Update: the signup bonus qualification has changed slightly.
The Hyatt Visa is worth getting for five big reasons:
1. This offer of two free nights at any Hyatt after
the first swipe of the card spending $1,000 with the card is the biggest. Since "any Hyatt" includes their Park Hyatt brand, you can stay for free at properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Paris or Park Hyatt Maldives where rooms are $1,000 or more per night! They also have US locations in Chicago, DC, Colorado (Beaver Creek) and New York (opening in 2013) though rooms are less than internationally.
2. You get free Platinum status for the life of your membership, which means free internet, upgraded rooms, bonus points and more.
3. You earn 3 points per $1 on Hyatt stays, 2 points on restaurants, airfare, and rental cars and 1 point elsewhere. Hyatt's reward chart is generous, with top tier hotel nights available for only 22,000 points.
4. Earn one free night in a category 1-4 hotel on your card anniversary.
5. The fifth reason is new: as of September 2012, you can earn credit towards their Diamond status, which requires 25 stays or 50 nights in one year. You can now earn 2 stays and 5 nights with $20,000 in annual spending on the card, or 5 stays and 10 nights with $40,000 in spending. Basically, this makes qualifying for Diamond via nights or stays 20% easier.
I'm a big fan of Hyatt's Gold Passport program. I think the points are valuable. The ability to redeem 22,000 points for a $1,000 Park Hyatt room is hard to beat. That said, the Starwood Card is part of my repertoire, as well. Keep in mind that you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points into Hyatt's Gold Passport program. This 46,000-plus signup bonus for the Sapphire Card is similar to the two free nights here so if the 3x points per $1 at Hyatt, the Platinum status or the credits toward Diamond aren't of value to you, keep it simple and stick with the Sapphire because the points have more flexibility. Of course, there is no reason you can't do both!
What's the bottom-line here? If you and your significant other each get the Hyatt Visa, plus pair it with free miles (30k American, 30k Delta or Starwood Amex) you can get a luxury 4-night getaway for no cost beyond the card's $75 annual fee!
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