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Reader Prem asked the following question on the Ask Lucky page of the blog:
I am an existing Hyatt Diamond member. Do you know which credit card I should apply for to get more benefits at Hyatt?
I’m a huge fan of Hyatt, and end up staying at their hotels more than any others. I find they do an amazing job of managing expectations with elite status, and rarely have stays that leave me disappointed (even if some of their properties — particularly in the US — are a bit bland).
Anyway, regarding Prem’s question, I figured I wouldn’t just answer it, but also answer the bigger question of “how do you use credit cards to maximize Hyatt stays?” which isn’t quite as straightforward as one might expect.
If you’re not a Diamond member, Hyatt also offers one of the most generous top tier status challenges of any hotel program.
Best credit card to use for Hyatt stays
In many cases you’ll maximize your return on Hyatt stays by paying with a Starwood co-branded credit card, as crazy as it sounds.
I pay for Hyatt stays as follows:
- International Hyatt stays: Chase Hyatt Visa Card, which offers three Gold Passport points per dollar spent and no foreign transaction fees
- Domestic US Hyatt stays: Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express, which offers one Starpoint per dollar spent, plus 5% cash back through the Amex OPEN Savings program
And if you don’t have either card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great option, as it offers double points on travel.
Best credit card for Hyatt perks
If you’re already a Diamond member, there isn’t really a card that will get you more perks for Hyatt stays. The Chase Hyatt Visa Card will potentially get you a couple of things, though:
- While not the case anymore, it used to be that if you signed up for the Chase Hyatt Visa Card as a Diamond member, your two free nights would be in a suite rather than standard room
- You can earn bonus stay/night credits by putting spend on Hyatt’s co-branded Visa Card — you receive two stay credits and five night credits when you spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year, and an additional three stay credits and five night credits towards Diamond when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year, for a total of five stay credits and ten night credits
I redeemed my two free nights in a suite at the Park Hyatt Zurich
I would love to see Hyatt add:
- Marginal benefits for staying 50 nights per calendar year, as there’s currently not much of an incentive to do so (meanwhile Starwood does offer extra benefits for staying 75 or 100 nights per year)
- Offer Diamond members with the co-branded credit card some sort of additional perks/points
I don’t know what exactly would make sense, but maybe a couple of additional Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards or something?
Best credit card for earning Hyatt points from everyday spend
For actually accruing Hyatt points through everyday credit card spend, your best options are Chase’s cards which accrue Ultimate Rewards points, given the generous category bonuses:
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, earn 2X points on travel and dining, no foreign transaction fees (plus a sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months, plus an additional 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within the first three months)
- The Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card, which offer 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
Only mildly related, but reader Scott left the following comment yesterday on my “Which Credit Cards Are In My Wallet?” post: