Co-branded credit cards succeed for consumers if they accomplish their primary objective: the ability to earn points or miles in a specific hotel or airline program. Every so often, though, a card comes along that offers much more.
The World of Hyatt credit card from Chase is one of those. It’s the successor to the original Hyatt card, and a distinct improvement in many different areas (Chase is no longer accepting applications for the legacy card; if you have it, you can either keep it or upgrade to the new one).
Let’s look at the benefits of the new World of Hyatt card, along with any possible drawbacks:
You receive 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening, and an additional 25,000 points after spending a total of $6,000 in the first six months. Hyatt points are generally valued at 1.7 cents each, giving you a value of $850.
To put things in perspective, Hyatt free nights begin at 5,000 points, and many big-city Regency properties are available in the 12,000-15,000 range (the chain is implementing peak and off-peak pricing, so your redemption rate could be slightly lower or higher depending on the time of year).
The bonus isn’t offered to anyone who currently holds the legacy Hyatt card, or who has received a bonus on a Hyatt card within the past 24 months. If you have the old Hyatt card, however, you can upgrade and receive 5,000 bonus points.
You earn four points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels (the legacy card offered three points per dollar). Remember that this is on top of the five points per dollar you receive as a World of Hyatt member.
You also get two points per dollar on spending at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the carrier, local transit and commuting, and fitness club and gym memberships. This is the only card that allows you to earn points for fitness spending. You receive one point per dollar on everything else.
Cardholders receive a free night on their anniversary renewal, good at Category 1-4 hotels or resorts. There are approximately 560 properties in those categories or slightly over 70% of Hyatt’s total portfolio.
In addition, you have the opportunity to earn a second free night at Category 1-4 hotels after spending $15,000 during your cardmember year.
This is where the World of Hyatt card separates itself from the pack. The card comes with Discoverist status in the Hyatt program. While this is entry-level status, it includes the following perks:
- Room upgrades subject to availability
- 2 p.m. checkout on request
- No resort fees on award stays
- Daily bottle of water
- Point bonus of 10% on room rates and hotel purchases
- Premium internet where available
- Pearl status with M Life Rewards, MGM’s loyalty program
- Complimentary continental breakfast at participating Small Luxury Hotels of the World
However, that’s just the beginning. The World of Hyatt card gives you opportunities to improve your status through spending. You receive five qualifying night credits each year just for having the card. In addition, you’ll earn two additional elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card, with no limit to the number of nights you can earn.
Thus, it’s even possible to attain elevated status without ever staying in a Hyatt hotel. The requirements would be steep ($65,000 in spending for Explorist and $140,000 for Globalist), but most people are likely to qualify for a combination of hotel stays and credit card spending. Explorist members receive a point bonus of 20% on stays, the best available room (excluding suites) and four Club lounge passes per year. Globalists have an impressive array of benefits including suite upgrades, complimentary breakfast, 4 p.m. checkout, two United Club passes each year, no resort fees on either paid or award stays, and a free night certificate good at Category 1-7 hotels.
As with many other cards issued by Chase, the World of Hyatt card comes with some valuable benefits while traveling:
- Baggage Delay Insurance: If your bags are delayed by six hours or more, Chase will reimburse you up to $100 per day for five days, for essentials such as clothing and toiletries.
- Lost Luggage: You’re covered for up to $3,000, whether the lost bag is a carry-on or a piece of checked luggage.
- Trip Interruption and Cancellation: If you’re traveling for either business or pleasure and your trip is thwarted by illness, bad weather or another covered condition, you can receive up to $5,000 in compensation.
Other benefits include Purchase Protection (up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, for theft or damage to new purchases up to 120 days) and Price Protection (if you buy something in the U.S. and find a cheaper price elsewhere, you’re covered up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year).
Downsides: With all the benefits of the new World of Hyatt Visa, are there any drawbacks?
The biggest downside is the size of the Hyatt chain itself. They’re making every attempt to expand their reach: they have partnerships with MGM Resorts and Small Luxury Hotels of the World and recently purchased Two Roads Hospitality, which gave them another 85 properties. Even so, they have 800 or so hotels compared to nearly 6,000 for Hilton and 7,000 for Marriott. Their smaller size makes it difficult to stay at a Hyatt hotel at times, even if you want to.
Still, if you’re a Hyatt loyalist, or if you travel frequently to locations where Hyatt hotels and resort are located, this is definitely a card you want in your wallet. Remember that it’s subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so you’ll want to prioritize it above other card applications.
Source: frugal travel guy