Which hotel rewards card should I get?

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Which hotel rewards card should I get?

Postby Llenroc22 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:39 am

I cant decide between the Chase Hyatt, Chase Marriott, or the Citi Hilton. I don't want AMEX so please don't recommend the SPG card. I spend an equal amount of time at each so I'm not sure which one is more beneficial. :money:

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Postby milkman12 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:47 am

Of the three mentioned, my preference is the Chase Hyatt, followed by Chase Marriott, then Citi Hilton.


  • Chase Hyatt's first year incentive: 2 nights in any property, worldwide, after first card use. Marriott's is slightly better with 1 free stay and 50,000 points. 50,000 points is good for 1 cat 8 property and then some.
  • Chase Hyatt's complementary stay in any category 1-4 property at each membership anniversary vs Marriott's complementary annual membership award in category 1-6 properties. Chase Hyatt's is slightly better because they're on a 6 category scale vs Marriott's 8 category scale.
  • The big difference is better bang-for-the-buck, if you will, in the Chase Hyatt program. On average, more points are needed for a comparable property in the Marriott program than Hyatt's. Sure, you earn more points in the Marriott program on hotel stays (5 points per dollar vs 3 points per dollar) but that doesn't really keep pace with the higher cost of Marriott reward redemption costs.
  • I'm not a fan of Citi HHonors program because so many of the restrictions in which properties are available for reward redemption. Perhaps this opens up a bit more as you gain status in their program but that doesn't describe me so I don't benefit from that.
  • The Citi Hilton Visa carries no annual fee. If you're staying in all three properties equally, doesn't it make sense to get that anyway and use it for the hotel expenses you'd incur in Hilton properties?
Amex Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%)
US Bank Cash+ (bills, 5%; restaurants, 5%)
Fidelity Investment Rewards Amex (2% across the board)
Discover Escape (2% across the board)

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Postby jeffysdad » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:27 am

I would go with one of the Chase cards because I don't like Citi. Pick whichever you think you'll be visiting the most.

As an alternative, you might consider using a cashback card from Chase, BofA/FIA, etc. that gives you access to a points mall. You can book your travel with Orbitz, Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. after accessing one of those sites through the points mall and get bonus points. Same for rental cars, airfare, etc.

You might not earn as much as you would with a dedicated hotel or airline card, but all of your points/cashback would be consolidated in one place, meaning you would probably reach a redemption level more quickly. This is particularly true for someone like me who does not travel much.
American Express: Blue Cash Preferred (groceries, 6%; gas, department store, 3%); Gold Delta SkyMiles (Delta Air Lines, 2 miles/dollar, free checked bag).
US Bank: Cash+ (utilities, phone, internet, restaurant, 5%; drugstores, 2%).
FIA Card Services: Fidelity Amex (everything, 2%); Fidelity Visa (everything, 1.5%).
Chase: Freedom (rotating, 5%); Amazon (Amazon.com, 3%); PriorityClub (IHG hotels, 5 points/dollar); Sapphire (not in use).

*All cards are registered with PriorityClub IDine program for 8 points/dollar at participating restaurants.

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Postby agp » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:26 pm

I'd get the Sapphire Preferred. It's more versatile, so you wouldn't have to restrict yourself to one chain of hotels.

Main Card: Amex Platinum
For gas: Penfed Platinum Cash Rewards
For travel & dining: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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