If you can identify the feel of a Westin Heavenly Bed, have a strong preference for the smell of a hotel brand’s bath products, or are greeted by name as you walk up to check in to your regular hotel, a hotel card should almost certainly be in your wallet.

Even for the casual traveler, a hotel credit card can be the key to earning more points and free nights, not to mention better treatment if your card helps you earn elite status with your preferred hotel chain.

In this overview of the best hotel credit cards, we’ll help you find the best hotel credit card for you.

Best hotel credit cards: Summary

  • Best for point transfers to hotel programs: card_name
  • Best hotel credit card for automatic elite status: card_name
  • Best hotel credit card for travel credits: U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
  • Best hotel credit card for business: card_name
  • Best hotel credit card for Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card
  • Best hotel credit card for IHG: card_name
  • Best hotel credit card for Hyatt: card_name
  • Best hotel credit card for Hilton: card_name

Why we recommend these hotel credit cards

Best for point transfers to hotel programs: card_name

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Credit score needed

credit_score_needed

The card_name offers generous rewards on travel and point transfers to Hyatt, making it our top choice in this category. No hotel point transfer partner comes close to Hyatt when you consider the value you can get from your points. And the card_name offers plenty of value outside of its point transfers to Hyatt.

Although some may balk at the annual_fees annual fee, the card offers a $300 annual travel credit every year. If you’re using the card for travel purchases, this credit gets automatically applied to offset eligible travel expenses, dramatically lowering the effective cost of the card. If you use the card_name for your travel purchases, you’ll get three points per dollar spent on almost every travel expense. And, if you book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you’ll earn 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals and five points per dollar on flights.

You get a Priority Pass Select membership with the card_name, allowing you to access over 1,300 airport lounges across the globe. Finally, the card comes with a robust suite of travel insurance protections, including primary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance, trip delay reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

  • Ten points per dollar on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Five points per dollar on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Three points per dollar on other travel purchases and dining.
  • One point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Comprehensive suite of travel protection benefits.
  • One-time enrollment in Priority Pass Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®.
  • annual_fees annual fee.
  • Member FDIC.

Best hotel credit card for automatic elite status: card_name

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Credit score needed

credit_score_needed

Bonus rewards

bonus_miles_full

While not inherently a “hotel credit card,” card_name is in fact an all-star choice for hotel stays.

For starters, you’ll receive automatic Gold elite status with Hilton and Marriott. Again, these statuses come with things like late checkout, bonus points, and room upgrades (when available). You must enroll your card to receive these statuses.

The card_name also offers access to:

  • Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • The Hotel Collection

These are booking platforms for upscale properties all over the world. When using them to reserve a hotel, you’ll receive elite-like benefits—free breakfast for two, room upgrades (when available), and even unique property amenities such as a $100 spa credit.

The card_name also offers a $200 statement credit toward your prepaid reservation with The Hotel Collection (two-night minimum) or Fine Hotels & Resorts.

Also worth mentioning is that you can redeem the card_name’s rewards for hotel stays in two ways.

First, American Express Membership Rewards® points can be transferred to three different hotel programs:

  • Marriott (1:1)
  • Hilton (1:2)
  • Choice (1:1)

In other words, you can convert your Amex points into hotel points for free stays. Or, you can use the points to “buy” a hotel stay via Amex Travel at 0.7 cents per point (not a good deal) or Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts at 1 cent per point.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

  • Five points per dollar for airfare booked through Amex Travel (for up to $500,000 in spending per calendar year).
  • Five points per dollar on hotels reserved through Amex Travel.
  • One point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.
  • Rewards transfer to three hotel programs.
  • Gold elite status with Marriott and Hilton (enrollment required).
  • Thousands of dollars in potential value from statement credits annually.
  • Top-tier airport lounge access.
  • Solid travel insurance.
  • annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees).

Best hotel credit card for travel credits: U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

Credit score needed

Excellent

Bonus rewards

50,000 points

The card_name card doesn’t get talked about much, but it offers the best travel credit benefit of any card. The card’s $325 travel credit offsets a huge part of the card’s $400 annual fee. And the credit is automatically applied to eligible travel, dining, takeout, and delivery purchases you charge to the card.

After you’ve offset most of the card’s annual fee, you’re left with a card that earns three points per dollar on travel and mobile wallet spending and gives you a handful of Priority Pass lounge access visits annually.

But the card gets better when you go to redeem your points. If you redeem your points for travel, they are worth 1.5 cents each. And that’s not just travel booked through the U.S. Bank travel portal. Through the card’s real-time rewards feature, you can redeem your rewards for statement credits to offset most travel purchases at the same 1.5 cents per point. Just respond to a text message and your rewards get redeemed instantly.

Here’s what you need to know about the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card:

  • Five points per dollar on prepaid hotels and cars booked through the Altitude Rewards Center.
  • Three points per dollar on eligible travel purchases and mobile wallet spending.
  • $325 in annual credits for eligible travel and dining purchases charged to the card.
  • Four free individual visit passes and 4 guest visit passes to Priority Pass lounges.
  • Redeem points for travel at 1.5 cents each.
  • annual_fees annual fee.

Best hotel credit card for Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Credit score needed

Good, Excellent

Bonus rewards

100,000 points

Marriott offers a bunch of Bonvoy credit cards from which to choose ranging from the no-annual-fee Bonvoy Bold to the $650 annual fee Bonvoy Brilliant. As the annual fee gets bigger, so do the benefits. But one card offers the best combination of benefits for your bucks: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card, which carries a $95 annual fee.

We picked this card because it provides the best balance of benefits and annual fee. The card offers six Marriott Bonvoy points per dollar spent within Marriott’s family of brands, plus three points per dollar on your first $6,000 of spending at gas stations, grocery stores, and on dining. The card’s annual free night certificate can be used toward a stay at a Marriott hotel costing up to 35,000 points. While other, more expensive cards offer a certificate that can be used at more expensive hotels, you won’t feel like you’re leaving value on the table when you use the 35,000 point certificate at a midrange hotel.

And this card also has one feature offered by no other Marriott card—a path to spend your way to elite status. Cardmembers get Silver Elite status, but you can earn up to Marriott’s highest elite status, Titanium, just by using the card for spending. You earn one credit toward elite status with every $5,000 you spend. No other Marriott credit card offers this benefit.

Here’s what you need to know about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card:

  • Six points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Three points per dollar on the first $6,000 each year at gas stations, grocery stores, and dining.
  • Two points per dollar on all other purchases.
  • 35,000 point free night stay award certificate every year after your account anniversary.
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status.
  • 15 elite night credits every year just for having the card.
  • One credit toward elite status for every $5,000 you spend on the card.
  • $95 annual fee.

Best hotel credit card for IHG: card_name

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

Credit score needed

credit_score_needed

The card_name is an easy pick for the best IHG card. For the annual_fees annual fee, you get a free night certificate, are granted Platinum status, and earn 10 points per dollar from the card when you use it to pay for stays at IHG hotels. When you spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year, you’ll get a $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus miles, which more than offset the annual fee.

card_name also offers the fastest path to top-tier elite status of any credit card. You start off with Platinum status as a perk for having the card. When you spend $40,000 on the card each year, you’ll get Diamond Elite, IHG’s top-tier status. That benefit makes the card_name the fastest path to earning top-tier elite status at any hotel chain.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

  • 10 points per dollar spent at IHG Hotels and Resorts.
  • Five points per dollar spent on travel purchases, gas stations, and restaurants.
  • Three points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Platinum Elite Status.
  • Diamond Elite status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year.
  • $100 statement credit and 10,000 bonus points after spending $20,000 each calendar year.
  • $50 in United TravelBank cash to use when booking United flights.
  • Redeem three nights, get fourth night free.
  • annual_fees annual fee.

Best hotel credit card for Hyatt: card_name

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Credit score needed

credit_score_needed

Hyatt loyalists have a much easier time selecting the best credit card, as Hyatt only offers one personal credit card: The card_name. The card carries a modest annual_fees annual fee and rewards cardmembers with four bonus points per dollar spent at most Hyatt properties. The card’s other bonus categories include restaurants, airline tickets, gym memberships, and local transit, all of which earn two points per dollar spent.

The card offers a free night every year, plus an additional free night when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year. Free night certificates are good toward one night in a category one to four hotel. If you’re chasing elite status, you can earn up to Globalist, Hyatt’s top-tier elite status by using the card. You get five tier-qualifying nights every year just for having the card, plus two tier-qualifying nights for every $5,000 you spend on the card.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

  • Four bonus points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels.
  • Two points per dollar spent at restaurants.
  • Two points per dollar spent on flights purchased directly from airlines.
  • Two points per dollar spent for gym memberships.
  • Two points per dollar spent on local transit.
  • One point per dollar spent everywhere else.
  • One free category one to four nights every year, plus one additional free night when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year.
  • Five tier-qualifying nights every year just for having the card.
  • Two tier-qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent on the card.

Best hotel credit card for business: card_name

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Credit score needed

credit_score_needed

Bonus rewards

bonus_miles_full

The card_name is the small business version of the Amex Hilton Surpass—and they’re very similar in many ways. For example, the card_name:

  • Earns 12 points per dollar for Hilton purchases
  • Confers automatic Gold elite status (breakfast privileges, potential room upgrades, bonus points, etc.)
  • Offers a nearly identical welcome bonus: bonus_miles_full
  • Comes with a free-night reward (worth up to 150,000 points) each calendar year you spend at least $15,000 on purchases
  • Incurs a annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees)

But the card_name presents some pleasantly unique features, as well.

For example, you can earn a second free-night reward (worth up to 150,000 points) after spending a total of $60,000 within a calendar year. Not possible for most—but if you’ve got a small business with big expenses, you’ll love this perk.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

  • 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases.
  • Six points per dollar on select travel purchases (U.S. restaurants, flights, and car rentals).
  • Six points per dollar on business purchases (U.S. gas stations, shipping providers, and wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers).
  • Three points per dollar for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free-night reward (worth up to 150,000 points) after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • A second free-night reward (worth up to 150,000 points) after spending $60,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status.
  • Upgrade to Hilton Diamond status after spending $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership (up to 10 visits per year).

Best hotel credit card for Hilton: card_name

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Credit score needed

credit_score_needed

Bonus rewards

bonus_miles_full

The card_name offers a perfect goodies-to-annual-fee ratio.

For a annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees), the card is a points-earning machine. You’ll receive 12 points per dollar for spending with Hilton, 6 points per dollar for other common purchases (like at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations), and 3 points per dollar on everything else. The card even offers a massive welcome bonus: bonus_miles_full. That’s enough points for potentially $1,000+ in hotel stays, depending on how you use them.

You’ll also get automatic Gold elite status just for holding this card. As mid-tier elite statuses go, this is the best in the business. You’ll receive benefits like:

  • Breakfast privileges
  • Room upgrades (when available)
  • 80% bonus points for Hilton purchases
  • Fifth night free for award stays lasting 5+ nights

The card’s best perk is its annual free-night reward, worth up to 150,000 points. Depending on where you use this certificate, you could easily get $750+ in value.

There’s only one issue: You’ll have to spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year to receive it. If you’re a high spender (or a Hilton fanatic), this may not be a problem. Most cardholders, though, will likely need to shelve other credit cards and funnel most of their monthly spending through the Amex Hilton Surpass to earn this free-night certificate.

Here’s what you need to know about the card_name:

  • 12 points per dollar on eligible Hilton purchases.
  • Six points per dollar at U.S. restaurants (including delivery and takeout).
  • Six points at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Six points per dollar at U.S. gas stations.
  • Three points per dollar for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free-night reward (worth up to 150,000 points) after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Automatic Hilton Gold elite status.
  • Upgrade to Hilton Diamond status after spending $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership (up to 10 visits per year).

Best hotel credit cards comparison chart

Our Methodology

Picking the best hotel credit cards requires weighing more factors than almost any other category of cards. How many points you earn at the hotel’s family of brands and in a card’s bonus categories is only the beginning. We looked at free night benefits, statement credits, paths to elite status, and more. And we considered all of this in the context of a deep understanding of the major hotel programs, because not all points or elite statuses are created equal.

TIME Stamp Bottom Line

card_name for the generalist, co-branded cards for elite status. If you want points that transfer to hotels married with a robust set of benefits, the card_name offers the best value proposition. If it’s elite status you’re after, look to your favorite hotel chain’s co-branded cards.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I use hotel credit card rewards for more than just hotel stays?

Hotel credit card rewards can often be used for more than hotel stays, but you’ll get the most value from your hotel points when you use them for stays within the hotel chain’s family of brands.

Can I transfer hotel credit card points to airline loyalty programs?

Some hotel programs allow points transfers to airlines. This is typically a poor-value use of points. If you want point transfers to airlines, look to cards like the card_name and card_name.

What are the annual spending requirements to maintain hotel credit card benefits

Hotel credit card benefits vary by card. Most do not require minimum spending, but some cards offer additional perks, such as elite night credits and additional free night certificates for spending a certain amount on the card. See your card’s Guide to Benefits for information.

Do hotel points expire?

Hotel points expire based on the terms and conditions of the hotel loyalty program. With all of the major hotel programs, your points don’t expire if you have consistent activity on your account. If you continue earning points consistently, your points won’t expire.

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