[Some cards in the post earn me a referral commission. Emily and I are always very grateful to readers who apply using our links. As always, I've also listed offers which are better than my referral links.]
Yesterday, we looked at the different ways to earn Hilton points. Let’s look at how to earn Hyatt points today. As expected, the big point earning opportunities are by earning Ultimate Rewards points and transferring the points in a 1:1 ratio to Hyatt. In my experience, it is easier finding availability using Hyatt points than with Hilton points.
Hyatt doesn’t have as many hotels as Hilton, but requires only 22,000 points for their top hotels and 5,000 points for their lowest category hotels. Surprisingly, the best way to earn Hyatt points via actual spending (besides spending at Hyatt hotels) is NOT on the Hyatt credit card, but on other Chase Ultimate Rewards points cards.
You can use your Hyatt points to have Big Travel with Small Money at the low category hotels, or save them up to use at the top category Hyatts in Paris, Tokyo, Maldives, London, Switzerland which usually sell for over $500 a night.
I have a soft spot for Hyatt hotels because Emily and I had a very memorable stay in London and because the staff at the Grand Hyatt in Bangkok were so helpful when Emily fell sick.
250,000 Hyatt Points + 2 free nights
You can earn 235,000 Hyatt points & 2 free nights, if you eventually apply for all the possible cards which earn Hyatt points. However, the minimum spending is a very high $24,500.
Minimum Spending Required
|Total||250,000 + 2 free nights||$24,500||$0
|Chase Hyatt||2 Free Nights||$1,000 within 3 months||$75 NOT waived for 1st year
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa||40,000 points||$3,000 in 3 months||$95 waived for 1st year
|Chase Sapphire Preferred MasterCard. The MasterCard version is available on CreditCards.com (click on MasterCard in the left menu and scroll down) or on the MasterCard website.||40,000 points||$3,000 in 3 months||$95 waived for 1st year
|Chase Ink Plus||50,000 points||$5,000 in 3 months||$95 waived for 1st year|
|Chase Ink Bold||50,000 points||$5,000 in 3 months||$95 waived for 1st year
|Chase Freedom Visa||10,000 points||$500 in 3 months||No annual fee
|Chase Freedom MasterCard||10,000 points||$500 in 3 months||No annual fee
|Chase Sapphire Visa||10,000 points||$500 in 3 months||No annual fee
|Chase Ink Classic||20,000 points||$3,000 in 3 months||No annual fee
|Chase Ink Cash||20,000 points||$3,000 in 3 months||No annual fee
235,000 Hyatt Points & 2 Free Nights with 11 Credit Cards
You shouldn’t apply for all 10 cards at the same time because they are all from Chase! And you should not apply for credit cards if you have a big loan in the next 2 years.
Hyatt Credit Card
1. Chase Hyatt Visa Credit Card
Link: Chase Hyatt
Sign-up Bonus: The Hyatt card offers 2 free nights after spending $1,000 within 3 months and free Hyatt Platinum status (free internet!) as long as you have the card. If you’re a Diamond elite member, you get those 2 free nights in a suite, which usually costs 33,000 Hyatt points a night, so you’re getting the equivalent of 66,000 points as a sign-up bonus.
Hyatt Platinum elite members get 2 free nights and 2 suite upgrade certificates which can be used to upgrade any paid reservation (NOT your free nights) to a suite. And non-elite members get 2 free nights, but no suite upgrade certificates.
The lowest level category 1 hotels are 5,000 points a night and the highest category 6 hotels are 22,000 points a night. So you’re getting a minimum value of 10,000 points if you redeem your 2 free nights for the cheapest hotels or a maximum value of 44,000 if you redeem for 2 free nights at the top category hotels.
Earning Hyatt Points: The Hyatt card is the best card to use for earning points at a Hyatt hotel because you earn 3 Hyatt points for every $1 spent at Hyatt. But, it is NOT the best card to use for non-Hyatt hotel spending because you earn only 1 point per $1.
In contrast, you can earn 2X points on Travel and Dining on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, or 5X points on office Supplies and telecom on the Chase Ink Bold, Ink Classic, or Ink Cash, or 5X points on certain rotating categories with the Chase Freedom and you can then transfer the points back to Hyatt.
I’ll gladly pay the $75 fee for the Hyatt card for a long time because I get a free night every year in a Category 1 to 4 hotel which is worth between 5,000 to 15,000 Hyatt points. Well worth the $75 annual fee to me!
Ultimate Rewards Points – Direct 1:1 Transfer to Hyatt
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa and MasterCard
Sign-up Bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred has both a Visa and MasterCard version which offer 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within 3 months. And Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to Hyatt in a 1:1 ratio.
Here’s a link from the MasterCard website. The offer copy does not specify whether the card is a Visa or MasterCard, but the link works based on reader feedback.
Based on reader feedback, Chase doesn’t like folks having both the MasterCard and the Visa card at the same time. But you may be able to get the bonus on both the MasterCard and Visa as long as you have only 1 card at a time.
Earning Hyatt Points: You earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining, so you’re better off putting those expenses on your Sapphire Preferred than on your Hyatt credit card. And then transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt.
2. Chase Ink Bold & Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Ink Bold
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Sign-Up Bonus: You earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within 3 months.
Earning Hyatt Points: You earn 5X points on office supply stores and telecom (cable, wireless, internet) so you may be better off paying for those expenses on your Ink Bold and then transferring the points to Hyatt.
You can buy $500 gift cards from office supply stores (Office Max etc.) and then use those gift cards for your everyday spending to get extra points. This is inconvenient, but is a good way to get lots of extra points for the amount you spend. You will still come out ahead even with the $6 to $7 fee for the $500 gift card.
Also check out this post by Frequent Miler on how to buy a re-loadable AMEX, load it with up to $2,000, and then use that for all your spending.
Ultimate Rewards Points – Transfer to Hyatt via Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or JP Morgan Select
Ultimate Rewards points earned from the cards below cannot be directly transferred to Hyatt.
But you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Chase Freedom to your Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or JP Morgan select card and then to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio!
1. Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Freedom Visa
Link: Chase Freedom MasterCard
Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $500 within 3 months. Just like with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you may be able to get the bonus once for each version.
Earning Hyatt Points: You earn 5X points on different types of purchases (gas, groceries, etc.) each quarter subject to a maximum of $1,500 or 7,500 points per quarter.
This card doesn’t have an annual fee so it is a great card to keep to build a long term credit history and to use for the quarterly rotating categories. You can earn 30,000 bonus points if you max out the $1,500 category limit each quarter for $ 6,000 in annual spending!
If you have a Chase checking account, you will earn 10 extra points per purchase and a 10% point bonus on each transaction.
2. Chase Sapphire Visa
Link: Chase Sapphire Visa
Sign-up Bonus: The Chase Sapphire Visa has a 10,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $500 within 3 months.
Earning Hyatt Points: You earn 2X points per $1 only on dining and 1 point per $1 on everything else. In contrast, the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2X points on dining AND travel.
3. Chase Ink Classic
Link: Chase Ink Classic
Sign-up Bonus: Earn 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within the 1st 3 months on the Chase Ink Classic Credit Card.
Earning Hyatt Points: You earn 5X points on office supply stores and telecom (cable, wireless, internet) and 2X points on hotel and gas subject to a $25,000 annual cap on each category.
You can use the same gift card strategies for the Ink Bold with this card to earn 5X points on most of your purchases. There is no annual fee.
4. Chase Ink Cash
Link: Chase Ink Cash
This card has the same sign-on bonus and earnings as the Chase Ink Classic, except that you get 2X points on dining (not hotels) and gas.
Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall
After credit card sign-on bonuses, the easiest way to earn lots of miles and points is by clicking through to a mile and point earning portal to buy stuff which you would have otherwise bought.
The Ultimate Rewards portal is a great way to earn extra points which can then be transferred to Hyatt.
For example, why not click through the Ultimate Rewards portal for your $100 Kohl’s purchase and earn 10X points or 1,000 points for the same purchase?
Bottom Line: It is fairly easy to rack up lots of Hyatt points for Big Travel with Small Money. If you do like staying in Hyatt hotels, you should consider the Hyatt Visa card because the free night certificate each year is well worth the $75 annual fee.
Please comment if you know of other ways to earn lots of Hyatt points!
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 4,500+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another way to earn Hyatt points.