Hyatt Credit Card vs Cash

Love It or Cut It…The Hyatt Credit Card

This month we incurred the annual fee for holding the Hyatt credit card by Chase. As such, it is time reevaluate whether we are still deriving enough value from the card to justify the expense.

Yearly Fee: $75

I still have the legacy Hyatt card that comes with a yearly fee of $75. However, this card has been discontinued. If you want to get a new Hyatt card today, you’ll see that Chase currently offers the World of Hyatt credit card, which comes with a $95 annual fee.

Yearly Free Nights

Generally, the only benefit I care about when it comes to hotel credit cards is the yearly free night/stay. This card allows us to stay at any Hyatt property that are in categories 1-4.

Just about any descent hotel, located in a place worth staying will cost us more than $75 per night. That makes the yearly fee more than worthwhile.

Other Benefits

Here is a list of the other benefits that come with the card, along with commentary as to why I don’t hold them in high regard.

  • Automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status: Discoverist is the lowest status you can reach at Hyatt. You can achieve it by staying 10 nights. By holding the Hyatt card, I get Discoverist status automatically. I think the most value perk of being a Discoverist is that you can request a 2 p.m check-out, subject to availability. I requested this last time we stayed at a Hyatt property and it was denied. When we checked out, I asked if they were busy and they said, “ehhh, not really”.
  • 3X points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels: When I stay at a Hyatt property, I mostly use my Hyatt card for the transaction to earn the additional points. That said, I also have the Chase Sapphire card which allows me to earn 2X points for any hotel/travel transaction. And those points are transferrable to Hyatt. So the Hyatt card is only really allowing me to earn 1 extra point per dollar spent.
  • 2X points per dollar spent on airline tickets, car rentals and restaurants: I would rather use my Sapphire card which earns the same 2X points per dollar spent. The difference is, those points are transferrable to other partners, not just Hyatt.
  • Automatic upgrade to Explorist status when you spend $50,000: I don’t spent $50,000 per year…period. OK…maybe if you add things that can’t be paid with a credit card like daycare!
  • Price protection and return protection: I will admit that I don’t know enough about this benefit and that I probably should be using it more.
  • No foreign transaction fees: I think this should be the standard now. Why would I ever use a card overseas if it charges foreign transaction fees.

How Are We Using the Card?

In 2019, we used our free night certificate to visit Cambridge, MD and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay. My wife and I worked half day on a Friday and then drove down for a 2-night stay. At that time, my wife and I vowed to make it a yearly family vacation given the proximity to our home and the fact that we can redeem additional free nights for just 15,000 points. It truly was the perfect family get-away.

We don’t use this card for any of our day-to-day spending. Up until now, we’ve kept the card strictly for the free night benefit.

Bottom Line: We Are Keeping The Card

Normally when a card is up for review, I would run it by my wife and make the case for and against keeping the card. However, this time around I can safely say that we are keeping the Hyatt card. Especially since we vowed to return to the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay.

In fact, I was thinking about doubling down and applying for Chase’s World of Hyatt credit card. This would give us an additional yearly “free” night. I’m just waiting for a large bonus incentive to sign up!

Immediately after returning from our trip last year, I asked some of our friends to sign up for the card so they can join us the following year. Rates at this hotel are high at $350/night plus during the peak summer season. I wouldn’t feel comfortable asking any of our friends to join us at those rates. I am sad to say that no one has taken me up on my offer.

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