Let’s face it — transferable points rule. Why would you lock up your rewards in one program when you can pursue the devaluation-proof strategy of transferring points to the best program for your needs?
But that aside, one mid-tier cobranded hotel credit card keeps me excited — so much so that I’ll keep the card for years.
Here are six reasons why I love the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
An annual fee that pays for itself over and over again
As a primary cardholder, you receive an annual Category 1-4 free night certificate for keeping the card open. This year, I used my free night certificate at the Thompson Chicago, where rates were over $400 per night.
When you use your free night certificate, Hyatt waives resort and destination fees — but you still receive the benefits that these fees cover, such as beach chairs, bike rentals and premium internet. And if you’re a Globalist elite member, Hyatt also picks up eligible parking charges when you redeem these certificates. At the Thompson Chicago, that was an additional $75 savings on valet parking fees.
My stay was a prime example of how this card can easily net you more than $500. And if you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’ll earn a second Category 1-4 certificate.
Great earning rates
Cardholders earn 4 points per dollar on purchases at all Hyatt properties; 2 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly from airlines, restaurants, local transit and commuting (including ride-hailing services), fitness club and gym memberships; and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
TPG values each World of Hyatt point at 1.7 cents, though in practice, they can be worth much more when you factor in waived resort/destination fees and complimentary parking if you’re a Globalist member.
Day-to-day parking fees, tolls and mass transit expenses can add up, and with the World of Hyatt Card, these hard-to-maximize categories are also eligible for the 2-points-per-dollar multiplier — which net me a 3.4% return.
And, of course, I also use my World of Hyatt card on Hyatt bookings to earn 10.5 points per dollar (5 base points per dollar, 1.5 elite bonus points per dollar and 4 points per dollar from the card) — I calculate this to be about a 25% return on all my Hyatt stays.
The most valuable hotel points
The World of Hyatt loyalty program is a favorite among the staff at TPG.
It’s the only major hotel program to still offer award charts. While programs like Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy use dynamic pricing (they have complete discretion to charge at their will), World of Hyatt stays are priced within eight category pricing bands ranging from 3,500 to 45,000 points per night for standard room awards.
That means award rates at Hilton and Marriott properties are often sky-high, while Hyatt award rates often remain lower. Here’s an example of this at three London luxury hotels from the three chains over a given weekend in October:
|Award price for two nights
|Cash price for two nights
|Great Scotland Yard Hotel (Hyatt)
|2.17 cents per point
|The London Edition (Marriott)
|0.7 cents per point
|Conrad London St. James (Hilton)
|0.57 cents per point
For reference, the lower-priced Hyatt Place London City East has rooms for just 9,000 points that weekend. That hotel is three stops on the Elizabeth Line to Tottenham Court Road, a Tube station in central London. Nine thousand points per night for a convenient location in London? That’s something the other hotel chains don’t offer.
Related: The best hotels in London
It helps you qualify for Hyatt status
As a cardholder, you’ll enjoy complimentary Discoverist status every year. We value this status at $165 per year.
In addition, for every $5,000 you spend on the card, you’ll earn two tier-qualifying night credits toward status. So, if you spend $15,000 to unlock the second Category 1-4 free night certificate mentioned earlier, you’ll also earn six tier-qualifying nights each year. There’s no limit to the number of tier-qualifying nights you can earn through credit card spending.
For reference, 30 elite nights get you mid-tier Explorist status, while 60 elite nights get you top-tier Globalist status (which I have).
Chase offers and promotions
These offers are targeted and require prior enrollment. Here are some current travel offers on my account:
- Lindblad Expeditions: $200 back on a purchase of $500 or more
- Lyft: 10% back, up to $3
- Southwest Airlines: 10% back on a purchase of $50 or more, up to $40
- Zipcar: 10% back on a purchase of $18 or more, up to $10
I’ve also used previous Chase Offers to save at the pump.
Additionally, Chase periodically sends offers to its members. Earlier this year, I received an offer for 5 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. These promotions are also targeted and require enrollment.
Related: The best Chase credit cards
Its protections are spectacular for a $95 per year annual fee card. Here’s a closer look:
- Trip delay reimbursement: If your travel is delayed more than 12 hours or requires an overnight stay, you are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket.
- Baggage delay insurance: Reimburses you for essential purchases like toiletries and clothing for baggage delays over six hours by passenger carrier, up to $100 a day for five days.
- Lost luggage reimbursement: If you or an immediate family member check or carry on luggage damaged or lost by the carrier, you’re covered up to $3,000 per passenger.
- Trip interruption and trip cancellation insurance: If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
- Auto rental collision damage waiver: Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers exceptional value and benefits, making it a standout among cobranded hotel cards. With an annual fee of just $95, the card provides perks that surpass its cost. Between the annual free night certificate, ample opportunities to earn points and shortcuts to elite status, it’s a card I’ll keep for years to come.
To learn more, read our full review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Apply here: World of Hyatt Credit Card. Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. And earn up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total per dollar spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 bonus point, on up to $15,000 spent.