Manufacturing Hyatt status with the new business card

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In my opinion, Hyatt’s new business card is disappointing.  It costs more than twice as much as Hyatt’s consumer card but delivers less value.  Those who want to earn free nights will do better with Hyatt’s personal card which offers a free night every anniversary plus a free night with $15K calendar year spend.  Those who want to earn lots of points will do better with various Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, many of which offer 5x earnings in various categories of spend.  One of the best of these, the fee-free Ink Business Cash card, offers 5X for office purchases, phone, internet and TV (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) and 2X at gas stations and restaurants.  If you pair the Ink Cash with a $95 Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, you can then transfer those points to Hyatt.

The main reason to consider the Hyatt Business Card is because you want to spend your way to top-tier Hyatt Globalist status each year.  Where the personal card offers 2 tier qualifying nights with each $5K of spend, the business card offers 5 tier qualifying nights with each $10K of spend.  For each $10K of spend, you’ll get one night closer to elite status than you would with the consumer card.  The question is whether that’s enough of an edge to make the business card worth it for those who manufacture Hyatt’s top tier status through spend.

What are tier qualifying nights?
Tier qualifying nights are often referred to as "elite nights". With many hotel chains, you can earn elite status by acquiring a number of tier qualifying elite nights each year. For example, Hyatt usually requires earning 30 elite nights per year to achieve mid-tier Explorist status, or 60 elite nights for top-tier Globalist status. Additionally, Hyatt offers "Milestone Rewards" which are perks like free lounge access, free nights, bonus points, etc. Milestone Rewards are earned within a calendar year when you achieve 20 elite nights, and every 10 elite nights after that up to 100. Read more about Hyatt elite status and Milestone Rewards in our World of Hyatt Complete Guide.

If your goal is to earn top tier Hyatt Globalist status primarily through credit card spend, is the new Hyatt business card worth getting and keeping?

World of Hyatt Cards Side by Side

Before trying to answer the question of whether the business card is a good tool for manufacturing top tier elite status, let’s look at the two cards side by side:

Consumer Card Business Card
Annual Fee $95 $199
Earn 2x at… Dining, Travel1, Gyms Earn 2x in your top spending categories2: Dining; Travel1; Gyms; Gas stations; Internet, cable and phone services; Internet Advertising; and Shipping
Earn 4x at… Hyatt hotels & resorts Hyatt hotels & resorts
Free anniversary night Category 1-4 N/A
Rebate at Hyatt hotels N/A Up to $100
($50 twice per year)
Automatic Elite Status Discoverist Discoverist
Automatic Tier Qualifying Nights 5 per year N/A
Tier Qualifying Nights with Spend 2 per $5K 5 per $10K
Big Spend Bonus Spend $15K in a calendar year, get a category 1-4 free night. After $50K spend in a calendar year, get 10% back on redeemed points for the rest of that calendar year (max 20K back per year)
Other Perks N/A Gift Discoverist status to up to 5 employees; Join Hyatt Leverage to get hotel discounts, but without a 50 night stay requirement

1) Airline tickets purchased directly with the airline; car rental agencies; local transit and commuting;
2) Top 3 of 8 spending categories each calendar quarter through 12/31/22 and then the top 2 of 8 spending categories in 2023 and beyond.

For those who don’t plan to spend a lot on their Hyatt card, the comparison isn’t even close.  The consumer card comes with an annual free night that is worth more than the annual fee, whereas the business card comes with up to $100 in rebates that can make up for half of the annual fee.

Which is better for manufacturing Globalist status with spend?

On first blush, you might think that the business card is obviously better for manufacturing Globalist status since it offers more qualifying nights with each $10K of spend.  But the consumer card comes with 5 qualifying nights automatically and so you would have to spend $50K on each card just for the business card to catch up:

  • Consumer card $50K spend: 5 automatic qualifying nights + 20 from spend = 25 qualifying nights.  Plus you’ll earn a category 1-4 free night along the way.
  • Business card $50K spend: 25 qualifying nights.  Plus you’ll get a 10% rebate (up to 20K points back) on awards spent the rest of the year.

Earning 25 elite nights, though, might not be enough to get you to Globalist status.  During normal years, Globalist status requires earning 60 tier qualifying nights.  Let’s assume that you plan to spend 20 nights at Hyatt hotels each year and so you want to manufacture 40 qualifying nights with your credit card.  In that case, you would have to spend $85,000 on the consumer card or $80,000 on the business card:

  • Consumer card: Spend $85,000 plus use at least one of your two free nights
    • Automatic 5 qualifying nights
    • $85K spend = 17 x 2 = 34 qualifying nights
    • Use a category 1-4 free night = 1 qualifying night
    • Total: 40 tier qualifying nights
  • Business card: Spend $80,000 to get 40 tier qualifying nights

The business card has a tiny edge with regards to spend required to get to 40 tier qualifying nights, but I don’t think that’s enough of an edge to argue that it’s better than the consumer card.  At this level of spend, I’d argue that the cards are roughly equal.  Some may prefer the consumer card thanks to its free night certificates and lower annual fee.  Others may prefer the business card for its 10% rebate and extra bonus categories.

Are they better together?

It occurred to me that the sweet-spot for manufacturing Hyatt Globalist status might not be one card or the other, but both.  Consider a scenario where you spend $15K on your consumer card and $60K on your business card each year:

  • Consumer card $15K spend: 5 automatic qualifying nights + 6 from spend = 11 qualifying nights.  Plus you’ll earn a category 1-4 free night from that $15K spend.
  • Business card $60K spend: 30 qualifying nights plus the 10% rebate.
  • Total: Spend $75K ($15K consumer + $60K business), get 41 qualifying nights

With this approach for earning 40+ qualifying nights, you would spend $10K less than you would with the consumer card alone and $5K less than with the business card alone.  Plus, you would get the best of both worlds:

  • Anniversary category 1-4 night
  • Category 1-4 night with $15k spend
  • 10% rebate (up to 20K points back) on awards spent the rest of the year after spending $50K on the business card.
  • Up to $100 back at Hyatt hotels

So, yeah, for those spending their way to top tier Hyatt elite status, the cards are better together.  Are they so good that they’re worth paying two annual fees though?

Are two annual fees worth it?

I’ve previously asserted that the consumer card’s annual free night is worth more than the annual fee.  If you believe that, then the only real question is whether adding the $199 business card to the mix is worth it.  With the business card thrown into the mix, you get:

  • $10K less spend required to earn 40+ tier qualifying nights
  • A 10% rebate (up to 20K points back) on awards spent the rest of the year after spending $50K on the business card.
  • More Hyatt points if any of your spend was in a 2x category that is unique to the business card (gas stations, for example)
  • Up to $100 back per year at Hyatt hotels.
  • Potential cash savings via Hyatt Leverage.

When you look at all of these together, I think it’s a no brainer (assuming you can get approved for a new Chase business card).  The 20K point rebate alone would be worth more than the business card’s annual fee (assuming you max it out each year).  The two $50 rebates at Hyatt hotels would then be icing on the cake.  And if you have heavy spend in a 2x category, such as at gas stations, the extra point per dollar on that spend would be worth a lot too.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the vast majority of readers would be better off with the consumer World of Hyatt card.  It’s cheaper and has better perks.  For those who intend to spend their way to top-tier Globalist status each year, though, the two cards are roughly equal.  Which you prefer will depend on how much of your spend will earn 2x with the business card, how much you value to consumer card’s free night certificates, etc.  The best option for those who plan to spend their way to top tier status each year, though, is to have both cards.  Put $15k of spend on the consumer card each year and then put the rest of the spend (in $10K increments) on the business card.  And, if you can put some of that spend on 2x categories (gas stations, anyone?), all the better.

To be clear, the above advice is for those who have already decided that they want to spend their way to Hyatt Globalist status each year.  For everybody else, keep in mind that there is a big opportunity cost to doing this.  If you instead put the same spend towards new welcome bonuses or more lucrative category bonuses, you would earn far greater rewards.

For those still deciding whether to spend their way to Globalist status each year, you might find this 2019 post interesting: Manufacturing Hyatt Globalist Status.

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