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Update: The Chase Ink Bold card is NO LONGER AVAILABLE for new sign-ups. Check the Hot Deals page for the most up-to-date information!
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.
200,000 Hyatt Points + 2 free nights
You can earn 200,000 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.
You shouldn’t apply for all the 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
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.
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
Sign-up Bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred has both a Visa and MasterCard version which offer 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within 3 months. And Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to Hyatt in a 1:1 ratio.
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
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
Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points ($150 cash back) 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
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
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
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!