I think that the Chase Hyatt Visa Card has one of the best welcome bonuses around. When you get the card, after completing the required minimum spend, you get two free nights at any Hyatt Hotel worldwide. That means you can stay two nights at Hyatt hotels that theoretically cost nearly $1,000 or more per night. For me, this was the Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires a few years ago. I was hooked. And what kept me hooked to keep the card year after year, was the free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt. Last year, I redeemed that free night at the Park Hyatt Saigon, Vietnam and this year I used it at the Andaz Papagayo, Costa Rica. (There are other benefits too – but this post focuses on the sign-on bonus and the annual free night)
There have been a lot of significant changes at Hyatt recently, most notably with the changeover from the Hyatt Gold Passport program to the World of Hyatt program.
Does it follow that there will also be changes to the Chase Hyatt Visa credit card? Would you be surprised?
There are rumors floating around – and I don’t know if they are true or gossip (or fake news). What I’ve heard is that the welcome bonus for the Hyatt credit card is changing. Specifically, I’ve heard that the sign-on bonus in the near future, after completing the required spend of $1,000 or $2,000, will be in the form of bonus points rather than free nights. And, the magic (cough, cough) number that I’ve heard is 40,000 World of Hyatt points.
For someone who is interested in the Hyatt credit card in order to stay at an aspirational property such as the Park Hyatt in New York, Paris or Sydney, s/he will be disappointed. Those hotels are category 7 hotels and a free night at each is 30,000 points. A 40,000 point welcome bonus would only equate to one free night at the highest category level Hyatt hotel. Nor would 40,000 cover two nights at a category 6 hotel, which requires 25,000 points for a free night. Most of the Hyatt hotels in New York City are category 6 hotels.
Only if the two free nights chosen by the new cardholder were at a category 5 would the effect be the same regardless of whether the bonus were in the form of points or a free night. And, if the new cardholder wanted to stay at a Hyatt that is Category 4 or below, s/he would conceivably fare better with 40,000 points instead of two free nights. For example, if the new cardholder was interested in staying at category 1 or 2 Hyatts, s/he would get five to eight free nights instead of just two free nights. Another potential benefit to a sign-on bonus being points would be the possible flexibility of being able to use the points for points and cash stays.
Nevertheless, on balance, for most of the people I know, if the sign on bonus were to change to 40,000 points, it would be considered a significant devaluation. I haven’t heard anything with respect to a change to the annual free night.
Have you heard anything? What do you think?