While I’ve written about this in the past, sometimes I forget to use my own advice, which is a point at which I figure it can’t hurt to post a refresher.
I stayed at the Andaz West Hollywood this weekend and at check-in mindlessly gave my Chase Hyatt Visa Card to cover the room, since it offers three Gold Passport points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties.
That might seem logical, though as I’ve written about in the past, the best card to use for a Hyatt stay within the US is actually an American Express Small Business OPEN Card.
Hyatt participates in the OPEN Savings program, whereby you receive a 5% discount for Hyatt stays of up to $10,000 per year when paying with your American Express OPEN Card:
OPEN Savings® from American Express OPEN
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts® boosts the value you get from your Business Card from American Express OPEN as part of the OPEN Savings® benefit. As a built-in Business Card feature, you automatically receive a 5% discount credited to your American Express statement OR 2 additional Membership Rewards® points for each eligible dollar spent at participating Hyatt Hotels & Resorts in the U.S. up to $10,000 per Card Account in a calendar year. This benefit can be combined with other promotions offered by Hyatt.
This is equivalent to saving 5% on Hyatt stays, and the statement credit means you’re effectively getting cash back on eligible stays.
So really the best card to use for domestic Hyatt stays is the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card, as you’ll earn both 5% cash back plus one Starpoint per dollar spent, which I value at 2.2 cents each. So that’s basically a 7.2% return on Hyatt stays.
Meanwhile on the Business Gold Rewards Card you have the option between two bonus Membership Rewards points per dollar spent or 5% cash back — the 5% cash back is definitely the better of the two options, in my opinion.
But I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents each, so I still think you’re better off using the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card than the Business Gold Rewards Card.
There are a couple of restrictions regarding the OPEN Savings program for Hyatt that you should know about:
- The 5% cash back applies for the first $10,000 spent per card account each calendar year. If you have multiple cards that qualify for American Express OPEN Savings you can go up to that limit on each card.
- The savings only apply at select Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Hyatt hotels within the U.S. — Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, and Hyatt Residence Club locations don’t participate.
This really adds quite a bit of value to Hyatt stays if done properly. You basically get a 7.2% return on Hyatt spend, in addition to the points you earn for your stay. As a Gold Passport member you earn five base points per dollar spent, and as a Diamond member you earn a 30% bonus, for a total of 6.5 points per dollar spent. I value Gold Passport points at 1.6 cents each, so that’s a further 10.4% return on my Hyatt spend. 17.6% return on Hyatt spend not even factoring in any promotions is pretty awesome!
At eligible properties outside the US the value on either card isn’t quite as good, since you’ll pay a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. As a result abroad I used The Chase Hyatt Visa Card for Hyatt stays, and The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Card for other hotel stays.
(In the interest of full disclosure I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through some of the above links — thanks for your support!)