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When you travel, you will most likely stay in a hotel. Instead of paying for your purchase with just any credit card, consider using a hotel credit card instead. You can earn incentives that are more specific to your lifestyle. If you’re trying to find the best hotel credit card for your travel habits, these recommendations can be a start.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Best Hotel Credit Card: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card earns a free night award for each card anniversary (up to 35,000 points per night). Cardholders get automatic Silver Elite Status. Automatic Silver Elite status also gives you an extra 10% points on bonus stays, free in-room WiFi, and priority late checkout.
Purchase rewards include:
- Earn up to 17x total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
- 2x points on everything else
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is the best overall card for its reasonable $95 annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and valuable rewards. For instance, with each card renewal you get a free night award valid at any Bonvoy property that costs 35,000 points or less. This award is worth more than the $95 annual fee on most nights.
Spending $35,000 in a year, or the 15 Elite Night credits, gives you a fast-track upgrade status to Gold Elite status.
For a limited time, new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card cardholders can earn 125,000 Bonus Points and 1 Free Night Award (value up to 50,000 points) after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards
Best Hotel Credit Card Free Night Award: The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Even if you only stay in a hotel one night a year, you can stay for free if you get a free night award. In most cases, the free hotel night cash value is greater than the card’s annual fee.
With The World of Hyatt Credit Card, your free annual hotel night is valid at any category 1-4 Hyatt property. This free night alone is easily worth more than the $95 annual fee.
Hyatt also has one of the most generous reward night policies. Their free nights start at 5,000 points and max out at 30,000 points at a category 7 property. With most other hotel programs, 30,000 points only book a room at a mid-tier property. If you want to enjoy upscale travel at bargain prices, don’t overlook Hyatt.
You also have the opportunity to earn up to 60,000 bonus points as a signup bonus. Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 Bonus Point, up to $15,000, in the first 6 months of account opening.
Plus, you can enjoy these tiered purchase rewards:
- Up to 9 points on all Hyatt purchases
- 2 points for restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, and car rental agencies
- 1 point per $1 spent on all remaining purchases
Additionally, cardholders can enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as their account is open.
Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards
If you’re looking for a hotel credit card that lets you book your free hotel night at high-end motels, you should consider either the Hilton Honors Aspire or Hilton Honors Surpass. Your free weekend night certificate can be redeemed at virtually any Hilton Portfolio property.
Best Hotel Credit Card for Non-Business People: IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- Reward hotel night certificate annually after card anniversary
- 4th reward night on 4+ night reward stays
- Automatic Platinum Elite status
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement
Because you’re not traveling for business, the 2x bonus points give you the perfect opportunity to earn bonus points on your largest monthly spending categories (not including your rent or mortgage payment).
New cardholders can also earn 150,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. There is a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $89.
Cardholders earn up to 25x points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Additionally, you will earn 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per $1 on everything else.
If you want a credit card that offers hotel benefits and air travel benefits, it’s hard not to like the IHG Premier.
Reward IHG nights start at 5,000 points. Automatic Platinum Elite status lets you enjoy space-available room upgrades, a 50% earning bonus, and extended checkout. To earn this status without the card, you need to stay at least 40 nights per year.
Best Hotel Credit Card with No Annual Fee: Hilton Honors American Express Card
Casual travelers that don’t need a free night award or for those that only need a secondary credit card, the Hilton Honors American Express Card is one of the best options without an annual fee (See rates & fees).
The Hilton Honors American Express Card earns up to 7x Hilton Honors points for each $1 spent on eligible purchases:
- 7x points on eligible Hilton purchases made directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton portfolio
- 5x points on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets
- 3x points on all eligible remaining purchases
- Terms apply
You will also enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status. That earns you a 5th night free on reward stays, elite rollover nights, and two water bottles per stay. Spend $20,000 in a year to upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status.
New The Hilton Honors American Express Card cardholders can earn up to 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points! New cardholders can earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards
Best Hotel Credit Card for Flexible Booking: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you’re not loyal to one particular hotel brand, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gets you 2x miles per dollar spent on every purchase. You can redeem these rewards points for future award travel purchases or as a statement credit for previous purchases.
You can see here how the Capital One Venture compares to the Sapphire Preferred.
Everybody needs something different from their hotel credit card. Maybe you want to pick up a loyalty card because your company encourages you to stay at one brand when you travel and you want to accelerate your travel benefits. Whether you stay in a hotel a few times a year or a few times a week, these hotel credit cards can be one of the most valuable credit cards you keep in your wallet.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.
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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.