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TPG reader Austin sent me a message on Facebook to ask about co-branded credit cards:
“Since Ultimate Rewards points transfer to Hyatt at 1:1, does it make sense to have both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Hyatt Visa card?”
When you’re deciding whether to keep or cancel a credit card, it’s important to look at the big picture and think about how each card fits into your portfolio as a whole. You might find that some of your cards come with overlapping benefits, and it’s not worth paying an extra annual fee for coverage you already have. This is true for high-level perks like lounge access and elite status, but it’s also true for simple features like the extra points you earn from bonus spending categories.
Austin’s question provides a great example: The Hyatt Credit Card earns 3 points per dollar at Hyatt properties, and 2 points per dollar at restaurants and on select travel purchases. By comparison, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card earns 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining, and both categories are pretty inclusive, so it’s easy to rack up points quickly. Those points transfer to Hyatt Gold Passport (and other travel partners), so you can actually earn Hyatt points faster by paying with Sapphire Reserve, even at Hyatt properties.
That said, there are good reasons to keep the Hyatt Card even if it isn’t the best option for earning points. For starters, you’ll get a free night at any Category 1-4 property each year after your cardmember anniversary. That night could easily cost you $200 if you paid cash, so I think that benefit alone is enough to justify paying the annual fee. You’ll also get automatic Gold Passport Platinum status, which offers some decent low-level perks like extra points and late check-out.
I generally favor earning transferable points because they give you more opportunities to maximize the return on your spending. However, I keep a lot of co-branded hotel credit cards for the perks they offer. In terms of Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, I think both the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card and Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card are worth keeping for the annual free nights and elite status. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is a premium card with a higher annual fee, but it offers good value if you can take advantage of the Club Level upgrades, $300 annual travel credit and other benefits.
For more on maximizing hotel and airline credit cards, check out these posts:
- Are Co-Branded Credit Cards the Best Option for Hotel Stays?
- The 7 Best Hotel Credit Cards
- Do Airline Credit Cards Pair Well with Transferable Points?
Featured image courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.