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What Is The Best Credit Card For Hyatt Stays?

by on July 14, 2013 · 7 comments

in American Express, Chase, Hyatt, Sunday Reader Questions

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TPG reader Chris asks:

“I have an expensive Hyatt stay coming and I’m not sure which card would be best: Chase Hyatt Visa (3x Hyatt points for Hyatt stays), Sapphire Preferred (2.14x Ultimate Rewards) or the Amex Business Gold (1x Membership Rewards points and either 5% discount or 2x Membership Rewards through OPEN Savings)?”

Amex OPEN Savings allows you to earn points and get a 5% discount

Amex OPEN Savings allows you to earn points and get a 5% discount

In general, I’d use the American Express Business Gold Rewards card which offers 1x Membership Rewards and either a 5% OPEN Savings Discount or 2x Membership Rewards points as the most valuable of the three options. I value Membership Rewards points at about 1.8 cents apiece plus the 5% is a 6.8% rebate.  I wouldn’t choose this option if the stay is at a non-US Hyatt, because the card has a nasty 2.7% foreign transaction fee which would negate 2.7% of those savings.
Hyatt VisaSecond would be the Hyatt Visa at 3x Hyatt points. Hyatt points are valuable because top-tier hotels are only 22,000 points, so I conservatively value Hyatt points at about 1.9 cents a piece, so a 5.7% rebate. The downside here is that you doubling down on Hyatt, but depending on any upcoming promotions you may be able to get even more points and lately Hyatt has been adding extra bonuses for Hyatt Visa cardholders which could easily make this the best option.

Also, the card gives 2 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond status upon spending $20,000 in each calendar year. You can get an additional 3 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond status upon spending $40,000 in each calendar year. So if this stay will push you over either of these thresholds and you’re chasing Diamond status, this may be the best choice. Note: If you make a booking at Hyatt.com, you’ll often get offered the card with the $75 annual fee waived for the first year (usually the fee is not waived).

2x on all travel, which includes hotels, airfare, taxis, parking, public transportation and more

2x on all travel, which includes hotels, airfare, taxis, parking, public transportation and more

Third would be the Sapphire Preferred, which gives 2x points on all travel and then a yearly 7% annual dividend on points earned, so 2.14x points per dollar. I value Chase points at about 2.1 cents a piece because they can be instantly transferred to Hyatt, United, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Intercontinental and Amtrak. Essentially you’re getting ~4.5% back through this method – more or less depending on how you can leverage those transfer partners.

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  • Mark

    Also, if Chris is a AAA/CAA member, the rates can sometimes be lower (but not always). Also, he can get 10% off Hyatt stays if he is a Costco member and goes through their website. If he was selected for the targeted offer for the Hyatt Visa (5000 Gold Passport Points for $3k spend) and of course registered for it, then that might be the way to go for him, as it would go toward that spend threshold.

  • Greek2me

    Amex SPG Biz with 5% OPEN and 1x SPG worth 2.5c to me trumps Amex biz Rewards Gold for Hyatts in USA.

  • Rob P

    I got the great Hyatt card a month ago and the offer when I made a dummy booking at hyatt.com was for a $50 statement credit, not the annual fee waived the first year.

  • Brody

    Booking it with CSP through hotels.com on the chase portal is going to be the most valuable. Even better than the 5% on Amex. Worth mentioning.

  • http://weekendblitz.com/ Jeffrey @ WeekendBlitz

    Nice find! Just confirmed it:
    3x bonus + 2.14x normal = 5.14x total

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