I've got so many Chase cards, I hate to sign up for another (it has been six months, though, so my credit score shouldn't be impacted), but I've finally figured out a way to compensate for the lack of Hyatt's Faster Free Nights promotion this quarter: sign up for their credit card.
Unlike the last few years, where Hyatt has offered one free night at any Hyatt worldwide for every two stays at any Hyatt property, this year's fourth quarter promotion is not nearly as generous. I was counting on the promotion to get free rooms at the Park Hyatts in Beijing and Shanghai when I travel to China after Christmas. After Hyatt announced a "Great 10K" promotion rather than "Faster Free Nights," I consigned myself to staying in Priceline hotels or hostels during my trip.
Now, I won't (or at least shouldn't) have to. Hyatt's new credit card came out about a month ago, but I just looked into it today after seeing a prominent ad in the Wall Street Journal. The card grants platinum status in Hyatt's Gold Passport reward program and more importantly, two free nights at any Hyatt worldwide (you have one year to use the free nights) after your first purchase. You also receive a 15% point bonus each stay and can earn three points per dollar spent at all Hyatt properties (and one point per dollar on everything else). And for those who already have platinum or diamond status, Hyatt's got you covered. Platinum members receive two free suite upgrades on paid stays, in addition to the two free nights. Diamond members are ugpraded to suites when using their two free nights.
My plan is simply to have each of my family members sign up for the card, then cancel them before the year is over. In terms of overall value, you can do much better with other credit cards, though this card does not charge foreign transacation fees when you're traveling outside the United States.
If you're in my boat and mourning the lack of a free night promotion this quarter, you can apply for the Hyatt card here.