Short Review of Best Hotel Credit Cards
|Name||Best for||Rewards Rate||APR||Apply|
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card |Car rental||10,000x 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.10x Miles on hotels & rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.5x Miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.2x Miles on all other purchases.||19.99% - 26.99% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card |Travel, Daily use||5x Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.2x Miles on all purchases.||20.24% - 28.24% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Spark Miles for Business |Walmart purchases||5x Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.2x Miles on every purchase for your business with no blackouts or seat restrictions and no minimum to redeem.||25.24% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Spark Cash Plus |5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.2% Cash Back for your business on every purchase.||None *||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus |5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.1.5% Cash Back for your business on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions.||17.49% - 23.49% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
|Hotel||9x Points for Hyatt stays.2x Points for dining out.2x Points for flights.2x Points for gym memberships.2x Points for getting around.1x Points on all other purchases.||20.24% - 27.24% Variable||Learn more|
Chase The IHG® Rewards Club Premier |Hotel||26x Points per dollar at IHG hotels and resorts.5x Total points on travel, dining, and at gas stations.3x Points on all other purchases.||20.24% - 27.24% Variable||Learn more|
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card |Honeymoon||12x Points on hotels and resorts. For eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.6x Points on dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery.6x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets.6x Points on gas at U.S. gas stations.3x Points on other eligible purchases.||19.99% - 28.99% Variable||Learn more|
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ |Hotel||17x Earn up to 17x total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.2x Points for every $1 you spend on all other purchases and your points don't expire as long as you make purchases on your credit card every 24 months.||20.24% - 27.24% Variable||Learn more|
American Express® Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ |Hotel||6x Points on hotels. For eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.3x Points on dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery.3x Points on flights.2x Points on all other purchases.||19.99% - 28.99% Variable||Learn more|
Chase Sapphire Preferred® |Travel, Restaurants, Daily use||$50 Earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.5x Points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit.3x Points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.3x Points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).3x Points on select streaming services.2x Points on other travel purchases.1x Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.||20.49% - 27.49% Variable||Learn more|
The Platinum Card® from American Express |Young couples||5x Points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights (per calendar year).5x Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.1x Points on all other purchases.||20.24% - 27.24% Variable||Learn more|
Hilton Honors American Express Card |No Annual Fee||7x Points on hotels & resorts. For eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.5x Points on dining at U.S. restaurants.5x Points on groceries at U.S. supermarkets.5x Points on Gas at U.S. gas stations.3x Points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.||19.99% - 28.99% Variable||Learn more|
|Travel, Restaurants, Daily use||10x Points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.10x Total points on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards®.5x Total points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.3x Points on other travel worldwide after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.3x Points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.1x Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.||21.24% - 28.24% Variable||Learn more|
Who should apply
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards is a great option for anyone who wants a travel credit card that offers high rewards rates on general purchases and flexible redemption options. And its big sign-up bonus is the icing on the cake.
Read more about Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Chase World of Hyatt
People who stay at Hyatt hotels while on vacation or for a business should consider the World of Hyatt card. It justifies its annual fee with the free anniversary night alone. You also get to enjoy a complimentary Discoverist status, valuable hotel points, and rewards on everyday spending categories.
Read more about Chase World of Hyatt
Chase The IHG® Rewards Club Premier
If you’re an IHG fan and looking for a card that earns you free nights and offers an elite status, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier is a good option. The free anniversary night every year, automatic elite status, and other perks, which include a big sign-up bonus and generous rewards, more than make up for its modest annual fee.
Read more about Chase The IHG® Rewards Club Premier
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
If you prefer to stay at Hilton hotels and can make use of the Priority Pass Select membership, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® is a good fit. It also comes with a generous intro offer and an automatic Gold Status, which makes it easier for you to rack up rewards and earn free nights.
Read more about Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™
If you’re a Marriott loyalist, this card is a worthwhile option. You get to enjoy perks like a free night every year, which alone more than makes up for its annual fee, and an automatic Silver Elite status just for having the card. The card boasts a high reward rate, and with Marriott being one of the most widespread hotel networks, you’ll never be short of opportunities to rack up points.
Read more about Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™
American Express® Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™
If you are a frequent traveler and stay in a Marriott Bonvoy multiple times a year, this card can be a worthy addition to your wallet. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Credit Card offers a rich suite of benefits — like an up to $300 annual credit toward stays at participating hotels, a free night annually, a complimentary Gold Elite Status, 15 elite nights per year, and a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership — that can help you recoup the annual fee many times over.
Read more about American Express® Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a solid option for all those who frequently spend on travel and dining. It offers a wide array of benefits that can easily help offset the modest $95 annual fee. For example, you can redeem points at a rate of 1.25 cents apiece for booking flights, hotels, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or transfer them at a 1:1 rate to Chase’s hotel and airline partners.
Read more about Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Platinum Card® from American Express
If you travel and spend enough to take full advantage of its features and credit programs, the Platinum Card® from American Express deserves a place in your wallet. It boasts high flight and hotel rewards, impressive ongoing offers, and comprehensive travel benefits — all of which may help you save thousands of dollars each year.
Read more about The Platinum Card® from American Express
Hilton Honors American Express Card
The Hilton Honors American Express® Credit Card is a good fit for anyone who’s looking for Hilton benefits but doesn’t want to pay an annual fee. With high ongoing rewards on Hilton purchases, a complimentary Silver Status, and a generous bonus offer, the card can offer a lot of value to Hilton fans.
Read more about Hilton Honors American Express Card
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card is a solid option for travel enthusiasts who routinely use the card in the bonus categories and can make the most of its benefits. Thanks to the travel credits, high rewards rates, airport lounge access, and premium travel protections, the card delivers great value to its cardholders.
Read more about Chase Sapphire Reserve®
What is a hotel credit card
A hotel credit card is a type of card that is issued by a hotel chain together with a bank. It offers rewards to users for staying loyal to its brand. It offers incentives such as points, free nights, and fee discounts when you use the card for travel purchases at the chain’s hotels and resorts and eligible non-travel purchases. These cards can help enhance your traveling experience, especially if you’re loyal to a particular hotel brand.
Who should apply for a hotel credit card
Hotel credit cards are an excellent choice for the following types of consumers:
- Frequent travelers: The more you travel and spend, the more you can benefit from a hotel credit card. That said, you don’t have to be always on the road to justify owning such a card. Someone with a comparatively modest traveling schedule — roughly a month worth of hotel stays per year — can take advantage of the perks hotel credit cards provide.
- Brand loyalists: If you’re loyal to a particular hotel brand, having their hotel credit card can help you receive elevated earnings at that hotel chain, valuable perks during your stay, complimentary benefits, and money-saving benefits.
- Bargain hunters: Many hotel credit cards offer a chance to earn a free night for card anniversary and plenty of opportunities for upgrades and other on-site perks. Benefits like these will surely appeal to travelers who are always on the lookout for a great deal.
Which is better: Hotel credit cards vs. general travel credit cards
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. These are different financial products and, as such, which one will be better for you depends largely on how you plan to use it.
A hotel credit card is a type of credit card that rewards consumers for brand loyalty. You will be able to earn points with the affiliated hotel’s rewards program and enjoy benefits like free nights, automatic hotel loyalty status, annual credits for hotel purchases, and more.
Hotel credit cards can provide great value to the right type of consumers and often pay for themselves by offering a free anniversary night every year that alone might be worth more than the annual fee. Such a card offers the most points for spending with the affiliated hotel brand and often lets you redeem points only with that brand and select partners.
With general travel credit cards, you earn rewards on travel, as well as on everyday purchases. They may offer a flat rewards rate or better rates for certain categories, like travel. These cards generally offer more flexibility than hotel credit cards by letting you redeem miles or points for a range of items, like airfare, free or discounted hotel stays, seat upgrades, online shopping, car rentals, and more. However, these cards usually fall short in the hotel benefits department. You won’t get automatic elite hotel status, a free night every year, annual credits for hotel purchases, and other such benefits.
Top hotel loyalty programs
Here are five of the best hotel loyalty programs:
- Marriott Bonvoy – The Marriott Bonvoy program is geared toward both leisure and business travelers who fly to and stay at major cities in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and Asia. The program boasts more than 7,000 properties in 30 brands, including Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, and Westin Hotels & Resorts, and offers 10 points for every dollar spent at most hotels. Besides hotel stays and room upgrades, you can redeem your points for rental cars, cruise vacations, retail gift cards, and more. Consider signing up for a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, like the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express®, if you want an automatic Gold elite Status, free statement credits on stays, and other luxury perks.
- Hilton Honors – Hilton Honors accommodates both business and leisure travelers who visit major cities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. As a Hilton Honors member, you can earn and redeem points at more than 6,600 participating properties in over 115 countries. Eighteen brands are affiliated with this program, ranging from luxurious Conard and Waldorf Astoria to budget-friendly Hampton Inn & Suites and everything in between. As a member, you earn 10 points per dollar on Hilton purchases, but opening a Hilton Honors credit card account will entitle you to additional perks, including a free weekend night every year, a complimentary elite status, points for everyday purchases, and more.
- Best Western Rewards – The program boasts 4,700 participating hotels and resorts in roughly 100 countries and is aimed at budget-minded family and business travelers. Members can earn 10 to 15 points per dollar, and redeem them for stays at Best Western properties. For an earning boost and luxurious perks, consider opening a Best Western credit card, like the Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard.
- IHG Rewards – The IHG portfolio includes over 6,000 properties in roughly 100 countries. Members can earn 10 points per dollar at most brands and redeem rewards for free stays. If you want elite treatment, consider opening a IHG Rewards Club Premier account, which entitles you to an automatic Platinum status, an annual free night, bonus points, welcome amenities, room upgrades, and more.
- World of Hyatt – With over 1,000 properties worldwide, The World of Hyatt is a great option for leisure and business travelers who love staying at Hyatt-branded hotels. As a member, you will earn points you can redeem for free nights, room upgrades, flights, dining, car rentals, and more. For an earning boost and automatic Discoverist status, consider signing up for the World of Hyatt credit card from Chase, which comes with an annual free night worth up to 15,000 points.
How to get free hotel stays
Here are the top four ways to get a free hotel stay:
- Hotel rewards cards: Signing up for a co-branded hotel credit card will often get you one free night a year. Most of these cards give consumers free night certificates each year just for paying the annual fee.
- Hotel loyalty programs: Another way you can nab a free stay is by joining a hotel’s chain loyalty program, which will allow you to earn points for every stay you pay for. When you have racked enough points, you can redeem them for free nights.
- Cash back cards: A cash back card is exactly what it sounds like — a card that refunds a small percentage of what you spend. Becoming a cardholder won’t directly win you a free night, but you can use cash back to book a free hotel stay.
- By using the points strategically: Many hotel loyalty programs offer the fifth night for free when you book a standard award stay of five nights or longer.
Are hotel credit cards worth it
Yes, a hotel credit can be worth the cost if you travel a lot and are loyal to a particular hotel chain. It can help you access a slew of hotel benefits generally reserved for elite loyalty program members. The top hotel credit cards offer their members solid welcome bonuses, a complimentary elite status, high rewards rates, and some VIP perks.
What is the largest hotel loyalty program?
IHG Rewards Club is regarded as the largest hotel loyalty program. Other hotel loyalty programs that are very popular among consumers all around the world include Marriott Rewards + Ritz Carlton Rewards, Hilton Honors, Wyndham Rewards, Choice Privileges, and Best Western Rewards.
What are the top hotel credit cards with no annual fee?
Here are the top picks for travelers who want a hotel rewards card with no annual fee:
- Hilton Honors American Express® Card
- Best Western Rewards Mastercard
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
- Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card
Do hotel points expire?
Typically hotel points expire if your account is inactive for a period of time specified in the program’s terms and conditions — normally, one to two years.