The 9 Best Hotel Credit Cards for Every Type of Traveler

We identified the top hotel credit cards that offer valuable rewards, special perks, and free hotel stays.
11/13/19 | By Kat Tretina
A customer checking in at a hotel

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If you love to travel, applying for a rewards credit card makes a lot of sense. Signing up for the right card can help you earn valuable rewards that you can redeem for future travel arrangements, and you can even snag great benefits like free hotel stays and room upgrades.

We’ve rounded up the nine best hotel credit cards available now. Here’s a breakdown of each card’s rewards and benefits, plus tips on how to decide which is the best card for you.

9 of the best hotel credit cards

When it comes to choosing a hotel credit card, it’s important to keep your spending habits and typical travel plans in mind.

If you like to comparison shop, it may be best to sign up for a card that isn’t associated with a specific hotel chain — such as the American Express Platinum Card or the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card — so that you can pick the best deal. But if you love a certain hotel brand, signing up for a specific chain’s card can help you earn valuable rewards and gain elite status even faster.

Here are nine of our favorite hotel credit cards:

Card Annual fee Best for...
Amex Platinum $550 Frequent travelers who want to indulge in luxury accommodations
Capital One Venture Rewards $95 (waived first year)  Budget-conscious shoppers who don’t mind booking most stays through Hotels.com
Chase Sapphire Preferred $95 People who spend a significant amount of money per year on travel and dining out
Hilton Honors Aspire Card $450 Hilton devotees who travel several times a year
Hilton Honors Card $0 Those who enjoy Hilton-branded hotels but balk at the Aspire’s high annual fee
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card $450 Frequent travelers who are Marriott loyalists
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card $95 Marriott fans who don’t want to pay the Bonvoy Brilliant’s high annual fee
IHG Rewards Club Premier $89 Budget-conscious travelers who frequently stay at hotel chains like Holiday Inn or Staybridge Suites
World of Hyatt Credit Card $95 Hyatt fans, including those who stay at Thompson Hotels or Hyatt Regency resorts

The Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee: $550

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Despite this charge card’s high annual fee, the Platinum Card from American Express is outstanding for earning rewards at hotels. You’ll earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Your Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for future travel arrangements, including hotel stays; you can also redeem them for merchandise or gift cards.

While you can earn valuable rewards, the Platinum Card also offers premium benefits.You’ll get access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program, where you’ll get $550 worth of complimentary benefits, on average. Perks include daily breakfast for two, complimentary Wi-Fi, and free room upgrades when available.

You’ll also get benefits through The Hotel Collection, a network of more than 600 properties all over the globe. When you book a stay of two consecutive nights or more, you’ll enjoy perks like a $100 hotel credit and room upgrades.

Additionally, you’ll get immediate Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status — without needing to meet minimum stay requirements.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

Benefits

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer
  • 5X points on eligible flights and hotels
  • $15 in Uber cash for U.S. rides each month (plus a bonus $20 in December) and $200 airline fee credit each year
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Terms apply

Capital One Venture Rewards

Annual fee: $95 (waived first year) (waived for the first year)

Early spend bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Card has a low annual fee after its first year, but it has an exciting rewards program.

You’ll earn 10X miles on bookings with Hotels.com through January 2020 and 2X miles on every purchase, every day. That means if you don’t mind booking your stays through Hotels.com, you could rack up rewards quickly.

You can redeem your miles for hotel stays and flights, and even transfer them to travel partners. If you combine your miles with your Hotels.com rewards program perks, you could earn free hotel stays even faster.

Incredibly Flexible Rewards

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Benefits

  • 50,000 bonus miles welcome offer
  • 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • No foreign transaction fees

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Annual fee: $95

Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can earn 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

But what makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred such a great rewards card is its redemption options. Points are generally worth $0.01 each. However, if you redeem them through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel arrangements, your points are worth 25% more. That means if you have 60,000 points, you can redeem them for $750 toward travel.

You can also complete a point transfer to one of Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 value. There are three hotel travel partners as of August 2019:

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt

#1 Travel Rewards Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Benefits

  • 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 2X points on eligible dining and travel purchases
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Hilton Honors Aspire Card

Annual fee: $450

Welcome offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

With its high annual fee, the Hilton Honors Aspire Card is geared toward frequent travelers who almost always stay at Hilton-branded hotels.

With it, you’ll earn 14X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio, 7X points on qualifying travel purchases made directly with airlines/select car rental companies or Amextravel.com, 7X points at U.S. restaurants, and 3X points on all other purchases.

You can redeem those points for hotel stays at over 5,100 hotels worldwide, and you’ll also get two Weekend Night Rewards. Depending on where you stay, that perk can be worth hundreds of dollars.

After your first year as a cardmember, you’ll get a $250 Hilton resort statement credit to cover the cost of incidental purchases when you stay at an eligible resort. You can also qualify for a $100 property credit if you book a stay of two nights or more through HiltonHonors.com/AspireCard.

As a cardmember, you’ll be given complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, allowing you to enjoy a 100% bonus on points earned on stays, free room upgrades, executive lounge access, and your fifth night free on standard room reward stays.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Benefits

  • 150,000 bonus point welcome offer
  • 14X points on eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels and resorts
  • Two weekend night rewards
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Terms apply

Hilton Honors Card

Annual fee: $0

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

If you enjoy Hilton hotels but are scared off by the Aspire’s high annual fee, consider the Hilton Honors Card by American Express. It has no annual fee, but you’ll still earn valuable rewards, including 7X points at participating hotels in the Hilton Honors portfolio; 5X points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases.

You can redeem your points for hotel stays at over 5,100 hotels around the world.

As a Hilton Honors cardmember, you’ll also get complimentary Silver status. That entitles you to a 20% bonus on Hilton Honors base points earned from your Hilton Honors stays. Plus, you’ll get a fifth night free on standard room reward stays of five nights or more.

Generous Rewards

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Benefits

  • 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Point welcome offer
  • High rewards rate
  • Complimentary Silver status
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
  • Terms apply

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card

Annual fee: $450

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card has a high annual fee, but it offers luxurious rewards and benefits. You’ll earn 6X points on eligible purchases at participating Marriot Bonvoy hotels, 3X points on U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on all other eligible purchases.

You can redeem those points for free nights, including the cost of a standard room and applicable taxes.

Each year, you’ll also get a $300 statement credit to reimburse you for purchases made at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. And you’ll get a free night award every year after your cardmember anniversary. If you book a stay of at least two nights at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis with your card, you’ll qualify for a $100 property credit.

You’ll also qualify for Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, giving you access to perks like free room upgrades and late checkouts.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Benefits

  • 75,000 bonus Marriot Bonvoy points welcome offer
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

Annual fee: $95

Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

If you enjoy Marriott hotels but don’t want to spend hundreds on a card’s annual fee, check out the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card.

You’ll earn 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases. You can redeem your points for free hotel stays.

As a cardholder, you’ll get one free night each year after your cardmember anniversary. You’ll also receive automatic Silver Elite status, so you can get priority late checkout and access to a dedicated elite reservation line.

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Benefits

  • 75,000 point sign-up offer
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee

IHG Rewards Club Premier

Annual fee: $89

Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

With a low annual fee, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card is perfect for fans of hotel chains like Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Staybridge Suites.

You’ll earn up to 25X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels and resorts; 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; and 1X points on other purchases Those points can be redeemed for hotel stays at IHG-branded hotels.

Each year, you’ll also get a free night’s stay at an IHG hotel. And if you redeem your points for a stay of four or more nights, you’ll get your fourth night free.

You’ll also get Platinum Elite status, allowing you to save 20% when you purchase points with your IHG Rewards Club Premier Card.

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Benefits

  • 80,000 bonus point sign-up bonus
  • 25X points at IHG hotels
  • 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • Free night every year
  • Fourth reward night free
 

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Annual fee: $95

Welcome offer: Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points: 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 in the first 6 months.

While it does have an annual fee, the World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a valuable welcome bonus. According to Hyatt, the bonus is enough to cover the cost of 10 nights at a category 1 hotel.

It also has a valuable rewards structure. You’ll earn 9X points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels; 2X points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining, and health purchases; and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Each year, you’ll also get a free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your cardmember anniversary. If you spend $15,000 or more during your cardmember anniversary year, you’ll earn an additional free night.

You’ll also get automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status, giving you benefits like premium internet, a bottle of water daily, and 10% more points on eligible purchases.

Big bonus points on Hyatt stays

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 9X points per $1 spent on Hyatt stays
  • 1 free night every year
  • Automatic elite status

Earning hotel rewards

If you’re looking for a new travel rewards credit card so you can earn free hotel stays, there are many options available. When deciding which is best for you, consider your own travel preferences and habits, each card’s annual fee, and the extra perks these cards provide. By doing your homework, you can find the right card and enjoy luxurious benefits.

Best Luxury Travel Benefits

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card from American Express

Benefits

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points welcome offer
  • 5X points on eligible flights and hotels
  • $15 in Uber cash for U.S. rides each month (plus a bonus $20 in December) and $200 airline fee credit each year
  • Access to Centurion and Priority Pass airport lounges
  • Terms apply
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