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While a lot of attention has been paid to the merger between Marriott and Starwood, let's look at some of the revamped perks from Hyatt. Recently, Hyatt introduced "World of Hyatt" as its new loyalty program and launched a World of Hyatt Credit Card. There's a new tiered system for the card's welcome bonus: You'll earn 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and another 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 total in the first 6 months. The 50,000 total points are valued at $850.

There's an annual fee of $95, but that's not too hard to cover when you consider the higher earning rates that Hyatt is offering:

  • 4 points per dollar on purchases at Hyatt (including on-site restaurants and spas)
  • 2 points per dollar at restaurants, travel, and fitness clubs/gyms
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Additionally, some of you may be lucky enough to be targeted for a special promotion: earn two free nights at any Hyatt hotel (category 1 to 7) in the world plus a $50 statement credit. Category 7 hotels are some of Hyatt's best properties, like the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme. These hotels go for 30,000 points a night so your welcome bonus would be the equivalent of 60,000 total points. For more details on how this promo works, head over to The Points guy for a full breakdown.

If you don't qualify for the targeted offer, 50,000 points can still take you a long way. You can redeem your points for free stays for as little as 5,000 points per night at category 1 hotels. That's ten free nights with the welcome bonus alone. Additionally, you can transfer your points to airline miles or even use them to rent cars.

Finally, the card comes with 5 free elite-qualifying nights each year, effectively dropping the elite night requirement for anyone who has the card to 25 nights for Explorist and 55 nights for Globalist. Furthermore, for every $5,000 spent on the new card, you'll earn credit for an additional 2 elite nights, with no cap on the number of elite nights you can earn. So if you're close to gaining status, consider this card to help you bridge the gap.

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