Ask an Expert: Is the Hyatt Card a Suite Deal?

The Hyatt credit card appears to offer a lesser reward for its better customers. Can that really be true?

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I review dozens of credit card offers each week to find the best deals. Check out more on our credit card pageHave a question? Email me

Sometimes it seems the better the credit card rewards, the more confusing the conditions. A Money Talks News reader recently asked…

I read your article on the Hyatt Visa card and I had a quick question for you.

I currently have Hyatt Platinum Status which should get me two free nights and two suite upgrades (that can each be used on a stay of up to seven days) if I apply for the Hyatt Visa.

My understanding is that if I had the higher Diamond status, I would get those two free nights in a suite – but no upgrade certificates. Wouldn’t it be better to have the lower level status for this promotion? Or am I missing something?

Thanks for your thoughts,
– AJ

You bring up an interesting question, AJ – one I hadn’t considered.

In my review of the Hyatt card, I noted that “those who already hold Platinum status in Hyatt’s Gold Passport program will receive two suite upgrade certificates. Those who hold Diamond status will receive two free nights in a suite. ”

Is it possible that those with higher status get the less valuable reward?

I always try to use my points and miles for free travel, so I value upgrade certificates that require paid night stays far less than just two free night stays in a suite. On the other hand, I understand that my situation is not all that typical.

Many travelers pay for hotel rooms that are later reimbursed by their company, and some even rent hotel rooms with their own money (or so I hear). So in this case, you’re comparing the difference in value between a standard room and a suite for up to 14 nights, versus the cost of the entire suite for just two nights. From that perspective, it seems correct that the 14 nights of suite upgrades from a paid room might be worth more to some travelers than just the two free nights in the suite.

The bigger question here is: How do you value rewards?

It turns out that in this case, as in many others, the value of the reward depends on who’s receiving it. I could see having very little use for a suite when I’m on a business trip by myself, but it could come in rather handy if was traveling with my family of four.

While this is an unusual circumstance where the higher-value reward might be granted to customers with lower status, this is certainly not the only time that you’ll value a credit card reward differently than someone else. For example, a free domestic flight can be very valuable to someone who pays for last-minute travel, while it would be of less value to someone who travels with plenty of advance notice and scores really low fare.

By considering how valuable a particular award is to you, only then can you choose the best credit card for your needs.

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