This afternoon I spoke with Hyatt’s Chris Walker about their new co-branded Visa card from Chase, which I posted about earlier this morning.
I can only imagine that when their PR reps set up media calls for execs, they probably don’t know quite what they’re in for talking to me! Because I tend to at least try to push them off their talking points and into the nuts and bolts of their strategy and offerings, and hopefully learn a little something along the way.
Chris was surprisingly forthcoming, and offered that they were trying to develop a unique value proposition for each level of member with this new card.
For new and base members, the card comes with Platinum status in the program. Hey, that gets you free internet at their properties.
For the diamond member, as I had noted this morning, the card didn’t just offer two free nights as a signup bonus, but those nights would be confirmed in suites.
It sounded from the initial offerings on the website that existing Platinum members were left out of the equation. Sure they’d get two free nights like everyone else, but the Platinum status from the card signup was useless to them if they already had it and they wouldn’t get their free nights confirmed in suites.
Well, Chris shared that Platinum members will receive 2 confirmed suite upgrades for use on paid stays as an additional signup bonus for the card, in addition to the two free nights at Hyatt properties. Cool offer.
I had been most disappointed this morning that one of the benefits that had been surveyed — allowing Diamond confirmed suite upgrades to be used on award nights for cardholders — wasn’t included with the card. Chris did share that they’d be “exploring what they might do with suite upgrades in the future, with the card or otherwise.” And that’s at least a little bit encouraging.
He did intimate in the future that there would be additional promotions targeted at cardmembers in the future, that naturally there’ll be some time to let folks sign up for the card but that they’ve certainly discussed promotions that required cardmembership for some future period. Way in the past the traditional ‘faster free nights’ promotion required paying for a stay with a Mastercard. One could imagine them bringing back free night awards that require paying with their co-branded Chase Visa.
I did ask about why they chose to offer “The Big 10k” points bonus instead of a ‘Faster Free Nights’ style (stay 2, get a free night) bonus in the fourth quarter.
He offered that they wanted to try something based on nights rather than stays. But that this was especially true with the launch of the credit card, that with the introduction of the card this was the way to get free nights at the moment. Makes sense if that’s your card signup bonus and you want to incentivize applications.
In the end, this is clearly the go-to card for use when abroad, offering the most valuable points available from among cards with no foreign currency transaction fee. There’s a nice signup bonus of two free nights (without capacity controls for standard rooms) at any Hyatt in the world. And different modest kickers for Platinum and Diamond members.
I’m not sure this is the best all-around all-purpose rewards card killer app, the default for all spending for everyone. Just for those whose highest valued points accrual is Hyatt Gold Passport points, which is a worthwhile value proposition. I’ll likely sign up, certainly Diamonds who want to accrue more free nights and leverage their Diamond benefits on vacation will value this (though using suite upgrades on points-burning vacation stays would have been nice…). But it won’t get me to shred my Starwood Amex.