Review of the Chase Hyatt Card: Should You Apply?

The Chase Hyatt credit card is one of the best hotel credit cards offered by Chase, or perhaps by any bank. It offers great value for redeeming free night certificates or points at some very nice hotels and it’s not subject to strict application rules that make getting approved for it much more difficult. But with new changes to the Hyatt Gold Passport program, many people may be wondering if it’s still worthing getting the card. Here’s my review of the Chase Hyatt credit card. 

hyatt_card

Not subject to the Chase 5/24 Rule

The Chase Hyatt credit card is one of the co-branded cards that is not subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. What does this mean in practical terms? It means that you should probably try to hold off on the Hyatt credit card until you’ve surpassed 5/24. This is because there are multiple cards like the Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Freedom cards, and Ink cards that would earn you valuable Ultimate Rewards. (And if you wanted to, you could then transfer those Ultimate Rewards at a 1:1 ratio to Hyatt.)

Thus, I wouldn’t apply for the Hyatt card until after you are subjected to the 5/24 rule.

Sign-up bonus

  • 2 free nights at any Hyatt worldwide of any category when you spend $2,000 or more during the first 3 months
  • Get 5,000 bonus points after you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase with your card during the first 3 months from account opening
  • Plus, 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 property

There’s a tremendous amount of potential value in two free nights at Hyatts of any category. One of the commonly sought “mega-redemptions” is redeeming your two free nights at the category 7, Park Hyatt New York. Standard rooms can easily go for about $1,000 a night, so there’s potential to gain a lot in value. Not to mention, the experience of staying in such a beautiful hotel. Just remember, the 2 free nights must be used within one year of issuance.

You can search for Hyatt hotels by category here. As you might be able to tell, one of the knocks against Hyatt is that there are fewer properties found around the country and globe, so it’s not as easy to find a property to stay at as Marriott or Hilton, so keep that in mind. 

High Tea at Park Hyatt // Tokyo Trip
Park Hyatt Tokyo. Photo by Merlijn Hoek.

Alternative sign-up bonus 

Sometimes the sign-up bonus offers points instead of free nights. I think the standard public offer for points is about 30,000 to 35,000, but I’ve seen targeted offers for up to 40,000 points (plus the 5,000 for adding an authorized user). 30,000 points will get you a night at a category 7 hotel, so the two free nights can offer you more value (worth 60,000 points), but the 40,000 point offers you the flexibility of stretching those points to cover more than just two nights. 

Personally, I’m a big fan of the weekend getaways at top hotels, so I really like the two free nights and would probably not feel the need to hold off for a different offer. 

Park Hyatt Milan
Park Hyatt Milan. Photo by PYONKO OMEYAMA.

Annual fee

  • $75 annual fee (not waived)

With the $75 annual fee and free anniversary night at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel, this card becomes one of those keeper cards that you probably won’t ever have to cancel because there are many possibilities for getting back anywhere from $200 to $400+ worth of value from the free anniversary night! Keep in mind that the anniversary night must also be used (not booked) “within 12 months from issuance.” Also, Hyatt no longer offers extensions to these deadlines as they did in the past. 

I highly recommend getting two of these type of cards for couples (one for each partner), as they offer you a weekend or two night get-a-way each year for a fraction of the price. You can combine free night certificates into one stay (or connect your itineraries) so that you don’t have to switch rooms, but you’ll need to call in to make such arrangements. Read more on maximizing Hyatt free night certificates here.  

No foreign transaction fees 

Bonus categories

  • 3 points per $1 spent at all Hyatt properties
  • 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets
    purchased directly from the airline, and at car rental agencies
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases made with your card

I’m not big on most co-branded cards for their bonus category spend potential. The reason is that you can often earn just as good, if not better, rates with other cards that earn flexible reward points that you can transfer out to different programs.

For example, with the Chase Sapphire Reserve you could earn 3X on every dollar spent at Hyatt properties and 3X on dining, car rentals, airlines, etc. You could also transfer those points to Hyatt from Chase Ultimate Rewards if I wanted to. Thus, I wouldn’t make the bonus category earning potential the deciding factor for getting the Chase Hyatt card.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco
Hyatt Regency San Francisco. Photo by David Yu.

Status

This is one of the big changes happening to the card with the new overhaul of Hyatt’s loyalty program. 

Hyatt just announced that it’s changing its Gold Passport program to “World of Hyatt.” Gold Passport had two tiers but the new World of Hyatt will have three. What this means for the credit card is that you’ll be granted a different status. Before, the Hyatt card offered you Platinum status. However, according to View from the Wing now that will get you:

  • “Discoverist” status but with option of earning “Explorist” through the following year with $50,000 in spend on the card each calendar year (yes, we all agree the new names are atrocious). 

The Discoverist status is similar to the old Platinum status but it’s missing some of the prior benefits.

  • Before you could spend $40,000 for 10 elite nights
  • No more 72 hours guaranteed room availability 
  • The 15% in bonus points is dropped to 10%
  • Upgrades now limited to “Preferred room within the room type booked”
  • M-Life gold status down to pearl 

In addition to those changes you still get 

  • Premium internet 
  • Late check-out to 2pm 

And the added perk of

  • One free Category 1-4 night after trying five different Hyatt brands (up to two times)

The drop in status benefits attached to the card is certainly a negative but I don’t think it significantly alters the value of the credit card. Platinum benefits weren’t exactly the most amazing benefits and the majority of value with this cards is the sign-up bonus and anniversary night. Thus, while I think the program change is a slight loss for this card, it wouldn’t keep me from applying for the card. 

Protections 

The card offers the standard protections you’d probably expect: 

  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Extended Warranty Protection

Final word 

Even with changed to the new Hyatt loyalty program, this card is still a solid option. There’s a tremendous amount of potential value to get out of booking two free nights of any category and taking advantage of the free anniversary night. While the benefits offered by the new “Discoverist status” are so-so, I still think this is one of the best hotel credit cards to get and keep. The only reason why I wouldn’t go for this card is if I thought there was a real possibility that I might not use the free night within 12 months. If that’s the case, then you might want to hold off. 

Cover photo by Mijaeus via Flickr

5 comments

  1. My husband and I each have this hyatt card and used the free 2 night certificates in all inclusive cancun diva. I would love to go again….DO you know if I can apply for this hyatt card again in a business name and get the certificates for 2 free nights again?

    1. Unfortunately, no, there’s no business version of this card out yet. Hopefully that will come around, soon, though!

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