Like many of you I have a wallet/safe/basket full of rewards credit cards. Also like many of you I like to make sure I am maximizing my purchases by using the more rewarding card possible at all times. One of my semi-regular expenses are stays at Hyatt Hotels, so I paid attention when I got a postcard reminding me that there is now an improved way to pay for those stays.
As of January 1st, the Amex OPEN Small Business program increased their statement credit rebate on Hyatt charges from 3% to 5%, up to a maximum of $500 per account per calendar year for US Hyatts (excluding Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, and Hyatt Residence Clubs). This catapulted cards with this benefit back to the top of the heap when it comes time to choose which card to pay for a hotel stay (which of course can be made up not only with the room itself, but also room charges like dining and spa). I personally have two cards with the OPEN benefits – the The Business Gold Rewards Amex and the SPG Business Amex. Here is how those and other popular rewards cards compare in regard to returns on Hyatt expenditures.
So assuming you have your pick from a variety of rewards credit cards, which is the best for Hyatt charges? Well of course that will come down to which program do you want to build points with, and how do you value your points versus cash? I know what my points are worth to me based on my own personal redemption patterns, but those patterns won’t apply to everyone. So, for the purposes of this exercise I will use the point values established by Lucky at One Mile at a Time in his helpful posts here and here. My own values are a bit different, but at least this gives something logical to go on that I more or less agree with. He gives Amex SPG Points a value of 2.2 cents per point, Ultimate Rewards 1.9 cents per point, Hyatt Gold Passport Points a value of 1.6 cents per point, and Amex Membership Rewards 1.6 cents per point. Personally I think he is short-changing SPG points by at least .3 cents each and perhaps Hyatt points by a hair as well. Either way, I do agree with the overall ranked order of what those points are worth, and those are the values I used to calculate the “overall return*” shown below.
So, using those numbers (and insert your own if you don’t like those valuations) the clear winner is the Amex SPG Business card. Since this deal is only valid for Hyatt Hotels in the US, foreign transactions fees are not an issue. You are getting 7.2 cents in value for each eligible Hyatt dollar charged on the Amex SPG Business card in the US (from the 5% cash back + 1 SPG point per dollar). The runners up would be the Amex Business Gold Rewards card and the Amex Platinum Business card. I love all the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Hyatt Credit Card, and Ink Plus Business Card, don’t get me wrong, but it is hard to argue too much with the numbers here in terms of which card is the most rewarding for Hyatt charges, at least until you hit the $500 annual return from the OPEN program.
How interesting that the most rewarding card to use for eligible Hyatt charges in the US is arguably not the Hyatt card, or any card offered by Chase at all…it is an Amex co-branded SPG hotel card?! Now that is surprising! What card to you use for your Hyatt charges and why?
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