Cancelling My Chase Marriott, Keeping Hyatt

I’ve got a confession to make! I don’t live the kind of life that allows me to hold 20 different credit cards like some bloggers claim to posses. Frankly, I never understood how paying so many annual fees makes sense unless you’ve got a near seven figure annual spend. Of course that doesn’t mean I don’t take out several credit cards per year for the sign up bonuses. In the first half of last year I took advantage of a few nice signup bonus from the Chase Marriott and Hyatt credit cards. Since the annual fees are approaching, I want to discuss why I’m cancelling my Chase Marriott card while keeping the Hyatt Visa.

Pool: Park Hyatt New York

Goodbye Marriott, Hold On Hyatt

I’d say there’s three main reasons the Hyatt card will keep a place in my wallet – Well, not my wallet, but somewhere in my house since I don’t actually use it for spend. I have a set rotation of cards I use for daily spending: Amex Everyday Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Amex Blue Business Plus. Remember, Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards points are typically valued at ~ 1.8 cents each. Therefore, our earning structure looks like this:

  • Travel & Dining: 3X Points Chase Sapphire Reserve (5.4% Value)
  • Gas: 3X Points Amex EDP (5.4% Value)
  • Groceries: 4.5X Points Amex EDP (8.1% Value)
  • Everything Else: 2X Points Amex BBP (3.6% Value)

Putting actual spend on the Chase Hyatt Visa doesn’t present a higher return than I’m already getting in the categories above. So if I’m not actually using the card, you might be wondering why I’m keeping it since the annual fee is $75…

The Free Night

The Chase Hyatt Visa comes with an annual free night at any category 1-4 property while the Marriott Visa includes a free annual stay at a Category 1-5 hotel. Unfortunately, Marriott’s hotels in the 1-5 range don’t come close to the quality you’ll find in Category 1-4 at Hyatt. One of my favorite Category 4 redemptions is the Hyatt Chicago River North which often retails above $300/night. In comparison, it’s nearly impossible to find a decent Marriott Category 1-5 in any major city.

Hyatt Discoverist vs Marriott Silver

Holders of the Chase Hyatt Visa receive complimentary Discoverist status while Marriott cardholders are awarded Marriott Silver status. Hyatt Discoverist status means you’re entitled to a late checkout and preferred room. I was once even upgraded to a nice suite at the Park Hyatt New York, even though that’s not supposed to happen. While Marriott Silver status is relatively similar, their late checkout perk is “based on availability”. To me, that leaves it at the discretion of the person answering at the front desk. Advantage Hyatt.

The Annual Fee & Points Back

In my opinion, the 1:1 transfer partnership between Chase and Hyatt is the best hotel transfer option out there. I frequently transfer Ultimate Rewards over to Hyatt for free night awards. Over the last few years, Hyatt has offered a 10% refund on points redeemed for free nights. For example, if I spent 30k points for two nights at the Hyatt Place River North, I’d receive 3,000 points back after my stay. That’s a great perk that isn’t available with Marriott.

Last but not least, The Chase Hyatt Visa has a slightly lower annual fee. Sure, it’s only $14 lower, but every dollar counts, right?

Bottom Line

When comparing the two cards, it was an easy decision to keep the Chase Hyatt Visa over the Marriott Rewards card. Furthermore, it’s difficult to find a reason to keep both. Annual fees can quickly eat up the benefits of points and miles accumulation if you’re a somewhat normal spender like me. Have you had both cards? Which one, if any, have you kept past the first year?

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