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Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2017

Opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed or endorsed by the issuer. We may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program. For a full list of our advertisers, including American Express, see our disclosure page.

We looked through over 200 credit card offers to help you find the best hotel credit card for your budget. For most consumers, either the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express will be the best option, as they are the best all-around rewards. However, below you’ll find more hotel credit cards that can satisfy a wider variety of needs.

Our Picks For the Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2017

We hand-picked the top hotel credit cards currently available to consumers. These are the offers our editors think will be best for consumers looking to optimize their travel savings.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®: Best All-Around Travel Rewards

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is perfect for frequent travelers who prefer to shop around for the best deals, rather than always stay with one particular hotel brand. While not exclusively a hotel credit card, it is one of the premier cards for travel. Users get 2 miles per dollar spent anywhere -- be it at a hotel, Airbnb, a restaurant or your local gas station. These solid all-around rewards rate coupled with Mastercard World Elite benefits distinguish the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® from others on this list.

Beyond the rewards on everyday spending, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is one of the few chip and pin credit cards on the market, which should matter to international travelers. This means you will have an easier time using your card when you travel abroad where chip and pin is the standard. That includes much of Europe as well as parts of Asia and Australia. Once you get your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, make sure to contact customer service to set up your 4-digit PIN so that you are prepared ahead of your travels.

Highlights

  • Provides the flexibility to use your rewards at any airline, hotel or Airbnb
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • 2.1% rewards rate is best in class among flexible travel credit cards
  • Read Our Full Review

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: Best Hotel Co-Branded Credit Card

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is an excellent credit card no matter where you use it. The high value of Starpoints, Starwood's loyalty points, puts the card's rewards rate between 2.4% and 4.8% -- well above most of its competitors. These rewards make it one of the best hotel branded credit cards around, especially when it comes to giving rewards for everyday spending.

Starwood hotels include the following brands:

  • St. Regis
  • Le Méridien
  • Aloft
  • Tribute Portfolio
  • The Luxury Collection
  • Westin
  • Element Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • W Hotels
  • Sheraton
  • Four Points

In addition to its great value, the Starwood Preferred Guest program allows members to transfer miles to partner airlines, with most partners converting at a 1:1 ratio. For example, points can be transferred to Delta Airlines, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. Additionally, for every 20,000 Starpoints you transfer, you'll receive a bonus 5,000 points.

Last year, Marriott International purchased Starwood. This lead to the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express growing even more useful for cardholders. Currently, the card awards 2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases on the Card at Starwood properties and Marriott Rewards® hotels. You can also trade Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards Points to Starpoints at a 3:1 ratio. However, the purchase also put into question the future of this card. It's unclear whether the product will be discontinued when the merger goes through.

Highlights

  • Starpoints have the highest average value, 2.4 cents, of any hotel reward we came across
  • Credit for 5 nights and 2 stays each year toward SPG® Elite status
  • Rewards can be transferred to partner airlines to top off awards bookings.
  • Read Our Full Review

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: Best For Earning Elite Status & Free Nights

If you stay at least once per year at a Marriott hotel, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is worth your consideration. On top of the points you get from day-to-day spending, this card awards one free night stay every year in a category 1-5 hotel. On average, this benefit can be worth around $100. However, if you're creative in your search, you can find category 5 hotels that are worth well over $200 per night.

The Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card currently comes with a pretty sizable bonus. Cardholders can get 80,000 bonus points when they make purchases totaling $3,000 or more during the first 3 months from account opening. We estimate the value of this reward to be between $480 and $680, depending on how you use the points.

Highlights

  • Rewards rate between 0.6% and 3%
  • 15 Elite credits after account opening and every year after your account anniversary; Plus 1 Elite night credit for each $3,000 in Purchases
  • Free Night Stay in a Category 1-5 hotel each year after your account anniversary.
  • Read Our Full Review

Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express: Best Hotel Credit Card With No Annual Fee

Image of Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

This card is not available through ValuePenguin.

If you want to earn hotel rewards without having to pay an annual fee then the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express is your best bet. Despite being one of the cheapest, price-wise, it doesn't skip out on benefits. Cardmembers get automatic silver status with Hilton for signing up, and Gold Status kicks in when you spend at least $20,000 on the card within one year. The card's rewards rate varies between 1% and 3.5% -- you get 7x points for booking stays at the Hilton portfolio, 5x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. On top of that, spending $1,000 on the card within your first 3 months qualifies you for 50,000 extra Hilton Honors.

Hilton hotels are broken out into one of 10 categories. You will generally get a better per-point value if you book lower tier rooms. For example, a category 2 hotel can fetch you 1.17 points each, while a category 5 goes as low as 0.42 cents.

If you really like Hilton Hotels and don't mind paying an annual fee, consider the sister card: Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card. It costs $75 per year, but gives you an upgraded set of features. With the Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, your get Priority Pass membership, automatic Gold Status. You can check out our full review of the Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card here.

Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express Highlights

  • Automatic Hilton Hotel Silver Status; Gold Status if you spend at least $20,000 on the card within a single year
  • Rewards rate between 1.5% and 3.5%
  • 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • Read Our Full Review

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: Best Hotel Credit Card With Luxury Benefits

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is one of the few high-end hotel credit cards. It has an extremely high annual fee, though if you take advantage of all the card's benefits you'll likely come out ahead. For $450 per year, you get features like a $300 annual travel credit, a separate $100 hotel credit, three Club Level upgrades each year and access to the J.P. Morgan Premier Concierge.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel credit card. As such, users get access to the standard suite of premium card benefits, including:

  • Priority Pass Membership ($399 value)
  • Global Entry Application Fee Reimbursement ($100 value every 5 years)
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance

Charging enough purchases to card will also yield Gold or Platinum status with Ritz-Carlton, which can unlock an additional suite of benefits. During your first cardmember year, Gold Elite status is complimentary. You need to spend $10,000 your first year and each subsequent year to maintain it. Those who spend $75,000 on purchases each account year will be granted Platinum status. With Gold status come benefits like complimentary room upgrades and guaranteed late checkout. Platinum members receive 48-hour room guarantees, special gifts upon arrival, and up to 50% added value to base Ritz-Carlton rewards points.

Highlights

  • $450 annual fee
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge benefits
  • Read Our Full Review

Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card: For Those Who Prefer Boutique Hotels

The Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card is a unique card good for those who prefer to stay at small boutique hotels, instead of big chains. The card gives 3 points per dollar spent at Stash-member hotels. The list currently includes around 175 properties, with most located in North America. For a full list of their participating hotels, check out their website.

This card is good for budgets that heavily lean towards spending at restaurants and gas stations, in addition to hotels. The card awards 2 points per dollar in these categories. With a single Stash Point being worth about $0.013, that puts the rewards rate at 2.6%. When you use the card at Stash-member hotels you get an extra point on top of that, putting the rewards rate at 3.9%. Note that regular, non-member hotels, give just 2 points per dollar. All other spending awards just 1 point per dollar, which works out to a 1.3% rewards rate.

Highlights

  • 3 points per dollar at Stash hotels; 2 points per dollar on all other hotels, when dining out and at gas stations; 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • 10,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $85
  • Read Our Full Review

Compare Hotel Credit Cards

We've included all the cards that are hotel focused to help you in your search. Press the gear icon to make changes to the default spending inputs, and find a card that matches how you spend. Use our tool to get an estimate of how much in rewards you'd earn over time.

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Card Annual Fee 2-yr Net Rewards Rate

The Net Rewards Rate is equal to the Rewards Value over two years divided by the total spending. The total spending is equal to the values entered into the tool and multiplied by 24 months. See the Rewards Value note to see details on how it is calculated.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s sign-up bonus. If the bonus is point or mile based, we multiply the total bonus points/miles by our estimate for their value to arrive at a dollar equivalent. We display $0 if there is no bonus or if the user doesn’t qualify for the bonus based on the current spending entered into the tool.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

2-yr Rewards Value

The Rewards Value is calculated by adding together the rewards earned from charging purchases to the card over two years and any sign-up bonuses (if applicable). They are then multiplied by our estimated point/mile value, with any annual fees (if applicable) subtracted. All values are based on our own estimates for the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using a card.

The estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone. They are not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. 3.69%
$600
Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
$1,329
Graph Card Read Review More Details

Terms and Limitations Apply

Annual Fee $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
APR 16.24%-20.24% Variable
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.024 = $824
Bonuses
25,000 x $0.024 = $600
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,329
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95 2.86%
$625
50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$1,028
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.013 = $498
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.013 = $625
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,028
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
$89 - Waived first year 2.92%
$420
Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
$1,052
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Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
APR 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.011 = $721
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.011 = $420
Less Annual Fees -$89
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,052
The Hyatt Credit Card
$75 2.49%
$350
Earn 2 free nights after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months
$897
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $75
APR 16.74% - 23.74% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide after you make $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Receive a free night award every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Get 5,000 Bonus Points after you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase with your card during the first 3 months as a cardmember
  • 3 Bonus Points for every $1 spend at Hyatt hotels and resorts
  • 2 Bonus Points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines and at car rental agencies
  • 1 point for every $1 spent on purchases anywhere else you use your card
  • Keep all the points you earn - your points do not expire as long as your Hyatt Credit Card account is open
  • As a Hyatt Cardmember, you'll enjoy Discoverist status in World of Hyatt for as long as your Hyatt Credit Card account is open

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.018 = $697
Bonuses
0 x $0.018 = $350
Less Annual Fees -$150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 897
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card
$95 2.29%
$500
Earn 2 weekend nights after spending $2,500 in the first four months
$825
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $95
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Earn 2 weekend nights after spending $2,500 in the first four months
  • 10 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent with a participating hotel or resort
  • 5 HHonors Bonus points for every $1 spent on airfare or car rentals
  • 3 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Get Hilton Honors Gold Status as a cardmember
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No caps and expiration on points if you use your card at least once a year
  • Earn an anniversary bonus for one weekend night at select hotels
  • No points cap

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 102,960 x $0.005 = $515
Bonuses
0 x $0.005 = $500
Less Annual Fees -$190
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 825
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
$75 2.22%
$315
Earn 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase; Earn 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days
$799
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $75
APR 13.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase
  • Earn 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days
  • 10 points per $1 spent at Carlson Rezidor hotels
  • 5 points per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Automatic upgrade to Gold Elite Status
  • Cardmembers who've already reached Concierge Elite Status will receive 15 qualifying nights toward obtaining or maintaining Concierge Elite status
  • Redeem Gold Points towards free nights at Carlson Rezidor hotels, gift cards, prepaid cards, charitable initiatives, vacation savings, and exchanges for airline miles
  • Visa Signature concierge privileges
  • Travel & Emergency Assistance Services, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, and Travel Accident Insurance for card purchases
  • Subject to credit approval

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 171,600 x $0.004 = $635
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.004 = $185
35,000 x $0.004 = $130
Less Annual Fees -$150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 799
Discover it® Miles
$0 2.15%
$257
Discover will match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. Bonus Miles - For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
$772
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Annual Fee $0
APR 11.99% – 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • New! Free Social Security Number alerts, we’ll monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.*
  • Match Mile For Mile: We’ll match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
257 x $0.01 = $257
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 772
Fairmont Visa Signature® Credit Card
Image of Fairmont Visa Signature® Credit Card $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95 2.08%
$500
Enjoy 2 complimentary nights with Breakfast for 2 after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
$748
Graph Card More Details
Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Enjoy 2 complimentary nights with breakfast for 2 after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on Fairmont purchases
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on all airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies and on transit and commuting
  • 1 point for every $1 spent otherwise
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • One complimentary night stay each anniversary year
  • Annual Lounge Club Membership plus 2 free lounge visit passes each year
  • Automatic upgrade to Fairmont Premier Membership Status
  • When you spend $7,500 on your card, get 1 stay credit towards Platinum status, up to a maximum of 2 stay credits per calendar year

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.01 = $343
Bonuses
0 x $0.01 = $500
Less Annual Fees -$95
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 748
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
$0.00 1.99%
$200
20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases
$715
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Annual Fee $0.00
APR 15.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases
*Rates and Fees

Card Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 51,480 x $0.01 = $515
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.01 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 715
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $49 2.07%
$480
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
$746
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Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $49
APR 16.99% - 23.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary 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

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 52,560 x $0.006 = $315
Bonuses
80,000 x $0.006 = $480
Less Annual Fees -$49
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 746
Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $85 1.74%
$130
Earn 10,000 Stash points towards free stays at one-of-a-kind hotels when you make $1,500 in purchases on your Stash Visa Card within 90 days of opening your account
$625
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Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $85
APR 16.24%

Card Details

  • 3 points per dollar at Stash Hotels
  • 2 points per dollar all other hotels, dining and gas
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 44,640 x $0.013 = $580
Bonuses
10,000 x $0.013 = $130
Less Annual Fees -$85
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 625
The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card
No Annual Fee 1.65%
$62
Earn 8,000 bonus points after your first purchase
$593
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Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 15.24%, 19.99% or 24.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 8,000 bonus points after your first purchase
  • Earn 24,000 bonus points after your first paid stay at any Choice Privileges location
  • 15 points for every $1 spent at Choice Privileges locations
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on additional Choice Privileges points or Choice Hotel gift card purchases
  • 2 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Cardmembers automatically get Elite Gold status
  • Book award and free nights twenty days before other members
  • 10% point bonus on points earned for eligible stays at Choice Privileges locations
  • Redeem points for reward nights at over 1,500 hotel locations, gift cards for a variety of merchants, donations, and memberships

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.008 = $531
Bonuses
8,000 x $0.008 = $62
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 593
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
No Annual Fee 1.69%
$200
Earn 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within the first 4 months
$607
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Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 15.99% 19.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within the first 4 months
  • 6 HHonors Bonus Points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within Hilton Portfolio
  • 3 HHonors Bonus points for every $1 spent at supermarkets, drugstores & gas stations
  • 2 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • HHonors silver status with fast-track to HHonors Gold status after 4 stays within your first 90 days of cardmembership
  • Receive HHonors Silver Status for free

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 81,360 x $0.005 = $407
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.005 = $200
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 607
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
$395 1.40%
$930
Earn two complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
$504
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Annual Fee $395
APR 15.99%

Card Details

  • Earn two complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton Hotel, after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on Ritz-Carlton or partner hotels
  • 2 points for every $1 on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline
  • 1 point per $1 otherwise
  • Complimentary upgrades to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level three times annually on paid stays of up to 7 nights
  • $300 annual airline incidentals credit
  • $100 hotel credit on stays of two nights or longer
  • Worldwide Airport Lounge Access
  • Automatic gold elite status your first year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Personal service assistance to cardmembers
  • Automatic Gold Elite Status your first year
  • Maintain Gold Elite thereafter by spending 10,000 each year

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.011 = $364
Bonuses
0 x $0.011 = $930
Less Annual Fees -$790
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 504
Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card
$50 1.40%
$222
50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase; 10,000 Gold Points after spending $1,500 within the first 3 months
$503
Graph Card More Details
Annual Fee $50
APR 13.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase
  • 10,000 Gold Points after spending $1,500 within the first 3 months

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 102,960 x $0.004 = $381
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.004 = $185
10,000 x $0.004 = $37
Less Annual Fees -$100
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 503
Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $59 1.17%
$285
25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,500 in first 3 billing cycles. Also, earn another 25,000 bonus points after you spend total of $5,000 in the first 6 billing cycles
$422
Graph Card More Details
Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $59
APR 15.24% - 20.24% Variable

Card Details

  • 10 points for every $1 spent on Best Western purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem points towards free nights at over 4,000 Best Western locations, gift cards, merchandise, airline rewards, and Avis car rentals
  • Free Upgrade to Best Western Rewards Platinum Status

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.006 = $196
Bonuses
50,000 x $0.006 = $285
Less Annual Fees -$59
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 422
The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
No Annual Fee 1.12%
$60
12,000 bonus points with first purchase
$403
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 15.24% or 19.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 12,000 bonus points with first purchase
  • 5 points per $1 spent on participating hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Redeem points for free nights, gift cards, magazines, newspapers, donations, merchandise, Wyndham maintenance fees, car rentals, flights, and more

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.005 = $343
Bonuses
12,000 x $0.005 = $60
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 403
The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
$69 0.99%
$150
Earn 30,000 bonus points with first purchase
$355
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee $69
APR 15.24% - 19.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points with first purchase
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on participating hotels
  • 2 points for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem points for free nights, gift cards, magazines, newspapers, donations, merchandise, Wyndham maintenance fees, car rentals, flights, and more

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 68,640 x $0.005 = $343
Bonuses
30,000 x $0.005 = $150
Less Annual Fees -$138
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 355
U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature® Card
No Annual Fee 1.31%
$0
$470
Graph Card Read Review More Details
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 11.99% - 21.99% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 2X points on Gas and Grocery net purchases (purchases minus credits and returns)
  • Earn 1 point for every net dollar spent on everything else
  • Redeem points for brand name merchandise, gift cards, cash back, and airline tickets
  • 24/7 cardmember service
  • No annual fee

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 47,040 x $0.01 = $470
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 470
Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®
No Annual Fee 0.86%
$114
10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 billing cycles. Also, earn another 10,000 bonus points after you spend total of $3,000 in the first 6 billing cycles
$310
Graph Card More Details
Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 16.24% - 23.24% Variable

Card Details

  • 3 points for every $1 spent on Best Western purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem points towards free nights at over 4,000 Best Western locations, gift cards, merchandise, airline rewards, and Avis car rentals
  • Upgrade to Best Western Rewards Gold Elite Status after the first purchase

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.006 = $196
Bonuses
20,000 x $0.006 = $114
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 310
Best Western Rewards® Secured MasterCard®
$40 0.40%
$29
5,000 bonus points after your first purchase
$144
Graph Card More Details
Annual Fee $40
APR 21.24%

Card Details

  • 3 points for every $1 spent on Best Western purchases
  • 1 point for every $1 spent otherwise
  • Redeem points towards free nights at over 4,000 Best Western locations, gift cards, merchandise, airline rewards, and Avis car rentals
  • Upgrade to Best Western Rewards Gold Elite Status after the first purchase

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 34,320 x $0.006 = $196
Bonuses
5,000 x $0.006 = $29
Less Annual Fees -$80
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 144

How Do The Best Hotel Credit Cards Compare On Perks?

All the best travel credit cards already provide consumers with great bonuses and high rewards rates. In order to highlight significant differences between these products we took a deep dive into the perks they do or do not provide. Our analysis specifically looked at the most useful benefits that a traveler might want –- things like concierge service, travel, luggage, and trip insurance, as well as roadside assistance.

CardElite Membership BenefitsTravel InsuranceAnnual Free Night(s) BenefitsBonus Worth Over $400?
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card

Summary of the Best Hotel Credit Cards

In case you want another quick look, below is a summary of our picks for the best hotel credit cards in 2017 along with their respective category.

  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®: Best for Hotel and All Other Travel
  • Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express: Best Hotel Rewards Program
  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: Best Hotel Credit Card For Earning Elite Status & Free Nights
  • Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express: Best No Annual Fee Hotel Credit Card
  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: Best Luxury Hotel Credit Card
  • Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card: Best Credit Card for Boutique Hotels

What To Think About When Comparing Hotel Cards

As with all financial products finding the best credit card is not simply about looking at a single number to determine which is the best. In compiling our list of hotel credit cards we looked at a number of factors to help identify why each card is great. While we feel the cards we've highlighted are the best of the bunch there are many other cards that may suit your specific needs. To help you evaluate any card you come across here is what we think you should consider in your analysis:

Take An Account Of Your Travel Habits

Before you even consider a hotel credit card, consider how likely you are to use it for a hotel stay. Hotel rewards are only good if you plan on staying in a hotel. For frequent travellers this may mean using rewards to get complementary stays in your location of choice. For other travellers it might mean saving points and paying for hotel stays on a family vacations. If you don't have a plan for how to use your hotel rewards then consider getting a general purpose rewards credit card. With billions of unspent loyalty points accumulated by consumers each year, it can often be better to get cash back or something you can actually use.

How often you stay at resorts also impacts how quickly you earn rewards. While our baseline analysis concentrates on points earned for general spending, spending at participating locations can usually earn you more than 3 times the rewards rate. Clearly, the more you actually stay at hotels the better these cards will actually perform.

Rewards Rate

First and foremost we calculated the potential rewards rate the average card holder could expect by using a specific hotel credit card. To determine this we built a model to calculate the amount of rewards that a cardholder could expect to earn under different spending scenarios. Since all credit cards are tied to a specific loyalty program, cardholders will generally earn points from both when booking stays. Many cards will advertise the combined earnings rate when discussing how quickly you earn rewards. Since you could be a loyalty program member without the card we heavily suggest only considering the rewards earned directly from the card itself. This will give you the most appropriate comparison between cards.

Next because each hotel loyalty program differs in how much points are worth, we compared a variety of rewards based stays with the dollar value the same stay would have cost. In our models we created three different assumptions based on how someone spends their hotel rewards. Aggressive deal hunters who actively optimize the way spend their points can achieve greater value out of the card with additional effort.

Signing Bonuses

We incorporated into our analysis the value of any signing bonuses that a cardholder could earn. For fee-based cards these signing promotions are often worth hundreds of dollars towards stays at a participating resort and hotel. While these rewards are one time they can dramatically change the total benefits accrued over the first few years.

Flexibility

Beyond the simple math of figuring out how much in rewards you earn from using a card, it is also to remember that hotel rewards are meaningless if you can't spend them where you want. When looking at flexibility consider the ways in which earned rewards can be redeemed. One obvious factor is the spread and number of locations available through the loyalty program. Another to consider are the price ranges of participating resorts. Being able to stay at a budget hotel if you've been stranded by a flight cancellation or being able to book a luxury resort for a family getaway can both be important ways to utilize your rewards. Why not make sure these options are both available.

Additional flexibility can be gained from any rewards program that allows the use of rewards in other ways. For instance the Starwood Preferred program allows members to transfer points to airlines at par, which gives deal hunters an added way to find deals and savings.

Comments and Questions

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's website.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. 

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

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