Despite being one of the biggest and most popular luxury hotel brands in the world, you might be surprised to hear that up until 2010, Hyatt never issued their own branded card.
Why not? Well the rumor was because they weren’t interested in having one, unless it could be the best hotel credit card on the market.
So is their card competitive in 2015? We no longer offer it on this site, but use our review to decide if it’s the best fit for you.
The current offer
Sign-up bonus: Two free nights at any Hyatt, worldwide. Sure, some hotel cards will reel you in with a promotion for a free stay but then when you dig into the fine print, you discover they only give it to you at their lowest-level properties. That’s not the case with the Hyatt 2 free nights promotion. Take a look for yourself – there are NO sneaky exclusions in the application’s fine print.
Note that there must be standard rooms available when you book to redeem your points.
So how much is this sign-up bonus actually worth? Well obviously the room rates vary by location but to give you an idea, I priced out a 2-night stay at a couple of their high profile properties … The Paris Vendome location is especially valuable, considering the dollar-to-euro conversion. The spending requirement to qualify for this bonus is $1,000 within the first three months of cardmembership. That’s an average of $333.34 per month, which isn’t that much of a stretch if you concentrate spending on the card. You will have to pay resort fees at certain properties, but 2 free nights at a luxury hotel like Hyatt – regardless of the location – is a generous promotion.
As you would expect, with the Hyatt Visa card you earn Hyatt Gold Passport points:
- 3 points per dollar spent at Hyatt
- 2 points per dollar at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline and at car rental agencies
- 1 point per dollar everywhere else
Hyatt updated its redemption chart in 2014, and it’s still in effect as of January 2015.
Based on my experience, it’s easy to get up to 1.5 to 2 cents value per Gold Passport point when you convert them to free nights at their hotels. But even if you’re not familiar with the rewards program, all you have to do is look at the two room quotes above to get the gist of how valuable their points are. So this means that even though the Chase Hyatt only gives 1 pt/dollar on normal spending, keep in mind that each point can be worth more than a cent, depending on how you redeem.
Big benefits for a small fee
The annual fee is very reasonable at $75. If you take advantage of all the card’s benefits, you can easily make up for that cost.
No foreign transaction fees – With the Hyatt Visa you won’t have to worry about pesky charges while traveling or making purchases online with foreign companies.
Comes with chip and signature – EMV chip technology is gaining traction in the U.S., but not all cards have it. The Hyatt card does.
Elite status – As long as your card is still open, you automatically get Platinum membership (which would normally require 5 qualifying stays or 15 eligible nights per year). At the Platinum level, you get:
- A 15 percent point bonus for each stay
- Option to make a late checkout request and stay until 2 p.m.
- Access to preferred rooms (those on higher floors or that are larger) when available
- No charge for in-room internet
- Elite member area for faster check-in
In addition to automatic Platinum status, you also get 2 stays and 5 nights toward Diamond status if you spend $20,000 in a calendar year on the card. If you spend $40,000 per calendar year, you get an additional 3 stay credits and 5 night credits.
Visa Signature benefits – This is the highest tier of a Visa card you can get, and it comes with the most bells and whistles: concierge service, purchase security, extended warranty coverage on eligible purchases, lost luggage reimbursement, travel emergency assistance hotline, emergency card and cash replacement, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside dispatch, Common Carrier travel accident insurance, entertainment benefits, and more. Contact Chase for the details, rules, and exclusions for each benefit.
1 free award night every year after account anniversary – Every year after your account’s anniversary date, you receive one Award night (good for category 1-4 properties).
Verdict for 2015?
Many of the credit cards out there that come with good sign-up promotions are not ones you would want to keep for the long haul. However, the Chase Hyatt Visa is an exception: With all the benefits and the free award night every year upon renewal, it definitely makes sense to make room in your wallet for it. To make sure it’s the best fit for you, first consider these hotel and resort card offers.
Updated Jan. 13, 2015