Hyatt released a completely new World of Hyatt Credit Card this morning, with overhauled points earning rates, new bonus categories and the potential to earn unlimited credit towards Hyatt Explorist and Globalist elite status.
The card may appear to be a mere refresh, but Hyatt has introduced some attractive new features that make the new version significantly better for Hyatt guests. Existing cardholders can upgrade, or can apply if they have cancelled their old card.
New cardholders are eligible for up to 60,000 bonus points; 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days and another 20,000 points after hitting $6,000 in card spend. Existing Hyatt cardholders can’t hold both cards, but can upgrade for a much lessor 2,000 point bonus.
Unlike the existing Hyatt Visa, the new card offers better earning rates for Hyatt customers than the more universal and versatile Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The new card nets four World of Hyatt points per dollar spent on Hyatt hotels, Hyatt spas and participating Hyatt property restaurants.
Other restaurant and airline purchases on the new Hyatt card net two points per dollar spent.
Cardholders Earn More Free Nights, Elite Benefits
The card, which costs $95 per year, comes loaded with a free night at any Hyatt hotel or resort in category one through four. Every $15,000 spent on the card adds another night.
The 60,000 point sign-up bonus is sufficient to cover as many as 12 free nights at a category one Hyatt property — which includes many suburban Hyatt House and Hyatt Place hotels — or two nights at a top-tier category seven property, like the Park Hyatt New York or Tokyo.
Cardholders also automatically qualify for “Discoverist” elite status, the first rung in Hyatt’s elite traveller perks program.
New to the revamped card, cardholders can earn unlimited nights toward elite status — even without spending a single night at a Hyatt hotel — all the way to top-tire Globalist status.
Every $5,000 spent on the card earns the equivalent of two qualifying nights. All cardholders get five free qualifying nights per calendar year.
Some quick math: Cardholders who don’t stay an actual night at a Hyatt would reach Explorist status after putting $65,000, and Globalist status after putting $140,000 on the card.
Unique Bonus Points: Transit, Ride Shares and Gyms
Hyatt is introducing two new bonus categories on the card, in addition to Hyatt purchases, restaurants and airline purchases, cardholders will earn extra points (two per dollar) on public transit and ride sharing services and on gym and fitness memberships.
Hyatt’s senior VP of loyalty, Amy Weinberg, and Chase’s president of co-brand cards, Leslie Gillin, said jointly that the new categories were chosen after studies of Hyatt and Chase customers showed increased spending in fitness clubs and ride sharing services.
“We wanted to make sure you feel rewarded not only when you travel, but also in your day-to-day life,” Weinberg said.
Two points per dollar spent on gyms and fitness clubs is a first. The category applies broadly to fitness related expenditures, and includes niche fitness programs like cycling studios and flexible programs like class pass, according to Ari Levin, Hyatt’s director of partnerships.
For those who spend a lot on gyms, yoga classes, and SoulCycle, this card is a no-brainer.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is still the best-earning card for transit and ride sharing purposes. Reserve cardholders automatically earn three points per dollar on ride sharing and transit as part of the broad travel category (Sapphire Preferred cardholders earn two per). The World of Hyatt card matches or exceeds all other cards in this category, though.
The World of Hyatt card is an outright improvement over the dated Hyatt Visa, which was good for the comped free night, but not much else.
Whereas Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders actually earned more Hyatt-transferrable points than previous Hyatt Visa holders, the new card will better maximize dollars spent on Hyatt stays.
The increased fee should be offset by the bonus points available in the sign-up offer.
Existing Hyatt Visa cardholders can’t keep their current card and sign up for a new card. Point Me To The Plane is currently exploring whether Hyatt Visa cardholders who have cancelled their card may qualify for the new sign-up bonus.
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