Review: The Hyatt Credit Card

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There are lots of reasons to apply for credit cards. Some are worth getting for their great sign-up bonuses, others are worth getting for the return they offer on everyday spend, and others are worth getting for the great long term perks they offer. Some cards even excel in a couple or all of those categories.

One of the all around best hotel credit cards is The Hyatt Credit Card, which is a card I’ve had had for years, and highly recommend. In this post I wanted to look at some of the benefits of the card in more details.

Hyatt Credit Card sign-up bonus

The Hyatt Credit Card offers a fantastic sign-up bonus, as follows:

  • Two free nights at any Hyatt hotel in the world after spending $2,000 within three months
  • 5,000 bonus points after you add an authorized user and they make a purchase within three months

The two free Hyatt nights are really that straightforward. You can redeem them at any category Hyatt hotel, and as long as a standard room is available, you should be able to redeem them.

This includes several hotels that often go for over $1,000 per night, like the Park Hyatt Maldives


…and Park Hyatt Sydney.


World of Hyatt is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning you can transfer points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card to extend your stay, if you’d like.

Park Hyatt Maldives

Hyatt Credit Card bonus eligibility

The sign-up bonus on The Hyatt Credit Card is only available to those who don’t have this card, and those who have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

Furthermore, anecdotally this card isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning that you should be eligible for the card even if you’ve opened more than five new card accounts in the past 24 moths.

In other words, a lot of people should be eligible for this bonus.

Hyatt Credit Card annual fee

The annual fee on The Hyatt Credit Card is $75, and the fee isn’t waived for the first year. As a point of comparison to other hotel credit cards:

As you can see, the annual fee on the Hyatt Card is somewhere in the middle.

Hyatt Credit Card return on spend

The Hyatt Credit Card offers the following spend bonuses:

  • 3x points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels
  • 2x points per dollar spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, and on car rentals
  • 1x point per dollar spent on everything else

So the card has a decent rewards structure, though personally I wouldn’t put much spend on it, unless you’re going for Explorist status (as I’ll explain below). Keep in mind that Ultimate Rewards points can be converted into Hyatt points, and have bonus on earnings as well, while giving you more flexibility with your points:

Hyatt Credit Card annual free night

In my opinion the single best perk of The Hyatt Credit Card is that it offers an annual free night certificate valid at any Category 1-4 Hyatt property. As long as a standard room is available you should be able to redeem the certificate there. Furthermore, you’ll receive any elite benefits you’d usually receive through the card, so as a Globalist member you’d get a room upgrade, free breakfast, lounge access, etc.

If you’re curious what hotels this includes, you can see a listing of all Hyatt properties by category on this page. There are seven categories of Hyatt hotels, so Category 1-4 covers most of them. There are many great Category 4 properties, ranging from the Hyatt Olive 8 Seattle, to the Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi.

Hyatt Olive 8 Seattle

Hyatt Credit Card status benefits

Having The Hyatt Credit Card can help you with earning Discoverist and Explorist status with Hyatt:

  • You receive Discoverist status for as long as you have the card
  • You receive Explorist status when you spend $50,000 or more on purchases on the card in a calendar year

Discoverist status gets you the following perks:

  • A 10% points bonus
  • Premium internet
  • A complimentary bottle of water
  • Priority check-in
  • 2PM late check-out
  • A preferred room within the category booked

Explorist status gets you the following incremental perks:

  • A 20% points bonus
  • Upgrade to the best available room, excluding suites
  • Four club lounge passes annually, valid for a stay of up to seven nights on eligible rates or when redeeming points for free night awards

Grand-Hyatt-Hong-Kong-Grand-Suite - 38
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong club lounge

Unfortunately the credit card no longer gets you any incremental benefit if you’re going for top tier status. Still, having some status with Hyatt just for having the credit card is better than nothing, and some may find it worthwhile to put spend on the card to earn mid-tier status.

Bottom line

The way I see it, The Hyatt Credit Card has a fantastic sign-up bonus and is worth holding onto long term for the annual free night certificate it offers, which more than justifies the annual fee. Furthermore, this card is fairly easy to be approved for, as long as you don’t have the card and haven’t gotten a bonus in the past 24 months. Fortunately this card also isn’t subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

If you don’t yet have the Hyatt Card, it’s absolutely worth acquiring, in my opinion.

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  1. Hi, Ben,
    Just a point of clarification: Chase won’t deny you for this card if you’ve gotten more than 5 cards in the last two years, but it *will* count this card as one of your five if you subsequently desire to apply for another Chase card.
    Thanks for a great blog!

  2. Amazing how much more value the Hyatt cat 1-4 anniversary free night is vs. Marriott’s cat 1-5 anniversary free night – both Chase cobrands

  3. Wife and I both signed up for the card last year and used the 4 free nights at Hyatt Ziva Cancun. Both teenage daughters went and if we were to pay cash, it would have been $665 per night. Best redemption IMHO, as it is an all-inclusive. We are redeeming our free night certs at Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach next year ($250 per night).

  4. @Lucky — So if I read this right, anyone who holds this [Hyatt Visa] card and received the 2-free-nights bonus more than 24 months ago, can cancel the card and re-apply and get another 2 free nights? (I somehow thought it was 24 months from the card closing date.)

    Wife and I both got this card, and were able to stay 4 nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney last year… it was AWESOME! Fantastic location and rooms, killer view of the harbor/opera house, and would have been impossible to stay there (and pay with cash or points) otherwise.

  5. I got Hyatt Explorist by matching my mLife Gold, which I got from matching Hyatt Platinum, which I got from the Chase Hyatt credit card.

  6. I miss when they gave Diamonds two free SUITE nights on account opening. That was a pretty incredible offer!

  7. Seriously, how the hell do you and Gary have a post on the exact same niche topic on the same day? At any rate, Hyatt, and especially their CC, aren’t even worth my consideration these days. They even reach out to me directly about a month ago about my thoughts on WOH, and boy did I give them an earful.

  8. I’m not well versed in the World of Hyatt rules, but a CSR recently told me that just because you can redeem Hyatt points for an available standard room did not mean you can automatically get that same room award using either the two free night Hyatt Visa deal or the Cat 1-4 anniversary free night. She claimed that the inventory rules differed on the credit card free night certificates. Is she right or is this another clueless CSR?

  9. I think everyone is underplaying the loss of benefits of this card. Not having any contribution to status (was 5 stays per 20k spend before) and a lower free status (last year was mid tier status included now the lowest. Means the only reason to keep this card is for the free cat 4 cert. if you put your spend on the chase sapphire card you also get 3x points per dollar you can use at Hyatt or many other programs as well.

    To me it is clear chase isn’t interested to make this card a real contender as the other hotel branded cards offer at least some path to contribute to status.

    Lucky I love your blog but it is very suspect you and Gary both choose today to start hawking the Hyatt card. Instead of just pushing their card please contact chase and tell them to set up their game so that the card is actually useful. Considering the higher WoH requirements for diamond/globalist this year I hope it’s the least you could do, right?

  10. I made good use of this card last year and I made use of the mLife bonus that they used to have. Doesn’t seem worthwhile anymore. The cat 1-4 hotels are mostly meh.

  11. Hey Lucky,
    Thanks for this post. I’ve gotten a few hotel cards including the IHG and Marriott ones but have yet to get the Hyatt one. I’m currently planning a trip to Morocco so will be hoping there are some great hotels to use these points on. Glad to see Olive 8 on that list as I’m always in Seattle.

  12. I got an email offer for this card for 40,000 bonus points but no mention of two free nights. Is it one or the other?

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