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 an increased welcome bonus of up to 125,000 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 120,000 points are worth $625.
Winner: Assuming you value points similarly to how I do, the Hyatt Card has a significantly more generous welcome bonus. However, if you’re timing these welcome bonuses, note that the IHG Card currently has an increased bonus that’s significantly better than usual.
50,000 Hyatt points is enough for 10 nights at the Hyatt Regency Bali
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.
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
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, but if I were planning on applying for both over time, I’d get the IHG one now, since it currently has its best ever welcome bonus.
To those who have either card (or both), which do you find to be more valuable?