Hyatt vs. Marriott: Which One Is Best?

We compare Marriott's and Hyatt's loyalty programs based on hotel selection, location, credit cards and more.
Keith M. RossoSep 24, 2021

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Hotel loyalty programs reward you for sticking with their brands, so it pays to figure out which hotel chain deserves your repeat business. It’s not always an easy choice. Hotel room prices, geographic location of hotels, program perks, hotel benefits and ease of redeeming points for free nights are a few of the things to consider when comparing brands.

Whether you’re an infrequent budget traveler or a business road warrior, two of the most popular brands, Hyatt and Marriott, could be contenders for your loyalty. Here’s a breakdown of these two popular hotel programs to help you decide which is better for you.

Best for locations and brand selection

Winner: Marriott

Where to find Hyatts

With over 1,000 hotels, Hyatt isn’t the largest chain, but it has a global presence with hotels in 68 countries. Hyatt has been adding hotels in recent years through acquisitions and partnerships, including the addition of Miraval and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Here are the brands in the portfolio of World of Hyatt, the hotel's loyalty program:

  • Alila.

  • Andaz.

  • Caption by Hyatt.

  • Destination by Hyatt.

  • Grand Hyatt.

  • Hyatt.

  • Hyatt Centric.

  • Hyatt House.

  • Hyatt Place.

  • Hyatt Regency.

  • Hyatt Residence Club.

  • Hyatt Ziva.

  • Hyatt Zilara.

  • JDV by Hyatt.

  • Miraval.

  • Park Hyatt.

  • The Unbound Collection.

  • Thompson Hotels.

  • UrCove.

Hyatt’s hotel roster features several popular luxury all-inclusive hotels, including the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara, located in Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. The all-inclusive Miraval Resorts are in Austin, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Lenox, Massachusetts.

Where to find Marriotts

Marriott is one of the largest hotel brands in the world, with 30 brands and more than 7,000 properties in over 130 countries and territories, which means you’re likely to find at least one Marriott hotel wherever you’re traveling. Here’s a list of hotel brands under the umbrella of Marriott Bonvoy, the hotel's loyalty program:

  • AC Hotels.

  • Aloft Hotels.

  • Autograph Collection Hotels.

  • Bulgari Resorts and Hotels.

  • Courtyard by Marriott.

  • Delta Hotels.

  • Design Hotels.

  • Edition Hotels.

  • Element Hotels.

  • Fairfield by Marriott.

  • Four Points by Sheraton.

  • Gaylord Hotels.

  • JW Marriott.

  • Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts.

  • The Luxury Collection.

  • Marriott.

  • Marriott Executive Apartments.

  • Marriott Vacation Club.

  • Moxy Hotels.

  • Protea Hotels.

  • Renaissance Hotels.

  • Residence Inn by Marriott.

  • The Ritz-Carlton.

  • Sheraton Hotels and Resorts.

  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

  • St. Regis Hotels & Resorts.

  • TownePlace Suites by Marriott.

  • Tribute Portfolio.

  • W Hotels.

  • Westin Hotels & Resorts.

With so many brands, you’ll find multiple Marriott hotels to choose from in popular travel destinations. As just one example: California’s Santa Monica beachfront is home to three Marriott brand hotels: a Courtyard by Marriott, a JW Marriott and Le Méridien.

Best co-branded credit card

Winner: Marriott

Hyatt credit cards

The World of Hyatt Credit Card is the only Hyatt co-branded credit card. Here's what you need to know about this credit card.

  • Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

  • Annual fee: $95.

  • Perks: One free night each year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1 through 4 World of Hyatt property. Cardholders also receive complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status.

Hyatt is a Chase Ultimate Rewards® transfer partner, which means that if you have an eligible Chase credit card, like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can move your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to your World of Hyatt loyalty account.

Marriott credit cards

Marriott offers three consumer credit cards. Two are issued by Chase and the other by American Express. Here’s how the hotel credit cards compare:

Terms apply.

Marriott offers potential cardholders a variety of price points and value, plus larger welcome bonuses. Though, it's worth considering NerdWallet's recent hotel points valuation, which paints a more complex picture. Our analysis determined that World of Hyatt points are worth an impressive 1.9 cents a piece, whereas Marriott Bonvoy points are worth 0.7 cent each. That means that the potential value of the welcome bonuses varies significantly.

Even so, the current travel credit card offerings from Marriott are too good to pass up, whether you want the middle of the road or high-priced card option.

Best for using points

Winner: Hyatt

World of Hyatt

World of Hyatt is one of the most popular hotel loyalty programs because it offers several sweet spots, plus no blackout dates and the ability to redeem points at their all-inclusive hotels. Plus, you don’t pay resort fees when you use points to book a stay.

The cost of a free night in a standard Hyatt room depends on the property. Award night prices range from 5,000 points per night at a Category 1 World of Hyatt hotel to 40,000 points per night at a Category 8 hotel. NerdWallet values Hyatt points at 1.9 cents each.

Starting in mid-October 2021 (for stays in March 2022 and beyond), Hyatt will introduce peak/off-peak pricing for points redemptions, which will make certain award stays more expensive.

It’s easy to earn Hyatt points with its co-branded credit card, on eligible paid stays or by transferring points from an eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards® credit card. Note, Hyatt elite members can accumulate points more quickly with bonuses on eligible purchases.

The World of Hyatt program has three elite membership tiers: Discoverist, Explorist and Globalist. Earning the first status tier, Discoverist, requires just five qualifying nights or earning 12,500 base points in 2021.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott has eight hotel categories, ranging from 7,500 to 85,000 points per night for a standard award booking.

You can earn Marriott Bonvoy points for eligible stays in participating hotels. You can also earn points with one of the chain’s co-branded credit cards mentioned above. Additionally, Marriott is a transfer partner for Chase Ultimate Rewards® and American Express Membership Rewards.

The Marriott Bonvoy program has five elite levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador. Becoming a Silver Elite requires 10 nights in a year, and the next status level, Gold, requires 25 nights in a year.

NerdWallet values Marriott points at 0.7 cent each, but it’s possible to get more for your points depending on the redemption.

Best for family travel

Winner: Hyatt

How Hyatt caters to families

Hyatt has lots of family-friendly Category 1 and Category 2 Hyatt Place hotels around the world. Standard award stays at these hotels cost 5,000 to 8,000 points per night, and budget-conscious families can find great deals at these lower-cost hotels. Plus, World of Hyatt members will get free breakfast at Hyatt Place hotels when booking through Hyatt, including award stays.

Families who use points to book getaways to resort-style Hyatt hotels won’t have to worry about paying resort fees, potentially saving a good deal on daily charges that otherwise add up fast.

Plus, Hyatt offers myriad hotels with bunk beds you can book with points — which can be handy for families.

How Marriott caters to families

Amenities like pools and free breakfasts can be appealing to large groups of travelers (like a family). Marriott has more than 2,500 hotels with free breakfast in the U.S. alone, found at the following brands:

  • Element Hotels.

  • Fairfield Inn and Suites.

  • Residence Inn.

  • SpringHill Suites.

  • TownePlace Suites.

Marriott also offers Stay for 5, Pay for 4 redemptions: You'll receive a complimentary fifth night when you redeem points for consecutive nights. This can save you a significant number of points during a five-night getaway. However, the challenge remains that you’ll have to find consecutive night award availability, which can be challenging, especially during peak travel times.

Best for business travel

Winner: Marriott

How Hyatt caters to business travelers

Hyatt brands appealing to business travelers include Caption by Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Centric and Hyatt Regency. For business travelers who aren’t on a strict budget, you might consider splurging on luxury stays at Park Hyatt branded hotels. Business travelers will need to factor in that Hyatt simply doesn't have as many hotel locations as Marriott.

How Marriott caters to business travelers

With 30 brands, Marriott has numerous hotels designed for corporate travelers, whether you’re focused on luxury or cost. Plus, given the density of Marriott hotels in many travel destinations, you’ll typically have multiple options when deciding which property to book. Business travelers on extended stays may prefer Residence Inn hotels, which have larger accommodations.

If cost isn’t a concern, business travelers can enjoy luxury accommodations at St. Regis or Ritz-Carlton branded hotels.

Hyatt vs. Marriott: The results

Is Hyatt better than Marriott? Though Marriott is attractive to business travelers, has more locations and more credit card options, there's still a clear winner: Hyatt.

No blackout dates and no resort fees on award stays are two extremely valuable benefits of the World of Hyatt program. Plus, a standard award night starts at just 5,000 points and tops out at 40,000 points, which makes it easy to get terrific value from its already valuable 1.9 cents a piece points.

To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, see this page.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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