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Hyatt has just announced some additional perks for the Chase Hyatt Visa card, which kick in on October 1, 2012 (while that link is to the best “linkable” offer, Gary writes about a trick for getting a $75 statement credit, which you can read about here).
The first added perk is double points on restaurants, rental cars, and airline tickets. This perk is interesting because Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers double points on dining and travel as well. So this is the closest they could do to try and align the card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred , without outdoing it.
This change is really interesting to me, because I think we’re slowly seeing a trend among airlines and hotels with co-branded credit cards saying “wait a minute, it’s not fair that people are using other credit cards that are more rewarding to earn points with us.” The Chase Sapphire Preferred really is a Chase super-card in that you can transfer points to a handful of airline and hotel partners and earn points at a better rate than with the co-branded cards directly.
And I think we’re actually seeing a similar trend with American Express lately. Up until last year, there was a transfer bonus from American Express Membership Rewards to Delta SkyMiles almost monthly, while we haven’t seen a single transfer bonus the entire year. I suspect it’s not a coincidence. I always used the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, which offered me triple points on airfare, double points on gas and groceries, and one point per dollar spent on everything else. Tack on a 50% airline transfer bonus, and I was averaging almost four Delta SkyMiles per dollar spent without ever using a Delta credit card. So I suspect there’s quite a bit of frustration behind the scenes from those companies with the co-branded credit cards directed at American Express/Chase. While I suspect they get paid whenever you make a points transfer from Membership Rewards or Ultimate Rewards, they’d much rather have you loyally using their co-branded credit card. It’s interesting to note that just about all Membership Rewards transfer bonuses this year have been to programs that don’t have co-branded American Express credit cards.
Anyway, the second perk is that you now earn two stay credits and five nights towards Diamond status if you spend $20,000 on the card annually, and an additional three stay credits and five nights towards Diamond status if you spend $40,000 on the card annually, for a total of five stays and 10 nights towards status. I can appreciate Hyatt wanting to maintain the integrity of Diamond status as much as possible, though I doubt this will change my spending patterns. Starwood gives you two stays and five nights towards status annually just for having each of their Starwood American Express Personal and Starwood American Express Business cards (for a total of four stays and 10 nights towards status), not to mention the cards have a lower annual fee.
Either way, the Hyatt card is definitely worth applying for given that the sign-up bonus is two free nights at any Hyatt in the world (and the two nights are in a suite if you’re a Diamond member), and it’s also a card that’s worth keeping for the annual free night certificate you get with it, which more than justifies the $75 annual fee. That being said, other than the initial purchase I made to earn the sign-up bonus, I don’t see myself ever spending a dollar on the card (even for Hyatt stays, where I’d rather use my Starwood Business American Express and earn one Starpoint plus 3% cash back through American Express OPEN).
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