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Best Hotel Credit Cards 2018: The Most Perks and Rewards With Your Stay

We looked through more than 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 IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card will be the best option, as they offer the best all-around rewards. However, below you'll find more hotel credit cards that can satisfy a wider variety of needs.

The Best Hotel Credit Cards in 2018 Are…

If you're not sure how to choose a card check out our guide for picking the best hotel credit card.

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. Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar spent anywhere—be it at a hotel, restaurant or local gas station. When you use your miles as statement credit toward travel expenses, you'll earn an extra 5% toward your next redemption. That will boost your rewards rate to an impressive 2.1%. Barclaycard has a broad and generous definition of what it counts as "travel." Anything from airfare to a campground to a cab ride counts.

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 U.S. market, which should matter to international travelers. This means you'll 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 you contact customer service to set up your four-digit PIN so you're prepared ahead of your travels.

Drawback: Because this card isn't affiliated with any hotel, you don't get any of the co-branded benefits other cards on this list offer. That means no automatic free anniversary nights, free Wi-Fi or complimentary elite membership perks. If you're a loyal patron of a single hotel company, you'll get a better value by getting those types of perks from a co-branded with a hotel chain.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Highlights

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card: Best for Earning Free Nights

Out of the few credit cards that provide free anniversary nights, the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card provides the best offer. Each year, cardholders can stay at any of the 5,000 hotels worldwide for one night, free of charge. The value of this free night will depend on how you use it. Certain rooms at IHG properties run for as much as $400 per night. Most other credit cards that come with free-night benefits tend to be far more restrictive; for example, you may have to redeem your stay during a weekend or only at certain hotels. Because the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card does not restrict your free night, it makes it to the top of our list.

The free night comes in the form of a certificate that is valid for one standard room night rate. You have 12 months to redeem the certificate from the date it's issued. Therefore, you can't collect multiple certificates and use them one after the other.

List of IHG Hotel Brands

  • Candlewood Suites
  • Holiday Inn Hotels
  • Holiday Inn Resort
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations
  • Hotel Indigo
  • Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
  • EVEN Hotels
  • Holiday Inn Express Hotels
  • HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts
  • Staybridge Suites

The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card also has one of the lowest annual fees on any hotel card: $49 per year, which is waived the first year. Therefore, as long as you cash in your free anniversary night every year, you'll be coming out way ahead.

Drawback: This card is on the regular World Mastercard network. Unlike most of the best hotel cards, which are either World Elite Mastercard or Visa Signature, you won't get access to some of the more premium features, like concierge service. These are mostly secondary perks that most people won't use, however, it's something you should be aware of before signing up.

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Highlights

  • Earn 5 points per dollar spent when you stay at IHG® hotels.
  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
  • IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Review

The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card: Best Hotel Credit Card With No Annual Fee

If you want to earn hotel rewards without having to pay an annual fee, we recommend the The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card. This card offers decent benefits, despite the lack of an annual fee. Card members receive automatic gold status with Wyndham for signing up. With gold status, you earn perks like free Wi-Fi, late check-out, and dedicated member service. Ordinarily, you would need to stay at Wyndham for five nights within one year before being enrolled in this membership status.

Select Wyndham Brands

  • Wyndham
  • Super 8
  • The Registry Collection
  • Wyndham Garden
  • Howard Johnson
  • Baymont Inn & Suites
  • Days Inn
  • Knights Inn
  • Ramada Worldwide

This card is also more rewarding than many other co-branded credit cards on non-travel purchases. Users receive two points per dollar spent on gas, utility, and grocery store purchases. When you use the card to pay for Wyndham related purchases, you receive three points per dollar spent. Wyndham points can be worth as much as 1.42 cents each, making this card's rewards rate as high as 4.26%. As an added bonus, card holders currently receive 15,000 points after they make their first purchase. That's enough to redeem one free award night at a participating Wyndham location.

The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card Highlights

  • Automatically get Wyndham gold status.
  • Get a rewards rate between 1.42% and 4.26%.
  • Get 15,000 Wyndham points after your first purchase.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card: Best Premium Hotel Credit Card

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card is one of the few premium hotel credit cards, and it comes with some of the best rewards for frequent travelers. Despite the steep annual fee of $450, avid travelers who use all the benefits this card has to offer will have no problem turning this card into a net positive investment. First off, cardholders get a $300 annual travel credit that can be applied toward any travel-related expense, like hotel bookings. That effectively knocks down the card's annual fee to $150 every year you use it. You'll also get a $100 discount on up to five qualifying round-trip domestic coach airline tickets on the same itinerary when purchased on the Visa Infinite Discount Air website. There's also a $100 hotel credit that can be used toward dining, spa and recreational activities, Ritz-Carlton Club upgrades, and Priority Pass Select airport lounge access—all of which give you more than $500 in value.

Other Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Benefits:

  • Global Entry application fee reimbursement ($100 value every four years)
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance

Get all these perks just for signing up with the card. As you use the card, you'll tap into more benefits. You'll earn 5 points per dollar spent at participating Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and SPG® hotels, plus 2 points per dollar spent on car rentals, restaurants and airline tickets purchased directly with the airline. As you collect these points, you can use them to pay for free stays at Marriott and Ritz-Carlton properties.

Drawbacks: As with any premium card, you should carefully consider your travel and spending habits to determine whether the $450 annual fee is worth it to you. If you don't think you can consistently use the card's most worthwhile perks, then it doesn't make sense to pay $450 just to get it. The card's annual fee isn't waived the first year, so it will burn a hole in your wallet from the moment you get it.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Highlights

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: Best for Frequent Marriott Guests

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'll get from day-to-day spending, this card awards one free night every year in a category one to five hotel. On average, this benefit can be worth around $100. However, if you're creative in your search, you can find category five 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 spend $3,000 or more during the first three months from account opening. We estimate the value of this reward to be between $480 and $680, depending on how you use the points.

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Highlights

  • Earn five points per dollar spent at participating Marriott and SPG hotels; 2 points per dollar spent on car rentals, restaurants and airline tickets bought directly through the airline; and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get a rewards rate between 0.6% and 3%.
  • Earn 15 elite credits after account opening and every year after your account anniversary; plus, get one elite night credit every time you spend $3,000 on the card.
  • Get a free night stay in a category one to five hotel each year after your account anniversary.
  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Review

The Hyatt Credit Card: For Frequent Hyatt Guests

The The Hyatt Credit Card is one of the most rewarding hotel cards we've come across. It just missed our list in a few separate categories, but it's still worth considering if you stay at Hyatt hotels at least once a year. The card's best feature is its free anniversary night. You can use it to stay at any category one to four hotel or resort each year. This benefit alone makes this card well worth its $75 annual fee. One night at a Hyatt property can cost hundreds of dollars.

List of Hyatt Brands

  • Park Hyatt
  • Hyatt Regency
  • Miraval
  • Hyatt Place
  • Andaz
  • Hyatt
  • The Unbound Collection
  • Hyatt Zilara and Hyatt Ziva
  • Grand Hyatt
  • Hyatt Centric
  • Hyatt House

This card also awards a generous number of points. You'll earn 3 points per dollar spent on purchases at all Hyatt hotels and resorts. You'll also get 2 points per dollar spent on restaurants, car rentals or airline tickets purchased directly from airlines. Hyatt points are worth about 1.8 cents each. The awards rate varies between 1.8% and 5.4%, making this card more generous than most out there.

The Hyatt Credit Card Highlights

  • 3 bonus points per dollar spent on purchases at all Hyatt hotels and resorts.
  • 2 bonus points per dollar spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.
  • Pay a $75 annual fee.
  • The Hyatt Credit Card 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. With this card, you can earn 3 points per dollar spent at Stash hotels. The list currently includes around 175 properties, with most located in North America. For a full list of participating hotels, check out their website.

This card is good for people who spend a lot at restaurants, gas stations and hotels. Cardholders earn three points per dollar spent at Stash hotels; 2 points per dollar spent at other hotels, restaurants and gas stations; and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The rewards rate on each Stash point is between 1.3% and 3.9%.

Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card Highlights

  • 3 points per dollar spent at Stash hotels; 2 points per dollar spent on restaurants, gas stations and non-Stash hotels; and one point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 10,000 bonus points when you make at least $1,500 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Pay a $0 annual fee for the first year, then $85.
  • Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card 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.

Assumptions Based On Monthly Spend of: $1,430 Edit
General:
U.S. Gas Stations:
U.S. Supermarkets:
Airlines:
Hotel:
U.S. Restaurants:
Office:
Utilities:
Computing:
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. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

Bonus Value

The bonus field shows our estimate for the value of the card’s welcome 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. All estimates are based on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

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 welcome 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 and on the spend assumptions entered above (which you can edit).

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.

The Hyatt Credit Card
$75 3.63%
$700
Earn 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months after account opening.
$1,247
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months

Card Rewards Estimated Rewards Value Dollars*
Spending Rewards 39,840 x $0.018 = $697
Bonuses
40,000 x $0.018 = $700
Less Annual Fees -$150
Total Net Estimated Rewards Through 24 Months 1,247

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $75
APR 17.24% - 24.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases with the Hyatt Credit Card in the first 3 months after account opening.
  • 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.
  • Plus, receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.
  • Get Bonus Points on every purchase. Free nights start at just 5,000 points.
  • 3 Bonus Points for every $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts.
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines and at car rental agencies, Plus 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on purchases elsewhere.
  • 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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95 3.00%
$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 and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
APR 17.24% - 24.24% 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
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
$89 - Waived first year 3.06%
$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
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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 value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $89 - Waived first year
APR 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% 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, 17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers.
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card
$95 2.40%
$500
Earn 2 weekend nights after spending $2,500 in the first four months
$825
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
$75 2.33%
$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 and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Discover it® Miles
$0 2.25%
$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
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0
APR 13.24% - 24.24% Variable

Card Details

  • 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 free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.
Fairmont Visa Signature® Credit Card
Image of Fairmont Visa Signature® Credit Card $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95 2.18%
$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 and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
No Annual Fee 2.08%
$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
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 14.99% - 22.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 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
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • Redeem points to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees with no restrictions or blackouts
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Smart chip technology provides greater acceptance and added security
  • No limits or expiration dates on points earned
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $49 2.17%
$480
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
$746
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $49
APR 17.24% - 24.24% 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
Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $85 1.82%
$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
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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 value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
The Choice Privileges® Visa® Card
No Annual Fee 1.73%
$62
Earn 8,000 bonus points after your first purchase
$593
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 16.24%, 20.99% or 25.99% 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
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card
No Annual Fee 1.77%
$200
Earn 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within the first 4 months
$607
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
$395 1.47%
$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
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature Card
$50 1.47%
$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 and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Best Western Rewards® Premium MasterCard®
$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $59 1.23%
$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 and Value Calculation

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 value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
The Wyndham Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
No Annual Fee 1.17%
$60
12,000 bonus points with first purchase
$403
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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 value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

Annual Fee No Annual Fee
APR 16.24%, 20.99% or 25.99% 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
U.S. Bank Perks+ Visa Signature® Card
No Annual Fee 1.37%
$0
$470
Graph Card Read Review More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Best Western Rewards® MasterCard®
No Annual Fee 0.90%
$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 and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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
Best Western Rewards® Secured MasterCard®
$40 0.42%
$29
5,000 bonus points after your first purchase
$144
Graph Card More Details and Value Calculation

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

*The value estimate is calculated using ValuePenguin.com rewards point value.

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

How to Find the Best Hotel Credit Card for You

Finding the best hotel credit card is a four-step process: Determine which type of hotel card you want, prioritize the key features that mean the most to you, and consider your creditworthiness and how much you spend. We outline this evaluation process to help you select the best hotel credit card for you.

Find the Right Type of Hotel Card

There are two types of hotel credit cards: generic travel rewards cards and co-branded hotel rewards cards. Each offer different kinds of bonuses, perks and rewards. Get familiar with both types to help you determine which one will reward you the most.

Generic Travel Rewards Cards

You earn points on all your purchases and redeem them for various rewards such as cash back, flights, hotel stays or statement credits. You typically get the best value if you use points for travel-related expenses. Some rewards programs—such as American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards—allow you to transfer points to hotel loyalty programs.

Generic travel rewards cards are best if you want:

  • Maximum rewards value.
  • Flexibility when you redeem rewards.
  • A higher rewards rate for entertainment, travel and restaurant purchases.

Co-branded Hotel Rewards Cards

The other type of hotel card is linked to a particular hotel brand. You're awarded loyalty points with that card's hotel brand. These cards typically come with rewards programs that are less flexible than generic travel cards, but they can offer generous hotel perks such as late checkout.

Co-branded cards are best if you are:

  • An avid traveler.
  • Loyal to a specific hotel brand.

Compare Key Benefits of Hotel Cards

When checking out hotel credit cards, prioritize which features are the most important to you. Here are the major ones to think about.

Earning Points Toward Free Nights. This is the key benefit of hotel credit cards. Consider a card that has an accelerated rewards rate for certain categories that maximizes your spending. For example, look for a card that provides two or three points per dollar spent on restaurants if you dine out often.

Sign-up Bonus. Many rewards credit cards offer a sign-up bonus after spending a minimum amount—typically between $500 and $5,000—in the first few months of the card's opening. Generally, the more you must spend, the higher the bonus you'll get.

Voucher for a Free Hotel Night. Worth hundreds of dollars, some co-branded hotel cards provide a free anniversary night (or nights) to card members each year. Some limitations may apply; for example, you may only use the free night at certain hotels.

Fee Credit. Not often offered, hotel cards can come with a credit toward travel-related expenses. Just a handful of the dozens of hotel cards we surveyed provided this perk.

Elite Status. Some hotel cards allow you to earn elite status with the hotel brand. Generally, you are required to stay a minimum number of nights per year to receive elite membership. The benefits often include free in-room premium Wi-Fi, room upgrades and late checkout.

Travel Insurance. Most travel cards come with travel accident insurance, while some cards provide trip cancellation or interruption insurance, roadside assistance and lost baggage insurance.

Concierge Service. Some cards also offer concierge services. With this service, you can get personal assistance for things like reserving event tickets or making restaurant reservations. American Express Platinum, Visa Signature and World Elite Mastercard credit cards all offer this service.

How Do The Best Hotel Credit Cards Compare?

The very best hotel credit cards come with great bonuses and high rewards rates. To highlight key differences among these cards, we compared the perks each have. Our analysis specifically considered the most useful hotel benefits such as elite status perks, travel insurance, annual free nights and a high-dollar sign-up bonus.

CardElite Membership BenefitsTravel InsuranceAnnual Free Night(s) BenefitsBonus Worth Over $400?
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
Stash Hotel Rewards® Visa® Card

Consider How Much You Spend

How much you spend on a card typically helps determine whether an annual fee is worth paying. For instance, you should choose a card with no annual fee if you charge less than $12,000 a year. But if you charge more, you might consider applying for a card with an annual fee. Cards with generous sign-up bonuses can offset an annual fee in the first year, and some cards waive the fee in the first year altogether. Other bonuses, such as free anniversary night, may also compensate for the annual fee. The math gets tricky, so we recommend using our comparison tool to find out the net rewards value per card, given your individual spending.

Otherwise, try this formula: Estimate how much you spend in a year, and multiply that by the card's rewards rate. Factor in other long-term benefits, such as airport lounge access or travel credits that you'll likely use. We recommend ignoring the card's sign-up bonus because it's only available in the first year and doesn't help assess the card's long-term viability. Once you have a gross value, subtract the annual fee from the card's net value. Now consider how much value you could get from other cards. A quick shortcut is to compare your card to one with no annual fee and offers 1.5% cash back. Multiply your annual spending by 1.5%. If the final result is higher than the net value of the travel rewards card, then the card with no annual fee is the better option.

Example Calculation

Consider Card A and Card B. Card A has a 2% rewards rate and charges a $50 annual fee. Card B, on the other hand, gives you just 1.5% cash back, but it doesn't charge an annual fee. How much do you have to spend each year for Card A to be the better choice? The table below shows three examples.

Annual SpendingCard A Net RewardsCard B Net RewardsWinner
$5,000(2% x $5,000) - $50 = $50(1.5% x $5,000) = $75Card B
$10,000(2% x $10,000) - $50 = $150(1.5% x $10,000) = $150Tie
$15,000(2% x $15,000) - $50 = $250(1.5% x $15,000) = $225Card A

What Cards Do You Qualify For?

If you have excellent credit, you likely won't have trouble qualifying for any of these credit cards. If your credit is good or you have a shorter credit history, it may be harder, but not impossible, to get these cards. It depends on the credit card issuer's underwriting requirements. If you have no credit history or bad credit, your choices are limited. Get a free FICO score and look for offers that align with your creditworthiness.

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.

Info about the following cards: American Express® Gold Card, Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express, Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card, Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Surpass® Credit Card, American Express® Blue Sky, American Express® Green Card, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express, The Plenti® Credit Card from Amex, Blue from American Express®, Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz, Bluebird, Centurion® Card from American Express, Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card from American Express has been collected independently by ValuePenguin. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

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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