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Hyatt credit card review: lucrative 2 free unrestricted nights, no FX fee

by on Thu February 7, 2013 • 25 Comments

The Hyatt Credit Card from Chase  is one of the only personal credit cards which let you earn points directly in Hyatt’s Gold Passport program, the other major one being the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers 1:1 transfer of points into Hyatt and several other programs.

Decent program, but Starwood still better for credit card earning

  • A typical Hyatt hotel reward requires between 8,000 and 15,000 points per night — and can be valued at $250 or more — a decent return on your spending. However the Starwood Preferred Guest program and its American Express offer similar hotels for 3,000-10,000 points per night, about 50% more value for your points.
  • If you travel internationally, this is a good secondary card to keep on file. It charges no fee on foreign transactions, compared to the 3% typically imposed by credit cards, and has an ‘EMV’ smart chip for foreign transactions built in.

Click here for a secure link to the application from Chase.

Great intro bonus — 2 nights at any Hyatt hotel any time

  • With this card you get 2 free nights after spending $1,000 within 3 months valid at any Hyatt hotel that has standard rooms. The 2 free night introductory offer is quite lucrative  — you can use it at anytime a standard room is available for even their most exclusive hotels like the Park Hyatt in Tokyo or Paris, which often go for $800 per night or more, even $1,000+. The only exception is Hyatt Vacation Club properties, as the rooms there are not ‘standard,’ they are studios and suites.
  • But having access to all properties with standard hotel rooms makes this introductory bonus worth $800 or more if you use it properly. And you get the bonus after your first purchase, there are no minimum spending requirements. The free nights expire one year after they are issued, so plan your application and first purchase accordingly.
  • Separately, you also get another free night certificate each year you pay your $75 annual fee. That certificate is good for Category 1-4 hotels, so it’s a bit more limited, but a nice benefit that can be worth a couple hundred dollars or more. Since the annual fee is charged upfront, you’re actually getting 3 nights worth of stays to start.
  • It earns one point per dollar spent, plus 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies. There are also no foreign transaction fees and the card has an EMV smart chip built in. You also get complimentary Hyatt Platinum status, which offers 15% bonus points on each stay, the best available room within category booked, complimentary internet access, a special check-in line, and 2pm late checkout.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived


Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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25 thoughts on Hyatt credit card review: lucrative 2 free unrestricted nights, no FX fee

  1. Wil

    I used my Hyatt Visa in Costa Rica because there are no foreign currency transaction fees. However, when I got my statement, one of the vendors put charges through as a cash advance rather than a credit charge. This resulted in a $10 fee and $0.50 interest charge. I called Hyatt VISA and their solution was to call the vendor in Costa Rica and have them reverse the entry and to reenter as a credit charge. This obviously is impractical and I had no idea that this card even had a cash advance feature. All of my other transactions came through as credit charges as I intended. Even after talking to the supervisor Susi, Hyatt VISA refused to be helpful and would not reverse the minor fees or offer any other viable solution. In frustration, I told them to cancel the card. Totally worthless customer service.:mad:

    1. MileCards

      @Wil – Sorry to hear that. Sounds like an unscrupulous merchant and not much help from Chase. Was this the departure tax leaving Costa Rica?

  2. SuperKirby

    If I book a Hyatt room through Travelocity through Ultimate Rewards with my Hyatt Visa card, will I get 3x points from Hyatt Visa and 2x points from UR?

    1. MileCards

      @SuperKirby – Don’t think so – the Hyatt bonus should only be for purchases made directly with Hyatt, with a Hyatt merchant code.

  3. JenJ

    Upon signing up for this card, it says DIAMOND members receive 2 Free Nights in a Suite and PLATINUM members receive 2 Free Nights & 2 Suite Upgrades. What is the difference between two nights in a suite vs 2 free nights and 2 suite upgrades? does that mean i can take my 2 upgrades and apply it to my free nights which is essentially the same thing as 2 nights in a suite?

    1. MileCards

      @JenJ – The Platinum suite upgrades are only valid on paid nights, so they can’t be used to upgrade free or points nights.

  4. Michael Green

    We like to stay at the Hyatt Regency Montreal during the jazz festival first week of July for our anniversary.
    We have done this several years.
    To obtain the card and earn the free night’s, does the $1000 card purchase have to be used at a Hyatt or is it any purchase of at least $1000, such as retail purchases, to qualify?
    Also does the free night associated with the yearly fee, qualify for the Regency Montreal?

    1. MileCards

      @Mike – Good news is the $1,000 card purchase can be at any merchant, not just Hyatt. For the free night you get after paying your annual fee each year, yes the Hyatt Regency Montreal is currently a Category 3 hotel, which qualifies for that certificate. The only challenge is that certificate requires availability of reservations for Gold Passport points. While the 2 nights you get upfront are good for any standard room, the annual certificate behaves the way your Gold Passport points do. So at busy times like the jazz festival it’s possible rooms will be available for sale, but they won’t be available for redemption with points or the annual certificate.

  5. YC

    This Hyatt card is really attractive as I am already planning for a holiday soon. But I am staying in Singapore so will this make it difficult for me? The annual fee of $75 is based on what currency? And how should I pay for my monthly credit card bills from Singapore?

    Thank you.

  6. Nicole

    If I sign up for this card, and I get the 2 free nights up front after my first purchase, when must those 2 nights be used by? Do they expire? I plan to use them in Paris in May 2013, so it is about 10 months from now that I would use them. Thanks!

    1. MileCards

      @Nicole – They are valid for one year from when they are issued, so you should be in good shape.

  7. Joseph James

    Umm… you may have missed a few things… actually a LOT of things.

    1) The card, for the $75 AF comes with 1 free night PER YEAR at a category 1-4 hotel.
    2) The 2 free nights can be used at those places yes; however the Paris Hyatt goes for well over $1000 US, closer to $1200 per night actually, with the exchange rate.
    3) The platinum status really is useful, not as useful as Diamond, but even one or two stays at a Hyatt makes it worth it to have.

    Not to mention, Starpoints are much harder to earn overall. With Hyatt, you can earn them with Chase UR and the Sapphire Preferred. Even if you don’t have that card, the free annual night makes it worth it. Even if you just want a fun staycation.

    1. MileCards

      @Joseph- Glad you found great value out of it. Added the anniversary free night certificate to the description…it actually hit for us right after getting the card, since the annual fee is charged upfront. Also made note of the late checkout and free internet from Platinum, which seem to be the most reliable benefits.

    2. JenJen

      Can the Platinum status 15% extra points be used for MileagePlus miles in which Hyatt lets you choose wether to earn points or partnered miles with each stay/night?

  8. Scarlett Hudson

    I am a gold passport member and want to apply for a Hyatt rewards card for the specific purpose of using the 2 free nights at Hyatt in Key West, Florida. Hyatt Sunset Harbor-vacation club, Hyatt Key West resort & spa offers a deluxe king – would these types of rooms qualify as “standard” under the free night rules? Thanks!

    1. MileCards

      @Scarlett – The Deluxe rooms at the Key West Hyatt are considered ‘standard’ so yes you can use the free night certificate there. The Vacation Club is off limits though, thanks for pointing that out, as the rooms at those are considered studios and suites.

  9. Kimberli Karlsson

    I have a HYATT card with you, however, I cannot find my credit card. I want to use it this weekend. What can I do?! I will be staying at The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco and would like to use the card for my weekend purchases. I look forward to hearing back from you. Is there a phone number that I can call to get my card replaced?!

    1. MileCards

      @Kimberli- Call Chase to report it lost and they might be able to get you a replacement sent Fed Ex to your home or your location in San Francisco. You can always change the card you use when you check out of the hotel.

      Chase’s number is 800 436-7941.

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