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Earlier today I wrote a post about the changes coming to the Hyatt co-branded credit card beginning March 1, 2017 when the World of Hyatt program officially launches. If you are interested in the Hyatt credit card, I encourage you to read that full post if you haven’t already, but the main takeaways are the that the Hyatt credit card will no longer help you achieve top tier status, but it will instead grant you automatic Discoverist status and will upgrade you to Explorist status if you spend $50,000 on the card annually.
In my summary of that post I stated that if you have top tier Globalist status under the new Hyatt program, having the co-branded Hyatt credit card is not essential, especially if you have the Sapphire Reserve which essentially exceeds its points earning potential, even on charges at Hyatt properties. I think you could probably stretch that statement further and argue that if you naturally have any Hyatt elite status level the card is probably not essential unless you can easily spend $50,000 per year on the card and otherwise would not have Explorist second tier elite status.
Why I Am Keeping the Hyatt Credit Card
However, even with all of that, I plan to keep my Hyatt credit card at least for the foreseeable future. I will not be putting $50,000 per year on the card to earn Explorist status as the opportunity cost for shifting that spending from other cards is too high, and frankly the amount is just too high for the payoff. Here are a few of the reasons I am keeping the Hyatt card, at least in the near term.
The Hyatt card still awards a Category 1-4 free night certificate each year when you pay the $75 annual fee.
I don’t have any problem putting that Category 1-4 certificate to great use at a property like the Hyatt Hill Country San Antonio during a peak summer weekend, Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress near Disney World, Hyatt Centric the Woodlands for a staycation, Grand Hyatt DFW for a hotel overnight, Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica, Hyatt Centric South Beach, Park Hyatt Hamburg, or Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle. There are dozens of other great choices, too. All of those hotels routinely sell during peak seasons at rates well more than the $75 annual fee the credit card charges. On points they would cost you 15,000 points per night that I personally value at more than $200.
There are good Hyatt cardholder specific promotions.
In 2015, Hyatt cardholders got 20% of their redeemed points back for a portion of the year. That saved my family tens of thousands of Hyatt points, and is actually what led to me finally pulling the trigger on getting the card. This year they did a similar promo that awarded 10% of the redeemed points back for several months. Even with the lower percentage, I still managed to save several thousand Hyatt points thanks to that promotion, and if they continue to do these types of things for cardholders it makes it easier to keep the Hyatt card open.
For what it is worth, I would love to see something along the lines of the 10% points rebate added as a permanent benefit to the card, even if it was capped similar to how some of the American Airlines credit cards operate. While we are on the topic, there is one current Hyatt cardholder promo that awards a $50 statement credit if you spend $500 or more at U.S. Hyatt Regency Hotels and Resorts from September 27 – December 31, 2016 as long as you registered by October 31, 2016.
As long as these sort of promos keep popping up for Hyatt Chase cardholders, I am more likely to hold onto my card.
Getting new credit cards is harder than it used to be.
Even though many reports suggest that the Chase Hyatt Visa is not currently subject to the same Chase 5/24 rules as some other Chase credit cards, that doesn’t mean it will always stay that way. It also is just harder on average to get the same card multiple times than it was a few years ago, so there is an argument to holding some of your credit cards for the long term instead of constantly trading them out like you were playing Go Fish.
I wouldn’t keep the Hyatt card just for the sake of keeping it open, but if you are maximizing the Category 1-4 night and the cardholder specific promos continue, then factoring in the benefits of keeping some cards for the long term might tip the scales a little.
Some elite status is better than no elite status.
If you otherwise would not have any Hyatt status it is also better to be a Discoverist by virtue of having the card than being a than a “Nothingist” with no status at all. Even the low tier Discoverist status will give you a few perks such as 2PM late check-out, bottled water daily, preferred room within the category booked, Pearl status with MLife, and a 10% bonus on base points earned – 15% if you have the card before 3/1/17 through 2/28/18. Without the credit card it would take 10 eligible nights annually to obtain Discoverist status, so this will help those with a handful of Hyatt stays each year.
The Hyatt credit card was already in a unique position before the World of Hyatt changes were announced in that the Sapphire Reserve is a better choice for earning even at Hyatt properties than the co-branded Hyatt card. Unless you were putting $20,000 – $40,000 on the Hyatt card annually to get a little bump towards Diamond status I don’t think any of the new changes substantially hurt you, but they also didn’t really add much to make the card more valuable for people like me who aren’t going to put $50,000 on the card each year for the new second tier elite status.
I’m still holding onto it for the reasons already stated, but I can understand why it isn’t a “must keep” for everyone.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.