I noticed that my Hyatt Visa Card was up for renewal this month. The annual renewal fee on the card is $75 – which entitles the card holder to one free night at a category 1-4 hotel. I love Hyatt hotels, so even though I have often heard it said that you can do just as well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa or one of the Chase Ink cards as with this card, for me, the Hyatt Visa is a “keeper.”
Sometimes credit card companies will give bonus incentives to their customers in order to persuade them to keep a card a second (or third, or fourth… ) year. This is called a retention bonus or payment. A retention payment might be a waiver of part or all of the annual renewal fee, a statement credit, or extra points or miles. Even if you do not intend to cancel the card, it never hurts to make the phone call and see what’s on the table. A year ago, I wrote about my experience with canceling a Chase British Airways Visa card. As I wrote then, through a strange twist of events, I was offered (and accepted) 5,000 Ultimate Reward points to cancel my British Airways Visa card.
Today’s phone call began like any other. I said to the agent that my card was up for renewal and I wanted to explore my options and whether it was worthwhile to keep the card or not. After a few minutes of chit-chat, I was transferred to the specialist. At first, the specialist was surprised that, despite my regular card usage, that there was “nothing on the file” for him to offer me. He then said that the most he could offer was 2,000 Hyatt points, which he later “upped” to 2,500 Hyatt points, as a retention incentive. I told him that I’d heard of others with the card being offered 5,000 Hyatt points (see this Flyertalk thread).
The representative then surprised me. He said he couldn’t offer me more than 2,500 Hyatt points, but, if I’d prefer, he could offer 7,500 Ultimate Reward points on my Chase Sapphire Preferred Mastercard! What? Really?!! 7,500 UR points is 7,500 Hyatt points, or 7,500 United miles, or 7,500 Avios, etc. etc. etc. At the very least, 7,500 UR points is valued at $75 the same as the renewal fee for the Hyatt Visa. To a savvy traveler, 7,500 UR points can be worth much more than that. Oh. My. God. I said YES!!!!!!!!! I think I struck gold. What do you think?
If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at WillRunForMiles@gmail.com, or on Twitter at @katruns26point2.