The hotel industry has seen some major changes in the year since the SPG-Marriott merger. An unusual beneficiary of the merger is the World of Hyatt, whose hotels have become very attractive options for travelers. Some people have left SPG altogether since it was acquired by Marriott. Many of that group have switched to either Hilton or Hyatt for their primary hotel status program. This post discusses why World of Hyatt is the new SPG.
I recently saw a tweet on another blogger’s post stating that “World of Hyatt is the new SPG”. World of Hyatt tweeted back saying “Thank you” and how happy they were to provide such good service. That Twitter conversation was the inspiration for this post.
Since the merger in 2018, World of Hyatt has become the hotel chain with the most valuable points. Previously, points and miles enthusiasts loved SPG because their points were worth at between 2.0 and 2.5 cents (CPP) apiece. Outside of transferrable points, that is seemingly unheard of since the merger.
However, the next-closest option is World of Hyatt points. These points are special because Hyatt has so many powerful redemptions. There are many ways to redeem Hyatt points for at least 2 CPP. But many people value them between 1.4 and 2.0 CPP, depending on how they redeem. These valuations are relatively huge because the value of points from Hyatt’s competitors is less than 1 CPP. For example, many people value Marriott’s points between 0.6 and 1.0 CPP.
I have given ranges for the valuations because your mileage may vary. Different people redeem hotel points in different ways, which means giving one general valuation for a points currency is inherently unfair.
Excellent Credit Cards
Both hotel chains have (or used to have) excellent credit cards. SPG had a partnership with American Express for many years and unofficially still do thanks to Marriott. Marriott’s standard American Express Bonvoy card is a product change for those who had the former SPG Card. You cannot apply for this card directly.
Chase World of Hyatt Card
The Chase World of Hyatt Card is one of my favorite hotel cards for Hyatt lovers and general travelers. It has a fantastic sign-up bonus with two parts. The first part is worth 25,000 points and you must spend $3,000 within the first three months. Moreover, the second part is worth another 25,000 points. But you must spend a total of $6,000 within the first six months.
It earns a whopping 9.5x Hyatt points for Hyatt hotel purchases. Furthermore, it earns 2x points on four great categories that are common expenses when you’re traveling. It also earns one point per dollar for non-bonus spend.
The World of Hyatt Card’s core benefits are complimentary Discoverist Status, one free night per year (Category 1-4), and preferred room upgrades.
American Express SPG Card
The now-discontinued SPG card was also a favorite among points and miles lovers because of the value of SPG’s points. Such value made it a great earner.
The SPG card had a sign-up bonus worth 25,000 points. You could have earned the bonus by spending $3,000 within the first three months. Furthermore, it earned 6x points (12% – 15% in value) on SPG hotel purchases and 2x points (4% – 5% in value) on non-bonus spend. This earning structure might look bland at first glance. But when you account for the points value, it looks amazing.
The SPG card came with a slew of benefits including complimentary Silver Status, one free night per year (Category 1-5), and all the standard Amex insurances and perks.
Since the beginning of 2018, I have stayed at either an SPG or a Hyatt hotel for all the trips that I have taken. Neither hotel chain disappointed.
My family and I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch in the spring of 2019. The customer service was fantastic as I was pleasantly surprised. On this trip, our room had a strong smell of smoke even though it was a non-smoking room. We requested a room change on our second day and they helped us without any issues. I felt like I had hotel status because they bumped us up a floor to a room with a view.
We also stayed at the (then SPG) Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in the summer of 2018, just months before the merger. My family and I absolutely loved this hotel, especially during the intense desert heat that summer. We loved it so much that we want to go back there over the Hyatt Regency! I In fact, we had no hotel-related issues the entire trip. The concierge, front desk, and other employees treated us very nicely. I’m just hoping that the hotel has kept this standard of service since the merger.
My parents are Marriott / SPG loyalists, so we stayed at those hotels when I traveled growing up. I was very happy staying at those hotels throughout my life because they were often nice. But now, I’m more skeptical because I have read so many horror stories from other bloggers about Marriott’s customer service.
Status Worth Going For
World of Hyatt has one of my favorite programs for hotel status. They offer so much at each tier, even at the bottom for regular members. I have devoted an entire post to World of Hyatt Elite status because there is so much offered.
However, SPG status was one of the best programs in the industry. I have never reviewed their status programs because I started PYCR after the merger occurred. According to a post from The Points Guy (H/T), SPG members could have realized thousands of dollars in value from having status. The only other programs that come close are Hilton Honors and World of Hyatt. Marriott’s program and customer service have been unreliable for many since the merger. Therefore, Marriott Elite Status is not worth the hassle for some travelers.
World of Hyatt has impressed me in many respects. They have extremely valuable points, a great credit card, fantastic customer service, and an excellent hotel status program. SPG had all of these when it was an independent chain, which made it even more impressive.
In short, I agree with the Twitter conversation that World of Hyatt is the new SPG in terms of overall value.