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Best Hotel Credit Cards

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by Eric Rosenberg | Updated May. 5, 2017
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Overview

Road warriors and frequent travelers often swear by individual hotel chains. One thing they find difficult to agree on, however, is the chain itself and the amenities that come with it. Do you prefer one-of-a-kind luxury or an expansive network of hotels? Different hotel credit cards can offer some help in making the decision easier. Below, you can find some of the industry's leading credit cards that will help accelerate your hotel rewards, get you perks like free WiFi, elite status, and late checkout! Using data on hotel costs and the points required to redeem similar experiences, we looked at some of the top destinations within the U.S. to estimate the value of individual hotel rewards programs and, in turn, the values of different hotel credit cards currently in market. Below are some of our winners across a number of categories within the hotel industry. See More

Best Hotel Credit Card for Free Nights

More Details

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night each year of card membership at over 5,000 hotels worldwide
  • Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
  • Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
  • Automatic 10% points rebate on redemptions
  • $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49

Annual Fee

$0 for the First Year, then $49

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.74% - 23.74% Variable

Benefits

IHG® is the company behind hotel brands including InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels, Holiday Inn® and others. IHG® has a great rewards program that offers rewards nights at a diverse range of hotels around the globe. New cardholders earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after opening an account. Earn 5 points for each $1 at IHG brand hotels, 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. This card has no foreign transaction fees. All cardholders get automatic Platinum Elite status and a free night each year after your cardholder anniversary. Cardholders get an automatic 10% rebate on redemptions, so your points get you even more free nights.

Things to Consider

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card charges a $49 annual fee, but for the first year it will be an introductory $0. Purchases and balance transfers are subject to 16.74% - 23.74% Variable APR. Pay 25.74% variable on cash advances.

Our Verdict

If you want free hotel nights, look no further. IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card offers plenty of opportunity to earn free nights. With a 60,000-point bonus, lucrative earning options and a free night annually, this card will have you on vacation in no time. This is our favorite card for free hotel nights.

Best Credit Card for Largest Selection of Hotels

More Details

  • Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Plus, earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 hotel every year after your account anniversary date!
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get Free Night Stays faster
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards & SPG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants. Plus 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
  • The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better.
  • All for an $85 Annual Fee

Annual Fee

$85

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.74 - 23.74% Variable

Benefits

Some hotel chains offer limited options. Marriott is now the largest hotel chain on Earth. Thanks to its recent Starwood acquisition, Marriott owns more than 5,700 properties with 1.1 million rooms in more than 110 countries — that’s more than one out of every 15 hotels rooms around the world. As a new Marriott Rewards cardholder, you earn an enormous -point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months you have the card. Get another 7,500 bonus points if you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the first three months after opening your account. Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at all 30 Marriott and Starwood brand hotels, 1 per $1 spent on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Get a free night after your cardholder anniversary each year and instant Silver Elite status as long as you have the card.

Things to Consider

This card has an $85 annual fee. Due to the recent merger of Marriott and Starwood, expect the two programs to merge at a future date. Although this merger has unknown consequences for both rewards programs, it is assumed that the Marriott program will remain relatively unchanged.

Our Verdict

If you want to stay at hotels all over the world with one credit card, this is the card for you. The massive sign-up bonus and free annual night are easily worth more than the annual fee. Plus this card is EMV chip enabled and charges no foreign transaction fees. Whether you are traveling around the United States or overseas, this card is an excellent choice.

Our Methodology

SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing hotel credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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