The New World Of Hyatt Card Is Good But A Reality Check Is Needed For Some

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I wrote about the surprising announcement of a new World of Hyatt credit card from Chase last week and it would be fair to say that I like a lot of what the new card offers.

It always struck me as odd that the old Chase Hyatt credit card wasn’t the best credit card to use at Hyatt properties (it wasn’t even the best card issued by Chase to use at Hyatt properties) and it was a little strange that the card offered no enhanced path to earning Hyatt status.

The new World of Hyatt card addresses both of these issues but some people seem to be getting a little over excited about the path to Hyatt status.

Here are the qualification criteria for Hyatt status:

  • Discoverist – 10 nights
  • Explorist – 30 nights
  • Globalist – 60 nights (55 nights to re-qualify)

a building with a sign on the side

If you’re approved for the new World of Hyatt credit card you’ll automatically be given Hyatt “Discoverist” status which offers the following benefits:

  • 10% points bonus on Hyatt stays
  • Resort fee waived on award stays
  • 2:00pm late check-out
  • Peal M-Life status

These are useful but hardly exciting or essential.

Things get a little more interesting is when you realise that the card also offers 5 nights towards elite status and that you can earn 2 extra elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card.

I should point out that the 5 elite qualifying nights that the card gives aren’t on top of the Discoverist status that also comes with the card (you don’t essentially get 15 nights towards status just for holding the card) so you’ll still need a further 25 nights to reach Explorist status.

Explorist status offers the following primary benefits:

  • 20% points bonus on Hyatt stays
  • Resort fee waived on award stays
  • 2:00pm late check-out
  • Upgrade to best room excluding suites
  • 4 Club Lounge passes per year
  • Gold M-Life status

As you can see the upgrades, lounge passes and increased points bonus are a step up from what you get at the Discoverist level so, understandably, a lot of people are focusing on how to get this status purely from the credit card.a stone wall with text on it

The math is pretty simple:

  • Explorist status requires 30 elite qualifying nights
  • The World of Hyatt credit card gives the holder 5 elite qualifying nights
  • That leaves 25 nights to be earned from credit card spend.

As you’ll earn 2 nights/$5,000 spent, a World of Hyatt credit card holder would have to spend $65,000 to earn enough nights for Hyatt mid-tier status.

That’s a lot of spending.

Yes, if you’re a regular at Hyatt properties around the world you’ll be able to put quite a bit of Hyatt spend on the card while earning 4 points/dollar….but if you’re a regular at Hyatt properties you shouldn’t need to put a lot of spend on to the credit card to earn status.

The people I’m writing for here are those who don’t stay at Hyatts all that often but want status for the times when they do book a Hyatt stay.

These people will be reliant on the World of Hyatt credit card to spend their way to Hyatt status and, for most, I don’t think this is a good idea.

a building with a sign in front of it

While the World of Hyatt credit card offers 4 points/dollar on spend at Hyatt properties it offers less for spending in other categories:

  • Air Fare – 2 points/dollar
  • Gyms – 2 points/dollar
  • Taxis, ride sharing & local transit – 2 points/dollar
  • Dining – 2 points/dollar
  • All other spending – 1 point/dollar

There are two issues here:

  1. There are a number better earning credit cards you can use for travel spending (not just air fare, taxis, ride sharing & local transit) and for Dining.
  2. There are a number of better earning credit cards you can use for spending that falls into the 1 point/dollar categories.

Not only will it be very hard to spend $65,000 on the World of Hyatt credit card but there will be a real cost to doing so too.

If you choose to put airfares on your Hyatt card you’ll be earning 2 World of Hyatt Points/dollar instead of…

  • 3 Ultimate Rewards Points/dollar (if you have the Chase Sapphire Reward card)
  • 3 Citi ThankYou Points/dollar (if you have the Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier card)
  • 5 Membership Rewards Points/dollar (if you have the Platinum Card from American Express).

All of those are worth more than 2 World of Hyatt points….in some cases a lot more.

a bridge over water with buildings and a boat

If you choose to put your everyday non-bonused spending on your Hyatt card you’re giving up, at a minimum, 2% cash back in favor of 1 World of Hyatt point (a loss of approximately 0.6 cents/dollar) but, if that spending would have earned bonuses on another card, you’re giving up even more.

Bottom Line

Spending on the new World of Hyatt credit card will be a nice way to add to the number of Hyatt elite nights you have credited to your account but, for most people, it’s not going to be an economical or viable way to get mid-tier (or higher) Hyatt status without any Hyatt stays.

Getting status with a hotel chain without actually having to stay with that hotel chain may sound like a nice idea but the math doesn’t stack up here – the new World of Hyatt credit card may be a good card but it’s not a card on which I’d be happy to put a lot of my non-Hyatt spending.


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