The 5 Best Credit Cards for World of Hyatt Loyalists [2020]

Thompson Washington D.C. Bedroom View

Full Disclosure: We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure for more details. We appreciate your support!

Hyatt may not have the footprint to rival giants Marriott and Hilton, but it proves that bigger is not always better by offering a desirable collection of upwards of 900 properties and a popular rewards program that is nearly cult-like with Hyatt loyalists.

You can’t be a Hyatt fan without considering the benefits of the World of Hyatt Credit Card, however, as it’s a major piece of a total Hyatt persona. The card completes the triangle of the Hyatt-brand hotel experience and the supporting World of Hyatt loyalty program by adding in a long list of Hyatt benefits one receives by having the card.

If you frequent Hyatt properties and you’re not yet a cardholder, you may not be able to hold out much longer.

Let’s talk about the benefits of having the card, how it stacks up with its hotel-branded card competitors, and then discuss some alternative or additional cards that might compliment the Hyatt Credit Card.

The Best Personal Credit Card for Hyatt Loyalists

It’s a simple task to select a Hyatt-branded credit card as there is only 1 card currently on offer. The World of Hyatt Credit Card, issued by Chase, is favored by Hyatt loyalists for its low annual fee, earning power, complimentary elite status, and free hotel night certificates.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Let’s take a look at why Hyatt fans might consider adding this card to their wallet.

World of Hyatt Credit Card - Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after $6,000 total in purchases within 6 months of account opening.

We like how you also get one free night at any Category 1–4 Hyatt hotel (or resort) every year after your cardmember anniversary. See how to best use your free night for maximum value!

Why We Like This Card for Hyatt Loyalists

  • Generous welcome bonus
  • 4x points per dollar at Hyatt properties
  • 2x points at restaurants, flights purchased directly from the airlines, fitness and gym memberships, and for local transit including rideshare, taxi, mass transit, and tolls
  • Complimentary entry-level World of Hyatt Discoverist elite status; Spend $50,000 in a calendar year to receive Explorist elite status
  • Complimentary hotel night certificate each card anniversary
  • Additional complimentary hotel night certificate after spending $15,000 in a calendar year on the card
  • 5 elite tier night credits each calendar year for having the card

Hot Tip: To learn more about how to earn lots of World of Hyatt points, we’ve got a lot of ideas to share with you. If you want some additional ideas on how to get the best value from your points, check out this article offering the best value Hyatt redemptions.

The card also comes with several travel and shopping benefits and protections.

  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption — If your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered situation, you could be reimbursed up to $5,000 for pre-paid and otherwise non-refundable travel expenses.
  • Trip Delay — If your common carrier trip is delayed more than 12 hours (or overnight), you could receive up to $500 per ticket for incidentals reimbursement.
  • Secondary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver — Coverage is provided for damage and theft to your rental car secondary to other auto insurance when the entire rental is paid for using your card and you have declined the rental agency’s CDW/LDW coverage.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance — If your baggage is delayed 6 hours or more, you could receive up to $100 per day for up to 5 days.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement — Receive up to $3,000 in coverage for checked or carry-on luggage if it is lost, damaged, or stolen.
  • Purchase Protection — If a qualifying item you purchased with your card is damaged or stolen within 120 days from the purchase date, you could receive a benefit of up to $500 per claim (maximum of $50,000 per account).
  • Extended Warranty Protection — The manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less that comes with a qualifying item will be extended for 1 year when purchased with your card.
  • Travel Accident Insurance — Receive up to $500,000 for a covered serious injury or death while traveling on a common carrier.

Bottom Line: The Hyatt loyalist will find their Hyatt experience enhanced greatly with the Hyatt Credit Card. The card comes with complimentary entry-level elite status and a faster path to higher elite status for those who spend heavily on the card. 

World of Hyatt Elite Status

The Hyatt Credit card comes with complimentary Discoverist status which normally requires staying 10 nights each year, earning 25,000 qualifying base points, or hosting 3 meeting/events.

Discoverist status is the lowest level of elite status in the World of Hyatt loyalty program but still grants several benefits.

Let’s glance at an overview of what it takes to qualify for World of Hyatt Elite status and what benefits look like at each level.

BenefitDiscoverist — 10 Nights/25,000 Base Points, or 3 Hosted EventsExplorist — 25 Nights/50,000 Base Points, or 10 Hosted EventsGlobalist — 60 Nights, 100,000 Base Points, or 20 Hosted Events
Bonus Points Earning10%20%30%
Late Checkout2 p.m.4 p.m.4 p.m.
Room UpgradesPreferred RoomUpgraded RoomIncludes Standard Suites
M life Rewards Status Tier MatchPearlGoldGold
Guaranteed Room Availability72 hours48 hours
Resort Fees Waived on Eligible RatesX
Club Access or BreakfastX
Free Parking on Free NightsX
Guest of Honor Benefit SharingX

All World of Hyatt elite members receive 5 base points for each $1 spent at Hyatt properties, special member rates, waived resort fees on award stays, premium internet, and bottled water.

In addition, elite members receive priority check in and American AAdvantage Miles Bonuses.

Elite members also have the ability to earn Milestone Awards based on the number of nights stayed each year. Milestone Awards include benefits such as lounge access, bonus points, Hyatt gift cards, suite upgrades, and more.

Hot Tip: Joining the World of Hyatt loyalty program is free and members receive special member-only room rates, earn rewards points, and have resort fees waived on award nights. Learn more about the World of Hyatt loyalty program by reading our in-depth guide to Hyatt elite status which contains information on achieving status, reciprocal benefits with hotel/airline partners, and more.

Hotel-Branded Credit Card Comparison

Hyatt Place Washington DC White House Rooftop
While Hyatt’s footprint is smaller than other major brands, you’ll have a variety of hotel choices from affordable good- value properties to high-end luxury. Hyatt Place Washington, D.C. National Mall. Image Credit: Hyatt

The Hyatt Credit Card holds its own among similar level hotel-branded credit cards.

Let’s take a look at how the card stacks up against competitor cards.

Card Annual FeeEarningsHotel Related Benefits
Hyatt Credit Card$95
  • 4x points at Hyatt
  • 2x points at restaurants, on flights purchased directly from the airlines, fitness and gym memberships, and for local transit including rideshare, taxi, mass transit, and tolls
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status
  • Spend $50,000 in a calendar year for Explorist status
  • Free hotel night certificate each card anniversary, good for category 1-4 properties
  • Additional free hotel night after spending $15,000 in a card anniversary year
  • 5 elite-tier qualifying nights each calendar year
  • 2 additional elite-tier qualifying nights for each $5,000 spent on the card each calendar year
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card$95
  • 6x points at Marriott
  • 2x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status
  • Spend $35,000 in a calendar year for Gold status
  • Free hotel night certificate worth up to 35,000 points at card anniversary
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card$95 (see rates and fees)
  • 12x points at Hilton
  • 6x points at restaurants, gas stations, and supermarkets
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • Spend $40,000 in a calendar year for top Hilton Honors Diamond status
  • Free weekend hotel night certificate each calendar year after spending $15,000 on the card
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card$89
  • 10x points at IHG properties
  • 2x points at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores
  • 1x earnings on all other purchases

All of these cards come with a generous welcome bonus that is earned after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.

Additionally, note that the number of points earned by spending on the associated hotel-branded credit card will be elevated with the bonus points for having the loyalty program elite status that comes complimentary with each hotel-branded card.

Here’s how the earnings break down by loyalty program:

  • World of Hyatt — a total of 9 points per dollar spent at Hyatt: 4x points for paying with the card + 5x points for having Discoverist status
  • Marriott Bonvoy — a total of 17 points per dollar spent at Marriott: 6x points for paying with the card + 10x points for being a Marriott Bonvoy member +10% bonus for Silver status
  • Hilton Honors — a total of 30 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties: 12x points for paying with the card + 18x points for having Hilton Honors Gold status
  • IHG Rewards Club — a total of 25 points per dollar at IHG properties: 10x points for paying with the card + 10x points for being an IHG Rewards Club member + 5x points for having Platinum status

Note that there may be some exceptions to these earning levels as certain hotel brands earn fewer points per dollar for stays. For example, Tru® brands by Hilton earn 5 base points per dollar per stay versus 10. Always check the associated loyalty program for exceptions.

Also, note that the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program offers all members their fifth award night complimentary as does Hilton Honors for its elite members. IHG offers the fourth-night complimentary benefit via its IHG Premier card. Hyatt does not offer a free night with award stays via its loyalty program or the Hyatt Credit Card.

Bottom Line: While the Hyatt card may not earn as many points per dollar at the associated hotel brand as its competitors’ cards, Hyatt points can be worth significantly more. To learn more about how much points and miles can be worth, check out our article where we break down the value of the various rewards currencies. 

Alternative or Additional Cards for Hyatt Loyalists to Consider

Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport
Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer directly to Hyatt and can then be used to book free hotel nights. Hyatt Regency Houston Intercontinental Airport. Image Credit: Hyatt

If you stay at Hyatt properties frequently, chances are you’re a frequent traveler. If so, a travel rewards card that earns flexible points on travel purchases, allows for good value travel redemptions, and offers travel benefits you can use might be a prime consideration.

Here are a few of our favorite travel rewards cards that have the potential for being your go-to travel card or could make an excellent complementary companion for the Hyatt Credit Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

One of our most recommended cards for getting to know the benefits of earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points is the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It’s a card that will get plenty of use on an everyday basis and it comes with an excellent package of travel and shopping benefits.

Why We Like This Card for Hyatt Loyalists

  • Generous welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars in travel
  • Ultimate Rewards points earned on the card transfer to hotel and airline partners, including Hyatt
  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent at restaurants and on travel
  • Points can be redeemed for travel at the rate of 1.25 cents each
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription
  • No foreign transaction fees

Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred directly to Hyatt and do so nearly instantly. The transfer ratio of 1:1 can result in good value when redeeming for select Hyatt properties. Free nights start at just 5,000 points.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

If you’re looking for a premium travel rewards card, you might want to check out the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Not only will you be earning big on travel, but you’ll also have several options for redeeming your points for travel.

Why We Like This Card for Hyatt Loyalists

  • Generous welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars when redeemed for travel
  • Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to hotel and airline partners, including Hyatt
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,200 airport lounge and lounge alternative properties worldwide
  • Earn 3 points per dollar spent on travel and at restaurants
  • Points can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards travel
  • $300 statement credit for travel purchases each card anniversary
  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership
  • No foreign transaction fees

Hot Tip: Want to know more about these 2 travel rewards cards? For a side-by-side comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll want to read our article on the topic.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

This no-annual-fee card is a great beginner card that pairs nicely with premium Ultimate Rewards earning cards.

Why We Like This Card for Hyatt Loyalists

  • Welcome bonus
  • Earns Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to Chase premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card then transferred to hotel and airline partners, including Hyatt
  • Points transferred to premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards can be redeemed for as much 1.5 cents each for travel
  • Earns 5% back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% back on all other purchases (in the form of Ultimate Rewards) on every purchase
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft, special promotion through March 2022
  • Complimentary 3-month DoorDash DashPass membership and 50% discount for 9 months

The Freedom Unlimited offers great bonus categories and ensures all of your purchases are receiving rewards with 1.5% earnings. And, with no annual fee, it’s a card you can keep in your wallet forever.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

The smart business owner maximizes every opportunity to get ahead. Earning rewards on every purchase your business makes is one way to get ahead because it adds value to your bottom line.

The Ink Business Preferred card, a card we recommend often, serves that purpose well. You’ll earn Ultimate Rewards on every purchase and at redemption time those points can be redeemed for travel or transferred to travel partners for even greater potential value.

Why We Like this Card for Hyatt Loyalists

  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Earns Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to World of Hyatt (1:1 ratio) and other hotel/airline partners
  • Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for 25% more in value via the Chase travel portal
  • 3x points earned for travel purchases, internet/cable/phone, shipping, and advertising purchased through social media and search engines (maximum $150,000 in purchases per year)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip cancellation/interruption/delay insurance

For additional Chase business credit card recommendations, you’ll find all the information you need to select the right card in our article on the best Chase business credit cards.

Hot Tip: You’ll notice that most of the cards we’ve featured in this article are issued by Chase, who has an (unwritten) rule regarding the number of credit cards you have applied for in the last 24 months. The “rule” is referred to as the Chase 5/24 and can affect whether you’re approved for Chase credit cards.

Final Thoughts

If you frequent a particular hotel brand, having that hotel chain’s branded credit card can significantly increase your earnings, provide benefits that can make your stay more comfortable, and even provide you with free hotel nights just for having the card.

If you’re a Hyatt loyalist, having the Hyatt Credit Card makes perfect sense, if only for the complimentary night certificate offered at each card anniversary. This benefit alone can be worth the annual fee as the certificate can be used at Category 1-4 properties.

For example, you could redeem your certificate at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, Australia, a Category 4 property, where rates can be as much as $350 per night at peak times.

The Hyatt Credit Card, like other hotel credit cards associated with a preferred brand, presents a value proposition for the Hyatt loyalist. Also, like other hotel-branded cards, it may pair well with a general travel rewards card to ensure that all of your expenses are earning the most rewards possible and that you’re receiving a full package of travel benefits and protections.

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Hyatt Credit Card worth it?

If you stay at Hyatt properties, even occasionally, and can use the free annual hotel night certificate, the card is worth it.

Additionally, if you value World of Hyatt elite status, the card offers a fast path to get there by granting complimentary entry-level elite status and facilitating a way to spend your way to higher elite status.

The card also comes with travel and shopping benefits that provide protection, potentially saving you money.

Can I have more than 1 Hyatt Credit Card?

No, you can only have 1 Hyatt Credit Card.

How does the Hyatt free night certificate work?

At each card anniversary you will receive a free hotel night certificate good for 1 free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt property.

Once you have paid your renewal, you will receive your free night certificate within 10 weeks. The certificate is good for 12 months from the date it is issued.

You can earn an additional free hotel night certificate by spending $15,000 in a calendar year on your Hyatt Credit Card. The certificate will be issued within 2-3 weeks after you have completed the spending.

Free night certificates are issued to primary cardholders. Additional authorized users are not eligible for free night certificates.

How much does a free hotel room cost using Hyatt points?

Hyatt properties are divided into categories 1-7. A category 1 property can be purchased starting at just 5,000 World of Hyatt points.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written by experts who know these products inside out, and what we recommend is what we would (or already) use ourselves. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. Click here to see a list of advertisers that we work with.