Should You Get The Hyatt Or IHG Credit Card?

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Update: This offer for The World of Hyatt Credit Card has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.

We recently saw Chase refresh two of their popular hotel credit cards — The World of Hyatt Credit Card and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card — and there’s a lot of overlap between them. You’re potentially eligible for both of these cards, though for those who just want to pick up one of these cards, which is a better option?

Let’s compare the annual fees, welcome bonuses, eligibility, perks, and return on spend.

Comparing annual fees

The World of Hyatt Card has a $95 annual fee.

Meanwhile the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card has an $89 annual fee.

Winner: The IHG Card wins, though only by six dollars, so that shouldn’t be the deciding factor here.

Comparing welcome bonuses

The World of Hyatt Card offers a welcome bonus of up to 60,000 World of Hyatt points, including 40,000 World of Hyatt bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months, plus another 20,000 bonus points after spending a total of $6,000 within the first six months.

Personally I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so to me the 60,000 points are worth $900.

Meanwhile the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is offering an increased welcome bonus of 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $2,000 within the first three month.

Personally I value IHG Rewards Club points at 0.5 cents each, so to me the 80,000 points are worth $400.

Winner: Assuming you value points similarly to how I do, the Hyatt Card has a significantly more generous welcome bonus.

60,000 Hyatt points is enough for 12 nights at the Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Comparing eligibility

The World of Hyatt Card is available to those who don’t currently have any Hyatt Card, and those who haven’t received the welcome bonus on any Hyatt Card (including the old version of this card) in the past 24 months.

Meanwhile the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is available to those who don’t currently have this card, and haven’t received a new cardmember bonus on this card in the past 24 months. However, you are eligible for this card (including the welcome bonus) if you have the old version of the IHG Card.

Winner: Both cards are subjected to 5/24, though with the IHG Card you have the advantage of being eligible even if you have the older version of the card.

Comparing perks

The primary draw of both of these cards is the rich perks that they offer.

The World of Hyatt Card offers:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property on your account anniversary every year
  • A second anniversary free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property when you spend $15,000 on the card in an account anniversary year
  • Five elite qualifying nights towards status annually
  • An additional two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card
  • World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as you have the card

Meanwhile the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card offers:

  • An anniversary free night certificate valid at a property costing up to 40,000 points per night on your account anniversary every year
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A fourth night free on award redemptions, which you can use an unlimited number of times

Winner: I know “it depends” isn’t a good answer, but it really does depend. Personally I find the Hyatt perks more valuable, but that’s because I’m a Hyatt loyalist. Hyatt Globalist status is my favorite top tier hotel status, and having the card makes it easier to earn. The catch is that Hyatt has a much smaller global footprint than IHG, so understandably not everyone will feel the same.

Redeem your IHG free night certificate at the Crowne Plaza Changi

Comparing return on spend

The World of Hyatt Card offers 4x points for spend at Hyatt hotels and resorts, and 2x points on dining at restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, on fitness club and gym memberships, and on local transit and commuting, including ridesharing services.

In and of itself those aren’t industry leading bonus categories, but the reason it can very well make sense to spend money on the card is because of the additional bonuses you can earn by spending money on the card. When you combine the bonus categories with being able to earn additional free night certificates and elite nights, it could really make sense to put spend on the card.

Meanwhile the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card offers 10x points for spend at IHG properties, and 2x points on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Given that I value IHG points at just 0.5 cents each, and given the lack of bonus for spend otherwise, there’s really not much of an incentive to spend money on the card. For non-bonused spend you’re earning the equivalent of a ~0.5% return.

Winner: It can make a lot of sense to spend money on the Hyatt Card, given the generous spend categories in the form of free night certificates and elite nights.

Hyatt Globalist status can get you perks like suite upgrades and free breakfast

Bottom line

Personally I think both of these cards are worth having, since I think for anyone who travels with some frequency, the anniversary free night certificates alone will more than justify the annual fees on the card. One of the great things about hotel credit cards is that they can be worth holding onto for the perks alone, even if you don’t spend much on them.

But more specifically, I do think the Hyatt Card is probably a bit more compelling all around. The card has a more valuable welcome bonus, gives great incentives to spend money on the card, and can help you earn my favorite top tier hotel status. The catch is that Hyatt’s global footprint is quite small, especially in comparison to IHG.

So getting an annual free night certificate, IHG Platinum status, and fourth night free award redemptions for the IHG Card can be super valuable as well.

To those who have either card (or both), which do you find to be more valuable?

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  1. Applied to Hyatt in July, got in to the 30 day decision window. Got it approved in August. Applied to IHG 10 days ago, got into 30-day again. Waiting on approval. Crossing fingers!!!

  2. Thanks for the info, Ben. I have read elsewhere that you need to wait 30 days before applying for the new Hyatt card after you cancel the old version. Do you have any knowledge of if this is true or not?

  3. Had the old Hyatt but never put much spend on it. Got the bonus in 2014 so I closed it (since I can qualify for the new bonus). After I hit the bonus on the Ink Preferred I’m going to apply for the new card. I always got value out of the free night and being able to earn elite nights on spend is a nice to have.

  4. Under the welcome bonus comparison, you said “World of Hyatt” twice…you said it under the IHG paragraph, so that’s a typo.

  5. I was able to get the WoH card approved a day or two after the old one was closed. there is no need to wait 30 days.

  6. I’m getting married next year at the Grand Hyatt Nassau. Can’t wait to put 30K of spend on this card in the next 6 months. Thanks for the reminder, Lucky.

  7. The Hyatt card looks so compelling on paper – but I have never, in all my travels, been able to find a Hyatt in the place where I’m going that is also within my price range. There’s either no Hyatts, or outrageously expensive ones. So I’m sticking with IHG, especially now that they have Kimpton as a brand.

  8. @Anastasia – The Grand Hyatt in downtown Denver ran me $130 a night which I found to be a pretty amazing value…just don’t valet your car ($50) a day. Self park in the same garage as the valet for $18.

  9. Hyatt CC and it’s not even close, Chase UR transfer plus great high end award redemptions plus award nights count towards stays plus free nights plus Hyatt Globalist Breakfast last you get whatever you want $100+ for two people damn, plus Hyatt Globalist status is best in hotel industry…. Get it. Enjoy the Benefits… text me your success story… seriously… 408.489.5134

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