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 2014? 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. 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 only $333.34 per month, so the bar has been set very low. There are no resort, Internet or redemption fees for your award nights. There aren’t blackout dates either. So whether you use them to stay at a lower-end location or a high-profile property like those above, one thing is for sure… getting 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
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 ever have to pay that pesky 3 percent currency conversion surcharge ever again.
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.
Hyatt Platinum status – Normally, you’d need five qualifying stays (or 15 eligible nights) to get to Platinum. But, as long as your card is still open, you get it without that legwork. Platinum status earns you:
- 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
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 2014?
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 having a permanent place in your wallet for it. To make sure it’s the best fit for you, first consider these hotel and resort card offers.
Not loyal to one hotel brand? As an alternative, right now I am recommending the new Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard. Here’s why:
- 2.2 percent rewards on everything you buy. You get 2 miles per dollar. Each mile = 1 cent in statement credits, good for virtually any travel purchase. Then on top of that, you get back 10 percent of your miles to re-use every time you redeem them. That leaves you with a total rebate value of 2.2 percent for your spending.
- 40,000 bonus miles (worth $440 in statement credits for travel). To get this, all you have to do is spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening.
Updated April 4, 2014