Almost every major travel brand has a premium credit card, but not Hyatt. Here’s my proposal for a premium World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Note: At LiveAndLetsFly we try not to pitch credit cards unless there is a supreme value. This post is not a credit card pitch, the product doesn’t even exist at this point. But if you see a card mentioned below that you want to learn more about, there is a link just above this section to see the credit cards we offer through our partner, and signing up for a card may pay us a commission.
The Premium Credit Card Space Is Crowded
Chase, Citi, Capital One, and of course American Express all have premium credit cards with annual fees that range somewhere between $400-800. They almost uniformly offer Priority Pass lounge access, all but Citi have at least one (and growing) airport lounge, they typically offer some sort of travel insurance, and usually a once-every-five-years benefit to offset Global Entry or TSA Pre-check costs. Those products have a lot of cardholders and some of the banks offer variants of the card, like the Morgan Stanley American Express Platinum card.
The travel co-brand versions like the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, or the Citi Advantage Executive World Elite Mastercard have benefit lists as long as their names. There are more premium cards than I care to name, the space is crowded, and for good reason. Big benefits justify big annual fees for consumers which Chase admitted they operate at a loss. However, these cards create a barrier to entry that applies only to either devout loyalists who have an enthusiastic interest in the brand and are more likely to engage, or they are high earners with great credit scores likely to swipe often (even if they don’t carry a balance.)
Despite Chase’s claims that they lost boatloads of money on the Sapphire Reserve, the card has recently increased the sign-up bonus suggesting that they again want the business that it brings.
With more products, brands, and banks participating, it seems clear that not only are premium cards key to gaining customers, but they are also key to retaining customers. Capital One only recently entered the fray with its own version, Venture X. Actions like this suggest to me that while the market is already crowded, banks don’t want to see their high-end customers use another brand’s card for a product they feel they can deliver as well.
The market is crowded at the top, absolutely, but for Hyatt, I would argue there is room for one more. Comparatively, Hyatt has more premium hotels than other hotel chains by percentage, it is a growing chain with new opportunities, and as it grows, its credit options should evolve as well.
(Proposal) The Chase World of Hyatt Globalist Credit Card
I took a stab at the name of this proposed credit card following some of the naming conventions present today. Beyond the excruciating title, words such as “reserve”, “limited”, or “select” might come into play too. Chase has an extensive relationship and opts for Visa products so those two are given.
The card would be a thin metal design along the lines of the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card with a black and copper coloring similar to their current styling but utilizing the unique advantages of the metallic design to create a weighty, reflective, and sturdy experience.
Reasonable, Competitive Benefits
Here are what I feel would be reasonable, yet competitive benefits the new card should offer:
- Double tier-qualifying night credits – Qualify for Globalist status with just 30 nights as a cardholder. This could also come in the form of Marriott’s quick start approach (and Hyatt’s personal card) by awarding some number of elite qualifying nights perhaps 15, 20, or 30.
- 12x Earnings – For every night booked and paid for with the credit card, Hyatt would award 12x points per dollar spent. That’s 25% more than the business card and would add to a Globalist’s 6.5 points per dollar for up to 18.5 WOH points total per $1 spent.
- 100,000 WOH point signup bonus – To get new cardholders in the door, a huge bonus (30,000 more bonus points than the best ever offer from any product.) Rather than activating the signup bonus after a cardholder spends $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, this would likely require $5,000 to $7,500.
- TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry – This is a stalwart of the premium card space and it feels like a $100 benefit the year you need to use it even though it has no value the other four years before it becomes eligible for use again.
- Explorist Automatically – Mid-level elites don’t get a lot so there’s not much to give away with this perk, but it would add value for authorized users.
- Category 1-7 Award – Many cards award free night stays for spending on the card and not just holding it but rather than the personal card which awards a Category 1-4 free night certificate for spending $15,000 in a calendar year, this premium card and award level would likely require $30,000 in spending on the card to earn.
- Trip Insurance – Base-level trip insurance for trips booked with the card including pre-paid non-refundable travel purchased directly from the airline that comes into effect when canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather.
- Bonus Categories – Spending in selected categories will accrue bonus points by earning at a higher rate, likely 3x base points.
- Additional Milestones – While the club-level upgrades in my account are forever wasted, others might find value in them and it encourages incremental spend along the way at $10,000, $20,000, and $40,000 annually in addition to the aforementioned Category 1-7 free night award.
It’s important to note that Hyatt is already awarding high spenders Globalist-lite status through its business credit card when they spend $110,000/year and full Globalist (with milestones) at $120,000 spent annually. Many businesses spend that easily in a year if not sooner. That proves that Hyatt is willing to sell the status for some amount of money, even if that feels like a high amount to the average consumer.
Why They Haven’t Launched One Yet
Hyatt has only recently expanded its co-brand card offering to include a business credit card offers as the brand grows. The chain has increased its footprint but recently waded into the all-inclusive space in a big with acquisitions of ALG, adding 100+ properties. This will bring new business aspects into the fold, but among them, a new type of consumer that will absorb larger bills and may want to finance them on a card or further engage with the brand.
But this is all new for Hyatt. The brand’s historically limited footprint may have felt as though the market for a premium card wouldn’t be worth the marketing effort. It’s been speculated that the brand has fewer than 10,000 Globalists meaning both that there might not be enough engagement for the product, but also that the brand doesn’t want to dilute its membership with underqualified participants.
As the chain closes the gap with Hilton, Marriott, and IHG (It has a long way to go but it’s moving in the right direction), it may be time to offer customers something new to try with huge chain perks and products.
This is pure fantasy, no doubt. I have no inside track (though I wish I did) but it feels like time for this type of product with tangible benefits and value that moves some into the Hyatt fold and offers loyalists a reason to move Hyatt to the top of their wallet.
What do you think? Is it time for a premium Hyatt credit card? Is the space too crowded already? What benefits or perks would be this a card worth having or moving your spending to?