Hyatt chooses simplicity for its first co-brand
Hyatt hotel group has finally decided to add a co-brand credit card to its award winning Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program.
It is issued by JP Morgan Chase.
Hyatt is well behind its rivals in offering a card to its loyal, card collecting customers. Marriott for example, launched its first co-brand card in 1987 and Starwood launched its American Express card in 1996.
The reasons for a hotel group to issue a co-branded card are obvious, but the Hyatt scheme is attracting attention not because of its innovation, but because of its simplicity.
Hyatt which completed its IPO just a year ago, says it elected not to launch a multi-product offering at this time but a straight forward card product. It will be offered first to its most loyal customers, for a US$75 annual fee.
The card carries a promise of room availability together with other side benefits associated with an exclusive card.
For the US$75 annual fee, cardholders get 3 Gold Passport points per dollar awarded on all stays at Hyatt properties. On all other purchases, cardholders earn one point per dollar spent. In addition, platinum members receive an extra 15 percent bonus points per stay, as well as the best available room in their booking category.
Additional benefits include perks like free internet service, expedited check-in, and 72 hour guarantee on room availability. The frequent traveler will also appreciate the fact that the card does not charge foreign transaction fees, which can otherwise run as high as 3 percent of purchases made overseas. Cardholders also enjoy the travel protection and concierge service offered by Visa Signature cards.
The main benefit of the card is the lucrative sign-up bonus currently offered. For the time being, people who apply for the new Chase Hyatt Visa credit card will automatically receive a bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt, anywhere in the world. This offer stands out in comparison to the industry standard; most hotel rewards cards only offer sign-up points redeemable for two night-stays at their lower-end hotels. Hyatt Gold Card holders, in contrast, can redeem their two free nights at any of the chains 445 properties in 45 different countries worldwide.
Consultancy First Annapolis has compared the Hyatt Visa to the premium card offerings of direct competitors, and it comes out favourably, especially for the account acquisition incentive of two free nights in any Hyatt worldwide with no restrictions.
Notably, Hyatt joins another hotel card program, IHG (also issued by Chase), with no foreign transaction fees, addressing a common pain point of international travelers.
The benefit to issuer Chase from the Hyatt launch are easy to understand. It has added to its collection of travel programs and gets additional access to affluent cardholders.
For Chase, the launch of the Hyatt affinity card is part of a broader attempt to develop new partnerships that will help Chase to make inroads in the lucrative business travel market. Credit card lenders reap larger profits from affinity cards issued in partnership with airlines and hotels, because cardholders typically are great spenders, more loyal, and willing to pay annual fees for the benefits of premium rewards earnings.
The Chase Hyatt Visa card is just one of several recent travel rewards credit cards unveiled by Chase. Earlier this year, Chase introduced new affinity travel cards with Continental Airlines, and a new Priority Club Select Visa hotel rewards card issued conjunction with the InterContinental Hotels Group.
Because travel programs are so resilient, First Annopolis says it expects Hyatt to reap the rewards of finally joining the ranks of hotels with co-brand credit card programs.