BACK

Cashing In Q&A columns

What’s the better hotel credit card — Hyatt or Marriott?

Summary

Choosing the best hotel card is a matter of weighing each card’s perks against your travel needs, as evaluating the pros and cons of each is an apples-to-oranges comparison.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Question for the CreditCards.com expertDear Cashing In,
How do the Hyatt credit cards compare to the Marriott cards? — Bret

Answer for the CreditCards.com expertDear Bret,
That’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges because the hotel brands themselves are so different. If you have to pick one hotel credit card, you’re probably better off with Marriott’s, but that has as much to do with accessibility as it does the cards. Overall, it’s easier and cheaper to earn and redeem points with Marriott Rewards than Hyatt Gold Passport, which is one reason it’s consistently ranked at the top by frequent travelers.

Marriott offers two consumer credit card options and one business. Hyatt has one card and far fewer properties, but for those who consider luxury travel the ultimate reward, it may be just the ticket.

If your travel is all over the map, particularly in the U.S. and on business, Marriott may be your best bet just because there are so many properties to choose from — 3,800-plus properties worldwide versus Hyatt’s 500 or so — and Marriott is more affordable overall.

If, on the other hand, you’re gunning for top-level elite status so you can use points accumulated on business travel for weekend getaways at swanky resorts, Hyatt may be the card you want. Hyatt has a large proportion of upscale properties and, at the highest level, Hyatt’s Diamond status brings a luxury experience Marriott Presidential properties can’t match, simply because they don’t have the amenities. If you don’t think you’ll make it that far, take a look at what Marriott Gold gets you versus the Platinum status you’ll get with the Hyatt card — at the hotels where you’ll likely be staying.

As for the cards themselves, Hyatt Gold Passport offers Visa Signature travel benefits (same as Marriott) and overseas-friendly chip technology and no foreign exchange fees (same as Marriott). It comes with a $75 annual fee and earns 3 points for every $1 spent at Hyatt, 2 points for every $1 on restaurants, airfare (purchased directly from the airline) and car rentals, and 1 point for every $1 on everything else. You get two free nights after spending $1,000 within the first three months and one free night every year on renewal.

As a Hyatt cardholder, you also get automatic Platinum status, which includes a 15 percent point bonus on eligible charges, room upgrades, free Wi-Fi and a 2 p.m. checkout. Platinum status at Hyatt usually requires five qualifying stays or 15 eligible nights in a calendar year. For luxury travel mavens who covet stays at resorts such as Hyatt’s Andaz, this can add up to a sweet payoff.

Chase’s Marriott Rewards card ($45 annual fee, waived the first year) earns 3 points per $1 spent on Marriott and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases. You get 30,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, 10 credits toward elite status and two free night stays annually. The premier Marriott card has an $85 annual fee (waived the first year), offers 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 in three months, 15 credits toward elite status annually, 5 points per $1 spent at Marriott, and 2 points per $1 on restaurants, car rentals, and airline tickets purchased from the airline. Both cards offer one credit toward elite status with every $3,000 you spend. Some would argue that “elite” doesn’t mean the same thing at Marriott as it does at Hyatt, but that depends on your standards (and your budget).

See related:What to consider before getting a hotel credit card, How to get rewards for rural hotel stays, Can I get more rewards by using my hotel’s app?,

What’s up next?

In Cashing In Q&A columns

The best card for a long stay in Vietnam?

A rewards card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and is widely accepted is the best bet for a three-month trip to Vietnam. Prepaid travel cards are an option, too

Published: August 6, 2013

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: April 19th, 2019
Business
15.32%
Airline
17.50%
Reward
17.56%
Cash Back
17.60%
Student
17.79%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.