I have not paid a great deal of attention to the Hyatt Visa. It’s not that I do not think it is a good card, I actually do. It’s just that I rarely stay at Hyatt Hotels, and thought it wasn’t worth my time. For sure, Hyatt Gold Passport offers compelling benefits to travelers, if Hyatt family hotels serve the markets you travel to. As I’ve posted before, I spend as much time on business in Peoria, IL as I do in Washington, DC or similar so Hyatt isn’t the best program for me right now. But there are other reasons to apply for the Hyatt Visa. Notably, Platinum status with Gold Passport (which is a benefit of carrying the card) now affords you M Life benefits.

First, let’s look at the basics of Hyatt Platinum status.

  • Achieve rewards faster with a 15% point bonus when choosing points
  • Enjoy a preferred room including rooms on higher floors or larger rooms, based on availability upon arrival
  • Receive the confirmed bed type at check-in
  • Stay connected with complimentary in-room Internet access
  • Expedited check-in at a dedicated area for elite members
  • Ensure a room is always available with our 72-hour guarantee
  • Extend your stay until 2:00 p.m. with a late check out request
  • Book reservations through an exclusive Platinum line

You can review more specifics about these benefits on Hyatt’s website.

The card comes with other benefits including two free nights at Hyatt after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months with the card, 2 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond status upon spending $20,000 in each calendar year, and an additional 3 stay credits and 5 night credits toward Diamond status upon spending $40,000 in each calendar year. The annual fee is $75 per year.

Hyatt Visa Can Perk Up Your Cruise a Little

Now lets take a more detailed look at the purpose of my post. Gary and Scott spoke to this new benefit a few days ago. I wanted to add a little color commentary on the dollar value of the benefits based on my experiences. I recently posted about the reciprocal benefits between Royal Caribbean and MGM Resorts’ M Life. M Life also partners with Hyatt, offering reciprocal benefits between their programs. Simply carrying the Hyatt Visa, and it’s Platinum status will net you Gold status in M Life. So you can apply for the Hyatt credit card, get your Platinum status, sign up for M Life at the Gold level, book a cruise and get some of the benefits of a Royal Caribbean past passenger even if you haven’t cruised before.

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As a result of carrying the Hyatt Visa, you have access to:

  • Onboard booking bonus (Typically, an onboard credit on your next cruise when booking that cruise while onboard that varies based on stateroom category or cruise length. As an example, the last cruise I booked on board received a $300 on board credit. Not bad, but keep in mind it was a 14-night cruise.)
  • Ultimate Value Booklet (This is the coupon booklet Royal Caribbean past passengers receive. It has a few useful coupons for onboard discounts, a cup of specialty coffee, etc. They have always saved me a few bucks.)
  • Entertainment tour (Moderately interesting if you’re into seeing behind the scenes or like the shows. I’m a fan of the navigational bridge tours offered to Royal Caribbean Diamond Plus members.)
  • Departure Lounge Access (Nothing special, some coffee and danish while you wait for your number to be called to exit.)
  • Priority Check-in (Can be beneficial for avoiding lines, but use judgement. If the elite line looks longer than the normal line go with normal)
  • Complimentary specialty dining (This can be worth $30 to $40 per person depending on the specialty restaurant offerings available on your ship)
  • Five Drink Vouchers (Again, variable value, but not insignificant)
  • Sea Pass (your onboard charge account connected to your room key) Cash Advance Fee Waived (They want you to gamble onboard!)

Folks, that’s better than a stick in the eye. You can get cruise benefits that exceed or nearly exceed the annual fee with just one nice dinner in a specialty restaurant. While you have to actually spend money with M Life to get that free cruise benefit at the bottom of the benefits list above, you can still take your first Royal Caribbean cruise and enjoy benefits that you would normally have to take several cruises to receive if you were starting off in Royal Caribbean’s loyalty program. If you are just looking to sample cruising or are interested in giving Royal Caribbean a try for the first time, you can do so with a few extra perks just by carrying the Hyatt Visa card. The hotel benefits combined with the cruising benefits could make this an attractive option for many, and I haven’t even talked about the Las Vegas benefits yet.

MJ, August 2, 2013

Reference Material

LINK: The Hyatt Credit Card (not an affiliate link)

Link to CruiseCritic.com thread with some discussion on the M Life – RCL relationship

Link to Milepoint discussion on the Hyatt forum regarding M Life benefits

Link to Flyertalk discussion on the Hyatt forum regarding M Life benefits