The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards

By Jason Steele. Last updated 5 June 2019. 2 comments

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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.

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.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

If you're a frequent visitor to hotels that include the Intercontinental, the Crowne Plaza, or the Holiday Inn, then the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card may be just the card for you. Cardholders can earn 25 points total for each dollar when you stay at an eligible IHG hotel. You can also earn 2 points for each dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, along with 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases.

Cardholders will also receive a free night stay at any IHG hotel around the world each year of cardmembership. Additionally, cardholders will get to enjoy all of the benefits of the Platinum Elite status, which includes free internet, priority check-in, and free upgrades. IHG points can be converted to airline partner miles at a 5:1 ratio. There are no foreign transaction fees on the card. This card has an annual fee of $89.

Bonus offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

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.

Info about the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Wise Bread. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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Guest's picture

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.