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Are you currently using the credit card hotel purchases? Owning a co-brand hotel credit card isn’t always your best option. For instance, Capital One and Hotels.com have teamed up to offer extra benefits for cardholders. Capital One Venture and VentureOne cardholders can earn an unlimited 10 miles per dollar on their bookings through hotels.com/venture. This is on top of the miles earned for every purchase they make on their card. Read more here and here for further information.
If you want to stretch the value of each rewards point beyond the standard 1 cent value, you need to take a look at these rewards cards.
Flexible Rewards Credit Card for Hotel Purchases: Chase Sapphire Preferred
If you’re not loyal to a particular hotel brand, a co-brand hotel credit card isn’t much value beyond the free anniversary nights. That’s why you should consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Sapphire Reserve if you’re in the market for a premium travel rewards card.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points per $1 on hotels and the Sapphire Reserve earns 3x per $1.
You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points on a 1:1 basis to these hotel partners:
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Rewards
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- World of Hyatt
You can begin booking award nights for 5,000 points and find a quality property in nearly any travel destination. In addition to these hotel transfer partners, Chase Sapphire Preferred owners can also transfer points to nine frequent flyer programs including United, Southwest Airlines, and British Airways Avios.
I like the Chase Sapphire because you have so many 1:1 transfer partners that make it easy to book award travel and make each point worth at least 2 cents each. But you can also enjoy these travel benefits:
- 2x points on travel and dining (3x with the Sapphire Reserve)
- Primary rental car collision damage waiver
- 50,000 points sign-up bonus after spending $4,000 in three months
If you own the premium Sapphire Reserve, you will also enjoy these air travel benefits:
- $300 travel credit
- $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck application fee reimbursement
- Priority Pass Select lounge membership
- Special on-property benefits from The Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
The $300 travel credit can be applied to the first $300 in any travel-related purchases including hotel purchases. Other premium credit cards only let you redeem your travel credit for baggage fees, in-flight purchases, and seat upgrades; it can be hard to redeem your travel credit if you rarely encounter one of these three travel fees.
Best Credit Card for 4+ Night Stays: Citi Prestige
Some hotel rewards programs like Hilton Honors, Marriott, and Starwood Preferred Guest offer a free night on a multi-night reward stay, but this benefit can pale in comparison to the Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit. Plus, the Citi Prestige earns 3x points per $1 on hotel purchases.
When you book any 4+ night stay through ThankYou.com, you only have to pay the hotel fees and taxes for that fourth night. It doesn’t matter how much the room costs; Citi picks up the tab. Even if the room costs $1,000 a night, Citi covers the nightly rate and you only pay the fees and taxes. This is truly the best hotel credit card for an extended stay.
What makes the 4+ night benefit even better is it’s unlimited. You can get a free hotel night every week of the year with the Citi Prestige and easily pay the $450 annual fee in no time.
The 4th night free is the largest selling point of the Citi Prestige, but you can also enjoy these benefits:
- $250 annual air travel credit
- $100 Global Entry application fee reimbursement
- 3x points on air travel and hotels
- 2x points on dining and entertainment (1x point for all remaining purchases)
- 1:1 airline point transfers
Best Hotel Credit Card with Annual Free Night: Hyatt Credit Card [Expired]
Several hotel credit cards offer annual free night certificates worth more than the annual fee; maybe you keep one or two of these in your wallet exclusively for the free night and not to make hotel purchases.
The Hyatt Credit Card takes the prize for the best hotel credit card because of their free annual night and low award night rates. The Hyatt anniversary night is valid at any category 1-4 hotel. Award nights start at 5,000 points and cap at 30,000 points for a standard room. You can even stay at an all-inclusive Hyatt resort for an impressive 25,000 points per night too.
You will also enjoy these Hyatt credit card benefits:
- 3x points on Hyatt purchases
- 2x points at restaurants, direct airline ticket purchases, and car rental agencies
- 40,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months–plus 5,000 points for authorized user
- Complimentary Hyatt Discoverist status (10% elite stay bonus and 2 p.m. late checkout)
Other Credit Card Options for Hotel Purchases
- Citi Thank You Premier – 3x points per $1
- Hilton Surpass – 12x points per $1 at Hilton
- IHG Premier – 5x at IHG hotels
- Club Carlson – 10x at Club Carlson hotels
Summary of the Best Credit Card for Hotel Purchases
If you’re loyal to a particular hotel brand, their rewards card can be the best option because they offer the most points per dollar spent as a loyalty bonus. But, if you need the flexibility to stay for free at multiple hotel chains or you occasionally want to use your points for non-hotel rewards, the Sapphire and Citi Thank You credit cards are your best options for hotel purchases.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.