Last week, Hyatt surprised us with a launch of a new co-branded credit card, and it’s truly a compelling and fantastic refresh.
I’ve been a Hyatt credit card holder (the old version, of course) since 2012, and it was always a card I happily paid the annual fee for year after year because the category 1-4 annual free night certificate was more than worth the $75 annual fee. The old version of the Hyatt credit card is no longer open to new applicants.
Like many people, the old version of the Hyatt credit card was a “sock drawer” card for me because paying the $75 annual fee for the free night certificate was by far the best benefit of the card.
I recently used my free night certificate a few weeks ago for a night at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. I had a car with me, and having Globalist status and using the free night award saved me from paying the outrageous $70 nightly parking fee.
Out With The Old, In With The New
The new and refreshed World of Hyatt credit card comes with a $95 annual fee ($20 increase from the old version of the card), new ways to earn bonus points with every day spend, a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 World of Hyatt points after meeting the minimum spending requirement, up to two anniversary free night certificates per year, and opportunities to earn status through credit card spend, all the way up to top-tier Globalist status (though not recommended).
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The Welcome Bonus
You’ll earn 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, plus an additional 20,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
60,000 World of Hyatt points is enough for 12 free nights at Category 1 hotels or 2 free nights at Category 7 hotels.
More Bonus Points
- 9x Points total on Hyatt stays and experiences – that is based on:
- 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on the card at Hyatt hotels and resorts, including participating restaurants and spas
- Plus 5 Base Points per eligible $1 spent as a World of Hyatt member
- 2x Bonus Points on dining at restaurants and airline tickets purchased through the airline
- 2x Bonus Points on fitness club and gym memberships
- 2x Bonus Points on local transit and commuting including ride share services
- 1x all other purchases
More Free Nights
- One free night each anniversary year at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
- One additional free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after spending $15,000 in an anniversary year
Achieve Higher Status
- Automatic Discoverist status in World of Hyatt
- 5 qualifying night credits every year
- 2 qualifying night credits after every $5,000 in spend on the card
You’ll need to achieve 60 elite nights (or 55 to re-qualify) for Globalist status, but I do not recommend you spending $140,000 (or $125,000) on the card to get there. That’s just silly.
However, the extra $20 for the new card is worth it for anyone who stays in a Hyatt more than a few times a year and may need a boost towards achieving or maintaining a higher status.
Even at $95 with the new World of Hyatt card, I think it’s absolutely worth paying the annual fee for the free night alone, but the new World of Hyatt card comes with so many new improvements that it’s too hard to pass up.
Unfortunately you cannot have both versions of the Hyatt credit card, so many of us were forced to make a decision between:
- Staying put and being grandfathered into the old Hyatt credit card and continuing to pay the $75 annual fee to receive the anniversary free night certificate.
- “Upgrading” from the old version of the card to the new version of the card and receiving 2,000 Hyatt points in the process (worth about $40).
- Canceling the old version of the card, waiting 30 days, and applying for the new World of Hyatt credit card to be eligible for the 60,000 point welcome bonus (worth $1,000-$1,200 in my opinion) as long as it’s been more than 24 months since you’ve received a welcome bonus on a Hyatt credit card.
I know it’s super nerve-wracking to apply for new Chase cards, but it’s been over 6 years since I’ve received a welcome bonus on my Hyatt credit card, so I decided to go with the last option.
Plus, I paid my $75 annual fee on the card in April 2018 and already received and used my free night certificate. FWIW, I’m also at 2/24 (shocking, I know), so I’d like to say that I’m in a good position.
I called Chase this morning and canceled my beloved Hyatt credit card. Before doing so, I made sure to transfer $4,500 of its $5,000 credit limit to another Chase account, so that I could preserve some of my limit.
The account specialist on the phone said I would have to wait a full 30 days for the system to recognize that I am no longer a Hyatt credit card member before applying for the new version of the card. He also confirmed that the new World of Hyatt credit card is subject to the infamous Chase 5/24 rule.
Should You Upgrade or Cancel and Apply?
Of course the decision is entirely yours, but those who were in a similar position and already had the old version of the card for many years, the first question you need to ask yourself is if a category 1-4 free night certificate is worth $75 or $95 to you. If the answer is $75 and you’re happy with that, stick with the old version of the card.
In my opinion, the category 1-4 free night certificates are worth paying $95 for, as there are tons of great Hyatt category 4 properties that often sell for $300+ a night such as the Andaz Papagayo and Park Hyatt Saigon (my favorite). Hyatt’s new Atlantic City casino property currently sells for $399+ during the summer, and it’s only a category 3.
If you’re under 5/24 and it’s been more than years since you’ve had the old Hyatt card (or perhaps you’ve never had the Hyatt credit card before), then I’d absolutely recommend canceling/applying for the new card to take advantage of the 60K point welcome bonus.
If you’re way over 5/24 and are a few nights short of maintaining status, I’d play it safe and upgrade for 2,000 points so that you can spend a bit to pad your account with night credits.
Though I loved paying $75 for many years on my old Hyatt credit card, I feel confident about my decision to cancel the old and reapply for the new. The timing couldn’t have been better too – it’s only been two months since my card member anniversary, and I’ve already used my yearly free night. The 30-day waiting period before knowing my fate about the new World of Hyatt credit card is making my palms sweat though!
What do you plan on doing?