The Best Hotel Credit Cards of July 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
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The Platinum Card® from American Express

$550

N/A

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

$450

17.99% - 26.99% Variable

Excellent

  • 6X points on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties worldwide
  • 3X points on U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points on all other purchases
  • Get up to $100 in property credit per stay when you use your Card and a special rate code to book stays of two or more nights at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® properties
  • $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status
  • Annual free night award (redemption level at or under 50,000 points) at participating hotels every year after your Card account anniversary
  • Priority Pass membership
  • No foreign transaction fees
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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

$0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year then $95

17.24% - 24.49% Variable

Excellent

  • Click "APPLY NOW" to apply online
  • For professionals and H1B immigrants
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 3% cashback on Travel and Entertainment
  • 2% cashback at restaurants
  • 1% cashback everywhere else
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Cellphone protection up to $600 when you pay your monthly phone bill with your Deserve Mastercard
  • Credit limit up to $10,000
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Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

$450

17.24% - 26.24% Variable

N/A

  • 14X per $1 of eligible purchases on your Card directly with a participating Hilton hotel or resort
  • 7X for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants.
  • 3X for other purchases on your Card.
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IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

$89

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Good

  • Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
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The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
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The Platinum Card® from American Express

$550

N/A

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,000 properties. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Credit needed: Excellent credit

Why we like it: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an all-around great credit card where points can be redeemed for travel, including hotel stays. It offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. It also offers a strong sign-up bonus of 60,000 points (worth $750 when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal) after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening an account. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows cardholders to transfer points to numerous airline and hotel travel partners. The sign-up bonus can immediately be put to use and lower the financial barrier between you and your destination.

Another strength of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the low annual fee, which is $95. Many of this card's competitors charge more than $400. Although the massive gap between annual fees does reflect a difference in the suite of benefits offered to cardholders, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers the necessities and a great point-redemption system.

Coronavirus updates. From May 31 through Sept. 30, cardholders can use the card's "Pay Yourself Back" feature to get 1.25 cents per point on statement credits.

Things to watch out for: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card requires excellent credit, so it may be difficult to qualify. In comparison to other travel or hotel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's annual fee is relatively modest, but make sure you'll spend enough on the card to outweigh the annual fee and come out ahead on rewards.

rewards rates for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card
rewards rates for the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card

Transfer Partners: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has one of the more robust point currencies since the points you earn with the card, Chase Ultimate Rewards, can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio with the following programs:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

2. Best Marriott credit card: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $450 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Regular APR: 17.99% - 26.99% Variable
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Credit needed: Excellent credit

Why we like it: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card card is one of the best premium hotel credit cards available today. Despite the steep annual fee, this card provides tremendous value that offsets its costs. Benefits include a $300 annual statement credit, complimentary Marriott Gold status, a free award night after each account anniversary, and a Priority Pass membership, which grants access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide.

The card also offers an exceptional rewards rates across the board. Cardholders will receive 6 points on every dollar spent toward participating Marriott Bonvoy™ hotels, 3 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2 points for all other purchases. These rewards, alongside the card's solid benefits, make this a great all-purpose rewards card.

Coronavirus updates. Marriott has extended the expiration of free night awards earned in 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021. It has also paused expiration of points until February 2021 (after that, points expire if your account is inactive for at least 24 months).

Things to watch out for: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card card only reaches its full potential — an eye-popping 6x points per dollar spent — when used at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Therefore, if you think you'll often stay at hotels outside of this brand, then it may be smarter to get a general rewards card. This card also charges a steep annual fee, which isn't worth paying unless you're maximizing all the benefits and rewards.

Where to use your points: The Marriott Bonvoy program has a lot to offer in terms of where you can use your points. Marriott Bonvoy brands include W Hotels, the Marriott, the Westin, Courtyard, Four Points by Sheraton and many more. Overall, the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of hotels is one of the strongest in terms of presence.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.

The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

3. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Regular APR: 17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Credit needed: Excellent/Good credit

Why we like it: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card provides great rewards and flexibility, including redeeming rewards for hotel stays. Cardholders earn unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, which can then be transferred to 14 travel loyalty programs, including two hotel programs: Accor ALL and Wyndham Rewards. In addition, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is one of the only cards to provide users with a Global Entry or TSA Precheck voucher at this price. Many credit cards that offer this benefit typically charge annual fees of more than $400.

Things to watch out for: The main drawback of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is its low earning potential compared to other travel cards that reward you with higher rewards for travel, gas, hotels, and dining purchases.

rewards rates for the Capital One Venture credit card

4. Best credit card for Hilton: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $450 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Regular APR: 17.24% - 26.24% Variable
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Credit needed: Excellent credit

Why we like it: The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card provides a range of benefits to cardholders, many of which are amplified when the card is used at hotels in the Hilton portfolio. The card provides 14 points per dollar spent at Hilton properties, 10 points per dollar spent when booking any stay (Hilton or not!), and 7 points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com. In addition, all cardholders get complimentary Hilton Diamond status — the highest loyalty status offered by Hilton.

This card offers quite a few other features that go beyond simply racking up points. Cardholders get a free weekend reward night annually, Priority Pass membership for airport lounges around the world, a $250 annual airline fee credit, and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit. Adding up the value of these benefits alone is more than enough to completely offset the steep annual fee of this luxury hotel card.

Coronavirus updates. From May 1 to July 31, 2020, cardholders can earn 12 points per $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets. Hilton has also extended the life of free weekend night rewards earned in 2020 from 12 months to 24 months. Furthermore, bonus points earned with the card through Dec. 31, 2020 are considered base points, and will count toward elite status with Hilton.

Things to watch out for: The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers staggeringly high rewards rates across several bonus categories, but it's worth noting that each point is worth less than 1 cent, at 0.5 cents per point on average, which is lower than the standard rate among travel rewards cards. Also, many of these benefits and features are only accessible when using the credit card specifically at Hilton properties. You will need to stay at Hilton hotels often to make the most out of this credit card — but if you do, then it's easily worth every penny.

Where to use your points: Hilton points you earn with the card can help you earn free nights at any Hilton brand hotel. Some of the more popular Hilton hotel brands include Hilton, DoubleTree, Hilton Garden Inn, and the Conrad. If you're planning on applying for this card be sure to read up about how to maximize Hilton points.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please click here.

5. Best IHG credit card: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $89
  • Regular APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Credit needed: Excellent/Good credit

Why we like it: The biggest draw of the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is its Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. at IHG hotels. Although cardholders would be sacrificing flexibility, as these points have very little value outside of IHG hotel bookings, there is still value to be found here if you prefer this hotel chain. The annual fee is easily outweighed by the card's annual free night reward, which we estimate can be worth up to $256, not including the generous welcome bonus. If you are a frequent IHG guest and only concerned with maximizing your value from staying there, then this is the right card.

Coronavirus updates. IHG has paused point expiration until Dec. 31, 2020 (after that, points will expire after 12 months of inactivity). It has also extended the life of anniversary night certificates issues in 2020 from 12 months to 18 months.

Things to watch out for: This credit card is only valuable if you are a frequent IHG guest. If you do choose to apply for this card, consider using it alongside a different credit card for everyday rewards.

Where to use your points: While the IHG rewards program isn't as well known as Hilton or Marriott, IHG has plenty of popular hotel brands where you can redeem your points. A few notable standouts include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, the Holiday Inn, and Candlewood Suites. Rest assured that the IHG brand of hotels has a strong presence and you'll have no problem finding somewhere to redeem your points.

6. Best Hyatt credit card: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • On Chase's Secure Website
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Credit needed: Excellent/Good credit

Why we like it: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card has a very generous sign-up bonus with a very reasonable annual fee. Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. Rewards points can be redeemed for hotel stays that start as low as 5,000 points, and cardholders get three free anniversary nights per year. Free nights are one of the most rare and valuable benefits offered, which makes this card a solid pick for your wallet. The value gained from just one free hotel night alone is enough to offset the meager annual fee.

Coronavirus updates. Hyatt has extended the expiration date of free night certificates earned in 2020 to Dec. 31, 2021. Hyatt also has a limited-time offer for The World Of Hyatt Credit Card cardmembers through Oct. 8: Cardmembers can earn 25% of their points back (15% as a World of Hyatt member and an additional 10% as a cardmember) when they redeem their points for award stays and more. The promotion includes other limited-time benefits for World of Hyatt members, including free on-site parking for all members, making it a good time to use your points for an award stay.

Things to watch out for: The biggest downside is that Hyatt doesn't have as many properties as most of its competitors. This may not be an issue if you travel exclusively to metropolitan areas and tourist destinations, but smaller cities may not have any Hyatt properties at all. You would therefore miss out on possible points, rewards and any benefits of being a The World Of Hyatt Credit Card cardholder.

Where to use your points: The Hyatt portfolio of hotels includes Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place and the Unbound Collection.

7. Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
This product is not available through ValuePenguin.
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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 14.49% to 24.99% (Variable)
  • Sign-up bonus: Enjoy 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Credit needed: Excellent/Good credit

Why we like it: While we generally prefer premium hotel cards due to their superior benefits, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is is one no-annual-fee travel card that rates among the top travel cards. The card offers an excellent Earn 3X points on eating out, ordering in and popular streaming services, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases. Also – bonus tip – if you happen to own a Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card, you can transfer your points to it and redeem them for travel to score a 50% redemption bonus, making your points essentially worth 1.5 cents apiece.

Things to watch for: The card is co-branded with American Express, which means you’ll need to deal with more limited merchant acceptance, especially when traveling abroad. Also, though the card offers a decent line-up of travel-related benefits, including no foreign transaction fee, it lacks the prime perks that come with a premium hotel card, such as lounge access and hotel credits.

The information related to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

8. The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Credit Card Details

  • Annual fee: $550
  • Regular APR: N/A
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Credit needed: Excellent/Good credit

Why we like it: The Platinum Card® from American Express is a great choice for individuals who frequently travel and stay in hotels on the road. The card offers quite a few benefits to help mitigate its steep annual fee: a airline fee credit up to $200, airport lounge access through the Delta SkyClub, Amex Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass, a fee waiver for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, great rewards rates on purchases and more. Cardholders can 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. Plus, you'll get a host of perks like resort credits and upgraded rooms through American Express' Fine Hotels & Resorts programs.

Coronavirus updates. Cardholders will receive $320 in statement credits on select streaming and wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers (up to $20 per month) from May through December 2020.

Things to watch out for: The Platinum Card® from American Express card requires good to excellent credit from applicants, meaning it will be difficult for most people to qualify. In addition, the $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees) is one of the highest among any luxury travel card. If you are unable to maximize its value or do not travel frequently enough, the card's fee may end up outweighing its benefits.

Transfer Partners: The Membership Reward points you earn with The Platinum Card® from American Express rival Chase Ultimate Rewards in terms of usefulness. That's because American Express allows you to transfer points to a massive list of travel partners, which we've listed below.

  • Aer Lingus
  • AeroMexico
  • Air France KLM
  • Alitalia
  • Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Delta Air Lines
  • El Al Israel Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Qantas Loyalty
  • Virgin Atlantic Airways
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

What are hotel credit cards?

Pros

  • Hotel cards provide bonus rewards when you spend at hotels.
  • Miles and points earned can be redeemed for free nights, among other benefits.
  • General and co-branded hotel cards are both available.

Cons

  • Most hotel rewards cards have annual fees.
  • Cardholders may need to pay higher annual fees to access luxury benefits.
  • Cardholders typically pay high interest costs when the bill isn't paid in full.

Given the massive variety of hotels available around the world, it makes sense there would likewise be many options for consumers in need of a hotel credit card. Hotel credit cards serve a similar function to travel cards, which maximize value on travel purchases and offer redeemable points. Hotel credit cards provide extra points when the card is used to book rooms, and accumulated points can eventually be redeemed for free stays.

Hotel credit cards can be divided into two distinct types: general travel rewards cards and co-branded cards. General travel rewards credit cards are not affiliated to any specific hotel chain, while co-branded credit cards provide unique value on specific hotel brands. If you only stay in certain hotel chains, then a co-branded hotel card would be perfect. If you think your hotel stays will vary, however, then the more universal rewards structure of a general travel rewards card might fit you better. In this piece, we will examine both types.

There are a few factors to keep in mind when searching for the best hotel credit card. In particular, you should consider rewards you may earn, how you can redeem those rewards, the sign-up bonus, the annual fee and the benefits associated with that card. The value of these cards will vary when you analyze these features. Although all of these credit cards are good choices, keep in mind that they only become great if they fit your unique needs.

The information related to the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Questions to ask yourself before applying for a rewards credit card

Before applying for any credit card, we always recommend you shop around and ask yourself a few key questions.

What kind of card can I qualify for?

There are two key factors you should consider when choosing a hotel credit card: credit requirement and annual fee. Many of the top hotel cards demand good to excellent credit before applying, so make sure you know the approximate credit requirements and how well it matches up to your own credit score before applying. Annual fees on hotel cards also vary, with the more luxurious cards charging significantly steeper fees. Apply for a credit card you believe is the most appropriate for your particular financial situation and that you can confidently pay annually.

Why would I apply for a card with a higher annual fee rather than lower?

The reason some cards have higher annual fees than others is because they offer a larger and more luxurious suite of benefits. Cards with higher fees often cater toward a wealthier demographic, so their benefits include complimentary hotel nights on extended stays and access to exclusive airport lounges. The value provided by lower-end cards is designed for a separate demographic than that of higher-end cards.

When deciding between credit cards with different annual fees, consider which will provide you with more value. If you travel often and take advantage of the various statement credits and bonuses provided by higher-end credit cards, then it may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you don't travel as often and only want a hotel credit card to use a couple of times a year, then a credit card with a lower fee would be more practical for your specific situation.

Should I apply for a co-branded or general credit card?

It's important to distinguish between co-branded and general travel rewards credit cards when looking for one that best fits your needs. Co-branded credit cards offer extra benefits when used in specific hotel chains, whereas general travel rewards credit cards offer consistent rewards across all applicable hotels without preference.

You should apply for a co-branded credit card if you regularly frequent one hotel chain over others, or if a certain chain is significantly more popular in the areas where you travel. In contrast, you should apply for a general travel rewards credit card if you have no preference among hotel chains and don't want to worry about optimizing rewards by going to certain hotels over others.

Yowana is a former product analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in credit cards, rewards programs and travel. He previously covered mortgages, banking and insurance for the website. Yowana graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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.

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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.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).