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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card is known for being a super card that offers a big welcome bonus, useful category bonuses, and a generous return on everyday spend. Between the $300 annual travel credit, Priority Pass membership, and triple points on dining and travel, this card has been a game-changer for me.
Triple points on travel beats most airline & hotel cards
I find the triple points on dining and travel on the Chase Sapphire Reserve to be industry leading categories, so virtually all of my dining and travel spend goes on the card. The one exception is that I sometimes buy airfare directly from airlines using The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee), since it offers 5x points on airfare. The catch is that it doesn’t offer the same great travel coverage that the Sapphire Reserve offers.
What often surprises people is that the Sapphire Reserve is typically the best card to use for airline and hotel purchases as well, even better than a travel brand’s own co-branded card. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me the card offers the equivalent of a 5.1% return on all travel spend, which is huge. Very few co-brand travel cards offer a return of better than 5% for spend with them.
For example, looking at hotel credit cards:
- The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers 10x points per dollar spent at IHG hotels; I value those points at 0.4 cents each, so to me that’s a return of 4%
- The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card offers 6x points per dollar spent at Marriott hotels; I value those points at 0.8 cents each, so to me that’s a return of 4.8%
Not only does the Chase Sapphire Reserve offer a return that I value more highly, but it also offers significantly more flexible points, and when you have the option between flexible points and a similar number of points in a single currency, you should just about always take the flexible points.
Up until recently, I’d say the only hotel credit card that offered a better return than the Sapphire Reserve was the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, which offers 14x Hilton Honors points per dollar spent. I value Hilton points at 0.4 cents each, so to me that’s a return worth 5.6%, making it marginally more lucrative than the Sapphire Reserve.
A new hotel credit card that beats the Sapphire Reserve for hotel spend
Hyatt’s old credit card (no longer open to new applicants) offers three World of Hyatt points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels. Hyatt recently introduced The World of Hyatt Credit Card, which offers 4x points for spend at Hyatt hotels.
Personally I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, meaning that the new card offers a return of 6% on Hyatt spend (by my valuation), which is significantly better than the 5.1% offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
I commend Chase and Hyatt for coming up with a card that’s actually best for Hyatt hotel spend, and also for having a card that I’d argue offers the best return on spend of any hotel credit card.
Not only do I value the 4x points offered with The World of Hyatt Credit Card as being the equivalent of a 6% return, but by spending on the card you’re working towards some valuable thresholds:
- If you spend $15,000 on the card in a cardmember year, you receive a Category 1-4 free night certificate
- You receive two elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent
So while I think Hyatt’s new credit card is brilliant on many levels, on the most basic level I love it because it’s a hotel branded credit card that is actually worth using at hotels — what a novel concept!
Do you plan on using Hyatt’s new credit card for Hyatt hotel spend, or are you sticking to another card?