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What Is The Most Valuable Chase Personal Card? What Is Old Is New Again

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Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. Links in this post may provide us with a commission.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned in this post have expired.

Chase Personal Card Rankings – Most Valuable Welcome Offers

Chase is a focus of many because they have some of the most valuable cards on the market. They also have the most rules when it comes to applications.  They have the 5/24 rule, the Sapphire rule, the Southwest family rule and probably a few I am forgetting.  Because of that I wanted to do a Chase personal card rankings based on welcome offers.

This will be strictly based on value from the offer plus any travel credits minus the annual fee.  I will go into further detail for each card lower down but perks and earning structure will not be included in the chart. I also added in a minimum spend opportunity cost in the chart to give a better idea of the true cost after some people asked in the comments.

Also remember that some of these offers require spending in a particular area (Freedom cards and gas etc.). Or they may offer free nights that you don’t think you’ll max out (Bonvoy card). Because of this be sure to plug in your own calculations if you can’t maximize those areas.

This will be constantly updated as offers change so be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

UPDATED 11/29/22:

I was curious to see how this shook out with the increased offers on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which goes away tomorrow, and some other cards. Not terribly surprising that those amazing Freedom Flex and Unlimited offers jumped to the top of the pile. If you can maximize the grocery bonus then these can’t be beat! I placed the Flex version first because of the 5% rotating calendar spend. Which will probably be grocery at some point next year for a chance at 9X back when stacking offers!

Chase Personal Card Rankings – Most Value to Least Value

Without further ado here is the chart ranking current offers.  Some of the lesser cards are not included in this chart like the Disney & AARP cards etc.

Some Of These Offers May Have Changed Since Posting

Credit CardWelcome OfferPoint ValueAnnual Fee 1st YearCreditsRequired SpendMin Spend Opportunity Cost (2% Card)Total Value
Chase Freedom Flex 20,000 points after spending $500 within 3 months..017$0$0$12,000$240$1120
Chase Freedom Unlimited20,000 points after spending $500 within 3 months..017$0$0$12,000$240$1120
United Quest Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 500 Premier qualifying points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open..014$250$125$5,000$100$1035
Chase Sapphire Reserve60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.017$550$300$4,000$80$1030
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..014$69$0$3000$60$921
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..014$149$75$3000$60$916
British Airways Visa75,000 Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening..014$95$0$20,000$400$905
Chase Sapphire Preferred60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.017$95$50$4,000$80$895
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..014$99$0$3000$60$891

Aeroplan® Credit CardEarn up to 100,000 bonus points – 75,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, 25,000 points after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months..014$95$0$3000$60$825
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months from account opening. +50,000 Bonus Points After you stay 6 eligible paid nights at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® through 1/31/24..0065$95$0$3,000$60$820
United Explorer60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months. .014$0$0$3,000$60$780
United Club Infinite80,000 bonus miles + 1,000 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.014$525$0$5,000$100$775
IHG Rewards Club PremierEarn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.*Opens overlay Plus, earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on purchases at IHG® Hotels and Resorts during the first 12 months from account opening..005$99$100 ($50 twice a year in United Travel Bank credits)$3,000
World of Hyatt30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent..015$95$200 (Free Night Cert At $15K)$15,000

Chase Personal Card Rankings – Card Overviews

Now that we see where cards rank in terms of value let’s take a quick look at each individual card.  Remember that these rankings will be updated as offers change.

Chase Aeroplan® Credit Card

This offer has expired.

The Aeroplan® Credit Card is the newest personal card in Chase’s arsenal. It won’t be as straightforward to use, and a devaluation is coming which is factored into the value of the points, but it has a very valuable welcome offer. That is, of course, assuming you know the program and can use the miles. Maximizing the 50,000 point award certificate is key to getting value from this offer though. It is nice that you are able to top off the certificate if the flight costs more than 50K. Just don’t use it for a flight for less than 50,000 miles since you lose anything you don’t use.

The Aeroplan® Credit Card card earning structure is as follows:
  • 3x earning on
    • Grocery
    • Dining including delivery services
    • Air Canada purchases
  • 1x on all other purchases.
  • 500 bonus points for every $2,000 spent each month
  • Learn More

More Card Details Here

Chase United Quest Card

The Chase United Quest card comes with a large welcome offer, a decent earning structure and some nice perk for United flyers. You can check out the full details of the card here.

The Chase United Quest card earning structure is as follows:
  • 3x points per $1 spent on United purchases
  • 2x points per $1 spent on all other travel purchases
  • 2x points per $1 spent on select streaming and restaurant purchases
  • 1x point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Learn More

Complete Card Details Here

Chase Sapphire Preferred

This is a card a lot of people start out with because it has a pretty straight forward earning structure:

  • 5X on Chase Travel purchases
  • 3X on dining, select streaming and online grocery (excludes Target, Walmart & wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on travel
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get a 10% back in points anniversary bonus as well. This happens after you renew and pay an annual fee. It is based off of the money spent on the card. So if you spent $25,000 in a year you would get 2,500 points.
  • $50 hotel credit every cardmember year (must be booked via Chase travel portal)
  • Learn More

The annual fee is no longer waived in the first year but the additional 10,000 points more than makes up for it.  Remember that the card does come with the Sapphire Family rule.

Complete Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The annual fee was increased to $550 with some new “perks”.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a pretty rewarding earning structure:

  • Earn 3X Points on travel and dining at restaurants.
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Learn More

The reason it gets knocked below the Sapphire Preferred is because of the hefty $550 annual fee.  The card does come with a $300 travel credit and loads of perks.  If you travel often, and will max out the perks, than the CSR would be a better option for you.  I have always said signing up for the CSP and then upgrading the the CSR is the way to go for most people.

Complete Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

World of Hyatt Credit Card

I think the World of Hyatt credit card is the best hotel credit card on the market now.  It comes with the following earning structure:

  • 4 points per dollar at Hyatt properties
  • 2 points per dollar at
    • Restaurants
    • Fitness club/gym memberships
    • Airfare booked directly with airlines
    • Local transit including rideshare (Uber, Lyft etc.)
  • 1 point per dollar on everything else
  • Learn More

The current welcome offer value is a little misleading because of the set up.  It requires $15,000 in spend to maximize the offer.  I think that the normal 50K after $6,000 in spend is better and would wait for that offer to return before applying.

The real value this card has is the 2 qualifying nights per $5,000 in spend. That is on top of the 5 you get just for holding the card.  You can also earn a category 1-4 free night each year by spending $15,000 on the card.  That is in addition to the free night you get each year for paying the reasonable $95 annual fee (which is not waived the first year).

Complete World of Hyatt Credit Card Review

British Airways Visa Signature Card

The British Airways Visa Signature card is a tempting option for big spenders.  The offer is often tiered and offers a chance for an additional 50,000 miles after $20,000 in spend.  You may want to wait for that offer to return.

The card has the following earning structure:

My favorite use of Avios is to book domestic American Airlines flights. I love the cancellation rules when using Avios and I have even paid more to book it with them when I wasn’t sure if I would use the flight or not.  American Airlines web specials are something to keep an eye on though.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The earning structure for the Bonvoy Boundless falls a little flat but it is as follows:

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy points on eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 3X at restaurants, gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in combined purchase per year.
  • 2X Marriott Bonvoy points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Learn More

Many Marriott enthusiasts will keep the card long term for the 35,000 point anniversary night and the 15 elite night credits.  The $95 annual fee is not waived.  You can see the details on all of the new Bonvoy cards here.

United Explorer

The United Explorer card actually has a decent earning structure for an airlines credit card:

  • 2 miles for each $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel accommodations.
  • 2 miles for each $1 spent on United purchases.
  • 1 mile for each $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Learn More

The real reason for getting, and keeping, this card is because of the increased award inventory that is available for card holders.  You also receive priority boarding, free checked bags, and 2 United Club passes each year.  The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

IHG Rewards Club Premier

The IHG Rewards Club Premier card is best used to pay for IHG stays.  The earning structure is as follows:

  • 10x at IHG hotels
  • 5x at gas stations, travel, and restaurants
  • 3x on everything else
  • Learn More

IHG points are not worth much so using the card outside of paid stays doesn’t offer a ton of value.  The main perks of the card are the 40,000 point capped anniversary night and fourth night free on award stays.  If you have a lot of paid stays at IHG that turn into long award redemptions then this could be a great long term card for you.

Complete IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Review

Southwest Plus 

All of the Southwest cards are pretty much the same.  I am going to focus on the Southwest Plus version because it offers the most first year value.  That is because of the low $69 annual fee which is not waived the first year.  All of the Southwest cards have the same earning structure:

  • 2x Southwest points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases
  • 1X Southwest point per dollar on every other purchase
  • Learn More

If you are a frequent flyer you may prefer the Southwest Priority credit card because of the perks it comes with.

Our complete review of the Southwest Priority and Southwest Plus card.

United Club Infinite Card

This card is all about the lounge access.  It is intended for frequent United flyers that want to save some money on a lounge membership ($100 cheaper for most).  The earning structure is as follows:

  • 2 miles per dollar on United purchases
  • 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere else
  • Learn More

Chase Freedom Flex Card

There are two Chase Freedom cards, the Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited.  They have different earning structures. The Flex will be the better option for most people.

Chase Freedom Flex
  • 5% or 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on rotating categories each quarter
  • 5% or 5X Ultimate Rewards on travel booked through Chase Travel
  • 3% or 3X Ultimate Rewards on dining
  • 3% or 3X Ultimate Rewards at pharmacies
  • 1% or 1X Ultimate Rewards point on every other purchase
  • Learn More
Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • 3% or 3X Ultimate Rewards on dining
  • 3% or 3X Ultimate Rewards at pharmacies
  • Earn 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on every purchase
  • Learn More

These cards are most useful when paired with a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve.  That allows you to transfer the points to travel partners that the Freedom cards earn.  This essentially transform them from a cash back card to a miles and points earning tool.

Our complete review of the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited.


Those are the Chase personal card rankings based on welcome offers.  Remember that this information will be updated regularly so be sure to bookmark this post and check back often to help you in your application decision making process.

Remember to plug in your own valuations in the table to figure out which offer is best for you.  Some people may value one mile or point much differently than another person so it is best to use your own experience when deciding on a value.

Note: Some of the offers mentioned in this post have expired.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. Mark, I am a bit confused. I hold the CSR, Amex Gold, Original Chase Freedom, Chase Ink Business Cash, Wyndham earners card , Amex Platinum (which I am canceling) & Barclay Aviator. I try to cover all the areas like grocery, travel insurance, car insurance, dining out, phone protection, purchase protection, etc. I do not fly but maybe 1-2 times a year and do Not charge hotel rooms on any of my cards as those are picked up by work. I got SUB’s on each card . Do I look like I have most every category covered as I am currently looking for a new card and not sure what Value I am missing or which card I should be looking at. (Not real high on the New Venture X card as most everthing is already covered with other cards). Thoughts Please?

    • If you are only flying 1-2 times a year then I think you probably have too many premium cards. Do you feel like you are maximizing the perks enough to make it worth it?

      You have groceries covered by the Amex Gold, Wyndham for gas, travel protections with the CSR (which you could get with a downgrade to CSP as well), Dining with Chase or Amex Gold. So I would say you are pretty well covered. I would focus the next card on your next trip or two and see what miles you need or go for a good cash back bonus etc.

  2. Mark, your calculations are off: if you deduct opp.cost, then you should add value earned with required minimum spend.
    Example, Preferred:
    104,000 URs x1.7cpp -95.AF -80.OC =$1,593
    Although I assign only 1.5cpp for URs.

  3. you have the british visa required spend as $5k, but that only gets you half the award (first 50k avios)… so if youre judging the benefit of the full 100k avios youd need to increase the opportunity cost (2% * $20,000)

  4. If I set a value of 2c a mile I would get funny numbers too!
    United miles are worth 1c each – no more – Come on!
    SW has a value of 1.3 usually
    Hyatt may be worth 1.3 at most
    A Chase point even allowing 0.1c for flexibility is worth no more than 1.4c
    You do not take lost cash into account either
    For 10k spend – you lose the cash back lost from not using a no fee 2% card – 200$
    So the Unite Quest costs 250$ +200 = 450$ cost for 110k points = 650$ value
    Let us get real and not sell clicks for the new card

    • The fact that you can get 1.5 cents with Pay Yourself back makes your attempt to drive the numbers down saying Ultimate Rewards are worth 1.4 cents laughable to me 😉

      • I have a Million UR points
        I do not buy enough at grocery stores (or other categories) to get it all back at that rate
        So some of the value is lost
        My effective return is only about 1.25c over past 7 yrs

  5. Spend that $15k on the Hyatt card and you’ll also earn a free night cert and a second category 4 with the 15k points. That can easily make it the top card.

    • That is true but I didn’t want to add that in because the old 50K offer was actually better. And you could still earn the 15K free night in spend with that one and I never included it as a part of the sign up bonus.

      Points you would have after the $15K in spend

      New Offer
      60,000 points (30,000 bonus points and $15,000 in spend x 2 points per dollar)
      Category 1-4 free night cert

      Old Offer
      65,000 points at a minimum (50,000 bonus points and 15,000 x 1 on the spend). And it could actually be more since you can earn in the bonus categories on that $15,000 in spend.
      Category 1-4 free night certificate

      So since I would never think to include it in the old card’s offer I don’t think it should be included in this newer offer either. It is best to wait for the 50K offer to come back imo.

  6. Does the ranking at the top assume that the $6,000 minimum spend difference between the top 2 cards to the one opening the card is irrelevant?

    • Yes, this is based solely on the potential value. People will need to rank the spending requirements on their own based on their own personal situation.

  7. The Sapphire Preferred no longer waives the AF for the first year. In lieu of that, they upped the sign-up bonus by 10k…Which, even just cashing out the points is worth an extra $100 to counteract the $95 fee.

    • Rebekah 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth $500 in cash if you cash them out. Between 1.25 cents to 1.5 cents a piece if you book travel through the portal (depending on the card so at least $625 that route. And if you transfer them to airlines or Hyatt etc you can get up to around $900 in travel with those points. But if it is 50,000 points for an airline you never fly then they could end up being worthless to you. So it depends on how and if you can spend the points but 50K is the way to go for most people versus $300.

  8. @Pam As a SPG Platinum for many years I can tell you that Hyatt treats me far better at Globalist than Marriott at Plat. You get 4 -7 day upgrade certs with Hyatt at Globalist. Hyatt club lounges for the most part are also better than Marriott. Stingy Marriot turned 10 suite nights into 5 now. Hyatt certs you can call and clear them up front. Marriott its a waiting game. So if the choice is 75K for plat vs doing what it takes to get Hyatt the only decision is based on your travel pattens. Hyatt is a much smaller footprint although they have been adding alot lately.

    • Haha thanks Thomas – probably more interesting than the post. Nothing new for me and Pam – she always keeps me on my toes!

  9. Mark, I am worn out from following YOU! At the end of Yr 2 with $0 spend on Bountiful (same AF) you have no points but do own a 35k free anniv night as with Hyatt $315 v $270 (Hyatt 15k cert). A $45 point value diff in Marriott’s favor on the cert.

    You have another 15k Hyatt points also worth $270 because you, umm, purchased them. If you spend $15k on Marriott, though (worth 2 points), you would have 30k points ALSO worth the same $270, a wash. I would also argue, though, you could do much better using your 30k points on a Marriott room over 15k with Hyatt when you actually go to cash them in. Before a couple of days ago, I cashed in 35k at the Ritz Carlton in Tucson!

    Yes you net another “free” night with Hyatt from the 15k spend but back up to the beginning where you did NOT spend $15k with Bountiful to get it & you also came out $45 ahead on the free anniv night you DID get. Your “free” Hyatt 1-4 night just cost you $315 by comparison.

    Also though you don’t chase it, Marriott gifted you 60% of the way to meaningful (we both agree) Gold, & you did nothing vs Explorist which is worthless unless you book a property with a lounge (good luck).

    Hyatt has forced you to spend for those goodies, which I thought I read you don’t like? I say take Hyatt’s card sign-up bonus & spend elsewhere, anywhere of the major brands, for better value.

    • Pam you get a free night every year with the Hyatt card too. The 15K in spend gets you a second night so all those numbers are off.

    • At the end of the year if you spent $15,000 in non bonused spend on the Marriott card and the Hyatt card you would have

      15,000 Hyatt points worth $270
      2 free 15K certs (1 from spend one from the annual fee) worth up to $540

      Marriott you would have
      30,000 Marriott points worth $270
      1 35,000 Marriott cert worth $315

      That is giving Marriott a .009 value (which is way too high imo FM puts them at .0072) and hyatt a .018.

      Hyatt comes out $225 ahead.

  10. And then after 15k a cardholder is competitively SOL? Then the same application s/b made with other brands if you are doing so with Hyatt.

    TPGs hotel point values align most nearly to what I have actually priced out when booking reservations over years. I don’t agree with his inflating of transferable currencies, though, & I have made that clear on his postings.

    Convenience, choice etc are perks that shouldn’t be factored in to real value but are often intangible reasons people even pick a program. At the end of the day a point is only worth what it can actually buy you. I have yet to see a 15k free night Hyatt cert actually buy a $570 room using your 3.8 number.

    • Pam you are not following me here. At the end of 15k in non bonused spend you would have 15,000 points and a cert worth 15,000 points. That is essentially 30000 points or a 3.6% return. The only hotel card that compares is the Ascend and may even surpass if you are able to max out that free cert which finding saver space at top tier properties is difficult with Hilton. But I find Hilton points to be much more volatile and would take 15k hyatt over 45k hilton any day of the week.

  11. I have never personally received 3.6 cents of value on a Hyatt point (making 1.8 an “average”?). Even my very best days at Miraval landed me at 2. Where have you?

    I “stretched” nothing – I used TPG’s March 2019 values in an attempt at non-biasness, though he raised Hyatt’s value from 1.7 only this month after over a year. You clearly have your own private scoring system that I was not privvy to in my analysis.

    I understand static terminology as it relates to hotel pricing, but my comment was meant to communicate that Hyatt is demonstrably not immune to dabbling with what those free nights you enjoy (& obviously place a great deal of value on) will actually buy you & have come to rely on. A lot of Hyatt folks thought they would be traveling free to the Andaz in Costa Rica next anniversary, for example.

    It’s a numbers game, Mark, travel enough & experiment over decades & I guarantee you will change your opinion. And it may still not be my own! And that’s ok as long as it changes as your life & needs change. Thanks

    • I said 3.6% taking into account the free night after $15k in spend. Essentially the card earns 2 pts per dollar on non bonus spend on the first 15k in spend with the 15k free night.

      I would use FM’s points valuations. TPGs is very slanted towards the companies he works with and the ones that cover his limos .

  12. @ Mark – “I think Hyatt’s card while not giving you status it opens up the door to earning status easier better than most cards.”

    Mark, I’ve read your own Hyatt reviews. Coupled with my own stays with Discoverist status, I remain puzzled what noteworthy hotel benefits folks like us might actually be getting carry the WOH card. Cat 1-4 freebies are fine, I use mine up as well, yet Hyatt’s from experience simply do not go out of their way to treat their Discoverists much differently than coming off the street once there. I made it to Explorist level (old system) before yet it, too, didn’t have teeth. Perhaps you can enlighten me on what I’m missing out on if I follow the status path to Explorist now you advocate as such a benefit?

    Hilton & Marriott are considerably more useful with their own cards priced the SAME as the Hyatt (Ascend & Bountiful) – Bountiful, too, has a spend pathway to Gold status & Ascend comes with it. Gold with them is soooo much more valuable than the Hyatt Explorist equivalent – that is why I could NEVER say the $95 Hyatt card is the best hotel card.

    I read wonderful things about Hyatt Globalist status. But earning it “easy” requires $100k+ of spend, I’d rather spend $75k for top tier with Marriott if I’m going that route. I think that’s much less onerous. A whole lot more choices to actually USE status, too, at 6,500 Marriott properties vs. 800 Hyatt’s – ouch, they really fence you in.

    Much is made of Hyatt’s limited footprint, though it is certainly growing by the month. I am a huge Miraval fan, but stays would again be much more fun with Globalist attached. Most people’s issues with Marriott, including my own, are with its IT becore you even step foot on a property. They have proven themselves horrible with bookings, tracking points & stays, communication with their reps. But once on property, the front desk & managers tend to take care of their elites, unlike Hyatt without Globalist.

    Ink Plus can earn 5x at office supply stores that you can then buy gift cards (to use without status), but I again don’t think “best” can be relegated to just one card. A system offering 3 – 5x on ALL spend is ideal for fast accumulation of funds that can then be used at ANYWHERE for ANYTHING. Having more choices is always “best,” & I remain firm that Chase’s fast-accumulation system while offering cashback towards any purchase along with buying 33% off on their travel portal does it best.

    • Pam this will probably be my last comment on the subject because we can agree to disagree I think :).

      I am looking at the Hyatt card overall and not just as a status tool. I think if you pair the card with award stays you can earn status easier. Simply spending $15,000 on the card will get you 11 nights (5 from the card and 6 from the spend).

      The return on the card is better for restaurants, transit, hotel stays, flights, gym memberships and the all important everyday spend than the Aspire, Bonvoy, Brilliant, Ascend and any other hotel card you want to throw out there. Because the points are more valuable and the spend counts towards that free night as well (essentially like earning 3X per dollar on the bonus categories or 2x on everyday spend) on that first 15,000 in spend. It is better than the CSR at Hyatt hotels earning 4X per dollar on the card (like 5X on the first $15,000 in spend). That is a better return in value than any card you listed above for hotel stays. It is on par with the CSR for restaurant spend, airline tickets, transit etc. for that first $15,000 spend in terms of value returned. That is because Hyatt is the most valuable Chase partner. Now that doesn’t take into account the trip delay insurance etc. but remember we are comparing a $95 hotel card to a $450 not cobranded card and it is holding it’s own. Try that with the other cards listed.

      This is comparing a mid level hotel card to premium cards and it comes close to their level. If you are in it for simply perks etc. then get the Aspire it is the best. But for a card you can use everyday for $15,000 per year the Hyatt card is tough to beat. I like that the Ascend card has the grocery & gas category but it falls behind in restaurant spend, airline spend, everyday spend, transit spend, commuting spend etc. and I think those overall are bigger areas of spend for me because of the everyday spend.

      Hilton Gold is better than Hyatt Explorist because you get free breakfast everywhere for the most part. With Explorist you get 4 lounge certs which offer breakfast plus evening stuff. For me that is enough paired with stays at the Hyatt Place or Hyatt House where breakfast is already included I don’t end up needing more than 4 since 1 works for up to 7 days.

      That doesn’t take into account that Hyatt hotels are better than Hilton or Marriott hotels. Category 1 Hyatts are superior to most category 3-5 Marriott or Hilton hotels and are a fraction of the cost. Their award chart is also better and static which is not the case for the other two.

      All of those things combined make it the best all around hotel card in my opinion. And it is one of the better cards on the market for the first $15,000 in spend each year which is a big chunk of money for most people.

      • For now the 3X CFU is a better non bonus option but that will end and then the Hyatt card is the better option for $15,000 in spend each year. I can’t think of another card that can net you essentially 3.6% or more on non bonused spend.

      • I, too, am looking at the Hyatt card overall and the underlying product it represents. You have already agreed with me that perks & status are probably best sought elsewhere.

        For spend that you are comparing to other hotel cards with the same AF, that is contingent on what you actually spend money on, because Hyatt 1x non-bonus spend at .018/point is exactly the same as 3x with the Ascend (1.8 @ .006) or 2x Bountiful (1.8 @.09). I think if you want to otherwise maximize spend on travel, then complement with a true travel card rather than a hotel card since that is what it is best designed to do and reward. The Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve do the best job with their broader-than-anybody’s Travel Category.

        If I spend the same $15,000 you refer to on the Bountiful, I will own 30,000 Bonvoy Points, enough for also a free night in a Category 4 hotel at peak season in their new chart. I actually just booked an outstanding boutique property in Savannah right on River Street a few days ago (before the category chart changes which Hyatt also is implementing next month – seriously, STATIC??!).

        The same spend with the Ascend earns me 45,000 Honors points. Pricing is much more variable with them, of course, but since I am booking it today anyways just earned me a free night at the Hilton on the Plaza in Santa Fe. No WAY are Homogenous Hyatt mid-level rooms “better” than a Curio Ambassador in Mobile, an Autograph Italian villa in Chapel Hill or a Tribute cottage in Rancho Santa Fe. Which is precisely also why I don’t strive for higher status with Hyatt to begin with – the underlying product is not even on the same planet for being interesting or abundant.

        I can also earn a Weekend Night Reward on the Ascend after spending the same $15,000 year! I spend ZERO on the Bountiful card, and I am already ahead 15 qualifying nights towards status and also have a free 35,000 point night anniversary reward (see above for again an option on how to use).

        You obviously had better luck using those Explorist lounge certs than I ever did. The year I was Explorist not ONE property had a lounge to even use them, and there was nothing to substitute in its place. I had to reason to go out of my way to spend on my Hyatt card the following year.

        I like the Hyatt card sign-up bonuses, it and the AA cards are the only ones I truly only get for the sign-ups, all the rest because they help me with spend. I used my old one for $3,000 worth of product at Miraval in Tucson. I will use the new card’s bonus at the new Miraval Austin. I will use my free nights at hotel airports or as a launching pad to a great Marriott or Hilton property (where the rate is over $95).

        That, and maybe an Exhale massage here or there, but my WOH card will not ever receive one penny of non-bonus spend unless they offer a challenge (which were miserable posting fails with the old card).

        As for CFU, when my 3x expires next month I am shifting non-bonus spend to the Marriott Biz for a 3.15% return (spend challenge) on $60,000. Beats the 1.8% non-bonus spend return on my WOH card by 75% (no fair your bumping up your suggested WOH return to 3.6% unless you do so for Marriott as well and their own earnings structure/free nights).

        • Those are very generous valuations of both Hilton and Marriott points when 1.8 cents per point is actually middle of the road for Hyatt. You had to stretch it to get the numbers to work.

          And static is talking about how prices don’t change depending on the time of year or how much the room costs like it does with Hilton and will with Marriott.

          A lot of this comes down to which brand you prefer. I prefer Hyatt because I have had substantially less bad experiences in one than I have either Hilton or Marriott.

        • Pam, I agree with everything you wrote. I also disagree that the Hyatt card is the best card – and the #1 reason for me is how few hotels they have. I finally cancelled the card because even though I travel extensively, more than once, my free Hyatt night expired without me being able to use it. I’m not going to stay at a hotel just because it is “free” – it actually costs the annual fee amount.
          I have gotten tremendous value from HH that totally blows away what little I got from Hyatt. I am staying at a high end Hyatt soon using my 4th night CITI Prestige benefit because I couldn’t use my Hyatt “free night”.

  13. Were welcome bonus points all equal, then a post rating Chase personal cards by welcome bonus points offered would be useful — but only if all those Stars you can get with the Starbucks card signup were included.

    • I guess I don’t follow you Mike. The different values of the points are put into the chart. This is a way to have all of the info in one place that will be updated when things change. The IHG card was pretty much at the bottom when this was written but with the increased offer it moved to the middle of the pack etc. I think it is useful to have all the info in one place.

  14. “I think the World of Hyatt credit card is the best hotel credit card on the market now.”

    I realize it’s not Chase, but I thought you ascribed that honor to the Aspire card?!

    • No I called the Aspire the best perks card out there. I rarely use mine for actual spend though. I think the Hyatt is a better all around card but the Aspire has the best perks package of any card (not just hotel cards).

        • Brilliant comes with a $300 resort credit, a capped free night, priority pass and gold status.

          Aspire comes with a $250 resort credit, $250 airline credit, uncapped free night, priority pass, and diamond status.

          Aspire offers quite a bit more value in my opinion. Probably around $250-300 more per year imo. And a better earning structure as well even though I don’t think it is great.

      • For the room credit, Brilliant is not “resort,” it is ANY Marriott room or MVC or Vistana stay. MUCH less restrictive than only Conrad/WAs that must ALSO decide to participate.

        The Aspire airline credit is now not nearly as valuable to many since AMEX has restricted gc buying with it, incl AA (maybe still SWA?). I’ll take the extra guaranteed $50 above off any room in its place since you have to ALSO pick an airline by Jan of each year to use the airline credit. If it was like the RC for use at any airline all year it would be much more valuable & useful.

        A 50k point Marriott regular room is as good as the highest end Hilton’s especially as use is not restricted to the weekends.

        Looks like AMEX is being more aggressive with earning challenges with the Brilliant over the Aspire, too. The extra point on $25k x 4 spend thru year end is MUCH better for non-bonus spend than using the Aspire.

        I think ease of use of the Brilliant’s perks above more than offsets your $300 deficit.

        And finally, when did YOU start caring about status since it’s your opinion of the Aspire card for your own use?! Hmmm could you be enjoying those upgraded rooms finally, Mark?

        • I guess it depends on which brand you frequent more. If you frequent Hilton more then the resort credit is easily used. And the Waldorf/Conrad $100 credit is different from the $250 resort credit. And the $250 resort credit works on room charges as well. There are still ways to get the airline credit and yes Southwest still works. I guess it depends on what you prioritize. When you add it all up the Aspire comes out ahead in terms of overall value. If you think the ease of use for Marriott is worth giving up the additional value then that is understandable.

          I don’t put much value on status but I do think Hilton Diamond is better than Marriott Gold as I think most people do.

          • I have both cards, and I max out all perks. I frequent both brands. And I can tell you firsthand the Aspire takes considerably more planning and finagling to use all the benefits over its counterpart.

            That is why I think the 2 cards are a fair wash with their respective perks. If you actually do everything 100% like me, the Aspire offers more back but only at 3% of their total properties. The Brilliance perks work at over 6,000 hotels, even at their vacation ownership properties – can’t pay HOA fees at Hilton Vacations with the Aspire.

            Back to the topic at hand, though, and the “best hotel card.” For status, the WOH card is the worst. Discoverist gets you nothing, Explorist next to nothing. I’ll take Marriott auto-Gold on the Brilliance any day over the WOH Discoverist. And I would pay $75k over $100k+ to reach top status, respectively and in comparison.

            As for the WOH earning structure, if you have a CSR there is no compelling reason to spend on the WOH other than an extra point at Hyatt’s. I have the card, and I earned my 2 free nights. But it is not nearly as fun, or easy, to go “shopping” as it is with Marriott/Hilton.

            For me the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the best hotel card. I can accumulate URs quickly from multiple card sources then use the travel portal to save on amazing properties. If I already have status with them, I usually can call the property and they provide the upgrades anyway. And if 1.50% becomes 1.75% so much the better.

            This post isn’t about cash back cards, but for many of the same reasons the CSR is also the best in that category as well, especially while I still have the CFU 3x on everything. Cards these days really can’t be looked at in the singular, it is more about a system, and Chase has nailed it.

          • I think Hyatt’s card while not giving you status it opens up the door to earning status easier better than most cards. And I would also say Globalist is the most rewarding status out there right now.

            I could say the Ink Plus is the best hotel card if you buy hotel gift cards at the office store or the best airline card for the same reason but then we are just twisting the conversation. I think the Hyatt is the best all around hotel co-branded card on the market. It helps you earn rewarding status, it allows you to earn a 2nd free night, it has an above average earning structure, and it has a $95 annual fee versus the $450 fees that the cards you mention have.

            I think the Hyatt is the best overall product for a co-branded hotel card. In terms of value, cost, and earning structure/return on spend. Plus their points are by far the most valuable.

            Edit: I think when you add up all of the perks of the Aspire card and subtract the annual fee that it offers the best net positive result. That is why I call it the best perks card. Plus you aren’t stuck staying with a terrible company like Marriott 😉

            I will agree that the Marriott card’s perks are easier to use. But the Aspire ones are not so difficult to use that I would negate several hundred dollars in excess value.


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