The Best Hotel Credit Cards Can Help You Score Savings and Perks on Your Next Hotel Stay

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Whether you’re a leisure traveler or someone who spends dozens of nights in a hotel for business each year, a credit card with hotel rewards can help you save on one of the mostly costly travel expenses. 

Hotel credit cards may be co-branded — meaning they earn rewards toward a certain hotel brand’s loyalty program — or general travel cards that let you earn and redeem rewards on hotel stays. 

Like any credit card, choosing the right hotel card for you largely comes down to your own travel and spending habits.  

Some hotel loyalty programs have a much broader footprint than others, and certain brands may have more properties in the places you actually travel to and stay in often. Not only that, but hotel credit cards all have their own unique earning rates, and some can have better benefits than others — like elite status and annual free nights. 

These are the best hotel credit cards available today to help you begin saving toward your next trip:

Best Hotel Credit Cards

Editorial Independence

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

Good for Hilton Hilton Honors American Express Card
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Hilton Honors American Express Card
Editor’s Score: (4.025/5)
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Good for Hilton Hilton Honors American Express Card
Editor’s Score: (4.025/5)
  • Intro offer:
    100,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    16.49% – 25.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio. Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Rewards for Hilton purchases and in everyday categories
  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees)
  • Automatic Hilton Honors Silver elite status
Cons
  • Rewards rate is lower than other Hilton credit cards
  • Other Hilton cards grant higher hotel elite status and more added benefits
  • Co-branded hotel rewards aren’t as flexible as other travel rewards programs
The Bottom Line
The Hilton Honors American Express Card is a solid choice for anyone who prefers to vacation at Hilton hotels and resorts, especially if your travel is only occasional. The card has a great welcome bonus and rewards for no annual fee, though more frequent Hilton travelers could get higher points bonuses and enjoy more premium perks with other co-branded Hilton cards.

Additional Card Details

  • Complimentary Silver elite status with Hilton, with ability to upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold Status after spending $20,000 on eligible purchases with the card within a calendar year
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance when you pay for a rental car with your card
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Access to American Express’s Global Assist® Hotline, which provides 24/7 travel assistance by phone
  • Access to additional cards for authorized users, such as your child, spouse, or employee
Good for Marriott Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.95/5)
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Good for Marriott Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (3.95/5)
  • Intro offer:
    Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points)
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    16.24% to 23.24% 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
  • 16.24% to 23.24% variable APR
Good for IHG IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
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IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.25/5)
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Good for IHG IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Editor’s Score: (4.25/5)
  • Intro offer:
    140,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $99
  • Regular APR:
    16.24% – 23.24% 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
Good for Hotel and Airbnb Redemptions Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
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Good for Hotel and Airbnb Redemptions Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)
  • Intro offer:
    80,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    16.24% – 23.24% 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
Good for Hotel Elite Status 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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Good for Hotel Elite Status 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 (See Rates & Fees)
  • 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

Best Hotel Credit Cards Summary

Card NameWhat It’s Good ForAnnual FeeWelcome Offer
Hilton Honors American Express CardGood for Hilton$0100,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of membership.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit CardGood for Marriott$953 free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
IHG Rewards Premier Credit CardGood for IHG$99140,000 points after spending $3,000 within 3 months of account opening
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardGood for General Travel$9575,000 miles after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
Chase Sapphire Preferred CardGood for Hotel and Airbnb Stays$9580,000 points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
The Platinum Card from American ExpressGood for Hotel Elite Status$695100,000 points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months of card membership

How Do Hotel Credit Cards Work?

Hotel credit cards offer rewards on your purchases that you can use toward future hotel stays, room upgrades and other hotel perks. There are generally two main types of hotel credit cards: co-branded hotel credit cards and travel credit cards that let you redeem rewards for hotels. 

  • Co-branded hotel credit cards: These cards are offered by major card issuers like Chase and American Express in partnership with hotel loyalty programs like Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. With a co-branded hotel card, you’ll earn points toward the hotel’s loyalty program. A major benefit of this type of card is the added brand perks and benefits. Some hotel credit cards offer automatic elite status, annual hotel credits, and free night awards with the hotel chain each year. 
  • General travel credit cards: If you’re not loyal to a single hotel brand, or you’re looking for a more flexible card option, general travel cards are another way to earn points and miles toward future hotel stays and other travel. You’ll accrue points on your regular spending and bills or other travel purchases. Then, you can redeem for hotel stays through the issuer’s travel portal or transfer directly to a hotel loyalty programs. While travel credit cards offer more flexibility, few come with any specific benefits for hotel stays.

Pro Tip

If you want elite hotel status but you would rather earn flexible points, consider the Platinum Card from American Express. This flexible travel credit card earns Amex Membership Rewards points, but comes with Gold elite status with both Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy.

Are Hotel Credit Cards Worth It?

To decide whether a hotel credit card is right for you, consider how you already spend your money, and how often you travel. The decision may be different depending on whether you prefer travel with one brand, you’re interested in earning status, you want more flexible redemption options, and other factors.

In general, co-branded hotel credit cards are most valuable for people who stay with a specific hotel brand a few times per year and want some added benefits within the loyalty program — like early check-in or free award nights. For business travelers who might spend several weeks in a hotel each year, co-branded hotel credit cards can be even more helpful to climb the elite status ladder and score extra benefits along the way.

On the other hand, if you’re more flexible in your hotel preferences, you might benefit more from a general travel rewards credit card. With these cards, you can rack up points based on your spending — varying from everyday purchases like dining and groceries to travel spending. Most flexible travel credit cards let you redeem your rewards for hotel stays through the issuer travel portal, or even transfer your points to specific hotel loyalty programs, among other redemption options.

Do Hotel Rewards Expire?

When it comes to flexible travel credit cards that earn points you can use for hotels, rewards typically do not have an expiration date as long as your account is open. On the other hand, points you earn in hotel loyalty programs often do expire if you don’t have any qualifying account activity for a specific length of time (which can vary by program).

Here’s a rundown of the expiration policies for many major hotel loyalty programs.

Loyalty programExpiration policy
Choice Privileges18 months with no qualifying activity
Hilton Honors24 months with no qualifying activity
*No points will expire until December 31, 2022
IHG Rewards12 months with no qualifying activity
Marriott Bonvoy24 months with no qualifying activity
World of Hyatt24 months with no qualifying activity
Wyndham Rewards18 months with no qualifying activity

While these expiration policies may seem severe, even very minor activity on your account can reset the clock and keep your points alive. For example, your expiration timeline for hotel points starts over any time you earn any hotel points or you redeem points for a hotel stay or other redemptions. If you have a hotel credit card that you use to earn points on a regular basis, you can continue to keep your hotel points alive in perpetuity.

However, if you don’t travel often and think you might reach these deadlines, that may be reason to choose a more general travel credit card — or even cash back credit card — that you can use to earn rewards on your everyday spending without worrying about expiration dates.