For those who love to travel and are especially loyal to a particular hotel brand, the best hotel credit cards offer plenty of perks to reward you for your allegiance. Whether you choose a co-branded hotel card for a specific chain or a credit card that rewards you for any type of travel, the best hotel credit cards offer you competitive rates and major bonuses.
Choosing the best hotel credit card is no easy task. With a sea of options available, it’s hard to always know which one is a good fit for your specific travel needs. Today we’re living our travel dreams through you by reviewing the best hotel credit cards available. A few of the cards are co-branded, meaning they are specific to a hotel brand. And other cards allow you to earn rewards from any hotel, no matter where you’re traveling. The best cards offer generous sign-up bonuses, simple reward structures, and flexible options for redemption.
Overview of the best hotel credit cards
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||Travel insurance and protections|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||Frequent travelers|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card||CLuxury travel perks|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card||Comprehensive reward structure|
|IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||Lowest annual fee with substantial earning potential|
|IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card||No annual fee|
|Hilton Honors American Express||Low-cost loyalty to Hilton brand|
|World of Hyatt Credit Card||Hyatt loyalists|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Straightforward program|
|American Express Green Card||Overall travel|
The best hotel credit cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card isn’t co-branded with any particular hotel chain, but the travel rewards are not to be missed. And lucky for you, the benefits have been expanded even more for 2020 and beyond.
For starters, the Chase Sapphire Preferred lures you in with a generous sign-up bonus. You earn 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first four months. This is worth $750 in travel rewards you can redeem in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. And with no blackout dates for travel rewards, you can put the $750 to use right away or save for a trip of a lifetime. Each point is a 1:1 transfer, so for every point you earn, you earn 1 point in travel rewards — you’ll earn 2x the points in dining and travel categories too!
Chase Sapphire Preferred features the Pay Yourself Back®, where your points are worth 25% more during special offers with select categories — giving you several opportunities to stretch your points as far as possible. When you do travel, you have 24/7 customer service and extras like Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance and Extended Warranty Protection when you use your card.
While the Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee, the reward structure and benefits far outweigh the $95. Plus you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees with this card (the additional fee banks charge when you make a purchase in a foreign currency). With the numerous travel and reward benefits with this card, it easily makes the list for one of the best hotel credit cards available.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is another strong option from the Chase family of cards and the travel rewards benefit anyone who likes to seek adventure or stay a little closer to home.
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Reserve offers a generous sign-up bonus of 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of your account opening. Then you begin earning 3x the rewards points for all travel and dining purchases with your card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve features the Pay Yourself Back®, where your points are worth 50% more during special offers (versus 25% for Chase Sapphire Preferred). You earn this additional amount when you redeem the points for statement credits against existing purchases in select categories — giving you plenty of opportunities to maximize your points. When you do travel, you’ll have access to 24/7 customer service, and trip protection extras like Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance and Extended Warranty Protection when you use your card.
For those who frequent the airports, the Chase Sapphire Reserve grants you access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide after a one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select.
While the $550 annual fee is more expensive than other cards, the $300 travel credit you receive each year on your card anniversary helps offset this cost. Plus you’ll enjoy $0 in foreign transaction fees if you travel overseas. You also receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® — another valuable way to offset the annual fee.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
From the American Express family, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express card is an excellent option for those who want the best hotel credit card — especially for those loyal to the Marriott brand.
The bonus offer is strong with the opportunity to earn 100,000 bonus points after you make $5,000 in eligible purchases on your Card within the first three months of Card Membership. Once you’ve had your card for a year, you’ll earn an additional 25,000 points on your first card anniversary.
The reward points structure is equally generous, offering several ways to earn up to 6x points per dollar for travel redemption.
The $450 annual fee is a little steep, but the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit on your card anniversary almost makes up for it. Not to mention the additional free night reward with participating hotels that you receive each year on your card anniversary and statement credits with participating luxury hotels, like the Ritz-Carlton® and St.Regis®.
Another fun perk is the ability to relax between flights by using your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and enrolling in Priority Pass™ Select, you get unlimited access to over 1,200 lounges in over 130 countries, regardless of which airline carrier or class you are flying. Plus you receive $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, an additional savings for frequent travelers.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase is another option for those who prefer the Marriot family of hotel brands. This card offers similar perks to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, but with a reasonable $95 annual fee instead.
From the start, you earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. From there you earn up to 6X points per $1 spent at the 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2x points for all other purchases. When your card anniversary rolls around, you earn one free night at a participating Marriott brand hotel plus automatic Silver Status. And your points never expire!
The perks continue with free in-room, premium internet access while staying at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ hotels plus a list of travel benefits. Cardholders have access to:
- Baggage delay insurance
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Purchase protection
- 24/7 access to Visa Signature® Concierge Service
If you spend $35,000 a year on purchases with your card, you’ll automatically bump up to Gold Status. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card from Chase is a great option for those who love the Marriott-branded hotels and like the additional travel protection and benefits while using the card.
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
For those who prefer IHG hotels (which includes Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and many others), the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a fantastic opportunity to get rewarded for loyalty.
This card has one of the most generous sign up offers available, with the opportunity for you to earn up to 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
The points structure is quite generous too, giving you opportunities to earn up to 25x points per dollar spent, depending on the purchase.
There are several travel bonuses you might not expect with a hotel credit card, including every fourth night free, saving 20% on point purchases, and automatic Platinum Elite status with this card. You also earn $100 towards your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® fee. The bonuses and perks are quite generous with the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, easily making it one of the best available.
IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card
If you prefer a card with a $0 annual fee but you want access to similar perks, the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card is worth a serious look. This card is similar to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, although the sign-up bonus and rewards points aren’t quite as robust.
The initial bonus offer allows you to earn up to 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. From there, you’ll have multiple chances to earn up to 15x the points for each dollar spent.
You can earn a total of up to 15X points at IHG® Hotels & Resorts by using this card.
No annual fee doesn’t mean no fun or perks either. This card allows you to earn every fourth reward night free, save 20% on point purchases, and automatic Gold Elite status with the IHG® Rewards Club.
Hilton Honors American Express
For those who are partial to the Hilton hotels brand, check out the Hilton Honors American Express. Includes both a strong introductory offer of up to 100,000 Hilton Honors points if you spend $1,000 in the first three months and a robust rewards structure (up to 7x points per dollar spent).
Cardmembers automatically advance to complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, with a chance to earn Gold status with $20,000 in purchases. If you’re looking for additional travel protections, cardmembers have car rental damage and travel insurance, and access to the Global Assist hotline while you’re traveling. All of these perks can be enjoyed without any foreign transaction fees and zero in annual fees.
World of Hyatt Credit Card
Hyatt hotel lovers can rejoice with the World of Hyatt credit card, where you can earn up to 50,000 points with $6,000 in purchases the first six months plus a robust point system. If you purchase up to $15,000 in a year then you’ll earn an additional free night stay at a Hyatt property. This is in addition to the complimentary one night you earn each year of your card anniversary.
The points add up quickly when you earn up to nine points per dollar spent at Hyatt properties, and points on all other purchases, including those for airfare. You can use your points for travel rewards such as room upgrades, experiences, and free nights. This card is a good option for those who prefer the Hyatt brand of hotels and want to earn their way quickly to elite status.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The popular Capital One Venture Rewards card remains a favorite for a reason — the reward structure is simple but generous. You earn an unlimited 1.25 points per dollar spent every day. You can use your points towards travel such as hotels, airfare and other categories, including several travel loyalty programs, and your points never expire.
The Capital One Venture Rewards is the only card on our list with a 0% introductory APR, and no annual fee too. When you use your card you’ll have numerous travel protections including travel accident insurance and car rental collision damage waiver. This card is a great option for those who want straightforward rewards with tons of options for redemption.
American Express Green Card
The American Express® Green Card is great not only for use with hotel stays but you’re rewarded for almost all travel purchases too. You can earn up to 3x points for hotels, airfare, and transit, and 1x points for all other purchases.
A low annual fee of $150 will get you several travel protections such as car rental loss and damage insurance, lost baggage insurance, and access to the Global Assist hotline — plus trip delay insurance. The American Express® Green Card is ideal for those who want a well-rounded card for traveling, a low annual fee, and access to numerous perks.
Summary of the best hotel credit cards
|Card||Bonus||Rewards||APR||Annual fee||Foreign fees|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||60k / spend $4k in 4 mos||2:1 dining, travel; 1:1 all others||15.99 - 22.99%||$95||None|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||50k / spend $4k in 3 mos||3:1 dining, travel; 1:1 all others; $300 travel credit annually||16.99 - 23.99%||$75||None|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card||100k / spend $5k in 3 mos; 25k points annually||6:1 eligible purchases; 3:1 restaurants, flights; 2:1 all others||15.74 - 24.74%||$450||None|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card||75k / spend $3k in 3 mos||6:1 at Marriott; 2:1 all others||15.99 - 22.99%||$95||None|
|IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||140k / spend $3k in 3 mos||2:1 at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants; 1:1 all others||15.99 - 22.99%||$0 first year; $89||None|
|IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card||100k / spend $2k in 3 mos||2:1 gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants; 1:1 all others||15.99 - 22.99%||$0||None|
|Hilton Honors American Express||100k / spend $1k in 3 mos||7:1 at Hilton; 5:1 groceries, dining, gas; 3:1 all others||15.74 - 24.74%||$0||None|
|World of Hyatt Credit Card||50k / spend $6k in 6 mo||9:1 at Hyatt; 2:1 all others||15.99 - 22.99%||$95||None|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||25k /spend $500 in 3 mos||1.25:1 every purchase||0% first year; 15.49%, 21.49% or 25.49%||$0||None|
|American Express Green Card||45k points after $2k within first 6 mos||3:1 on travel; 1:1 all others||15.99 - 22.99%||$150||None|
What are hotel rewards?
Of course, the biggest reward using earned hotel reward programs is earning free stays but often hotels and airlines partner and can share points so you could earn free flights.
Many travel rewards cards provide airport lounge access for free, reimbursement for enrollment in TSA Precheck, and bonus points on your account anniversary.
Are credit card offers worth it?
Many credit card issuers may offer welcome bonuses, such as a free weekend night and a large number of points if you spend a certain amount within the first 3 months. Using the card for all of your charges could mean you quickly earn the free night(s) and are worth the enrollment.
How can I earn elite status?
When you stay at a property often, you earn more rewards. Most hotels offer tiers — silver elite status, hold elite status, platinum elite status — and the higher the status, the bigger the perks. Someone at the highest tier, for example, will get an upgrade with every stay, no points required.
Do I have to use points for hotel rewards?
Most hotel loyalty programs have other options besides hotel travel. These give your rewards for being loyal to the hotel and may include upgrades and late checkout. Depending on the program, you can use your rewards points towards gift cards, shopping excursions, cash back, charitable donations and merchandise.
You typically receive the most value from a hotel credit card when you use the rewards towards travel, so keep the value of the points in mind whenever you decide to redeem your rewards.
Do I have to travel to earn points?
If you’re unsure how much traveling you’ll be doing (thanks COVID-19) then look for a travel card that allows you to earn points on everyday purchases. Cards such as the IHG® Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card earn 2x the points for gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases. Other hotel credit cards offer additional points for services such as DoorDash, giving you plenty of opportunities to earn while you’re staying home.
Why should you use the best hotel credit cards?
If you must travel for work or you simply enjoy traveling as a hobby, then why not use a credit card that rewards you with additional bonuses and perks
Traveling with a credit card is safer from a financial protection standpoint. With the credit cards featured, all have access to customer service and additional travel protection.
Hotel credit cards are designed for travelers loyal to a particular hotel brand. If this is you, then choosing a credit card that rewards you for your loyalty is the way to go.
The bottom line
Whether for work or play or if you only dream of being able to travel again, each of these credit cards offer serious rewards and travel benefits for the cardholder. These cards may be the best hotel credit cards, but they’re also smart options for use with your everyday purchases. With each of these cards, it’s practically effortless to earn points towards future travel.