Sure travel has been way down since the pandemic began a year ago. But since tens of millions of vaccine doses have been administered in recent months, travel spending is starting to rise. And as I begin to start planning more trips myself, I'm glad I hung on to my World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase, which has a passionate following among my fellow travel rewards experts.
- Receive up to 60,000 bonus points after meeting purchase requirements.
- Earn up to nine points per dollar spent for Hyatt stays and experiences.
- Earn double points per dollar spent at restaurants, on airline flights booked directly from the airline, local transit and commuting as well as fitness club and gym memberships.
- Get a free night at any Category 1–4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year for all cardmembers after your cardmember anniversary, and a second one for those who spend $15,000 in a calendar year.
- Begin with Discoverist elite status, five nights credits towards the next level of status and two additional qualifying night credits every time you spend $5,000 on your card.
- $95 annual fee.
Why this credit card makes my hotel stays great
The key to having an exceptional experience at a hotel is to take advantage of its loyalty program. And while hotel programs are constantly changing The World of Hyatt has been offering consistent value, especially when you have The World of Hyatt card from Chase.
In fact, just by having an account with card, you'll receive their entry-level elite status that they call Discoverist. By itself, this status entitles you to upgrades to preferred rooms within the type that you booked, which could mean that you receive one with a better view or on a higher floor. You can also receive late check-out (2pm) and get to use the elite check-in desk, which could save you time at the end of a long trip.
The next level of elite status with Hyatt, Explorist, can be reached with just 15 Tier-Qualifying Nights or 25,000 Base Points (you earn five base points for every dollar spent at Hyatt hotels). This year, that's just half of what Hyatt normally requires, 30 nights or 50,000 base points. Making it even easier to reach is the fact that the World of Hyatt credit card offers you five night stay credits towards elite status every year, leaving you just 10 nights away from earning Explorist status. Once you reach Explorist status, you'll receive a wider range of room upgrades and a 20% points bonus on eligible purchases.
But for me and my fellow award travel gurus, the real value comes with their top-tier Globalist status, which offers incredibly valuable perks like upgrades to suites, a 4pm late check-out and waived resort fees and parking charges at hotels where you can charge parking to your room. I even have a Globalist concierge that I can email to help with booking hotels and making special requests.
To earn Globalist status in 2021, you only need 30 night stays or 50,000 bonus points, again half of what the program normally requires. But the World of Hyatt credit card starts me off with five night stay credits, as well as two night stay credits for every $5,000 I spend on the card. So even if I stay fewer then 25 nights this year, I can still reach Globalist status through credit card spending. Once I reach it in 2021, this status will be valid through February of 2023.
But the real beauty with this program is that free night awards are reasonably priced and you still get credit towards elite status when you pay for your stay with points. Free nights start at just 5,000 points per night and go up from there, but I find that many Hyatt hotels in small and medium sized cities cost 12,000 or 15,000 points, and it's not uncommon for me to stay at nice airport hotel for just 8,000 points a night.
To put this in perspective, new cardholders can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, and another 30,000 points by earning two bonus points for every dollar spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn one point (on up to $15,000 spent). Those 60,000 bonus points could be redeemed for up to 12 free night stays at 5,000 points per night, but you're more likely to use them for 4 to 6 free nights at most moderately priced hotels. Or maybe you'll splurge by redeeming them for 2 to 3 nights at a premium property. Either way, these bonus points are likely to be worth over $1,000 in free night stays, and count towards elite status.
How elite status works for me in practice
I recently decided that it was finally time to visit family in south Florida, so I emailed my Hyatt Globalist Concierge and asked her to book us two nights in the Hyatt Place Boca Raton, for 12,000 points per night. On arrival, they recognized my Globalist status and we were upgraded to a fairly large suite, which was much appreciated, since I was traveling with my wife and our three children. And although this property has no resort fees, I was able to have my parking charges of $23.50 per day waived, due to my Globalist status. Finally, I was offered a 4pm late checkout so that we had plenty of time to on our last day. None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for all of the elite night stay credits that I earned from the World of Hyatt Credit Card.