Best Hotel Rewards Credit Cards in 2022

The best hotel credit cards reward brand loyalty through room upgrades, free nights, early check-ins, late check-outs, bonus points, complimentary breakfasts and more.

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Last Updated: 9/22/2022

The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card tops our list of the best hotel rewards credit cards, not just for its generous spend-based welcome bonus but also because of its high reward rates, free anniversary nights and a range of other perks. The Chase IHG Rewards Club Traveler Card and the American Express Hilton Honors Business Card take the second and third spots, respectively. We’ve also selected top cards from other leading hotel loyalty programs, such as World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy, so you can find a hotel rewards card that suits your specific requirements.

Credit card experts at MoneyGeek have scrutinized all the leading hotel rewards credit cards in the U.S. and compared them across categories such as annual fees, cash back and reward points, the value of your rewards and additional perks. While we’re quick to highlight the benefits, we shed light on each card’s possible drawbacks as well.

What Are Hotel Credit Cards?

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Other Travel Cards to Consider

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Best Credit Cards With Hotel Rewards

The best credit cards with hotel rewards are not necessarily the ones that are co-branded with popular chains of hotels. For instance, if you do not limit your hotel stays to a single group of hotels, you might benefit by getting a travel credit card that offers a high reward rate for spending across hotels of different brands. In this case, you might benefit by earning rewards on your airline bookings as well.

Capital One Venture X Rewards - Best for frequent travelers who use Capital One Travel
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card lets you earn an early spend bonus of 75,000 miles by spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. From the first account anniversary onward, you receive 10,000 bonus miles each year. You may get up to $300 as an annual statement credit for bookings made through Capital One Travel. A $100 credit toward Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fees is there for the taking every four years. Additionally, you get to earn from the following:

  • Car rental and hotel bookings made through Capital One Travel come with 10X miles per dollar.
  • Booking flights through the same platform earns 5X miles per dollar.
  • 2X miles per dollar on all other purchases.

You get access to Capital One Lounges as well as Capital One's partner lounge network. You pay no additional transaction fees when you use this card outside of the U.S. However, it charges a $395 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred - Ideal for earning rewards on travel, dining and grocery purchases
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn a welcome bonus by meeting a fairly simple spend-based requirement. It offers** up to $50 in statement credits** for hotel bookings made through Chase Ultimate Rewards each account anniversary year. You get to earn the following:

  • Travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 5X points per dollar,
  • 2X points per dollar on all other travel purchases
  • 3x per dollar spent on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), eligible online grocery purchases and select streaming services.
  • 1x points per dollar on all other purchases.

When you redeem your points for travel purchases through Ultimate Rewards, you get 25% more value. Transferring your points to various airline and hotel loyalty programs is possible. Added benefits include no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, extended warranty, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance and trip delay reimbursement.

Capital One Venture - Ideal for frequent travelers who use Capital One Travel
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card offers an early spend bonus of 75,000 miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. Consequently,

  • You earn 5X miles per dollar on hotel and car rental bookings made through Capital One Travel.
  • All other purchases earn 2X miles per dollar.

Transferring your miles to any of over 15 travel partners is possible. Cardholders may enjoy two free visits to Capital One or partner network lounges each year. They get complimentary Hertz Five Star status. Using the Venture Rewards Card outside of the U.S. does not incur foreign transaction fees. Added benefits include Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, extended warranty, travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver. You also get access to Capital One Dining and Capital One Entertainment. This card comes with a $95 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve - Ideal for frequent travelers looking at premium benefits
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card charges a $550 annual fee, but it offers several benefits to offset that fee. You stand to earn a sizable spend-based welcome bonus. Further, you get up to $300 in statement credits for travel purchases each account anniversary year. Moreover,

  • Flight tickets purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the $300 mark) earn 5X points per dollar, and it increases to 10X points per dollar for hotel and car rental purchases.
  • Dining purchases made through Ultimate Rewards earn 10X points per dollar.
  • Other travel and dining purchases earn 3X points per dollar.
  • 1X points per dollar on all other purchases.

Redeeming your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards comes with 50% more value. Transferring your points to various airline and hotel loyalty programs is easy. Other benefits include no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS fee credit, complimentary airport lounge access, access to the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, and emergency evacuation and transportation.


  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

    A good travel rewards card with airport benefits


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $395Annual Fee
    • 16.99% - 23.99%APR
    • 2-10 MilesRewards Rate

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

    A very good rewards card with no foreign transaction fees and comprehensive travel cover


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 1–2 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate on Dining

  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

    A great rewards card that lets you earn unlimited miles


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 2 Miles per $1Rewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 2xRewards Rate at Hotels

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

    An outstanding travel card with flexible redemption points


    • ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $550Annual Fee
    • 1–3 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 3xRewards Rate on Dining

Best Co-Branded Hotel Credit Cards

Co-branded hotel cards are ones that are linked to particular groups of hotels, with examples being the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card and the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card. Most co-branded hotel cards offer higher reward rates when you spend at properties within the group. They also tend to offer brand-specific perks such as free nights, hotel credits and automatic elite status within the respective hotel loyalty program.

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card - Ideal for IHG Rewards members
The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card comes with a $99 annual fee and a reasonably good spend-based welcome offer.

  • Spending at IHG Hotels and Resorts lets you earn up to 26X points per dollar.
  • Spending at restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores comes with 5X points.
  • All other purchases earn 3X points.

You get complimentary IHG Rewards Club Platinum Elite status, which brings with it a free anniversary night each year. When you redeem your points for three reward nights, you get a fourth one for free.

Additional benefits include no foreign transaction fees, Global Entry/TSA PreCheck/NEXUS statement credit, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance.

American Express Hilton Honors Business Card - Perfect for business owners who stay at Hilton properties
The American Express Hilton Honors Business Card comes with a $95 annual fee. You earn a welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. You get

  • 12X Hilton Honors points for purchases made directly through properties within the Hilton portfolio
  • 6X points on business purchases at U.S. gas stations, through U.S. shipping providers and on wireless telephone services purchased directly through U.S. service providers
  • 6X points on select travel purchases at U.S. restaurants and on flight and car rental bookings in the U.S
  • 3x points on all other purchases.

Spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year comes with one free weekend night reward. If you spend $60,000 or more in a calendar year, you get a second free weekend night. All cardholders get Hilton Honors Gold membership status. Added benefits include no foreign transaction fees, 10 complimentary Priority Pass visits per year, extended warranty and purchase protection.

American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card - Ideal for people who stay at Hilton properties
The American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card charges a $95 annual fee. You can earn 130,000 Hilton Honors points as a welcome bonus if you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. You earn

  • 12X points per dollar on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts that are part of the Hilton portfolio, and
  • 6X points on dining at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery), on groceries at U.S. supermarkets and on gas at U.S. gas stations
  • All other purchases earn 3X points.

Cardholders get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. If you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you get a free weekend night reward. Added benefits include no foreign transaction fees, 10 complimentary Priority Pass visits per year and car rental loss and damage insurance.

Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card - Ideal for people who stay at Marriott properties
You need to pay a $95 annual fee if you get the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card, which is offset via various perks. For starters, new cardholders get to earn free night rewards by meeting a spend-based requirement. Further,

  • you earn up to 17X points per dollar when you spend at participating Marriott properties.
  • Combined spending of up to $6,000 per year toward grocery, gas and dining purchases earns 3X points.
  • All other purchases come with 2X points.

Cardholders get a free night award on each account anniversary. You get Silver Elite Status automatically, and you receive 15 Elite Night credits each year. Added benefits include no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement.

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card - Best for frequent travelers who stay at Hilton properties
While the American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card charges a steep annual fee of $450, it comes with various features and benefits best suited for frequent travelers. As a welcome offer, it lets you earn 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points by spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.

  • Eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio earn 14X points per dollar.
  • You get 7X points per dollar on select travel purchases (Including flights booked with AmexTravel.com or directly with airlines and car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies) as well as on dining at U.S. restaurants (including takeout and delivery).
  • All other purchases earn 3X points per dollar.

Each year, you may get up to $250 as Hilton Resort statement credit, up to $250 as airline fee credit and up to $100 as property credit. You get one weekend night reward every year and can qualify for a second if you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. Other benefits include complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status, no foreign transaction fees, complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, car rental loss and damage insurance and baggage insurance plan.

Chase World of Hyatt Card - Perfect for people who stay at Hyatt hotels
While the Chase World of Hyatt Card charges a $95 annual fee, it offers various benefits to make up for the same. For starters, new cardholders may earn a substantial number of bonus points by meeting a spend-based requirement.

  • Spending at Hyatt hotels comes with up to 9X points per dollar.
  • You get 2X points per dollar on airline tickets purchased directly through airlines, local transit/commuting, fitness club/gym memberships and at restaurants.
  • All other purchases earn 1X points per dollar.

Cardholders get one free night at any category 1–4 Hyatt hotel or resort after each account anniversary. You may get a second free night at any category 1–4 Hyatt hotel or resort by spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year. All cardholders get complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status along with five qualifying night credits towards their next tier status each year. Other benefits include no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement.

>>MORE: BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR MARRIOTT LOYALISTS IN 2022

  • IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

    A fantastic card for earning rewards when you stay at IHG hotels and resorts.


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $89Annual Fee
    • 1–25 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 25xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

    This business credit card is perfect for earning Hilton Honors points


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 3–12 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 12xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 6xRewards Rate on Gas

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

    An excellent credit card for earning Hilton Honors points


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 3–12 Points per $1*Rewards Rate
    • 12xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 6xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

    An excellent card for earning reward points and free nights at Marriott hotels


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 2 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 6xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 2xRewards Rate on Dining

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

    A great card for Hilton loyalists


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • 14xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 7xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • NoneForeign Transaction Fee
    • $450Annual Fee

  • World of Hyatt Credit Card

    A great rewards card for travelers who like staying at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $95Annual Fee
    • 1–2 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 4xRewards Rate at Hotels
    • 2xRewards Rate on Dining

Quick Tips for Comparing Hotel Rewards Credit Card Offers

All hotel credit cards serve the basic purpose of giving you access to credit, but their features and benefits vary greatly. As a result, it is important that you pay attention to different aspects before selecting one. Factors that require your attention include:

  • Factors
    What to Compare
  • Group of hotels

    Unless you already have a favored chain of hotels, you need to determine which one might work best for you. Bear in mind that a few big hotel companies own some of the smaller ones, which gives you access to a wider pool of properties across segments.

    For instance, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites, Atwell Suites and Indigo Boutique Hotels are part of the InterContinental Hotel Group – and Chase offers an IHG-branded card. Some of the brands that fall under the Marriott umbrella include St. Regis, Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard, Westin, Renaissance and Fairfield.

  • Free nights

    A number of hotel cards offer one or more free nights per year, and you may use them to offset any possible annual fee. While you might automatically qualify for a free night, some cards require that you spend at least a predetermined amount per year to qualify.

  • Upgrades and other brand-specific perks

    With some hotel credit cards, you can expect complimentary room upgrades depending on availability. Some cards offer elevated membership status with their linked hotel loyalty programs, thereby opening up even more benefits, such as early check-ins, late check-outs and complimentary breakfast.

  • Annual fees

    While some hotel credit cards come with annual fees of less than $100, others charge over $400 per year. When you choose a premium credit card with a high annual fee, you need to determine if the rewards you earn and the benefits you stand to enjoy will offset this cost.

  • Foreign transaction fees

    You’ll want to pay particular attention to this if you plan to use your card outside of the U.S. cards that come with foreign transaction fees require that you pay 2% to 3% of each international transaction as fees. However, some hotel credit cards charge no foreign transaction fees.

  • APR

    You need to look at the annual percentage rate (APR) if you plan to maintain a revolving balance in your account from one month to the next.

    If you do, you might consider getting a credit card with a low APR instead of a hotel card. APRs that apply on purchases and cash advances are typically different, with cash advance APRs being noticeably higher.

    Some cards come with intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers, in which case you pay no interest for a predetermined time period. Outstanding balances at the end of this period start accruing regular interest.

  • Sign-up bonus

    Some hotel credit cards come with great sign-up bonuses, giving you the means to earn a significant number of reward points in one go. To earn such bonuses, you typically need to spend a minimum amount within a predetermined time period.

  • Reward rates

    Reward rates vary from one hotel rewards card to the next, and cards with high annual fees tend to offer higher reward rates.

    For instance, the no-annual-fee American Express Hilton Honors Card lets you earn 7x points per dollar on every eligible Hilton purchase. In contrast, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, which comes with an annual fee of $450, offers 14x points per eligible Hilton purchase.

    When it comes to the worth of your reward points, this typically depends on how you’re redeeming them, with examples being free nights, statement credits, points transfers, gift cards, merchandise and travel.

  • Value of points

    The reward points you stand to earn through different hotel credit cards vary in value. In addition, they are typically lower in value than points earned through regular rewards cards.

    As a result, you need to determine the actual dollar value of the points you earn as well as how they’d translate into free nights.

    An easy way to calculate how much your reward points are worth is to divide the dollar value of the reward by the number of points you need to claim a reward. For example, if you need 40,000 points to book a hotel stay worth $500, you divide 500 by 40,000. In this case, you get $0.0125 or 1.25 cents, which is what your one reward point is worth.

    In addition, you typically get the best value for your points when you redeem them for hotel purchases, and their value tends to diminish if you transfer them to an airline rewards program or redeem them in other ways.

  • Added perks

    Additional benefits may come in the form of complimentary travel insurance, free airport lounge access, priority boarding, hotel credits, airline fee credits, purchase protection and extended warranties.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Choosing the right hotel credit card is extremely personal to you. Don’t sign up for a card because a friend recommends it to you. It is best to analyze your hotel staying habits and needs, along with your personal finances, to find the right card for you. - Brett Holzhauer

MoneyGeek’s Quick Guide to Understanding Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hotel credit cards are affiliated with a particular group of hotels, and you stand to earn higher rewards when you spend at any of the properties that are part of the group. Depending on the card you select, you might get other benefits such as free nights and hotel credits. Upgrading cardholders’ hotel reward program membership tiers are also a common feature.

You may benefit by getting a hotel rewards credit card if you’re:

  • A frequent business traveler - If your business takes you to specific places, you might consider getting a hotel credit card linked to a hotel chain with properties in the cities or towns you frequent. This gives you the means to capitalize on your business spending, and you may also benefit by using some premium services for free. You might also consider looking at what different business credit cards have to offer.
  • A vacationer - If you like taking off to go on vacation every so often, a hotel credit card might be worth your while. You get multiple alternatives to choose from if you like vacationing in luxury. Budget vacationers and road-trippers have options too. If you prefer to keep your vacation expenses low, you might consider looking at what Wyndham Rewards cards, Best Western Rewards cards and the Sonesta World Mastercard have to offer.
  • A loyal traveler - If you prefer staying at hotels from a particular group, check if there’s a credit card that complements its loyalty program. This way, you get to maximize your rewards-earning potential. Looking for perks - A hotel credit card might work well for you if you feel you may make use of benefits such as room upgrades, free nights, complimentary breakfast and hotel credits.

How Do Hotel Credit Cards Work?

A hotel credit card is typically linked to a specific chain of hotels, be it Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Wyndham or Best Western. When you use a co-branded card at any of the group’s properties, you stand to earn more reward points than you would as just a member of the hotel’s loyalty/reward program.

For example, when you use the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card at participating Marriott properties, you earn 10x points as a Marriott Bonvoy member, 6x more points as a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit cardholder, and an additional 1x points because of the Silver Elite Status that comes with your card.

Depending on the card you have, you may redeem your reward points for free nights or as statement credits, use them to purchase merchandise or gift cards, or even transfer them to an airline frequent flyer program.

Most hotel credit cards offer very basic reward earn rates when you spend outside of the group’s properties. However, this is not a constraint with the best travel credit cards that let you earn higher rewards no matter which hotel you stay at, as well as on other categories such as air travel and dining.

The Pros and Cons of Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Hotel reward credit cards come with advantages and disadvantages, and it’s best to look at both before applying for one.

Pros
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    Welcome offers

    A number of hotel credit cards give you the means to earn a significant number of sign-up bonus points as long as you spend at least a given amount within a stipulated time frame.

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    Higher reward rates on hotel purchases

    When you use your hotel credit card to spend at hotels it is associated with, you can expect to earn higher-than-usual rewards. For instance, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers up to 25x reward points on IHG hotel stays, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers up to 17x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, and the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card offers 12x points when you stay at Hilton properties.

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    Free nights

    You may redeem your bonus and base reward points for free hotel nights. Some cards offer one or more free nights on your account anniversary and if you spend a preset amount within a given time frame. However, depending on the card you get, there might be limitations on how you can redeem your points for free nights.

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    Membership status benefits

    You usually need to spend a minimum number of nights at hotels of a particular group each year before you can move up the membership status of its loyalty program. Hotel credit cards give you the means to move up the status ladder much faster. For instance, the Hilton Honors Card comes with automatic Hilton Honors Silver status. The Hilton Honors Amex Surpass Card comes with Gold status. And you get Diamond status with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card. The World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase comes with automatic Discoverist status. Membership status-specific benefits you may enjoy include higher bonus points, late check-outs, room upgrades, executive lounge access, free premium Wi-Fi and food and beverage credit.

Cons
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    Annual fees

    Hotel credit cards that offer high reward rates and a slew of benefits typically come with high annual fees. For instance, the Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with a $95 annual fee, as do the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass cards. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card charges a $450 annual fee.

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    Limited to single network

    With a hotel credit card, its benefits are mainly limited to hotels that belong to a single network. This can be a problem if your travels take you outside of big cities, where finding hotels from specific chains might be challenging. Besides, network size matters as well. For instance, you’ll find considerably more properties linked to the Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors loyalty programs when compared to the World of Hyatt loyalty program.

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    Limitations in redeeming rewards

    Some hotel loyalty programs place restrictions on how you can redeem your rewards, and these apply to reward points you earn through your hotel credit card. The IHG Rewards Club follows capacity control, wherein only a given number of a hotel’s standard rooms are made available for reward redemptions each night. This is also the case with the World of Hyatt program for its suites and Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties. The Hilton Honors program does not have a capacity control policy for standard rooms. With the Marriott Bonvoy program, hotels may offer a limited number of standard rooms available for awards on specific days.

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    No flexibility in rules

    If you get a complimentary free night upon signing up or on your account anniversary, you might need to use it within 12 months. With the other free nights you earn, there might be limitations surrounding which type of properties you may use them with and when. Hotel credits you receive might be property-specific and subject to lapse after a given time period. In addition, whether or not you might be able to redeem your rewards for statement credit, travel or gift cards, or convert them to airline miles depends on the card you get.

What Can You Expect From Hotel Credit Cards?

Using a hotel credit card gives you the ability to earn higher rewards when you stay at any property that is part of the same group. In addition, the best hotel rewards credit cards also come with noteworthy sign-up or welcome bonuses. For instance, the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass Card offers 150,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional 50,000 points if you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first six months.

Annual fees of hotel rewards cards tend to vary based on the perks and features they offer. With some cards, this fee can be upward of $500. Very few hotel credit cards come with no annual fees, and examples of ones that do include the American Express Hilton Honors Card and the Wyndham Rewards Earner Card from Barclays.

If you plan to maintain revolving balances in your account from one billing cycle to the next, the annual percentage rate (APR) requires your attention. This is because it affects how much you pay as interest charges. In such a scenario, you need to consider if the card’s rewards and benefits would outweigh not just its annual fee but also how much you pay as interest.

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WHEN DO HOTELS CHARGE YOUR CARD?

Determine if you might benefit more by paying for your stay in advance because some credit cards offer high rewards rates only on prepaid hotel bookings. Some hotels also give discounts when you pay for a room in advance, although it’s worth noting that these bookings are usually nonrefundable.

Can I Pay a Hotel With Cash?

Yes, you may pay for a hotel stay with cash, provided the hotel you stay at accepts cash payments. Bear in mind that there is no federal law that mandates hotels to accept cash payments. Therefore, hotels are free to establish their own policies. If a hotel has a credit-card-only policy, it would ideally communicate this to its guests in advance. But when in doubt, it’s always best to confirm with the property at which you intend to stay.

While it might be possible to pay for hotel stays with cash, using credit cards can help you earn rewards and get access to a variety of perks. For instance, you may earn reward points that you can redeem for free stays and room upgrades. Some cards offer free nights on each account anniversary. Elite membership status benefits, annual property credits, and various travel benefits might also be there for the taking.

Is It Worth Getting a Hotel Credit Card?

Getting a hotel credit card might be worth your while if you can make the most of its rewards and benefits. If you already favor one brand of hotel over others, selecting a suitable card becomes relatively simple. If this is not the case, determine if you might be okay limiting your options to hotels from a particular group. If so, you may consider getting a hotel credit card. If not, a regular travel card might work better for you.

When there’s an annual fee involved, you need to determine if the rewards you earn and the benefits you stand to enjoy would offset this cost.

People who might benefit by getting a hotel rewards credit card include those who remain loyal to a particular group of hotels as well as those who frequently travel (for business or pleasure). While seekers of luxury have different options to choose from, so do budget travelers and road trippers.

Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and IHG: Which Is Better?

If you don’t have a favored group of hotels already and are trying to determine if Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt or IHG would work best for you, know that making the right selection depends on a few different factors. For instance, while Marriott tops the list when it comes to the number of properties, Hyatt offers better redemption value at high-end hotels. IHG, on the other hand, is better suited for budget-conscious travelers. Hilton Honors offers various co-branded cards, making it ideal for travelers who use credit cards to pay for most of their purchases.

IHG Rewards

IHG Hotels & Resorts has over 6,000 properties across 17 brands. The IHG One Rewards program gives people with co-branded IHG credit cards the ability to earn points four times faster as well as spend-based bonus points. Cardholders may also earn free reward nights. Members don't need to pay attention to blackout dates when redeeming their reward nights and can enjoy free Wi-Fi, late check-out and special member rates. Tier-specific benefits include early check-in, guaranteed room availability, complimentary upgrades and reward night discounts.

Hilton Honors

The Hilton collection comprises 18 brands across different market segments and more than 6,800 properties. People who have co-branded Hilton cards have the ability to earn Hilton Honors points faster and may also benefit by getting free nights. All Hilton Honors members may benefit through guaranteed Hilton Honors discount rates, free Wi-Fi and resort-fee-free reward stays. Tier-specific benefits include bonus points on stays, the fifth night free on stays booked with points, room upgrades, food and beverage credits, milestone bonuses and room guarantees.

World of Hyatt

Hyatt’s portfolio includes more than 1,150 hotels and all-inclusive properties spread across 15 brands. If you have a World of Hyatt credit card, you may look forward to receiving a free night each year and earning reward points faster. World of Hyatt members may save up to 10% through exclusive offers. You don’t have to worry about blackout dates when using your points to book stays. Once you stay at five different Hyatt brands, you get a free night award. Tier-specific benefits include free Wi-Fi, late check-out, room upgrades and Club lounge access.

Marriott Bonvoy

With more than 8,000 properties spread across 30 brands, Marriott has something to offer most travelers. It is the only name in this list that offers co-branded cards through two issuers: Chase and American Express. You earn points faster as a Marriott Bonvoy credit cardholder, and you can also qualify for free night awards. As a Marriott Bonvoy member, you get access to member rates and free in-room Wi-Fi. Tier-specific benefits include late check-out, more points on eligible purchases, room upgrades, welcome gifts, room guarantees and access to dedicated ambassadors.

How We Rank Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Our lists of the best credit cards are based on publicly available data from card issuers and other reputable sources like the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. We review each card's fees, interest rates, rewards, benefits and more to assign a rating for each feature. These ratings are stack ranked and weighted for each card category to determine our top selections for each type of user. Because card details change regularly, we revisit our data each month to update our ratings, recommendations and other card information as needed. Learn more about our data collection and ranking process.

Top Rating Criteria for Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

hotel
Hotel Reward Rate
signupBonus
Sign-up bonus
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Annual Fee

FAQs About Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Here are answers to some other commonly asked questions about hotel rewards credit cards.

Expert Advice: Finding the Right Hotel Rewards Credit Card

  1. How can consumers determine whether a hotel credit card is worth it for their lifestyle? Who is best suited for a hotel credit card?
  2. What should consumers keep in mind when it comes to hotel credit cards and their rewards?
  3. What mistakes do consumers make when selecting and using a hotel credit card?
Dr. Corey Cole
Dr. Corey Cole

Assistant Professor of Finance at Eastern New Mexico University

Rachael Hung
Rachael Hung

Travel Blogger at FI with Orange

Tim Leffel
Tim Leffel

Editor, Perceptive Travel and Cheapest Destinations Blog

Angel Carrete Rodriguez
Angel Carrete Rodriguez

Assistant Professor of Finance at Concordia College

Dipra Jha
Dipra Jha

Assistant Director & Scholarly Associate Professor, School of Hospitality Business Management, Washington State University, Carson College of Business

Kathryn Brownell
Kathryn Brownell

Associate Professor at Jefferson Community College

Dr. Robert Paul Jones
Dr. Robert Paul Jones

Department Chairperson, Hospitality and Retail Management, at Texas Tech University

Steven Shapiro
Steven Shapiro

Director of the Hospitality & Tourism Law Program at the American University Washington College of Law

Minkyung (Min) Park, Ph.D.
Minkyung (Min) Park, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Tourism and Events Management at George Mason University

Agnes DeFranco
Agnes DeFranco

Professor and Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management

John T. Bowen
John T. Bowen

Professor Emeritus, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston

Andrew Coggins, Jr.
Andrew Coggins, Jr.

Clinical Professor at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University

Rebecca Heid
Rebecca Heid

Associate Professor of Hospitality Management at Northampton Community College

Dr. Elizabeth Yost
Dr. Elizabeth Yost

Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Melih Madanoglu
Melih Madanoglu

Michael A. Leven Endowed Chair and Professor, Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University

Christine A Vogt
Christine A Vogt

Emeritus Professor at Arizona State University

David Miles, Ed.D, SPHR, CMF
David Miles, Ed.D, SPHR, CMF

Chairman at Miles LeHane Companies, Inc. and Executive in Residence Professor at the Northern Arizona University (NAU) School of Hotel and Restaurant Management

Karen Craig
Karen Craig

Associate Professor of Finance Accounting, Finance, & Information Systems at Eastern Michigan University

Julia Menez
Julia Menez

Travel Hacking Coach and Founder of Geobreeze

Dr. Stephen Henry
Dr. Stephen Henry

Assistant Professor of Economics and Finance at SUNY Plattsburgh

Eddy Junarsin, Ph.D., CFP
Eddy Junarsin, Ph.D., CFP

Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Economics and Finance at Murray State University

John Drea
John Drea

Ruth Badger Pixley Professor of Social Sciences and Professor of Business at Illinois College

Prasenjit Ghosh
Prasenjit Ghosh

Assistant Professor of Ag Business at the University of Southern Indiana

Dr. Francesco Marchionne
Dr. Francesco Marchionne

Senior Lecturer in Business Economics and Public Policy at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University Bloomington

Michael Pretes, Ph.D.
Michael Pretes, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Geography at the University of North Alabama

Dr. Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis
Dr. Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis

Professor of Hospitality and Food Management at Ball State University

Harold Sang Kwon Lee
Harold Sang Kwon Lee

Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas

Bonnie Canziani
Bonnie Canziani

Professor at Bryan School of Business & Economics at the University of North Carolina Greensboro

Chay Runnels
Chay Runnels

Interim Director and Professor, Human Sciences at Stephen F. Austin State University

Bobbi Olson
Bobbi Olson

Financial Coach & Host of the "CentsAble Chat" Podcast

Ling Thich
Ling Thich

Personal Finance Content Creator at Finsavvy Panda

Marc Compeau
Marc Compeau

Professor of Practice, Marketing and Entrepreneurship at Clarkson University

Madeline Reeves
Madeline Reeves

Founder and CEO at Fearless Foundry

Eugene Roh
Eugene Roh

Professor at Central Michigan University

Next Steps

Now that you know how hotel credit cards work and the benefits they have to offer, determine if getting one might work well for you based on rewards, perks and fees. If you wish to earn higher rewards across categories that extend beyond hotels, consider looking at what the best travel rewards cards have to offer.

About the Author


Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


sources
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