The Hyatt Credit Card - Perfect for the Hotel Enthusiast

Alex Cohen

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If you’re considering a credit card to save on hotel expenses for your travels, add the Hyatt card to the top of your list.

The Hyatt card has a great sign up bonus, lucrative rewards, and fantastic cardholder perks, making it unparalleled with comparable hotel credit cards. With a $75 annual fee, the Hyatt card is reasonably priced, especially considering that Hyatt gives you a free night every year.

Card Details

Chase Hyatt Card

Chase Hyatt Card

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Annual Fee: $75

How it Earns: 3x points on Hyatt Hotels, 2x points on flights, restaurants and car rentals, 1x point on everything else

Sign Up Bonus: 40,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months

Reward Values: Hyatt points are worth at least 2.1 cents each when redeemed for Hyatt Hotels

Extra Bonus: Get a free night each year as an anniversary bonus

Potential Rewards

Hyatt points are some of the most valuable hotel points in the industry. On average, points are redeemable at 2.1 cents each, with some international redemptions valued in the 3 and 4 cent range. Although the hotel industry has seen some big devaluations over the last few years, most notably Hilton increasing the number of points needed to redeem, Hyatt has consistently kept the World of Hyatt program flexible and rewarding

Tip: The best values for most hotel programs is by redeeming for international properties!

Potential Year 1 Rewards

To optimize rewards earned with Hyatt Card, it’s best to use the card for your dining and travel (specifically flight, Hyatt hotels and car rental) spending and then any other spending where you don’t have another card with a bonus.

Assuming your yearly spending is $4800 ($400/month) on dining, $1500 on eligible travel and $15,000 ($1,250) on other, non-bonus purchases, your rewards would net:

  • Dining: $202
  • Eligible Travel: $63
  • Other Purchases: $315
  • Sign Up Bonus: $840
  • Annual Fee: -$75

Total: $1,344.60

It’s important to consider that 2.1 cents is the average redemption value through the Hyatt program. Through our research, we consistently find hotels where the value per point is 2.5 cents and up. Here are a couple examples of great redemption values:

The Park Hyatt in the Maldives had a value of 4 cents per point

The Park Hyatt in New York City had a value of 2.5 cents per point

If you were to redeem your rewards for a trip to the Maldives, your rewards in the first year would be $2,704. With a trip to New York City, you'd have around $1,615 worth of points.  

Potential Year 2 Rewards:
In year 2, you won’t get another sign-up bonus, but you do get a free night on your annual card member anniversary! We value that free night at 25,000 points. The breakdown for year 2 (assuming identical spending as year 1):
  • Dining: $202
  • Eligible travel: $63
  • Other purchases: $315
  • Free night: $525
  • Annual fee: -$75

Total: $1,030

The $75 Sign Up Bonus

The Hyatt Credit card has a $75 annual fee, quite standard for a card with these perks and rewards. With the lucrative rewards, sign up bonus, and free annual award night, the card easily pays for itself. 

$75 is actually less than competitor cards like the Hilton Honors Ascend at $95, The Marriott Credit Card at $85 and the Starwood Preferred Guest Card at $95. But, Starwood and Marriott waive their annual fees for the first year that you own the card.

World of Hyatt Reward Program

For a full overview of the World of Hyatt Reward Program, click here,

With the Hyatt credit card, you’re automatically upgrading to the second status level of the program - Discoverist.

Discoverist status includes some good perks, including:

  • Free internet and daily water bottle
  • Free hotel night after you stay at 5 different Hyatt properties
  • Expedited hotel check-in
  • Waived resort fees on reward redemption nights
  • Late check out
  • Preferred room upgrades

You’ll also earn 8 points per dollar on Hyatt Hotel stays. That’s 5 points for being a part of the World of Hyatt Program and 3 for using the Hyatt card, netting you ~17% back in rewards.

Additionally, because some hotels offer 10% off the base rate for being a member, you can save up to 25% on Hyatt purchases!

Should You Consider the Hyatt Card?

There are three ideal use cases where this card makes the most sense:

Frequent Hyatt-goers

This should be obvious, but if you stay at Hyatt hotels, even just a couple of times each year, the card pays for itself. Between the bonuses earned on the card, perks and free nights, it’s a no-brainer.

Soon-to-be Married!

If you’re recently engaged and planning a honeymoon, this card can help save thousands of dollars on that perfect getaway. Hyatt has some gorgeous hotels around the world (see the Maldives from earlier) that can cost upwards of $1,000 a night, and using the sign-up bonus + strategic spending can make these stays doable for a budget-friendly couple.

Infrequent Traveler

Even if you’re not a frequent traveler, you can still reap the rewards. If you travel only one or two times a year but plan to stay in hotels, versus an Airbnb couch crash, the card can help lower your lodging expenses. Reward redemptions start at just 5,000 points a night, making that signup bonus = 8 free nights!

For a full list of properties by hotel class, click here.

Why You Should Not Get the Card

There are two big reasons to consider a different card:

  • You don’t stay in hotels when you travel
  • You need more flexible redemptions, such as flights or car rentals

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

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If you’re an infrequent traveler and would prefer reward flexibility, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card might be best, as it earns 2x the points on travel and dining and 1x on everything else.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card (CSP for short) offers an array of transfer partners, including Hyatt. That makes Chase Ultimate Reward points worth the exact same amount as World of Hyatt.

Just be mindful that you’ll earn 2x the points on all travel, including things like parking, subways, and buses, but you won’t get the perks that come with the Hyatt card, like the upgrade in the loyalty program and waived resort fees, which add up quickly.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

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If you’re a heavy traveler, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR for short). It has a steep, $450 annual fee, but earns 3x the points on travel and dining and 2x on everything else. The 50,000 points sign up bonus is worth $1,050 ($210 more than the Hyatt sign up bonus)when you transfer to Hyatt rewards.

The CSR also includes some of the best travel benefits in the industry, such as $300 in travel credit, $100 towards TSA pre-check and priority pass lounge access.

Summing Up

The Hyatt card is an excellent addition to your wallet if you can truly take advantage of the perks and benefits offered. There are strong reasons to consider the card, especially if Hyatt is your go-to Hotel chain.

About the Author

Alex Cohen

Alex is the founder of Birch and lives in San Francisco with his two dogs, Duncan and Miller, and his fiance, Sarah. Follow him on Twitter @anothercohen