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These Travel Cards Have Annual Hotel Credits for an Extra Night Free or Discounted Stay on Your Vacation

We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.   Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for some American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

We like travel credit cards for the high-value rewards you can earn while booking trips or making everyday purchases. But one of the best benefits some travel cards offer is an annual credit toward free travel — especially when it comes to hotel stays.

If you typically stay in hotels while traveling, these credits can lower the price of your overall trip or even help you travel for free. The ins and outs of hotel credits can vary, depending on your credit card issuer and the hotel chain. Some hotel credits are good for a free night, while others qualify toward hotel experiences, such as a massage or dining at the on-site restaurant. 

“If the hotel is looking really expensive, and you want to offset the cost of other things, you could get free breakfast or upgraded rooms,” says Nabila Ismail, founder of Dose of Travel, a travel blog. “It balances out, like strategy to figure out where you can save, where you can splurge, and what rewards you have waiting for you.”

Here’s what to know about hotel credits before you book your next overnight trip and our top travel credit cards that offer credits as a cardholder perk: 

Travel Credit Cards With Hotel Credits 

Here are a few of our top travel credit cards that offer hotel credits. Some are co-branded hotel credit cards, which are most beneficial with one brand, while others are more premium, general travel cards that can help you earn rewards and perks on any travel purchase::

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.95/5)
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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.95/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points)
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card. New Benefit! Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining. 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Generous welcome bonus offer
  • Free award night on your cardmember anniversary and automatic Silver Elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No bonus rewards categories beyond Marriott spending
  • Annual free night award redemption value is capped at 35,000 points
The Bottom Line
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers valuable annual perks for its $95 annual fee, and can make a great addition for travelers who like Marriott properties. You’ll get a solid welcome bonus and can quickly earn points toward free award nights with Marriott, in addition to a faster path to Marriott Bonvoy elite status.

Additional Card Details

  • Automatic Silver Elite status
  • Reach Gold Status by spending $35,000 or more each account anniversary year
  • Qualify for a free night award (worth up to 35,000 points) on your cardmember anniversary
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • $95 annual fee
  • 16.74% to 23.74% variable APR

With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, you’ll get a free award night on your account anniversary, worth up to 35,000 points per night. Also, For a Limited Time Only! Earn 5 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases. 

IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card 

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
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IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.25/5)
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IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.25/5)
  • Intro offer:
    140,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $99
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Rewards on IHG hotel bookings and in everyday categories
  • Added travel benefits and automatic IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • $99
  • Few rewards redemption options outside of hotel stays at IHG properties
  • High APR for purchases
The Bottom Line
With the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, issued by Chase, you can earn points within the IHG Rewards Club and redeem them for stays in thousands of hotels and resorts worldwide. Reward nights start at 10,000 points, and most properties don’t have any blackout dates.

Additional Card Details

  • Get a free reward night each year on your cardmember anniversary (worth up to 40,000 points)
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status with the IHG Rewards Club program
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 each account anniversary year and make at least one additional purchase after meeting the $20,000 threshold
  • Fourth reward night free when you redeem points for three or more nights
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck membership every four years
  • No foreignt transaction fees
  • Travel and purchase protections

The IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with a free award night each year on your account anniversary, worth 40,000 points. And you’ll get the fourth reward night free when you redeem points for three or more nights. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3x on dining. 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Tiered bonus points categories
  • 25% points boost when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer at airline and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fee
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Need to spend within bonus categories to maximize rewards
  • Other cards have similar bonus categories with higher rewards rates
The Bottom Line
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a tiered, points-earning rewards card geared toward frequent fliers. Its most valuable assets include a solid welcome bonus, premium points redemption options and access to Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • Get 10% value of annual purchases back in points every account anniversary
  • $50 in annual hotel credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers $50 in annual hotel credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase. 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express
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The Platinum Card® from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
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The Platinum Card® from American Express
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Earn 100,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $695
  • Regular APR:
    See Pay Over Time APR
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Valuable welcome offer
  • Tiered rewards structure
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Travel perks including lounge access and airline fee credits
Cons
  • Very high annual fee
  • Relatively high APR
  • Not great for rewards outside travel categories
The Bottom Line
From high-earning travel rewards categories to cash credits that can offset the cost of your next vacation, the Platinum Card from American Express has a long list of benefits. Just make sure you can take advantage of them to make the high $695 annual fee worth your while.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credits (up to $20 per month) on eligible purchases and subscriptions with: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required
  • Up to $155 annual Walmart+ membership credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card
  • $189 annual statement credit for a Clear® membership
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. annually ($15 per month and a bonus $20 in December), plus Uber VIP access
  • $300 in annual statement credits (up to $25 per month) on eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app
  • Up to $100 in annual statement credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com (up to $50 every 6 months, per calendar year)
  • Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection including Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs (when flying same-day Delta Air Lines flights)
  • Access to Fine Hotels & Resorts program, plus credits and benefits during your stay, including $100 credit towards eligible onsite activities
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status enrollment
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status enrollment
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • American Express preferred seating and presale access

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers several credits, including a $200 annual hotel credit. This hotel credit only applies to prepaid bookings through Fine Hotels or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express Travel, and requires a minimum two night stay. 

Citi Premier Card 

Citi Premier® Card
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Citi Premier® Card
Editor’s Score: (3.6/5)
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Citi Premier® Card
Editor’s Score: (3.6/5)
  • Intro offer:
    80,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    17.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets. Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels. Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rewards on travel and everyday purchases
  • Annual hotel credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • High ongoing APR and no introductory period
  • Limited additional benefits and few travel protections

Additional Card Details

  • $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single stay booked through Citi of $500 or more
  • Ticket presales and exclusive events through Citi Entertainment
  • Redeem your points for statement credits, cash, online purchases with Citi partners, gift cards, travel booking, travel partners, and more

The Citi Premier Card doesn’t come with many travel perks, but has a $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit toward a single stay booked through Citi of $500 or more.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card
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The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.975/5)
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The World of Hyatt Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.975/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Up to 60,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    16.74% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member. Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.

The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort each cardmember anniversary, and an additional free night if you spend more than $15,000 on your card in a calendar year.  

What Are Hotel Credits? 

Think of hotel credits as a voucher you can put toward your hotel stay or another hotel expense. 

Some hotel credits have a monetary value, like $100 off your booking, while others offer a certain number of nights free. Additionally, some travel cards offer credits not for free stays, but for purchases you make within the hotel or resort. Limitations can depend on the hotel and your credit card issuer.  

Depending on your credit card, you may automatically get a hotel credit as a new cardholder or after each account anniversary. Or you may earn a free night credit if you stay a certain number of consecutive nights.

If you’re given the option between a discount on your room or other items, review your budget and spending plan to determine which will give you the best value. “You have to look at your own personal preference,” says Scott Eddy, entrepreneur and host of Video Globetrotter. You may choose to use the credit to cover your accommodations if you want to maximize savings, or if you’re willing to splurge a bit more, use the credit towards an experience, like a spa treatment or dinner at the hotel or resort. 

Maximize Your Stays and Credits

Whether or not she has an active hotel creditis one of the things Ismail considers early in her planning process for any trip, she says. “It makes sense for me to use that perk because it will expire, then it will be gone,” Ismail says. “And that’s one of the perks I paid to have the card for.”

Another thing to consider is that you may have to use the full value of the credit in one use, or risk losing it. In these cases, the cards typically state that your credit may only be used in a “single stay” or “single booking.” 

Hotel credits can offer a lot of savings, but even with a free night or $100 credit, other accomodations (such as an Airbnb or a vacation rental) are often much less expensive, especially for longer stays or trips with larger groups. Before you open a travel card with an annual hotel credit, consider whether you prefer to stay in hotels over other options. If you typically stay in Airbnbs, a credit for hotel stays won’t be of much value. 

If you’re more flexible in where you stay, compare the cost of other travel accommodations to the cost of a hotel with the annual credit included before you book. You may find that five nights at your preferred Airbnb is more expensive than four nights at a hotel, plus one free night. Plus, you’ll have other benefits, such as room service, breakfast, and other perks that your Airbnb may not offer.

Pro Tip

If you prefer Airbnb stays, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Through June 30, 2022, you can use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program to redeem your points toward Airbnb purchases made with your card at a value of 1.25x points per dollar for Sapphire Preferred and 1.5x points for Sapphire Reserve.

Finally, some credit card issuers also have blackout dates or limitations on their credit card perks, which could be a limiting factor when booking trips. The number of points you’ll need for a free flight or hotel could increase, or the hotel may not accept rewards for the dates altogether. 

Eddy recommends planning your trip far in advance, so you can map out what rewards you’re going to use — from hotel rewards to airline miles and more. 

How to Choose a Travel Credit Card

If you’re thinking about opening a travel credit card — whether because you’re interested in hotel credits or you want to earn rewards on your next vacation — make sure you consider your budget, regular travel spending, and your credit before hand.

“Do your research first,” says Eddy. Look at the fine print, fees, welcome bonus details, and other terms before signing up for the card. That way, you’ll know exactly which travel credits, rewards rates, and booking flexibility you may qualify for before you book. 

Here are a few more important card details to look for: 

Earning and Redeeming Rewards

You’ll get the best value from any new card when the card’s bonus categories align with where you spend most. For instance, if you travel often, you may choose a credit card that offers rewards when booking travel, which you can roll over toward your next trip. If you only travel a couple times each year, though, you may get more value from a credit card with rewards on everyday expenses like groceries and gas, which you can use on a future trip. 

When your rewards categories align with your spending, you’ll maximize the credit card’s value. Your rewards may also add up to free hotel stays to use in combination with your hotel credit. 

Cardholder Perks

Many premium travel credit cards include cardholder benefits to level up your trip. You may get airport lounge access, upgraded hotel rooms, or other perks to take advantage of while on vacation. 

For instance, if you choose the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you’ll get annual travel credits, lounge access, and a TSA PreCheck/Global Entry credit as a few of the perks. If you already spend time at airport lounges or considering signing up for PreCheck, these benefits can go a long way in maximizing your value and offsetting the card’s $395 annual fee. 

On the other hand, if you’re a brand loyalist and looking to boost your status within a hotel or airline loyalty program, you might enjoy the benefits co-branded travel cards can offer, like free night awards, flight upgrades, room upgrades, and access to amenities. 

Fees

Many travel credit cards come with an annual fee. But you can offset the charge by taking advantage of the card’s included benefits and rewards. Of course, this is most effective if you choose a card with benefits you would have spent your money on otherwise. 

For instance, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Credit Card has a $450 annual fee, but you’ll get $300 in Marriott Bonvoy statement credits, a $100 Marriott Bonvoy credit when you book eligible stays of two nights or more at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties, a Priority Pass airport lounge membership (which starts at $99), a $100 fee credit for TSA Precheck/Global Entry every four years. These are just a few of the card’s perks, but already total $500 in benefits within the first year. If you’re a regular guest at Marriott properties and will take advantage of the suite of benefits, you can easily regain the annual fee value.

If you don’t think you’ll use the card’s benefits enough to justify an annual fee, you may choose a cash back card with travel rewards and perks or a no annual fee credit card. Or you may choose a card with a lower fee to still get a few premium travel perks at a lower cost. 

Like any new credit card, just make sure your new travel card is within your budget. If you take on a fee higher than the value you gain from the card, or you spend more than you can afford just to take advantage of benefits, you can quickly lose any rewards value you otherwise would have gained.