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Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2018

Jennifer Blocker
Updated on: 08/03/2018

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.

8 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.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
Learn More
Intro APR on Purchases
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Venture® Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • +Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • +Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel

    • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.74%-23.74% variable APR after that
    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

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.

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.74%-23.74% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Apply Now
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 26.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
Starwood Preferred Guest®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 6xStarpoints at Participating Starwood and Marriott Rewards Hotels
  • 2xStarpoints on All Other Purchases
  • +1 Free Night Award every year after Card account anniversary
  • 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 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

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 $75,000 Starpoints by spending 3,000 in the first 2 months.
  • 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 75,000 bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 6 points on eligible purchases at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels.
  • Earn 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary.
  • Receive complimentary Silver Elite status with your Card. Earn Gold Elite status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Receive free in-room, premium Internet access while staying at participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards ® hotels.
  • Receive a 5,000 Starpoint bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints to a participating frequent flyer program.
Rating: 95/100
Discover it® Miles

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

Intro APR on Purchases
0% (14 months)
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
10.99% (14 months)
Regular APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0
Rewards Program
Discover it® Miles Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • +Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • +No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • +Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • +Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!

    • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
    • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
    • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match™ details & other information.
  • No Annual 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.

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match™ details & other information.
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Card
Apply Now
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$95
Rewards Program
Marriott Rewards®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 6xPoints on Marriott® and SPG® Purchases
  • 2xPoints on Dining, Airfare and Car Rentals
  • 2xPoints on Gas
  • 2xPoints on All Other Purchases
  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months

    • 1 free night award every year after your account anniversary, valid for a one night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Travel Benefits

Lounge Access:

You can redeem Marriott Rewards points for a Priority Pass Membership starting at 20,000 points.

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

You will not be charged foreign transaction fees on your purchases abroad.

Concierge Service:

Get personal assistance anytime and anywhere you need it. 24/7 concierge service comes with the card.

Why should you get this card?

  • A Generous Sign-Up Bonus: This card comes with a huge sign-up bonus of 100,000 points. The bonus alone could equal as many as 13 free nights at category 1 properties utilizing PointSavers.
  • Ongoing Earning Potential: In addition to the sign-up bonus, you can earn points for adding an authorized user, referring others to sign up for the card, and bonus-earning categories that include 5X at Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Starwood hotels and 2X on certain travel expenses.
  • Automatic Elite Status: Each year, 15 nights toward status are granted to the cardholder. Silver Elite status requires only 10 nights.
  • Excellent Domestic Redemptions: Expansive Hotel Network: With over 5,800 properties in 110 countries, you’re sure to be able to redeem your Marriott Rewards points for the perfect hotel room.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Marriott Rewards Premier card is perfect for the traveler seeking a co-branded hotel credit card. With Marriott’s extended network of worldwide hotels, which now includes Starwood properties, you’ll have the ability to redeem points at over 5,800 properties in 110 countries. The sign-up bonus of 100,000 points could fund an entire vacation’s worth of free hotel accommodations. However, with no foreign transaction fees, automatic elite status and an annual free hotel night, the ongoing value of the card more than offsets the $95 annual fee.

The ability to earn points through paid hotel stays, everyday purchases, making referrals and adding authorized users results in expedited earnings. Add the flexible transfer opportunity of Marriott Rewards points to the SPG Rewards program and the card becomes a no-brainer.

The wild card is whether the Marriott card will continue to be offered if or when the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest programs are combined or a new program is created. You may want to secure the card while you still can.

  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening.
  • 6 points per $1 spent at 6,500+ participating Marriott Rewards® and SPG® hotels.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 1 free night award every year after your account anniversary, valid for a one night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points.
  • You will automatically receive Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year as a cardmember.
  • Path to Gold status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No Foreign transaction fees.
Rating: 72/100
The Hyatt Credit Card

To apply for this offer please contact
Chase Bank

Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.49% to 24.49% Variable±
Annual Fee
$75
Rewards Program
World of Hyatt®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • 3xPoints on Hyatt Purchases
  • 2xPoints on Airfare, Dining and Car Rental
  • 1xPoints on Gas
  • 1xPoints on All Other Purchases
  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months

    • 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user to your account and make a purchase within the first 3 months
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • +Free night every year

Travel Benefits

Worldwide Acceptance:

You can use the Chase Hyatt card in over 17 countries across the world.

No Foreign Transaction Fee:

You can use the Chase Hyatt card for purchases in countries around the world and never be charged a single foreign transaction fee.

Chip-Enabled Credit Card:

The Hyatt card is chip-enabled, assuring your security while you travel.

Why should you get this card?

  • Great Award Chart: Hyatt has one of the best award charts of all the hotel chains thanks to reasonable redemption rates.
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Every year, upon the anniversary of your account opening, you receive a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt property.
  • Discoverist Status: Just for holding the Hyatt card, you get a bump to Discoverist elite status, which comes with several perks.
  • Big Sign-Up Bonus: The Hyatt card comes with a solid sign-up bonus of 2 free nights at any Hyatt property.

Our Expert's Conclusion

The Hyatt card can be a great fit for most people, from the frequent business traveler to the occasional vacationer. If you travel often but don’t regularly stay at Hyatt, the perks of Discoverist status can make your stays a little more relaxing.

They Hyatt card also provides a great avenue for earning Hyatt points that can be redeemed for award stays at hundreds of hotel properties around the world. With one of the most competitive award charts in the industry, every point you earn makes a significant dent in the required points for your next award stay.

Even those who travel sparingly can get great value out of the sign-up bonus and the annual free night certificate. A free night at a Category 4 hotel more than covers the $75 annual fee. This basically makes the annual free night certificate a huge discount on an expensive hotel room.

  • 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 3 Bonus Points per $1 spent on purchases at all Hyatt hotels and resorts with your Hyatt credit card.
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchases directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.
  • 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on purchases anywhere else you use your card.
  • Get 5,000 Bonus Points after you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase with your card during the first 3 months as a cardmember.
  • 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 hotel or resort.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Baggage Delay Insurance.
  • Lost Luggage Reimbursement.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance.
  • Purchase Protection.
  • Price Protection.
  • Visa Concierge.
Rating: 93/100
Citi Premier Card
Apply Now
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 first year, then $95
Rewards Program
ThankYou®
Bonuses & Rewards
  • +Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
  • +Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • +Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
    • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • +Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs

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?

  • 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 15 airline transfer partners.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: This card is great for earning rewards while traveling abroad.

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 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
  • Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
  • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Apply Now
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
0% (first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening)
Regular APR
17.99%, 21.99% or 24.99% variable based on your creditworthiness
Annual Fee
$89 (waived first year)
Rewards Program
Barclaycard Arrival Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • +Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days

    • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
    • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • +Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing

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 $600 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 60,000 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.

  • Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Learn More
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Intro APR on Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Program
Venture® Rewards
Bonuses & Rewards
  • +Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel

    • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
    • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • +Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many 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 50,000-mile sign up bonus can be redeemed for $500 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 50,000 miles and the ongoing earning power of two miles for every dollar spent, there’s a good case for owning the Venture card. The $95 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.

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

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
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® 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
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$980
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$980
Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles

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

To apply for this offer please contact
Discover Bank

More Details
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 75,000 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$2,362
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$2,362
Hilton Honors™ Ascend Card

Hilton Honors™ Ascend Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 100,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 72,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$550
FEES
-$95
RE® value
$455
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 100,000 Starpoints® sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 Starpoints® for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$2,842
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$2,842
Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 100,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,362
FEES
-$95
RE® value
$1,267
Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 75,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$911
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$911
Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®

Diamond Resorts International® MasterCard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 2,500 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$198
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$198
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
Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card

Radisson Rewards™ Premier 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
Hilton Honors™ Card

Hilton Honors™ Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 75,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 72,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$470
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$470
Radisson Rewards™ Visa® Card

Radisson 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
Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 50,000 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,132
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$1,132
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 60,000 miles sign-up bonus.
  • 48,000 miles for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$1,137
FEES
-$0
RE® value
$1,137
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
Citi Prestige® Card

Citi Prestige® Card

Bonuses & Rewards
  • 0 points sign-up bonus.
  • 24,000 points for everyday spend.
First Year Rewards
$437
FEES
-$450
RE® value
$-13

To apply for this offer please contact
Citibank

More Details
Radisson Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Radisson 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
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

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. The Hyatt Credit Card, for instance, awards 40,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, whereas some other hotel cards offer complimentary nights instead.

    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™ Ascend Card, 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 frequently asked questions. If you have other questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment below.

  • Are there hotel credit cards with no annual fee?

    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® Credit Card from American Express, 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.
  • What happens when a hotel puts a hold on your credit card?

    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.
  • What kind of credit do you need to get the best hotel rewards cards ?

    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.
  • How can you pay for a hotel stay or make a hotel booking without a credit card?

    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.

  • How and when do hotels charge your credit card?

    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.

  • What credit cards offer hotel discounts?

    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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