The Hyatt Visa has a pretty good signup bonus, I used it recently on my trip to Singapore and the Maldives — Base members receive 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world as a signup bonus, for use within a year. That means the Park Hyatt Paris, in the Maldives, or Sydney are all possibles.
The card comes with a $75 fee, but this link which I found advertised on the Hyatt website offers a $75 statement credit after first purchase, effectively making it first year free.
And the signup bonus is actually better than it appears at first blush. Existing Platinums get 2 free nights at any Hyatt in the world and two confirmed suite upgrades valid on paid stays. And through May 11, anyone can be a Platinum, instantly. Just enter any Visa Signature credit card number on this page to upgrade your Hyatt Gold Passport status for 90 days.
The card itself comes with Hyatt Platinum status, but by giving yourself Platinum status and then applying for the card you get the 2 confirmed suite upgrades in addition to the two free nights. (Platinum is largely good for free internet, and avoiding a hotel’s worst rooms.)
Existing Diamond members get 2 free nights in a suite as their signup bonus. That’s why I got the card, largely.
I was thinking about cancelling the card, but Hyatt added an annual bonus that changed my mind. They give out an annual free night valid on any hotel up to category 4 (out of 6 reward categories). That’s somewhat limited but still very useful, I was just credited with my annual free night and will use it at the Hyatt 48Lex in New York, likely on a night where rates are over $500. And that will make it worth the $75 annual fee to keep.
Currently I really only use the card when staying at a Hyatt, it earns 3 points per dollar on Hyatt stays. I really do prefer my Chase Sapphire Preferred card most of the time, and am on the fence whether it’s better to use the Sapphire Preferred card even on Hyatt stays — it earns 2 points per dollar on hotel spend, which also earns the 7% annual bonus, and the points convert to United (as well as other loyalty programs). So do I want 2.14 United miles or 3 Hyatt points when paying for my Hyatt stays? I default to the Hyatt Visa but it’s at least close.
There are lots of rumblings about big improvements in the Hyatt Visa coming down the pike. But for now it’s a great card for the signup bonus, especially if you plan to use the free nights at Hyatt’s higher-end properties. (The card doesn’t make my ‘top 10′ list of signup bonuses because the value of the free nights really depends on where you’ll use them, something that’s true for all bonuses but with points there’s more flexibility and no requirement to use them within a year.)
And of course the card also has no foreign currency transaction fees, much like Sapphire Preferred, so of real value to international travelers.
Now, probably not the best signup bonus out there for many folks, if you want 2 free Hyatt nights then 40,000 points from Sapphire Preferred translates into almost enough for 2 nights anywhere in the world and points transfer instantly to Hyatt for free.
But if you want two free confirmed suite upgrades in addition to the free nights, there’s about a 3 week window in which to grab that.
(Note that this card offer does not offer any referral credit to me. The best available offer I have excludes the $75 statement credit, so best to use the one that will put $75 more in your pocket.)