Hyatt is now offering automatic mid-tier Explorist status to those who spend $50K on the Chase Hyatt credit card within a calendar year. Hyatt is also offering this benefit retroactively to those who spent $50K on the card in 2016.
Hyatt’s new “World of Hyatt” program kicks in on March 1st. I’ve previously written about the 5 things I love about the World of Hyatt and 5 things I hate about World of Hyatt. One of the things that I sort-of loved was that mid tier status now comes with meaningful benefits. Specifically, Explorist elites now get 4 Club lounge access awards each year, and these can be applied to either paid or award nights. At some Hyatt hotels lounge access is the key benefit of having top tier Hyatt status, so this gives mid tier elites a nice way to enjoy the same.
The Chase Hyatt credit card, up until now, offered a total of 5 stay credits and 10 night credits towards elite status for those who spent $40K within a calendar year. That was very useful to help qualify for status, but it didn’t in itself get you to status.
The new benefit has a few pros and cons:
Pro: It is now possible to get to somewhat meaningful elite status through spend alone.
Con 1: For those who want to qualify (or re-qualify) for top tier Globalist status, the card does not help at all. Getting to mid-tier Explorist status through credit card spend does not reduce the nights or spend requirements for Globablist status.
Con 2: $50K spend is a lot to put on a card that only offers 1 point per dollar for most spend (it does offer 2X at restaurants, airlines, car rentals; and 3X at Hyatt). Other than the promise of elite status, most people would do much better with other cards. Even if you want Hyatt points, you could get the Freedom Unlimited card (1.5X everywhere) and pair with the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve in order to get better bonus categories and the ability to transfer points to Hyatt, as well as to other hotel and airline programs.
Overall, I’m glad that Hyatt is offering a way to earn elite status through spend, but I’m disappointed that credit card spend does not help those who want to qualify for top-tier Globalist status.