The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards

By Jason Steele. Last updated 10 September 2014. 2 comments

Using points to find free award nights at hotels is just as important as redeeming miles for airline travel, since lodging expenses can represent a large portion of your vacation budget. Therefore, those who prefer to travel on rewards earned from their credit cards are sure to carry around at least one card co-branded with a hotel chain. Frugal travelers must seek out the best credit cards for awards at hotels. (See also: 40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune)

What Makes a Good Hotel Credit Card

First, look beyond the name of the parent company, as most large hotel chains offer properties under many different brand names. For example, the Marriott hotels contain luxury brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, as well as budget properties like Fairfield Inn. Next, compare the number of points earned from credit card spending with the minimum amount required for a free night award. Finally, look at other features the credit card may offer such as a generous sign up bonus or the ability to transfer points to airline miles.

Best Credit Cards for Staying at Hotels

After considering their bonuses, point accrual, usability, and other factors, these are my favorite hotel cards currently available.

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card offers new customers 40,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 4 months. Earn 6 bonus points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within the HHonors portfolio, 3 bonus points for every $1 spent at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations, and 2 bonus points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. The extra bonus points for purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations gives this card a leg up on other hotel branded credit cards, that usually only offer bonus points on hotel stays. Hotels within the HHonors portfolio include DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Contrad, and more. There is no annual fee for this card.

Click here to apply for the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card.

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es in the United States such as the Comfort Inn, they also have some fairly nice urban hotels in major European capitals that could make for some incredible award stays. There is no annual fee for this card.

Click here to apply for the Choice Privileges® Visa® Card.

Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card

The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card offers new customers a 12,000 point sign-up bonus after the first purchase (enough for 2 free nights). Earn 3 points per $1 spent on participating hotel stays and 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else. Participating hotels include Travelodge, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada, and more. There is no annual fee for this card.

Click here to apply for the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Signature Card.

There is value in credit card rewards for hotels, but savvy cardholders must closely examine each card’s terms in order to find the true deals.

Back to the Credit Card Guide

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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Guest

I thought it was against the rule to use credit cards with annual fees?

Will Chen's picture

If you know for sure that you will be traveling in the future and will be staying at a hotel covered by the rewards card, then you can see if the reward outweighs the annual fee.