The Hyatt Credit Card

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If you like Hyatt Hotels, this is a great credit card.

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For fans of the Hyatt brand, The Hyatt Credit Card offers some great perks like one night free annually and some terrific redemption values on rooms starting as low as 5,000 points. But if you can’t always stay within its portfolio of properties, this is probably not the right card for you.

Review

The Hyatt Credit Card, issued by Chase Bank, recently underwent a sign-up makeover. It once was lauded for its introductory offer of two free nights at any property in the world after meeting a $2,000 spending requirement — the potential value of which far exceeded the $75 annual cost of ownership. But in June 2017, the issuer changed the offer to a 40,000 point sign-up bonus instead, which can be leveraged a number of different ways.

What those points are worth varies, as Hyatt assigns each of its properties a category, or ranking on a scale of 1 to 7 with Category 7 requiring the highest number of points (30,000) to redeem for a standard room for one night and Category 1 requiring the lowest (5,000).

We found, for example, a $126 room at the Hyatt House Colorado Springs that you could stay at for 5,000 points. Your points are worth about $0.025. The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa costs $238 per night or 20,000 points; so each point used here is worth $0.01.

If you prefer higher-end properties, you may find the altered sign-up bonus offers less value. But if you’re more likely to use lower-priced or mid-tier hotels for your stays, you may be able to squeeze more value out of the new sign-up offer.

The card also comes with one free night at a Category 1-4 hotel after your cardmember anniversary. Enjoy Discoverist status, as well, which gives you a 10% points bonus on all your Hyatt stays and free premium Internet access during your stay.

Granted, this isn’t the most exciting rewards card. You will earn just 3 bonus points per $1 spent on all Hyatt hotels and resorts spending. But keep in mind that redemptions start at just 5,000 World of Hyatt points for a night, so it may not take much for you to rack up free reward nights.

Outside of Hyatt spend, there’s a decent rewards rate of 2 bonus points per $1 spent at restaurants, airfare purchased directly from the airline and car rental agencies. This rate is comparable to some of the top travel rewards cards available.

If collecting air miles is more important to you than World of Hyatt points, you can set your rewards preference to collect miles instead with one of Hyatt’s 27 airline partners.

The bottom line: If you like Hyatt-branded hotels, it’s worth the cost of ownership in the first year for the sign-up bonus alone. Longer-term, if you think you’ll use the one annual free night at a Category 1-4 hotel, this card should be in your wallet.

Who should get this card

This card is best for someone who wants to take advantage of the sign-up bonus and ongoing annual free-night stay or anyone who is loyal to Hyatt hotels and can benefit from the rewards structure.

Advantages
  • The generous sign-up bonus could be worth as much as several free nights.
  • You get a free night every year at a Category 1-4 hotel.
  • World of Hyatt point redemptions start at only 5,000, so it may not take much to earn additional free nights.
Disadvantages
  • There’s no introductory APR offer on purchases or balance transfers.
  • The annual fee isn’t waived the first year.
  • If you want to stay at any hotel and not just one in the Hyatt portfolio, this is not the right card for you.

Fees and APR

  • Annual fee is $75.
  • You’ll pay a variable 16.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Balance transfer fee is 5%.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Late payments won’t affect your APR, but you may be subject to a late fee of up to $37.

Extras, perks and using points

The Hyatt Credit Card comes with World of Hyatt Discoverist status, which entitles you to a 10% bonus on points for all eligible spending, 500 bonus points for renting a car with Avis, and room upgrades where available.

You’re also eligible for purchase and price protection benefits. This card also comes with auto and travel insurance and protections.

World of Hyatt points never expire and there’s no minimum redemption amount required. To redeem your points for free nights or toward room upgrades, or to redeem using a combination of points and cash, log into your World of Hyatt account and select the hotel and number of nights that fits your needs or redeem over the phone with a Hyatt booking agent.

The redemption terms and award charts can be found here.

How this card compares

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Card Details
  • Earn 25,000 Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Planning a road trip? Rent your car, fill up your tank, book your hotel, and pay for it with your American Express® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.24%-20.24% Variable
Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express is much-loved by points and miles strategists for its wide range of eligible airline transfer partners. Starpoints also can be transferred to Ritz-Carlton and Marriott properties, making it one of the most flexible credit card rewards currencies available.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

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Card Details
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at over 5,700 Marriott locations.
  • Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at SPG properties.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants, car rental agencies and on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline.
  • Earn 1 point on all other purchases.
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Annual Fee $85
Balance Transfers Intro APR

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card is best for repeat Marriott customers who want to earn rewards toward more future stays. While the rewards rate at Marriott, SPG or Ritz-Carlton properties is strong, the card offers lackluster rewards on airfare booked through the airline and. The annual one free night certificate for a Category 1-5 hotel will likely make the annual cost of ownership for this card worth it to Marriott brand fans.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Card Details
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Credit Needed Excellent
Regular APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card‘s hefty sign-up bonus, boosted redemption value when using the Chase portal and a generous rewards program make this card a stand-out among travel rewards cards offering big value for minimal cost. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for everything from flights to lodging to cruises, this also makes it one of the most flexible redemption programs among travel cards.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.