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Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2017

Jennifer Blocker
Updated on: 07/04/2017

Whether you are a frequent traveler or an occasional vacationer, there are many benefits to having a hotel credit card. Not only can you redeem the points you earn with the card for free hotel stays , but you’ll also get great perks, like complimentary room upgrades, free Wi-Fi , early check-in, late check-out and more. Anyone who’s planning to travel—be it a business trip or dream vacation—should consider getting a hotel rewards credit card.

We’ve compiled a list of the best hotel credit cards. Most of them allow you to earn free hotel nights. There are many different cards to choose from. Finding the right card for you will depend on your travel plans and spending habits. To figure out the best hotel rewards card for free nights and to make an informed hotel reward program comparison, you should think about more than just the reward rate.

Top Rated Hotel Credit Cards

If you stay with the same hotel chain often, you should definitely have their card. If you like to use a variety of hotel brands or you are not sure where you will be staying, look for a card that is associated with a wide network of partners for easy redemption options.

It’s important to consider other factors too, such as annual fees, foreign transaction fees, earning potential and the flexibility of the rewards. And don’t forget sign-up bonuses! They’re still the easiest way to get free stays.

As you think about which card to get, keep in mind that you are not limited to just one. Savvy travelers often carry multiple cards to maximize their rewards. Read on to find out which hotel card is best for you and how to earn free hotel stays quickly.

Discover it® Miles Card
Discover it® Miles Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 1.5Miles on Airfare purchases
  • 1.5Miles on Hotels
  • 1.5Miles on Gas
  • 1.5Miles on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0
Discover it® Miles Rewards
Rating
95
  • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase offer

    • Unlimited 1.5x rewards on every purchase offer
    • Miles earned are matched at the end of the first year of cardmembership.
    • We will reimburse up to $30 of your in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year with automatic credits to your statement.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travel Benefits

$30 In-Flight Wi-Fi Access

You will be reimbursed for up to $30 in purchases of wireless internet access on an aircraft per anniversary year. The statement credit will be issued for the purchase amount in U.S. dollars within seven business days.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

The Discover miles card does not charge foreign transaction fees so you can rest easy when you are abroad.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You always earn 1.5 miles per dollar spent, which equates to 1.5 percent cash back. Don’t settle for 1 percent! The Discover it Miles card is better.
  • Miles Can be Redeemed for Anything: You don’t have to wait until you have travel coming up to use your miles. Even though the Discover it Miles card earns Miles, it is a cash back card.
  • Miles Doubled for the First Year: At the end of your first year as a card member, Discover will match all of the miles you’ve earned!
  • $30 in Annual Wi-Fi Credits: Next time you have a long flight you can purchase Wi-Fi and have Discover cover the cost up to $30 per year.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Discover it Miles card is wonderful for two types of people. The first, and most obvious, is for someone looking for a single credit card that’s easy to use and that can do it all. The Discover it Miles card is a great option because it earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and redemptions areone cent per mile toward any purchase. Plus thereare a couple of other nice benefits, like $30 in annual Wi-Fi credits and no foreign transaction fees. As a no-fee card, all of that is essentially free.

The second type of person that the Discover it Miles card is a great option for is someone who is looking to truly maximize rewards. The Discover it is basically a no-brainer for the first year because all miles are doubled , meaning that it effectively earns 3 miles per dollar spent (1.5 when you purchase and 1.5 at the end of the year). After the first year it deserves a spot in the wallet of someone who wants to maximize rewards for purchases not included in the bonus earning categories of their other rewards credit cards.

  • Get unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar you spend on purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year (new cardmembers only). For example, 30,000 Miles turns to 60,000 Miles.
  • No blackout dates. Fly any airline, any time.
  • We will reimburse up to $30 of your in-flight Wi-Fi purchases each year with automatic credits to your statement.
  • Freeze ItSM on/off switch for your account.
  • Keep tabs on your FICO® Score.
  • You can always count on 100% US-based customer service, anytime. We will not waste your time selling you other products when you call us.
  • Your Miles never expire.
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3xPoints on Travel, Gas, Airfare, Hotels, Cruises, Car rental and Railways
  • 2xPoints on Dining and Entertainment
  • 1xPoints on Groceries
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
ThankYou®
Rating
93
  • 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
    • 25% more points when redeemed through the ThankYou® Travel Center
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travel Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fees:

Never pay an extra fee to use this card outside the U.S.

Concierge Service:

Citi Concierge provides help with travel, shopping and dining.

Why should you get this card?

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 0 Citi ThankYou points worth at least $375 in travel, all without paying an annual fee for the first year.
  • Great Earning Potental: Generous double and triple point-earning categories, including all travel and gas purchases.
  • Discount on ThankYou Travel Purchases: Get a 25 percent rebate when redeeming for travel through the ThankYou Rewards travel portal.
  • Flexible Redemption Options:You’ll always find a use for your points with 12 airline transfer partners.

Our Expert's Conclusion

You can get excellent value out of ThankYou points, particularly if you transfer them to airlines and redeem for expensive premium cabin tickets. If you are a traveler that often books the cheapest economy class ticket, then there can also be strong value in redeeming points through the ThankYou program’s travel portal thanks to the 25 percent discount offered by this card.

If you are interested in domestic award travel or simple award redemptions, this card may prove to be too complex. Instead, consider cards with more domestic transfer partners. You may not get quite the same value for your points, but there will be more availability and easier redemptions.

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • 3 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on travel including gas, airfare, hotels, cruises, car rental agencies, travel agencies, railways, public transportation, tolls, taxis, parking and much more.
  • 2 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on dining out and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou Points on other purchases.
  • ThankYou® Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center, as compared to gift cards redeemed from the ThankYou® Rewards collection.
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases.
  • Annual Fee $95(Fee waived for the first 12 months).
  • No expiration and no limit on the number of points you can earn.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 1.25Miles on Travel, Dining and Car Rental
  • 1.25Miles on Gas
  • 1.25Miles on Hotels
  • 1.25Miles on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0
Venture® Rewards
Rating
93
  • 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • +No cap to the amount of rewards you can earn

Travel Benefits

Travel Upgrades and Savings:

Free upgrades and discounts at select hotels and resorts are part of the Visa Signature card benefits.

Complimentary Concierge Service:

Enjoy free assistance 24-hours a day, even while you’re traveling.

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

Use your card anywhere in the world and never pay additional fees.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points for every purchase you make. No matter what you buy, you’ll earn 1.25 miles for every dollar spent. Those miles will add up fast.
  • Hassle-Free Redemptions: Miles can be applied to any travel purchases, not just airfare. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about blackout dates or limited award space because you buy the travel you want and then apply miles to the purchase.
  • No Annual Fee: It’s hard to be a rewards card that does not charge an annual fee. Every reward you earn is essentially free!
  • Sign-Up Bonus: For a no-fee card, 20,000 miles is an excellent sign-up bonus. It’s worth $200 in travel. All you have to do is spend $1,000 during the first three months you have the card.

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re looking for a no-fee rewards card that offers a solid sign-up bonus and hassle-free redemptions, than the the VentureOne card from Capital One is a great option. You’ll get 20,000 miles worth $200 for spending just $1,000 in 90 days, plus you’ll earn a generous 1.25 miles per dollar for every purchase.

Getting the card is a risk-free proposition because it won’t cost you a penny. Whatever miles you earn with the card are pure profit because there aren’t any fees. You can even use the card while traveling internationally, since there are no foreign transaction fees either.

  • One-time bonus of 20,000 miles—equal to $200 in travel—once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles—that's 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards.
  • Use your VentureOne® card to make travel purchases on any website or app—any airline, any hotel, rental cars and more.
  • Annual Fee $0.
  • Once you make a travel purchase with VentureOne, redeem your miles as a statement credit toward the cost. Your rewards don't expire.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.
  • Get 10% off thousands of hotels on HotelTonight through January 2017.
Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Venture® Rewards Credit Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2xMiles on Travel, Dining and Car Rental
  • 2xMiles on Gas
  • 2xMiles on Hotels
  • 2xMiles on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $59
Venture® Rewards
Rating
95
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • +No cap to the amount of rewards you can earn

Travel Benefits

Premium Hotel Benefits:

Enjoy perks, such as room upgrades and free breakfast, at over 900 Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection properties.

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

You’ll never have to pay additional fees to use your card while traveling abroad.

Complimentary Concierge Services:

24/7 assistance for dinner reservations, booking travel and special access to sporting and entertainment events.

Why should you get this card?

  • A Generous Sign-up Bonus: The 40,000-mile sign up bonus can be redeemed for $400 worth of travel.
  • Earnings Add up Quickly: Every dollar you spend earns 2 miles, not 1.5 or 1 like other cards. There are no categories or promotions to keep track of.
  • It’s Easy to Redeem Miles: Find the best travel deal, pay with your Venture Rewards card and redeem your miles for a statement credit to erase your purchase. Or just redeem your miles online from the Capital One Rewards Center.

Our Expert's Conclusion

With a sign-up bonus of 40,000 miles and the ongoing earning power of two miles for every dollar spent, there’s a good case for owning the Venture card. The $59 annual fee is waived the first year and you’ll have $460 to spend on travel once you’ve made the required $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. That makes this card a solid contender for your everyday spending. However, if you’re not going to be able to spend a minimum of $3,000 a year on the card, you would be better off selecting a card that has no annual fee.

  • One-time bonus of 40,000 miles—equal to $400 in travel—once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles—that's 2 miles for every dollar you spend on purchases. 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards.
  • Use your Venture® card to make travel purchases on any website or app—any airline, any hotel, rental cars and more.
  • $0 intro for the first year; $59 after that.
  • Once you make a travel purchase with Venture, redeem your miles as a statement credit toward the cost. Your rewards don't expire.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2xMiles on Travel, Dining and Car Rental
  • 2xMiles on Gas
  • 2xMiles on Hotels
  • 2xMiles on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $89
Barclaycard Arrival Rewards
Rating
93
  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days
    • 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, everytime you redeem
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travel Benefits

24/7 Concierge:

You have access to a complimentary concierge any time of day. This service works like a personal assistant to help with reservations, hard-to-find items, and more.

No foreign transaction fee:

You can earn miles outside the U.S. without worrying about extra fees.

Why should you get this card?

  • Valuable Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a sign-up bonus worth $500 toward any travel purchase.
  • Excellent Everyday Earning: You’ll get 2 miles for each dollar you spend. That will add up fast.
  • Easy to Redeem: Your miles aren’t tied to a loyalty program. Just buy the flight you want and redeem miles toward that purchase. There are no blackout dates or limited award space.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The short answer is absolutely. Depending on your travel and spending habits, this card may or not make sense for you after the first year when you start paying the annual fee, but earning 50,000 miles after meeting the minimum spend and earning 2X miles on all purchases are tremendous benefits. Not only that, but if this becomes your go-to card, miles will rack up fast, and with the 5 percent redemption bonus, that’s like earning 2.1 percent back on every purchase, every day. This card is just as good as any other cashback card currently on the market.

  • 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchase in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases.
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem.
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country.
  • Redeem your miles for travel statement credits starting at 10,000 miles for $100 toward all or a portion of your travel purchase of $100 or more made within the past 120 days.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first twelve billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.
  • $89 annual fee waived for the first year.
Citi Prestige® Card
Citi Prestige® Card
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3xPoints on Airfare and Hotels
  • 2xPoints on Dining and Entertainment
  • 1xPoints on Gas
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$450
ThankYou®
Rating
92
  • 40,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • $100 Global Entry application fee credit.
    • Complimentary 4th night stay.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • $250 Air Travel Credit

Travel Benefits

$250 Airline Credit:

Get up to $250 worth of statement credits annually toward airfare, upgrades, incidental fees and more.

Complimentary Lounge Access:

A free Priority Pass Select membership gives you access about 1,000 airport lounges around the world.

Global Entry:

Get a $100 application credit every five years. Includes TSA PreCheck.

Why should you get this card?

  • Sign-Up Bonus: The 40,000-point sign-up bonus is worth at least $532 when redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, and potentially even more when transferred to travel partners. The value of the bonus is enough to wipe out the first year’s annual fee.
  • 4th Night Free: Each time you use the Citi Prestige Concierge service to book a stay that is four nights or longer, you get one night free. The more often you stay, the more money you save.
  • $250 Air Travel Credit: The air travel credit is easy to use and helps offset the annual fee substantially. Every time you pay for flights, upgrades, taxes on award tickets, checked baggage, seat assignments, and in-flight meals and entertainment, the statement credit applies automatically.
  • Great Earning Potential: You’ll get bonus points on airfare, hotels, dining and entertainment—all the categories in which frequent travelers spend the most money. The points add up for another redemption in no time!

Our Expert's Conclusion

If you’re looking for a premium travel rewards card that offers a decent sign-up bonus, flexible rewards and the ability to transfer to travel partners, then Citi Prestige makes for a good option.

Although the card’s annual fee of $450 is not waived for the first year, you can enjoy all the benefits, such as free lounge access and concierge service, essentially for free because the value of card’s 40,000-point bonus more than offsets the cost. In fact, you’ll easily be making money once you factor in the annual $250 air travel credit, the 4th Night Free benefit and the Global Entry enrollment fee credit.

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • With Citi Prestige®, you'll earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels, 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment and 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Your points are worth 33% more on flights compared to non-air travel when booked through the Citi ThankYou® Travel Center.
  • With no points cap and no expiration of points, there's no limit to the points you can earn.
  • Transfer points to participating travel loyalty programs such as Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, and Flying Blue.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on Purchases.
  • Each year a $250 Air Travel Credit will automatically be applied to flight-related expenses charged to your card, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
  • Extend your trip with a complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4–consecutive night booking through the Citi Prestige® Concierge. For reservations made on or after July 23, 2017, the benefit will be calculated as the average nightly rate of your total stay, not including taxes.
  • Receive a $100 Global Entry application fee credit. Once approved for Global Entry by the U.S. Government, you can bypass long lines and enjoy expedited entry into the U.S.
Expedia® + Card from Citi
Expedia® + Card from Citi
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3xPoints on Airfare, Hotels, Activities and Travel
  • 1xPoints on Dining
  • 1xPoints on Gas
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0
Expedia®+ Rewards
Rating
72
  • 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 month
    • One Elite Qualifying Hotel Night for each increment of $2,500 in purchases between January and December billing statements
  • 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Travel Benefits

Citi Concierge:

Get instant assistance with travel, shopping, dining and entertainment needs.

Elite Status with Expedia+:

Instant Silver status, which includes bonus points for bookings and special perks at select hotels.

Citi Private Pass:

Enjoy special access to thousands of events every year, including presale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

Why should you get this card?

  • Expedia+ Silver Status: Earn automatic Silver status with this no annual fee card.
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn a 15,000-point sign-up bonus after completing minimum spending requirements. This bonus is worth $200 when redeemed for +VIP Access hotels.
  • Earn Higher Status With Spending: For every $2,500 you spend on your Expedia+ card, you’ll earn one night toward Expedia+ Gold status.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Expedia+ card is a decent option for someone looking for a simple, no annual fee travel rewards card. But that’s only if you book through Expedia because those are the only purchases that will earn bonus points. All other purchases earn just one point per dollar. The card makes the most sense for someone who makes some or all of their travel bookings with Expedia.

Additionally, since the Expedia+ card offers automatic Silver status and the ability to earn Gold status through spending, you’ll see more benefits from your hotel stays if you have this card. If you never book hotels through Expedia, this benefit will not be helpful to you at all.

  • Earn 15,000 Expedia+ bonus points after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 3 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and travel packages.
  • Earn 1 Expedia+ point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • Earn one Elite Qualifying Hotel Night towards Expedia+ gold status qualification for each increment of $2,500 in purchases made on the card between your January and December billing statements.
  • Expedia+ silver status is complimentary for as long as you are a cardmember.
  • No limit to the number of Expedia+ bonus points you can earn and points won't expire as long as you earn or redeem points every 18 months.
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance.
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance.
  • Lost Baggage Protection.
  • Extended Warranty.
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection.
  • Citi® Concierge.
  • Citi® Cards with Apple Pay®.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
Annual Fee
Rewards Program
Rating
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2xStarpoints at Participating Marriott Rewards® hotels Purchases
  • 1xStarpoints on Dining
  • 1xStarpoints on Gas
  • 1xStarpoints on All Other Purchases
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Starwood Preferred Guest®
Rating
99
  • 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
    • Receive a 5,000 Starpoint® bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a participating frequent flyer program
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • +5 nights and 2 stays towards SPG® Elite status each year

Travel Benefits

No Foreign Transaction Fees:

Feel free to pull this card out of your wallet when traveling overseas. It’ll never cost you extra.

Entertainment Access:

Get access to advanced sales of event tickets exclusively for Amex cardholders.

Free Wi-Fi:

Connect to the internet when you’re on the road with the Boingo American Express Preferred Plan. You’ll get complimentary access to any Boingo Wi-Fi hotspots.

Why should you get this card?

  • Valuable and Flexible Reward Program: SPG offers a ton of great redemption options, including free nights at Starwood properties and the Nights and Flights program, as well as a lot of transfer partners, including Marriott and over 30 airlines.
  • Good Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 25,000 Starpoints by spending 3,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth 30,000 miles if you transfer to an airline partner.
  • 5,000-Mile Bonus for Transfers: You’ll get an extra 5,000 miles for every 20,000 points you transfer to an airline. That can add up fast.
  • Shortcut to Gold Status: Spend $30,000 a year on the card and you’ll earn Gold elite status, which also results in reciprocal Gold status with Marriott.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Starwood Preferred Guest card offers one of the most flexible rewards programs in the industry, making it an excellent choice for many different types of travelers. Since the card doesn’t have an annual fee the first year, you can try it out without any out-of- pocket cost.

The SPG Amex is great for anyone looking to earn free nights with either Starwood or Marriott, because points can be transferred freely between the two programs. It’s an excellent alternative for those who want to earn Marriott points but can’t get any more Chase cards due to the 5/24 rule. The SPG card effectively earns 3 Marriott points per dollar since Starpoints can be transferred at a ratio of 1:3.

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Earn up to 5 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Starwood hotels–that's 2 as a Card Member on top of the 2 or 3 you can earn as an SPG member.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at participating Marriott Rewards® hotels.
  • Earn 1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases.
  • As a Card Member, receive credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year toward SPG® Elite status. That's just 20 nights away for SPG Gold status and 45 nights away for SPG Platinum status in a calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Receive free in-room, premium Internet access while staying with SPG® Participating Hotels.
  • Redeem Starpoints® for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights with no blackout dates. Transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a one-to-one basis. Receive a 5,000 Starpoint bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a participating frequent flyer program.

Compare Hotel Credit Cards

Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.

Credit Card
Bonuses & Rewards
First Year Rewards
FEES
RE® value
Discover it® Miles Card

Discover it® Miles Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • match all the rewards at the end of first year
  • 36,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$720
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$720
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

More Details
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$941
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$941
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$941
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$941
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 72,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$390
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$390
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

More Details
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 80,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$957
FEES
-$85
RE® value
$872
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi

Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 25,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$406
FEES
-$95
RE® value
$311
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

Expedia® + Card from Citi

Expedia® + Card from Citi

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 15,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$244
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$244
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 75,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 72,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$470
FEES
-$75
RE® value
$395
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
American Express

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$826
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$826
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

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Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,031
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$1,031
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

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Club Carlson℠ Rewards Visa® Card

Club Carlson℠ Rewards Visa® Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 30,000 Gold Points® sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 Gold Points® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$205
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$205
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
U.S. Bank

Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 40,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$880
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$880
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details
Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 85,000 Gold Points® sign-up bonus.
  • 120,000 Gold Points® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$779
FEES
-$75
RE® value
$704
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
U.S. Bank

VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 20,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 30,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$500
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$500
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Capital One®

More Details
Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 15,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$281
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$281
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

Citi Prestige® Card

Citi Prestige® Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 40,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,165
FEES
-$450
RE® value
$715
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 80,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$957
FEES
-$99
RE® value
$858
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
The Hyatt Credit Card

The Hyatt Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 40,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,069
FEES
-$75
RE® value
$994
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 0 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$660
FEES
-$450
RE® value
$210
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

More Details
Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®

Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2,500 Diamond Plus Points™ sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 Diamond Plus Points™ for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$198
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$198
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
Barclaycard

Club Carlson℠ Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Club Carlson℠ Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 60,000 Gold Points® sign-up bonus.
  • 72,000 Gold Points® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$502
FEES
-$50
RE® value
$452
How to Apply

To apply for this offer please contact
U.S. Bank

Seven Tips for Choosing and Using a Hotel Credit Card

When choosing your hotel credit card, there are several things to consider. Following these tips will help you find the best hotel credit card and get the most out of it once you have it. The more you know, the further your miles and points can go.

  • Look for Big Bonuses

    There are big welcome bonuses to be had, and they are a great way to rack up points fast. One recent hotel credit card sign-up bonus was worth an impressive 100,000 points. Several cards offer complimentary nights instead, such as the Hyatt Hotels Signature Visa. This hotel card awards 2 free nights after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

    Although it can be a good idea to have multiple cards in order to take full advantage of the best hotel rewards, it’s not recommended to apply for more than one card at once or for too many cards over a short period of time. Your credit score could take a hit or the credit card issuer may deny your application.

    Getting multiple cards at the same time can also make it challenging to earn the sign-up bonuses. To get a welcome bonus, you typically have to spend a certain amount of money within a designated period of time. It can be difficult to meet that minimum spend on multiple cards at the same time. It’s usually better to spread out new card applications so you can focus spending on one card.

  • Get the Best Earning Potential

    Get familiar with the rate you’ll earn rewards with the cards you’re considering. Figure out how many points you’ll earn per dollar spent for various types of purchases. Earning rates for different categories of purchases can vary quite a bit from card to card. Some may offer a high return on gas, while others may not have any bonus for fuel purchases. A few cards even have rotating bonus-earning categories that change every quarter. Think about what you spend the most money on and figure out which card will offer you the highest returns for those purchases.

    For a hotel rewards card, you will surely earn the most points at the hotel associated with the card or with one of its partners. Some of the most lucrative hotel cards can give you as much as 12x the points when paying for a stay.

  • Find a Flexible Program

    Consider the flexibility of the points you’ll earn. Will you be able to use the points? How many locations does the hotel chain have? How many partners can you book rewards with? Are the points transferable? Some cards allow you to pool or transfer points to or from other people. Other cards may allow you to transfer to airlines or other partnerships they have.

    Most of the better rewards cards are part of a major payment network such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express. These cards are easiest to earn points with because of the broad range of places they can be used.

  • Minimize Your Fees

    Consider the potential cost of having a card, such as annual fees, foreign transaction fees and interest rates. Although there are some really good no-annual-fee hotel cards available, many require you to pay every year to keep the card. It can be worth it if you take advantage of what the card has to offer.

    For instance, if the welcome bonus is 100,000 points and the annual fee on the card is just $75, which was a recent offer for the Hilton Honors Surpass card from American Express, you still come out ahead. Those points more than cover the fee. It’s like buying $1,000 in hotel stays for $75. Many cards will even waive the annual fee for the first year, making the sign-up bonus even more valuable.

    If you travel abroad often, it’s important to have a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. Those fees are typically around 3 percent, which can add up fast.

    Don’t forget about interest rates, either. While it’s best to not carry a balance on your card, it can happen, particularly after making a big purchase. If you think you may be in this situation at some point, be sure to look for a card with the lowest rates. In general, try to avoid carrying a balance and never use more than 30 percent of your credit limit on any single card.

  • Boost Your Status

    Be sure to join the loyalty program of any hotel you plan to stay at. Becoming a member of the best hotel programs and earning elite status might be easier than you think. Getting the right hotel credit card is often a good way to boost your status quickly.

    For instance, the Citi Hilton Honors card gives you instant gold status. That would normally take about 40 stays to earn. Gold status comes with a variety of perks and benefits, though the best one might be the 25 percent boost you’ll get to your rewards earnings. That means you’ll get free nights even faster.

    Many cards offer fast-track option to earning elite status, which, in turn, will give you access to more perks.

  • Look for Promotions

    Promotions are a good way to quickly increase your points and find the great deals. There are usually several promotions available at any one time that will multiply the typical number of points earned for stays. You may have to stay at a certain location or over certain dates, but the offers come and go often and can be very lucrative.

    There are several places to look for these hotel promotions, such as the hotel’s website, online booking portals, like hotels.com, blogs and travel sites. Keep an eye out for different kinds of offers too, like discounts and credit card promos.

  • Be Flexible With Your Plans

    Most people plan vacations first and then look for ways to save money. However, if you’re collecting points, it can make more sense to plan travel around the best deals, offers and promotions. You’ll be able to earn more points and get the best value for them when you redeem for rewards.

    Taking trips based on promotions and specials can be a great way to travel on a budget. Not only can you save more, but you can also earn more toward your next trip.

FAQs

Need more info? Check out our FAQ. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

  • There are several great hotel credit cards with no annual fee. One of the best no-fee hotel credit cards is the Amex Hilton Honors. This card also has a great welcome bonus. Cardholders receive a 80,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 within 3 months.
    Many hotel cards wave the annual fee for the first year, including the flexible Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, which is a very popular hotel rewards card. In addition to booking free stays at Starwood’s elaborate network of hotels, you can also transfer SPG points to over 30 different airlines. That can make it worth paying the $95 fee after the first year.
    There are several cards with annual fees that offer perks and benefits that are worth a lot more than their cost. It’s worth carefully considering what you’ll get out of a card before dismissing it simply because it comes with a fee.
  • When a hotel puts a hold on your credit card it is basically like a small security deposit for your room. Most hotels will do this. The hold, which is usually the cost of the room plus tax and a flat fee, is typically between $50 and $200 per day.
    It is not a charge you will incur. The amount usually shows up as a pending charge then disappears shortly after the bill is settled. This is one reason it is difficult to book a hotel without a credit card.
    Most hotels require a card to make a reservation, but they will not place a hold on your card until you begin your stay. It is difficult to make a decent hotel reservation without a credit card.
  • The better your credit the more credit cards you will have to choose from. While there are some hotel credit cards for those with fair credit, getting one with bad credit is extremely difficult. Since many hotels require a credit card to book, you may want to consider getting a standard credit card or even a secured Visa or MasterCard if you don’t qualify for a rewards card.
    Remember, even the easiest hotel credit card to get will have better rewards for hotel stays than a standard rewards card. It might be worth applying for one even if you’re not sure you’ll qualify.
  • Hotels may allow you to use a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo to book and pay for a stay. However, be prepared to pony up a lot of cash seeing as you must have enough to cover the refundable deposit when checking in. Obviously this is not ideal.

    When you make a reservation with a card, a hold will be placed on your card. This is not a charge, and it will be removed after your stay without appearing on your statement. If you want, you can then pay for your room in cash when you check out.

    Obviously it’s best to use the hotel’s own points credit card to pay for stays. You’ll earn valuable points and receive perks.

  • Most hotels will not charge your credit card until your stay is complete. However, reservations made through third parties, such as travel agents and online travel portals, may be charged prior to your stay at the hotel.

    After check-in, hotels may place a hold on some funds, which is usually equivalent to the cost of the room plus a flat rate and typically ranges between $50 and $200 per night. This hold may take several days after your stay has been completed to be removed.

  • Having a hotel credit card is like getting a discount due to the high reward rate that you’ll for stays. The points you earn are as good as cash toward your next stay.

    Many hotel discounts come in the form of promotions. They may offer a discounted rate, an increased amount of earning potential, or both. Booking portals, hotel websites, travel sites and blogs can be a good source of information to find the latest discounts and offers.

    Some credit cards come with their own hotel booking options which offer added benefits and discounts. Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cardholders, for example, should check Luxury Hotel Collection for exclusive offers.

    Some hotels and third party booking agents offers a best price guarantee. That means that if you find a lower price somewhere else after booking, you’ll be refunded the difference. It can add piece of mind, allowing you to lock in a reservation before exhaustively searching the web for the best possible rate.

    If you want a credit card with a best price hotel guarantee, consider a Hilton Honors card. Hilton offers an exceptional price guarantee. If you find a lower rate, they will not only give you the cheaper price, also add a 25 percent discount.

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