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The The Hyatt Credit Card just got even better. Hyatt Hotels announced that starting in October, its card will now offer 2x points for every $1 spent on restaurants, airfare, and car rentals (putting it on par with the vaunted Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card) and additional credits toward Diamond elite status if you spend $20,000 a year. Already a darling of the hotel credit cards for its estimated 1.5% rewards rate and its cutting-edge smart chip, the The Hyatt Credit Card adds to its allure with these new benefits.
New perks kick in October 1st
Starting 10/1/12, the The Hyatt Credit Card will offer:
2 points per $1 spent on restaurants, airfare booked through the airline (so no Kayak) and car rental agencies. It currently earns 3 Hyatt Gold Passport Points per dollar on spending at the hotel, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere. However, we value Passport Points at 1.5 cents each, based on an analysis of redemption options, so you’re really getting a 1.5% base rate and 4.5% hotel rate, and now a 3% rate on dining and some travel.
A credit toward Diamond elite status if you spend $20,000 a year or more. You already earn Gold elite status as a member, but spend $20,000 a year and you’ll get a 2 stay/5 night credit towards the 25 stay/50 night needed to achieve Diamond status. Spend $40,000 a year, and you’ll get a 3 stay/5 night credit.
The The Hyatt Credit Card: If you’re going Hyatt, do it right
The The Hyatt Credit Card is, of course, best for people who actually stay at that hotel chain. We value Passport Points at 1.5 cents apiece assuming that you’ll redeem for free stays, so if you’re a frequent guest, you’ll get far more mileage out of this card than your standard travel card. The annual fee is $75, but it comes with a number of cool perks like:
- 2 free nights after your first purchase
- Automatic Platinum elite status, which means a 15% earnings bump, free Internet and late checkout
- Credits toward Diamond status,which comes with complimentary Internet, late checkout, free breakfast and a 30% points boost, if you spend $20k+ a year
- No foreign transaction fee, which saves you 3% of all the money you spend overseas
- An EMV chip, which increases your card’s acceptance in much of Europe and elsewhere
With all these perks and an above-average rewards rate, the The Hyatt Credit Card is a great way to cash in on your loyalty.
Not ready to be tied down? Think outside the The Hyatt Credit Card
That said, if you don’t often stay at the Hyatt (or hotels in general, for that matter), you’d be better of eschewing the The Hyatt Credit Card’s annual fee and opting for a card with more general travel rewards. You will be giving up the benefits that come with Gold status and hotel-specific perks, but why get them if you aren’t around to enjoy them? If you’re not sold on the The Hyatt Credit Card, there are a number of similar travel cards:
2x rewards on dining and travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. To start off with, you’ll get a signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a blanket 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per $1 elsewhere. While that doesn’t sound as great as the The Hyatt Credit Card’s 1.5% base rate, the card piles rewards on rewards. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel booked through Chase. So in addition to the signup bonus (which is no small perk, by the way), you’ll earn a base rate of up to 1.25% and a bonus rate of up to 2.50%. There’s an $0 for the first year, then $95.
Side benefits, front and center: The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you want high-end, you can’t do better. But oddly enough, it can easily pay for itself in perks and credits, and global travelers will get a great value. You get a $200 airline incidentals credit every year, good toward baggage fees and the like; Priority Pass airport lounge access; a credit to the Global Entry program, which lets you bypass customs lines; and more. There is the annual fee of $550, but if you’re going for the gold, think platinum.
All rewards, all the time: the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Weighing in at a constant, unlimited, unqualified 2% rewards on all purchases, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a versatile, high-earning, lower-fee answer to the The Hyatt Credit Card. It earns 2 No Hassle Miles on every $1 spent, which can be redeemed against any travel expense, hotel or otherwise. It has no foreign transaction fee, of course, and it has an annual fee of $0 for the first year, then $59. If you don’t think you’re ready to commit to the The Hyatt Credit Card, this is a good alternative.
Information related to the The Hyatt Credit Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.