Which Is Better, Hyatt or Hilton?

Hilton has more properties, but Hyatt's points are worth almost four times as much.
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Written by Carissa Rawson
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When you’re trying to decide between hotel loyalty programs, hundreds of accommodation options, varying redemption rates and possible credit cards can quickly become overwhelming. If you often find both a Hyatt and a Hilton hotel wherever you’re heading, you might wonder, “Which is better, Hyatt or Hilton?”

Here's what these two chains have to offer and how to decide which one is right for you.

Number of properties and pricing

Winner: Hilton

So which is nicer? It ultimately depends on which type of property you're looking for. A Waldorf Astoria will be nicer than a Hyatt Place but may be comparable to a Park Hyatt. Whether you prefer to stay at a Hilton or Hyatt brand will depend on a lot of factors, but availability in the destinations you frequent is one of the most important.

Hilton is one of the largest hotel chains in the world, with over 6,800 properties spread across 122 countries. It also features 18 separate brands, from budget hotels to high-end luxury options and prices to match. This means that no matter where you’re staying, you’ll likely find a Hilton option.

If you’re looking for “nicer” hotels, it’s likely you’ll find more Hilton properties, simply because of the sheer number of hotels in Hilton’s upscale brands.

Hyatt, meanwhile, has a smaller footprint. Although it has bulked up in recent years by acquiring other chains, it still lags behind Hilton by a large margin. Hyatt has more than 1,300 properties in more than 70 countries. However, Hyatt has more than 25 separate brands, with a mix of budget and high-end properties, including some all-inclusive resorts.

Ease of earning hotel points

Winner: Hilton

Hilton has the upper hand when it comes to earning points, simply because it offers so many ways to do so. You can always opt to earn points via paid hotel stays, or you can choose one of its many American Express co-branded credit cards in order to earn points.

World Of Hyatt Credit Card
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Hilton’s top-tier credit card, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, offers 14x points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and automatic Hilton Honors™ Diamond Status. Diamond members also receive a 100% bonus on earned points, making Hilton points very easy to earn for those with elite status. Note, the card has a $550 annual fee. Terms apply.

Hilton also has a partnership with AmEx, which means you can transfer your Membership Rewards to Hilton at a 1:2 ratio — though this may not be a good idea. We value Hilton points at 0.5 cent each and AmEx points at 2.8 cents each, so you’ll be taking a hit when you choose to make this transfer.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
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Hyatt points can be more difficult to earn, but they’re also worth more. Top-tier Hyatt Globalists only earn a 30% bonus on their stays, and both of Hyatt’s co-branded credit cards (World of Hyatt Credit Card and the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card) earn just 9 points per dollar on Hyatt stays.

Hyatt, however, is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards® at a 1:1 ratio. Earning Chase points can be especially easy, with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offering a bonus on expenses like travel and dining. And since we value Hyatt points at 2.3 cents each, compared to Chase points at 2.2 cents each, you’re actually coming out slightly ahead on average when you transfer your points over.

Redeeming award nights

Winner: Hyatt

The two hotel chains differ greatly when it comes to redemptions. Hyatt currently has a fixed award chart that maxes out at 40,000 points per night for a standard room. Hilton, meanwhile, has done away with its published award chart, but its rates for standard room rewards cap out at 150,000 points per night.

Hilton will still allow you to redeem points, even when it’s sold out of its standard award nights, but the prices for a premium room reward skyrocket to unreasonable levels. Hyatt, however, will not. Once its allotted award rooms are sold out, that’s it.

Elite status

Winner: Hilton, slightly

Having hotel elite status can morph a decent hotel stay into an excellent one. And with free room upgrades and complimentary breakfast, along with plenty of other perks, it can also save you money. Not all elite statuses are created equal, however, and the process to earn it isn’t always easy.

Earning elite status

Both Hyatt and Hilton allow you to earn elite status by staying a certain number of nights or by earning a certain number of points each year. Hilton also offers a third method: your number of stays.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
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However, there’s another way for members to receive Hilton Honors™ Diamond — the highest status — without setting foot inside a Hilton hotel. This is because the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, grants cardmembers complimentary Hilton Honors™ Diamond Status as long as they hold the card. You can also get Hilton Honors™ Gold Status (mid-level) by having the The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

Hyatt, unfortunately, doesn’t have such an option, although its two co-branded credit cards offer Discoverist — Hyatt’s lowest status — status to cardholders.

Elite status benefits

Both Hyatt and Hilton offer some decent benefits to their cardholders. Depending on your level, you can receive late check-out, free breakfast, room upgrades, complimentary premium Wi-Fi and more.

The main difference between these two programs comes down to implementation. Hilton will give you either a complimentary breakfast or a food and beverage credit starting at Hilton Honors™ Gold, its mid-tier level, while Hyatt only does so for its top-tier Globalists.

However, Hilton will provide complimentary breakfast or the food and beverage credit to a maximum of two registered guests per hotel room, while Hyatt will extend this to two adults and two children.

Hyatt hotels also come with a guarantee: you will be upgraded to a better room upon check-in as long as it’s available. Hilton, meanwhile, states that you may be upgraded, but it’s up to the discretion of each property.

Top-tier Hyatt members also receive free parking on award nights and waived resort fees on both paid and award stays. Hilton members of any level receive waived resort fees on award stays, but not paid stays.

Frequently asked questions

No. Hyatt hotels are not part of the Hilton portfolio. Hyatt and Hilton are two separate hotel chains with different brands and different properties.

Hyatt and Hilton have many different brands in their collections of hotels, including high-end luxury properties. It is entirely dependent on which brands are available at your destination.

Final thoughts on Hyatt vs. Hilton

Though Hilton edges Hyatt from most factors, the honest answer is that it depends on you, where you're located and what your priorities are for hotel loyalty.

If you don’t travel often but want to be treated as a top-tier elite, grabbing the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card and sticking with Hilton could be a better option.

The same is true if you’re heading out of major cities and into more rural locations. With over 6,800 properties from which to choose, you’re bound to find a Hilton hotel no matter where you’re going.

If you travel enough to earn high-end status with Hyatt, the benefits you’ll receive as a Globalist outweigh Hilton’s, especially for families. Free parking on award stays, waived resort fees and breakfast for four are all compelling perks that can save you a lot of money. You can also earn plenty of Hyatt points as a Chase Sapphire or Ink Business cardholder, which can make earning award stays simple.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

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