The Hyatt Credit Card from Chase is a hotel rewards credit card with a $75 annual fee and an attractive rewards program that favors frequent guests at Hyatt hotels and associated brands, including Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Andaz, Hyatt Centric, and Hyatt Place, among others. Cardholders are automatically enrolled in Hyatt’s Gold Passport loyalty program, and cardholders in good standing automatically earn and keep Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Status. Platinum’s many valuable perks include accelerated point earnings, complimentary room upgrades, and guaranteed room availability.
Hyatt Gold Passport points can be exchanged for free nights and room upgrades at thousands of Hyatt and Hyatt-operated properties worldwide. You can also convert points into airline miles with participating airline partners, or redeem for car rentals, spa treatments, dining, and other Hyatt resort services. However, these methods tend to devalue points.
- Sign-up Bonus: You get 2 Free Night Awards when you spend at least $1,000 within 3 months of opening your account. Each Free Night Award is a certificate that can be redeemed for 1 free night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property worldwide. Additionally, when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within 3 months of opening your account, you get 5,000 bonus Gold Passport points – good for a free night at a Category 1 Hyatt property, such as Hyatt Place Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, Texas) and Hyatt Place Kansas City Airport (Kansas City, Missouri).
- Earning Hyatt Gold Passport Points Rewards: This card earns an unlimited 3 points per $1 spent on Hyatt hotel and resort purchases. It earns an unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on restaurant purchases and purchases made directly with airlines and car rental agencies. Lastly, it earns an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
- Redeeming Hyatt Gold Passport Rewards: You can redeem your accumulated Hyatt Gold Passport Rewards for free nights’ stays at any participating Hyatt or Hyatt-operated property worldwide, including Hyatt Vacation Club Resorts and All Inclusive resort properties (Ziva and Zilara), which aren’t covered by Hyatt’s category system. Within the category system, standard room redemptions start at 5,000 points for budget-friendly Category 1 properties, and range up to 39,000 points for ultra-luxe Category 7 properties. Suite redemptions range from 8,000 points for Category 1 properties to 48,000 points for Category 7 properties. Ziva and Zilara redemptions range from 20,000 to 40,000 points per night (12,500 extra per person after the first 2 guests), depending on the property and room type. Hyatt Vacation Club redemptions range from 12,000 to 30,000 points per night, depending on room or unit size. If you don’t have enough points to cover the full cost of a room, you can combine points and cash (Points + Cash feature), starting at 2,500 points plus $50 for a Category 1 property and 15,000 points plus $300 for a Category 7 property.
- Transfer to Airline Partners: You can transfer Hyatt Gold Passport points to a number of popular airline partners, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Transfers usually occur at a ratio of 5,000 Gold Passport points to 2,000 airline points. However, this is not recommended as you can get much better value by redeeming for hotel nights.
- Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Status: The Hyatt Credit Card automatically elevates you to Platinum Status, whose benefits include a 15% bonus on points earned at hotels, flexible check-out times, complimentary room upgrades when available, expedited check-in, and guaranteed room availability up to 72 hours in advance of your planned stay. You retain Platinum Status as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
- Credits Toward Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Status: If you spend $20,000 in a calendar year, you receive 2 stay credits and 5 night credits toward an upgrade to Diamond Status. If you spend $40,000 in a calendar year, you receive an additional 3 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond Status, for a total annual boost of 5 stay credits and 10 night credits. For reference, Hyatt requires 20 stays or 35 nights to upgrade from Platinum to Diamond Status. Diamond benefits include a 30% bonus on points earned at hotels, complimentary full or continental breakfast (depending on availability), complimentary upgrade to the best available room upon arrival, and guaranteed room availability up to 48 hours in advance of your stay. You retain Diamond Status until the end of the calendar year following the year in which it was earned.
- Anniversary Award Night: As long as your account remains open and in good standing, you receive a free award night on your cardmember anniversary. This benefit can be redeemed for a free night’s stay at any Category 1-4 Hyatt property, except Hyatt Zilara or Ziva properties.
- Important Fees: The $75 annual fee is waived in the first year, and there is no foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 5% of the transferred amount, while cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. The late and returned payment fees are $37.
- Regular APR: The purchase and balance transfer APR varies between 16.49% and 23.49% based on prevailing interest rates. The cash advance APR is 25.49%. There is no penalty APR.
- Additional Benefits: This card has some useful additional benefits, such as complimentary loss and damage coverage on car rentals charged in full to the card, plus 24/7 concierge assistance.
- Credit Required: This card requires excellent credit. Any significant blemishes are likely to disqualify your application.
- Easy to Attain Sign-up Bonus. The Hyatt Credit Card’s sign-up bonus is easy to attain – you just need to spend $1,000 within 3 months of opening your account. Some direct competitors require double or triple that level of spending. For example, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve requires you to spend $2,500 within 4 months.
- Potentially Valuable Sign-up Bonus. The Hyatt Credit Card’s sign-up bonus has tremendous potential value. Its 2 Free Night Awards can be redeemed at any Hyatt property, even super-luxurious ones that can cost upwards of $500 per room, per night.
- Automatic Platinum Status. As long as your account remains open and in good standing, you earn automatic Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Status. That’s good for a host of valuable and convenient perks, including 15% faster point earnings on hotel purchases and complimentary room upgrades where available.
- Anniversary Award Night Potentially Offsets Annual Fee. The Hyatt Credit Card’s anniversary award night is redeemable at Category 1 to 4 properties. Category 4 properties’ standard rooms often cost more than $200 per night, more than offsetting the card’s annual fee. Many competing hotel rewards cards don’t offer free anniversary nights at all.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees. The Hyatt Credit Card has no foreign transaction fees. This is a big benefit for cardholders who frequently travel abroad, especially in light of the fact that many of Hyatt’s most desirable properties (such as its Zilara and Ziva properties) aren’t in the U.S.
- Has an Annual Fee. This card has a $75 annual fee. If you don’t take full advantage of its benefits, that’s a definite drawback compared with fee-free travel cards such as the Expedia+ Card from Citi.
- Airline Transfers Don’t Optimize Point Values. It rarely makes financial sense to transfer your Hyatt Gold Passport points to Hyatt’s airline partners. These transfers typically occur at a 5-to-2 ratio, meaning you need 5,000 Hyatt points to earn 2,000 airline points. Since airline partners require at least 7,500 points (and often much more) to redeem for a one way economy segment, and 5,000 Hyatt points is enough to earn a free night in a Category 1 room, you’re better off keeping your Hyatt points for future travel. If you’re looking for a travel rewards card that offers generous point transfers, consider Chase Sapphire Preferred instead.
- Requires Excellent Credit. The Hyatt Credit Card requires excellent credit. If you have any notable blemishes on your credit record or are in the process of building your credit history, opt for a less selective travel card, such as Capital One QuicksilverOne.
The Hyatt Credit Card is an awesome credit card for people who travel frequently and enjoy staying at Hyatt properties, of which there are many hundreds to choose from. However, it’s important for casual travelers to understand that it’s less than ideal for consumers who wish to keep their travel redemption options as open and flexible as possible.
More versatile cards, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture Rewards, allow you to redeem your accumulated points for pretty much any type of travel purchase – and at flat point-to-dollar values, so that you don’t have to expend mental energy to know you’re getting the right deal.