01-23-2013 10:19 PM - edited 01-23-2013 10:21 PM
Well it sounds like the Chase Marriott might actually be a better card after some research. I fear not being approved for either though.
Didn't mean to make a separate topic on this sorry! I'm on my iPhone, honest mistake
01-23-2013 10:23 PM
I just saw their sign up bonus... seems like a good deal
01-23-2013 10:37 PM
Whether or not it's a better card really depends on your travel and spending patterns.
If there is a Hyatt in the places that you like to visit, you'll get more value out of the signup bonus and annual free night. 50,000 points for the Marriott card will get you 2 nights at a category 5 hotel (out of 8), which isn't bad but isn't spectacular. With the Hyatt card you'll get 2 free nights anywhere, including category 6 (which is Hyatt's top hotels). Regarding the annual free night for each, Category 4 Hyatts are usually much nicer than Marriott Category 5s IMO.
The Hyatt card is also better for actual spending since the earning structure is almost identical, but Hyatt points are worth a lot more given the redemption costs. The Marriott card does have its merits, especially if you have any loyalty to the chain and/or need the elite night credits. Marriott also has a much bigger portfolio of properties: 3,700+ worldwide compared to Hyatt's 400 or so.
01-24-2013 03:29 AM - edited 01-24-2013 03:41 AM
Just get an SPG Amex, if you go anywhere where there are Starwood properties (Westin, W, St Regis, Sheraton, and a couple of others) - even with the depreciation in points (hotels moving up categories), the points are still worth more than any other hotel card (I value them conservatively at 2.5c, more than that if you use cash and points to pay, and use the SPG as "cash", you get 4 points/dollar). Starwood doesn't use capacity controls, either. Points are as good as cash (not so with Hilton, I don't know about Marriott or Hyatt).
It's also one of the best airline cards (after the British Airways and the one that offers a 70k signup bonus) - you can transfer miles at the rate of 1 Starpoint = 1.25 miles to pretty much every airline in and around the United States, and quite a few overseas ones. It has a 25k point signup bonus, which is enough for a free coach domestic trip and two nights in a $150 hotel, or for two nights in a category five hotel (generally around $400), without using cash and points. With cash and points, you could stay two nights at the St Regis Rome for under $250 (worth $440 a night during off-season on Orbitz), and make 1000 Starpoints for paying the "cash" portion with the SPG.
And you can get the 50% off "rack rate" (walk-in desparate or dumb tourist price) vouchers for 1k Starpoints (which is subject to capacity controls), which actually can work well if you stay at a $800+ rack rate hotel, which has, say, $550 Orbitz or Priceline rate ($400 at 50% off rack rate, $150 savings for 1000 points = 15%) - some people have wrangled an effective rate of 30%+ cash back using them, and it's pretty common to hear of getting 10%. Even Flyertalk people will jump at the opportunity to buy Starpoints for under 2c.