Hyatt has some nice hotels. I mean, super nice. The chain has a fairly small footprint, with only 679 properties as of late 2016, but I’m fairly confidant you can find an aspirational hotel to stay at if you tried hard enough. And this credit card gets you two free nights at any Hyatt property in the world (we’re talking $500+ a night). Sound good? Read on.
- 2 free (standard room) nights at Hyatt hotels, worldwide (awards expire in one year) after spend of $2,000 in 3 months
- Additional $50 statement credit after making first purchase (possibly) by booking a U.S. reservation and clicking through to the final payment screen
- Earn 3x Hyatt Gold Passport points (per dollar spent) at all Hyatt properties
- Earn 2x points at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, and at car rental agencies
- Earn 1x points on all other purchases
- Earn 5,000 additional points by adding an authorized user and making a purchase with your card during the first 3 months as a cardmember
- Anniversary Award Night, for a Category 1-4 Hyatt Property, each year after the first (awards expire in one year)
- Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership
- No foreign transaction fee
- VISA Signature benefits
- $75 annual fee (currently, not waived in the first year)
- 16.49% to 23.49% APR variable, based upon your creditworthiness
- Card not available to current cardmembers or previous cardmembers who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months
The first thing to note is how valuable Hyatt Gold Passport points are. That’s because point redemption haven’t been inflated beyond recovery:
Additionally, you can book a room with a combination of points and cash, or points can be used to upgrade rooms on paid nights. Hyatt’s all-inclusive resorts can also be reserved with points (with additional rules and restrictions). Ultimately, even if you’re a budget traveler, use this card’s bonus to splurge on some of the most luxurious stays imaginable. T and I used our first Hyatt Card on two nights at the Tokyo Park Hyatt (immortalized by the film, Lost in Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola (2003)), and later this year, we’ll use our second Hyatt Card as part of an extended stay at the new Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. Because Japan, if you didn’t know, is awesome (and expensive!).
Since the Hyatt card also confers a free night certificate for a Category 1-4 hotel after the first year, T and I also will use these combined awards as a makeshift time share. Sure, it takes a little more planning, but one can make do with 2 nights in a Hyatt hotel every year for $150 (2 annual fees). I’ll go over this strategy more in detail later.
Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum membership benefits are fairly modest. You may get a “preferred” room upon arrival, including a higher floor or a better view; there’s a 15% point bonus for points earned at the Hyatt; a 72-hour room guarantee; the possibility of a late 2:00pm check out; complimentary wi-fi where available; and you may book your reservations through a dedicated Platinum line. Also, note that the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program will turn into the World of Hyatt program in March 2017; I’m sure this means something but it won’t really affect points earned by credit cards.
Ultimately, if you’re more of a Hilton person, consider a Hilton Card. Marriott person, Marriott card. And so on. But this card has utility. A decent earning potential. And, maybe after some time has passed, like, say, 24 months, maybe you cancel the card and apply for a new one to get another 2 night bonus! Just sayin’.