Despite being one of the biggest and most popular luxury hotel brands in the world, you might be surprised to hear that up until 2 years ago, 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 did they accomplish that goal or not? Well review it for yourself… I think there’s a strong case that they did!
The best card offer ever?
February 2013 update: As I predicted below, this 2 free nights offer wouldn’t stay around forever and Chase has now pulled the plug on it. So I would NOT apply for this card right now since the offer isn’t avail.
As an alternative, by far the best deal right now for hotels is this offer from Marriott:
I’ll leave up my review (below) of the Chase Hyatt credit card for reference purposes, just keep in mind the 2 free nights signup promo is no longer offered.
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!
No sneaky exclusions… it’s refreshing to see a credit card offer that! So how much is this signup bonus actually worth? Well obviously the room rates vary by location but to give you an idea, I priced out a 2-night stay for fall 2012 at a couple of their high profile properties…
The Paris Vendome location is especially valuable, considering the dollar to euro conversion. Is this the most valuable credit card promotion ever? I can’t imagine the Hyatt card will run such a generous offer for long… so you definitely don’t want this one to pass you by.
The spending requirement to qualify for this bonus is just $1,000 within the first 3 months. 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 ridiculously 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
There are no limits to how many points you can earn. How much are Hyatt points worth? Well, here is the reward redemption chart for rooms as of 2012.
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 a lot more than what you typically get with most cards out there.
Big benefits for a small fee
The annual fee is very reasonable at $75 and once you see the benefits, I don’t think anyone can dispute that the credit card from Hyatt is worth every penny and more.
Comes with chip and PIN – Almost no US issued credit cards come with chip and PIN technology (EMV). As a result, swiping your old-fashioned magnetic strip card at European train ticket kiosks, parking meters, and gas pumps is usually impossible. But not for the Hyatt card.
No foreign transaction fees – With the Hyatt Visa you won’t ever have to pay that pesky 3% currency conversion surcharge ever again.
Hyatt Platinum status – You get this status as long as you have their card. Is it worthwhile? As Sarah Palin would say, you betchya!
- Receive a 15% point bonus for each stay
- Option to make a late checkout request and stay until 2:00 pm
- Get the preferred rooms (those on higher floors or that are larger)
- 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 therefore 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 on anniversary – Every year on your account’s anniversary date, you receive 1 Award night (good for category 1-4 properties). Obviously, getting that every year easily justifies the Hyatt credit card’s annual fee of $75.
Verdict for 2013?
Many of the credit cards out there that come with good signup promotions are not ones you would want to keep for the long haul. However, the Chase Hyatt Visa is definitely 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.
That being, I would NOT apply for it right now since they’ve discontinued the good signup bonus for it. Instead, earn you up to 7 free nights to start with this Marriott Rewards Premier offer!