I spent years resisting an upgrade to my beloved Hyatt Visa, but I'm finally ready to take the plunge for 3 reasons

anouchka / Getty ImagesThe Hyatt Regency Resort in Long Beach, California.
  • When I heard Hyatt would be discontinuing my beloved Hyatt Visa and replacing it with the World of Hyatt Credit Card, I thought I’d resist upgrading as long as possible.
  • I’ve loved my Hyatt Visa for years, thanks to its free cardmember anniversary nights and relatively small $US75-a-year fee.
  • But I’ve finally caved, and I’m ready to upgrade and take advantage of the points we’re being offered to upgrade and the 2x points for gym membership fees, as well as the fact that by upgrading, we can skirt Chase’s 5/24 rule.

For several years, my Hyatt Visa has been one of my favourite hotel credit cards.

With the $US75-a-year card, free nights at Category 1 Hyatt hotels only cost 5,000 points. Don’t be confused by the “Category 1” label. It’s in no way a reflection of a hotel’s star rating. Nearly all of the Category 1 spots that we’ve stayed at have been at least 3-star hotels, and we’ve had very few negative experiences.

Plus, I get a free night certificate each cardmember anniversary, and anniversary certificates can be used at any Category 1-4 hotel. We’ve been able to stay at some amazing hotels like the Grand Hyatt Washington and the Andaz, Savannah for free by using our anniversary nights.

It’s for all these reasons that when I first heard Hyatt was going to be discontinuing the card and replacing it with the new World of Hyatt card I didn’t feel super motivated to make the switch … especially when I learned that it would come with a more expensive $US95 annual fee.

Initially, I thought that the World of Hyatt card may give an extra free anniversary night each year. But, alas, the only way to earn an extra night with this card is by spending at least $US15,000 a year.

I couldn’t see us realistically doing that. So my initial thought was “I’m holding on to my precious Hyatt Visa for as long as I can!” But things have changed and I now see value in upgrading.

Why I’m finally upgrading to the World of Hyatt card

There are three main reasons why my wife and I are ready to upgrade to the World of Hyatt credit card.

1. Hyatt is currently offering us 3,500 points to upgrade

When the World of Hyatt card first came on the scene, Hyatt was offering 2,000 points as an upgrade bonus to Hyatt Visa cardholders.

But recently, we were one of the many Hyatt Visa cardholders who received an email offer that increased the upgrade bonus to 3,500 points.

This is enticing for two reasons. Not only would the 3,500 points more than cover the increased annual fee for the first year, but they would nearly qualify us for another Category 1 free night.

2. We wouldn’t be eligible to get the World of Hyatt card as a new cardmember due to Chase’s 5/24 rule

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Chase 5/24 rule, here’s what it’s all about. For many of its high-end credit cards, Chase will only approve applications from people who haven’t received more than five credit cards in a 24-month span.

Unfortunately, the World of Hyatt credit card is one of the Chase cards to which this rule applies. And since my wife and I are pretty serious credit card users, we’ve applied for five credit cards in the last two years.

This means that if we tried to apply for the World of Hyatt card, we would be rejected. But the Chase 5/24 rule does not apply to upgrades. So by upgrading now we can earn some bonus points and avoid bumping up against the Chase 5/24 rule.

The Chase 5/24 rule wouldn’t keep you from qualifying for the World of Hyatt card? Then in that case it may be smarter to just cancel your Hyatt Visa before applying for the World of Hyatt card as a new cardholder.

Why? Because if it’s been at least two years since you received a new card bonus from Hyatt, you’ll be eligible to earn the World of Hyatt card‘s 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $US6,000 total in the first six months.

And that’s a big deal! 50,000 bonus points could get you 10 free nights at a Category 1 hotel.

3. We go to the gym now

Confused by this point? Allow me to explain.

When we first signed up for our Hyatt Visa, we didn’t have a gym membership. But we do now.

And with two kids under age 5, we needed to find a gym that offered childcare. That makes our gym membership more expensive than it would be otherwise and it costs us about $US700 a year.

Why does this matter? Because unlike the Hyatt Visa, the World of Hyatt credit card gives 2x points for club membership fees.

And when I consider that I’d also earn more points on Hyatt stays and rideshare services, I can see the World of Hyatt card‘s earning potential being worth the annual fee.

I think it’s finally time to say “goodbye” to our beloved Hyatt Visa and say “hello” to the World of Hyatt card.

Learn more about the World of Hyatt Card from our partner The Points Guy ยป

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