There were rumors in recent months, but there’s now been a formal announcement. Cardholders of the legacy Hyatt credit card will be automatically product changed to the World of Hyatt credit card on January 11, 2021.
There are some benefits to having the World of Hyatt credit card over the legacy Hyatt card. The World of Hyatt card offers 4x on paid Hyatt stays versus 3x on the legacy card, you can earn two elite night credits for every $5,000 spent on the newest card and it also offers more categories in which you can earn bonus points per dollar.
One of the main downsides to this change is that the legacy card had a $75 annual fee whereas the new card has a $95 annual fee. If you’ve been keeping the legacy Hyatt card around for its category 1-4 certificate at renewal each year, that’s now going to cost you an extra $20.
Here’s a table courtesy of Hyatt listing the differences between the two cards:
There are a couple of other disappointing aspects to this automatic product change. First, Chase has sometimes offered bonus points for actively product changing from a legacy card to the new version of a card. I think they might have offered the opportunity to do this on the Hyatt card a couple of years ago when they launched the World of Hyatt card, but it’s been some time if that was the case and, if I recall correctly, the upgrade incentive wasn’t very incentivizing.
It feels like Chase and/or Hyatt is also being shady with the date chosen for this change to occur. They launched a spending promotion last month offering a free category 1-4 night certificate when spending
$5,000 $4,000 on the legacy card by December 31, 2020. One of the terms of that promotion is:
Please allow 4 weeks from the end of the promotion period for the Free Night Award to be issued to your World of Hyatt account at worldofhyatt.com.
Assuming that the certificate isn’t awarded as promptly as it could be, that means you’ll have to allow your Hyatt card to be upgraded to the World of Hyatt card in order to get that certificate awarded on your account.
Similarly, Chase is offering bonus points on co-branded cards right now. My World of Hyatt card wasn’t targeted, but my wife’s legacy Hyatt card did receive the offer for 3x at grocery stores and 5x on Amazon on up to $1,500 of combined spend per month in November and December.
One of the terms from that spending offer is:
Please allow up to 8 weeks after qualifying purchases post to your account for Bonus Points to post to your account.
So once again, unless Chase awards the bonus points within a week-and-a-half of the new year, you’ll have to allow your card to be upgraded in order to earn the bonus points.
We’ve already spent $1,500 on Amazon on my wife’s card and $1,000 elsewhere, so I guess we’ll continue our original plans to meet that
$5,000 $4,000 spending requirement while simultaneously stacking with the 3x/5x spending offer and allow her card to be product changed in January. She’s under 5/24, so we’ll likely cancel her card as soon as her anniversary night certificate is awarded and then apply for the World of Hyatt card anew in order to earn the welcome bonus – hopefully the bonus will have been increased by then.