% rewards rate (1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off ), so $15,000 spent on that card would net $300 in cash back. Considering Category 4 or lower hotels rarely exceed $300 in cash price (though some do!) you might be better off going for the significantly more flexible cash back via a different card.

Climb the elite status ladder

The World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with Hyatt’s lowest elite status, Hyatt Discoverist, which is the second-lowest of five tiers of Hyatt status. Though the perks won’t blow you away, Discoverist status is a great starting point for you to earn higher levels of Hyatt elite status including top-tier Hyatt Globalist status (which entails perks like the Guest of Honor benefit).

Benefits of Hyatt Discoverist status include:

  • Waived resort fees on free night awards.

  • 2 p.m. late checkout at most properties, at the hotel’s discretion (you have to request this benefit with the desk).

  • Room upgrades, if available.

  • Bottle water.

  • Dedicated check-in area.

We'll be real, the best perk of Discoverist status is that it's a stepping stone to a higher elite status.

To get to Discoverist status without holding the Hyatt card, you’d have to either spend 10 nights per calendar year in a Hyatt (as long as you pay an eligible rate or redeem a free night award, so some stays booked through discount travel sites may not  count), earn 25,000 base Hyatt points  (which you earn by spending money with Hyatt), or host three meetings or events (like a wedding or conference) per calendar year. Unless you’re an event planner or business traveler, holding the card is likely your best way to earn status.

Take advantage of 5 elite qualifying nights

The World of Hyatt Credit Card also comes with five elite night credits, which can help you earn higher levels of elite status as well as Milestone Rewards. For example, you need 20 elite nights to earn the Milestone Reward of two Club Lounge Access Awards. Club Lounge access provides complimentary breakfast for two adults and two children, as well as hors d’oeuvres and snacks in the evening.

The five elite night credits show up in your World of Hyatt account within eight weeks of your credit card account open date and the start of the calendar year. Factor these extra nights into your annual planning of Hyatt stays so you can hit key milestones.

Spend $5,000 to earn additional elite nights

On top of the five elite night credits you get automatically with the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you can earn more by using the card: Every $5,000 in spending on the card gets you two elite night credits.

Combine the elite night credits you earn by making charges on the card with the five you earn just by being a cardmember — then earn some more by staying at participating hotels — and you’re on your way to the 60 elite nights credits you need to achieve top-tier Globalist status.

Enjoy award nights sooner

One of the best things about World of Hyatt membership is that award nights usually require far fewer points than you’d need at many Hilton, IHG and Marriott properties. Hyatt has eight hotel categories that range from as low as 5,000 points per night up to 40,000 points per night for a standard room.

Starting in 2021, the World of Hyatt program is moving to an off-peak and peak award chart structure. Hyatt will continue to have eight hotel categories with off-peak award nights starting as low as 3,500 points per night up to 45,000 points per night for a standard room during peak dates.

World of Hyatt has more than 700 properties around the world. But that’s much smaller than competitors like Marriott Bonvoy, which has around 7,000. So it may not be possible to find a World of Hyatt property in every place you want to travel. But, if there is a Hyatt property at your destination, chances are you’ll need fewer points to book a night there.

Use it on international trips

On purchases made abroad with this card, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees.  Many other cards charge fees around 2-3% when used to pay in a foreign currency, so this could amount to huge savings.

For what it's worth most travel cards don’t have foreign transaction fees, so this feature is good, but not exceptional.

The bottom line

To get the most from the World of Hyatt Credit Card, use the benefits year after year. You can break even on the $95 annual fee if you redeem your annual award night at a hotel that costs at least that much. Plus, if you can meet the spending milestones that earn elite nights and an additional award night, you will be on your way to receiving even more value with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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