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      Best Hotel Credit Cards for Points, Upgrades, & Status for 2022

      Josh Patoka
      Best Hotel Credit Cards

      “Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired.

      Hotel credit cards are one of the easiest ways to enjoy extra perks from your favorite loyalty programs. Perks such as elite travel status and free night awards can be valuable whether you’re a frequent guest or an occasional traveler.

      These cards can be worth having just for the travel benefits even if you prefer using another rewards credit card to earn points on your daily purchases.

      Best Choice Privileges Credit Cards

      Choice Privileges is a favorite hotel loyalty program for budget travelers and those visiting smaller cities where it’s not cost-effective for upscale brands.

      The Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card is currently the only branded card and a small business card isn’t available. 

      Featured benefits include:

      • Earn up to 5x points on purchases
      • Receive 10% bonus points on qualifying stays
      • 8,000 bonus points each anniversary after $10,000 in annual purchases
      • Elite Gold Status
      • Points do not expire
      • No annual fee

      By making at least $10,000 in yearly purchases, you receive 8,000 bonus points which can be enough for one free night.

      Best Hilton Honors Credit Cards

      Hilton Honors offers several consumer and small business credit cards ranging from no annual fee to premium products.

      American Express is the exclusive supplier of Hilton credit cards.

      Credit CardAnnual FeeNotable Benefits
      Hilton Honors Card$0Up to 7x points on purchases
      Hilton Honors Silver status
      Points won’t expire
      No foreign transaction fee
      Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card$95Up to 12x points on purchases
      Hilton Honors Gold status
      Up to 2 Weekend Night Rewards per year after qualifying purchases
      Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card$450
      Hilton Honors Diamond status
      1 Weekend Night Reward upon account opening and each renewal
      Up to $350 in Hilton statement credits annually
      Air travel benefits
      Hilton Honors Business Card$95Up to 12x points on purchases
      Hilton Honors Gold status
      Up to 2 Weekend Night Rewards per year after qualifying purchases
      10 Priority Pass visits per year

      Hilton Honors Card

      Best Hilton Credit Card for Infrequent Guests

      Consider the Hilton Honors Card if you want some elite hotel perks without paying an annual fee. You get automatic Silver loyalty status and have the opportunity to earn Hilton Honors points on each purchase.

      Another reason to keep this card is so your Hilton points won’t expire after 24 months of inactivity. 

      There isn’t an opportunity to earn Weekend Night Certificates. As a result, consider one of the Hilton credit cards with an annual fee to access this opportunity. 

      Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

      Best Hilton Credit Card for Over $15,000 in Purchases

      The mid-level Hilton Honors Surpass Card can be a good option if you desire hotel and airline benefits.

      Featured Hilton Honors loyalty benefits include Gold loyalty status and earning up to 12x points on Hilton purchases.

      For air travel, you get 10 complimentary Priority Pass visits per year. This perk alone can be worth the $95 annual fee as basic membership costs $99 annually plus $32 per visit.

      Unfortunately, you must spend $15,000 per year to get your first Weekend Night certificate. Other hotel rewards cards provide this benefit for free each card anniversary. 

      Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

      Best Hilton Honors Credit Card

      The Hilton Honors Aspire Card has the highest annual fee ($450 vs. $95 vs. $0) yet offers the most benefits. You can also enjoy a few luxury air travel benefits.

      This card is the only one to provide the first Weekend Night Rewards without a spending requirement. For reference, the other cards offering this benefit require at least $15,000 in annual spending for the first night certificate.

      Other Hilton benefits include:

      • Complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status
      • $250 Hilton Resort statement credit
      • $100 property credit on qualifying stays at Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts and Conrad® Hotels & Resorts

      This card is also a top contender for the best hotel credit cards for flights. You get a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership and up to $250 in yearly airline fee credits.

      Related: Check out the best credit cards for airport lounge access to see additional ways to visit airport lounges for free.

      Best IHG® One Rewards Credit Cards

      Best IHG Hotel Credit Cards

      photo: ihg.com

      IHG® One Rewards (previously IHG Rewards Club) currently offers three branded credit cards through Chase. A premium credit card currently isn’t available.

      The IHG credit cards with an annual fee provide an automatic free night award for each card anniversary. You may also enjoy the $0 annual fee IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card to prevent your IHG points from expiring after 12 months of inactivity.

      Credit CardAnnual FeeNotable Benefits
      IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card$0Up to 5x IHG points on purchases
      20% savings on points purchases
      IHG Gold Elite status
      Points won’t expire
      No foreign transaction fee 
      IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
      $99
      Up to 10x points on purchases
      Free anniversary night (up to 40,000 points)
      IHG Platinum Elite status
      4th night free on reward stays
      IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card$99Up to 10x points on purchases
      Free anniversary night
      4th consecutive rewards night is free
      Platinum Elite status
      Free Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS

      IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

      Best IHG Rewards Credit Card

      The IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card is the better option for most leisure travelers. 

      First, you receive a complimentary free night certificate on your card anniversary. This certificate is worth up to 40,000 points and you can contribute points from your balance if the reward night requires more points. 

      The 20% savings on IHG point purchases can make covering the difference more affordable.

      This card also gives you IHG Platinum Elite loyalty status and the 4th night free when redeeming points on your first 3 nights on the same stay. 

      Additionally, you get a free Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit (up to $100 every four years). 

      The annual fee is $99 which can be a bargain if you only use this card for the free night reward and free Trusted Traveler Program perks.

      Related: Best credit cards for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

      Best Marriott Bonvoy® Credit Cards

      Marriott Bonvoy is a popular rewards program among leisure and business travelers seeking the comforts and cleanliness of mid-tier hotel brands.  

      Chase and American Express each offer cards with an annual fee ranging from $0 to $450.

      Credit CardAnnual FeeNotable Benefits
      Marriott Bonvoy Bold® credit card$0Up to 3x points on purchases
      15 Elite Night Credits per year
      Silver Elite status
      Bonvoy points won’t expire
      No foreign transaction fees
      Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card$95Up to 6x points on purchases
      Free Night Award each anniversary (up to 35,000 points)
      15 Elite Night Credits per year
      Silver Elite status
      Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantAmerican Express® Card$450$300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit
      $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit
      1 Free Night Award each card renewal (50,000 points or less)
      Gold Elite status
      Air travel benefits 
      Marriott Bonvoy Business™ AmericanExpress® Card$125Up to 6x points on purchases
      Free Night Reward after card renewal (up to 35,000 points)
      Silver Elite status
      15 Elite Night Credits per year
      Premium in-room internet

      Marriott Bonvoy Bold

      Best Marriott Credit Card for Points

      The Marriott Bonvoy Bold is best for stopping your Bonvoy points from expiring when your account remains in good standing. Typically, Bonvoy points expire after 24 months of inactivity.

      You also receive 15 Elite Night Credits each year which automatically qualifies you for Silver Elite status. Some of the Bonvoy Silver benefits include 10% bonus points on stays and free standard in-room internet.

      This card doesn’t provide free night awards but you earn Bonvoy points on each purchase. You’re also eligible for PointSavers discounts to pay less when booking award nights.  

      Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

      Best for Free Marriott Bonvoy Night Awards

      The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card offers several Marriott loyalty perks.

      One of its best benefits can be the Free Night Award that you receive each card anniversary. It is valid at any property requiring 35,000 points or less. This benefit alone can make it worth applying for the Marriott Boundless instead of the Marriott Bold.

      You also receive automatic Silver Elite status which is the entry-level Bonvoy elite status tier. Along with the 15 Elite Night Credits, you receive one credit for every $5,000 in purchases.

      This card doesn’t offer air travel benefits like competing mid-level hotel credit cards. However, your flight purchases are eligible for trip delay reimbursement and baggage insurance. 

      Learn more: Best credit cards for travel insurance, including trip interruption, trip delay, and even emergency evacuation.

      Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

      Best Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card

      The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant offers a host of hotel and air travel benefits. It’s an excellent option for luxury travelers but also if you stay at Marriott properties regularly.

      It’s also the only branded Marriott Bonvoy credit card with Gold Elite status. Some of the Gold Elite perks include enhanced room upgrades, 25% more points, and a welcome gift of points.

      In addition, you receive these Marriott perks:

      • Earn up to 6x points on purchases
      • 15 Elite Night Credits per year
      • $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit
      • $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit (on qualifying stays at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis®)
      • Free Night Award after your card renewal month (up to 50,000 points)
      • In-room, premium internet access

      Some of the air travel benefits include Priority Pass Select membership and up to $100 in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credits.

      An airline credit card can still be the better option for earning travel miles instead of hotel points. However, this can be an easy way to get air travel benefits as a Marriott Bonvoy member.

      Best World of Hyatt Credit Cards

      Best Hyatt Hotel Credit Cards

      Photo: hyatt.com

      A lot of travelers like the World of Hyatt loyalty program because its hotel points are more valuable than most of the competition. The brand also has a wide assortment of mid-tier and luxury hotels.

      Chase provides one consumer and small business credit card is available and both have reasonable annual fees. Each card offers free night awards as well but doesn’t provide air travel benefits. 

      Credit CardAnnual FeeNotable Benefits
      World of Hyatt Credit Card$95Up to 4x points on purchases
      Up to 2 free nights per year
      World of Hyatt Discoverist status
      5 qualifying night credits
      World of Hyatt Business Credit Card$199Up to 4x points on purchases
      World of Hyatt Discoverist status
      Gift Discoverist status to 5 employees
      Up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits

      World of Hyatt Credit Card

      Best Hotel Credit Card for Earning Points

      The World of Hyatt Card lets you earn Hyatt points on all purchases. Usually, the redemption value for most hotel points is less valuable than airline miles or general credit card points.

      However, Hyatt points can easily be worth the same as other travel points so earning them on purchases can be worth it. The purchase categories include:

      • 4x on Hyatt purchases (plus 5x base points as a World of Hyatt member)
      • 2x on restaurants, plane tickets directly from airlines, local transit and commuting, and fitness club and gym memberships
      • 1x on non-bonus purchases

      Other Hyatt travel benefits include:

      • One free night each card anniversary at Category 1-4 hotels
      • One extra free night rewards at Category 1-4 hotels after $15,000 in annual spending
      • World of Hyatt Discoverist status
      • 5 qualifying night credits each year
      • 2 bonus qualifying night credits after every $5,000 in spending per year

      This card also provides up to $10,000 in trip cancellation/interruption coverage per trip ($5,000 per person).

      World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

      Best Business Hotel Credit Card

      The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card is one of the best hotel credit cards for business travel (assuming you can stay at Hyatt properties regularly). This card primarily bestows this honor because it offers business-focused benefits instead of just copying the perks of its most similar consumer version.

      This card provides these benefits:

      • World of Hyatt Discoverist status
      • Gift Discoverist status to up to five employees (additional cards are free)
      • Up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits (Two $50 credits per year)
      • Get 10% of your redeemed points back (up to 200,000 points) after $50,000 in annual spending
      • Earn 2x bonus points on your top three business categories (8 eligible categories)
      • 5 Tier-Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in annual purchases
      • Hyatt Leverage program (discounts on select Hyatt stays)

      While the card’s $199 annual fee is a bit higher than competing cards you receive a wider variety of benefits. Unfortunately, this card doesn’t provide free anniversary night rewards but the statement credits, loyalty status gifting, and Hyatt Leverage discounts are more versatile.

      Best Wyndham Rewards Credit Cards

      Wyndham Rewards is another hotel loyalty program that has a presence at nearly every interstate exit or small town.

      There are three different Wyndham Rewards Earner® Cards from Barclaycard that can help you enjoy free nights at budget-friendly hotels or the program’s upper-tier brands more often.

      Credit CardAnnual FeeNotable Benefits
      Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card$0Up to 5x points on purchases
      Gold loyalty status
      Cardmember booking discounts
      Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card$75Up to 6x points on purchases
      Platinum loyalty status
      7,500 bonus points each card anniversary
      Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card$95Up to 8x points on purchases
      Diamond loyalty status
      15,000 bonus points each card anniversary
      Complementary employee cards

      Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

      Best Wyndham Rewards Credit Card

      The Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card is the better leisure travel option for this loyalty program as you have an easier time getting free award nights and extra travel perks. 

      The primary reason is that you automatically receive 7,500 bonus points when you pay the $75 renewal fee on each card anniversary. That’s enough Wyndham points for a free night. 

      In addition, the automatic Wyndham Rewards Platinum loyalty status provides a Caesars Rewards® Status Match  plus complimentary rental car upgrades through Avis and Budget (when available).

      You also enjoy exclusive discounts on paid stays and a 10% point redemption discount on go free® awards. 

      Best General Credit Cards for Hotels

      A flexible travel rewards credit card can also be better than co-brand hotel credit cards when you’re not loyal to a particular brand. 

      For example, these cards typically offer statement credits when using hotel booking sites

      The Platinum Card® from American Express

      Best Premium Credit Card

      The American Express Platinum Card is the best premium credit card for hotels as you enjoy these perks:

      • $200 back each year on qualifying Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel
      • On-property credits at Fine Hotels + Resorts®
      • Hilton Honors Gold status
      • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
      • Earn 5x Membership Rewards on prepaid hotels through AmexTravel.com
      • Transfer points to Choice Privileges, Hilton Honors, and Marriott Bonvoy (plus participating airlines)

      The Amex Platinum also has plenty of luxury benefits for air travel, rental cars, entertainment, and shopping. Many frequent flyers relish this card for complimentary airport lounge access to multiple networks. In particular, The Centurion Lounge can be the best option.

      As the annual fee is $695 for the basic card, you will need to travel regularly to maximize the benefits.

      Capital One Venture X Rewards

      Best Capital One Credit Card for Hotels

      The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card offers premium travel benefits but with a reasonable $395 annual fee (and up to four free additional users). 

      Featured benefits include:

      • Annual $300 travel credit for Capital One Travel purchases
      • 10x miles on hotel and car rental bookings through Capital One Travel
      • 5x miles on flights through Capital One Travel
      • 2x miles on remaining purchases
      • 15+ point transfer partners including ALL Accor Live Limitless, Choice Privileges, and Wyndham Rewards

      The Venture X provides additional flexibility when redeeming points. After paying for your travel purchases with cash and earning travel miles, you can redeem them as a travel statement credit with a $0.01 redemption value.

      As a cardholder, you can also enjoy these airfare and rental car perks:

      • Complimentary airport lounge access (Capital One Lounge and Priority Pass Select)
      • Global Entry and TSA PreCheck application fee credit
      • Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle® status
      • Earn 10x miles on Turo bookings (through May 16, 2023)

      Chase Sapphire Preferred®  credit card

      Best Chase Hotel Credit Card

      The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best of the Chase credit cards which earns Ultimate Rewards points.

      Its hotel benefits include:

      • $50 in annual statement credits for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
      • Earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the annual $50 hotel statement credit)
      • 2x points on all remaining travel purchases
      • 25% redemption bonus when booking award travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
      • 1:1 points transfers to IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy, and World of Hyatt (plus participating airlines)
      • Special benefits at The Luxury Hotel & Resort CollectionSM

      On each card anniversary, you also receive bonus points equal to 10% of your annual purchases. 

      The annual fee is also a reasonable $95 per year.

      Citi Premier

      Best Citi Credit Card for Hotels

      The Citi Premier can be an excellent option to consider if at least one of your yearly hotel stays costs at least $500.

      After booking a $500+ hotel stay through thankyou.com, the $100 annual hotel savings benefit activates. This benefit alone is worth more than the $95 annual fee.

      You will also earn 3x ThankYou points on these purchase categories:

      • Air travel
      • Hotels
      • Gas stations
      • Supermarkets
      • Restaurants

      All remaining card purchases earn 1x points.

      This card is still best if you prefer redeeming your travel points for award flights. Your points are worth one cent for award flights and there are approximately 15 1:1 airline transfer partners.

      Unfortunately, the Citi Premier Card doesn’t have hotel transfer partners at the moment.

      Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card

      Best for Hotel Booking Sites

      The various third-party travel booking websites offer branded credit cards. The Hotels.com Credit Card can be the best of the booking portals as you can combine your card spending and Hotels.com loyalty program rewards to get free night awards more often.

      First, you receive one stamp per $500 in card purchases. Travel and non-travel purchases apply toward this milestone. After earning 10 stamps, you receive one free night worth up to $110.

      Thankfully, you can combine the stamps you earn from Hotels.com bookings to receive free rewards nights sooner. Each qualifying night counts as one stamp.

      Another card benefit is instant Hotels.com Rewards Silver loyalty status. You can be eligible for on-site amenities such as complimentary breakfast, VIP lounge access, and spa vouchers.

      This card doesn’t charge an annual fee or a foreign transaction fee. Wells Fargo issues the Hotels.com rewards credit card.

      The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

      The competition for the best hotel credit card is fierce and the winner mainly depends on your favorite loyalty program. Most hotel brands offer several cards with tiered benefits and corresponding annual fees.

      As you compare rewards credit cards, your top three comparison factors can be:

      • Loyalty status level
      • Opportunity to earn free night awards 
      • Card anniversary bonuses

      It’s also worth comparing the ways to earn points but the add-on features are usually the best reason to have hotel rewards cards.

      Several hotel-focused cards are also starting to offer air travel benefits. These perks can also be a deciding factor as you can avoid applying for an airline credit card and pay another annual fee.

      Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

      Josh Patoka The Vacationer Bio

      By Josh Patoka

      Josh Patoka writes about maximizing travel rewards for The Vacationer. As well, he contributes to several personal finance sites specializing in making money, paying off debt, and investing.