My two favorite hotel credit cards issued by Chase are The World of Hyatt Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. My favorite benefit of each card is the annual free night certificates they offer, which to me more than justify the annual fees. However, there are lots of other perks to the cards.
The World Hyatt Credit Card has a $95 annual fee, and most notably offers:
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Get automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
The IHG Rewards Card has an $89 annual fee, and most notably offers:
- An anniversary free night certificate valid at any IHG hotel in the world up to 40,000 points
- IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
- Fourth Reward Night Free when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
The InterContinental Hong Kong, where I redeemed my free night certificate last year
The pros and cons of the IHG annual free night
Personally I have both of these credit cards, and I value them immensely for their respective privileges. Purely in terms of the annual free night certificate, historically I’ve valued the one offered on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card more. That’s because it’s valid at many IHG hotels.
But there are some downsides to the IHG annual free night certificate as well. For example, while Hyatt offers free night availability as long as a standard room is available for sale, IHG has capacity controls. You still shouldn’t have issues redeeming it, but availability isn’t quite as good as with Hyatt’s certificate. Furthermore, personally I’m not loyal to IHG, and even IHG Platinum status doesn’t get you much in the way of elite recognition.
As far as I’m concerned that’s totally fine, since you’re literally paying a $89 annual fee to get that free night certificate. It’s hard not to get outsized value from that. With the IHG certificate you have access to about 5,000 hotels, while with the Hyatt certificate you have access to a few hundred hotels.
Why The World of Hyatt Credit Card annual free night is growing on me
Historically I would have said the IHG free night is hands down worth more, given that it’s redeemable at so many more properties. However, my opinion on this has changed. As a World of Hyatt Globalist member, there are now some significant advantages to this certificate, including that as of 2018 you receive elite credit for stays booked with this certificate, which you didn’t previously.
On top of that, Globalist members receive suite upgrades even on free night stays, complimentary breakfast, and waived resort fees and parking on award stays.
The Park Hyatt Saigon, where I redeemed my Hyatt certificate last year
While you are capped at a Category 4 property, personally I think I now value the free night certificate on The World of Hyatt Credit Card more than on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Don’t get me wrong, I have (and will continue to have) both cards, and I think a large reason I feel the way I do is because I’m a Hyatt loyalist and not IHG loyalist. However, even so my perception has only recently changed, especially now that Globalist members get unlimited suite upgrades, free parking on award stays, and most importantly, stay credits for stays booked with these certificates.
I’m curious how you guys feel — do you value the free night certificate on the Hyatt or IHG card more?