Should You Get The Hyatt Or IHG Credit Card?

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Card Comparisons
In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each card. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

Last year we 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 spending.

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 50,000 World of Hyatt points, including 25,000 World of Hyatt bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months, plus another 25,000 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 50,000 points are worth $750.

Meanwhile, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is offering a welcome bonus of up to 80,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $3,000 within the first three months.

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.

50,000 Hyatt points is enough for 10 nights at the Hyatt Regency Bali

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 on your account anniversary every year, valid at any property that retails for up to 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night
  • A fourth night free on award bookings; when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night stay, you only have to redeem points for the cost of the first three nights
  • 20% off when you purchase IHG Rewards Club points
  • IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card
  • A TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry fee credit every four years

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 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 spending

The World of Hyatt Card offers 4x points for spending 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 spending on the card.

Meanwhile, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card offers 25x points per dollar spent on IHG hotel stays for the first 12 months and 4x points per dollar spent on all eligible purchases for the first 12 months. 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 spending, 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, offers better incentives for spending, 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 summarize, if I could only have one card, I’d probably choose Hyatt’s.

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

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
  1. Does it make sense to have P1 get Hyatt and P2 get IHG. We are a family of five, so it’s been difficult finding space at a reasonable redemption.

  2. @Lucky, personally do you generally put hotel spend on the hotel cards you have, given that the rate of return is typically pretty generous for that? Or do you stick to transferable currency points?

  3. The IHG card does offer Global Entry credit. I know lots of cards do, but this one has to have the lowest annual fee vs the Premium ones… I do think IHG gets a bad rap. I do like IHG since their hotels are everywhere and always seems to come in handy to redeem free nights vs paid rates…

    @Hawaiian Joe – yes I am eagerly awaiting the Conrad Bora Bora too!

  4. @Lucky: Great clarification on the Hyatt card eligibility. Was quite attempted to apply the new Hyatt card but I do want to keep my old one.

  5. @Dale I agree that IHG gets kicked around more than it deserves. I spend a fair amount of time on road trips and I can always find a HIE or Staybridge. In smaller U.S. cities, I can often find a great old Holiday Inn (The remodeled downtown Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls has the best location in town. It’s one of my favorite hotels.) Kimptons are a nice splurge.

    I don’t travel to Asia, but the ICs in Europe are mostly gorgeous properties.

  6. @ Randy, I agree the Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls is a great hotel. I used a lot of IHG points last summer on cross country 3 week drive across country and Sioux falls was one of our favorite places.

  7. There’s currently an offer for 2 Cat7 certificates on the Hyatt card. Worth mentioning.

  8. If I currently have the legacy Hyatt card, and received a bonus for it in 2012, and I have no new cards whatsoever in the last 24 months, can I get the new Hyatt card? Would I need to cancel my current Hyatt card?

    Thank yiu

  9. @Jerem, reread the article. It clearly says : The World of Hyatt Card is available to those who don’t currently have any Hyatt Card……

  10. Hi all! New here and love the website!

    What hotel credit card should I get if I go to a conference 4 days comped a year through my work? I only travel once or twice a yearI have 16,000 hyatt points right now but Im open to new cards since I am young.

    Any help would be much appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *