- Co-Branded Hotel Credit Card: These are cards affiliated with a certain brand of hotels. Typically (but not always) these will give you the best rewards when staying at their affiliated properties. Hotels that offer their own branded cards include Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton.
- General Travel Card: Even though they're not co-branded with a specific hotel, some have rewards which are even more valuable than what the hotel's own branded card offers.
Reviews of Featured Hotel Rewards Credit Cards for 2015
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is a great option for those who aspire to earn free nights at Intercontinental, Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels. Currently, you can get 70,000 bonus points after spending only $1,000 in the first three months of account opening. That's the richest sign-up offer in the hotel rewards category and potentially enough for multiple free nights at over 4,700 IHG properties worldwide. Plus, you will automatically receive Platinum Elite Status as long as you have the IHG Rewards Select card and will earn a free night at any IHG property each year on your card anniversary date. The introductory annual fee is $0 the first year, then $49. No foreign exchange fees.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 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
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotel & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotel & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card
The Marriott Rewards Premier card is one of the top hotel reward cards on the market, allowing you to quickly earn free nights at the brands 3,800 hotels and resort properties around the world. The current signup bonus is a compelling value with this card, offering enough points to potentially score an entire vacation's worth of free nights at many of Marriott's lower tier hotels. Chase is offering 50,000 after an initial spending requirement of $1K in the first 3 months. Plus you get a free night once your account is open and then each year thereafter – that's more than an offset to the reasonable annual fee, which is waived in year one.
- 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in your first 3 months from account opening
- Receive 1 Free Night Stay for a Category 1-4 property after your account is approved! That's up to 7 free nights!
- Receive 1 additional Free Night Stay for a Category 1-5 property every year after your account anniversary date!
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $85.
- For every $1 spent, earn 5 points at 3,800 Marriott locations, 2 points on airline ticket purchases directly with airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else
- Receive 15 credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better
- Unlimited Point Accumulation
- No foreign transaction fees and global Chip and Signature technology
The Platinum Card® from American Express
If you typically stay at premium hotels and want VIP treatment when flying, then the Platinum Card from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, can be a worthy traveling companion. Why? Because Platinum cardmembers receive benefits during each stay at over 700 hotels and resorts worldwide through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts program. These benefits include (1) noon check-in upon arrival, when available (2) room upgrade upon arrival, when available (3) 4:00 pm late checkout (4) daily breakfast for two (5) an additional amenity unique to each property, such as a dining credit or a massage. This benefit will vary by property.
- Option of transferring Membership Rewards points to the following loyalty programs: Best Western Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, Hilton HHonors, and Choice Privileges. Or transfer to nearly a dozen frequent flyer programs, usually at a 1:1 conversion.
- Enroll in Priority Pass™ Select and access over 600 airport lounges worldwide. Card membership also entitles you to complimentary access to participating Delta Sky Club locations. Plus access Airspace Lounges at JFK, CLE, and BWI. Lastly, get access to the new Centurion Lounges at LAS and DFW, which are the first of several AmEx lounges that will open in major US airports.
- Up to $200 annually in a statement credits with a qualifying airline of your choice to use towards incidental fees they charge you.
- Platinum Card Concierge service is available 24/7 to help you with things like restaurant reservations, travel arrangements, etc.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Terms and restrictions apply.
Use this link to apply for the 40,000 points offer
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Right now you can earn a 40,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. And, with Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer points on a 1 for 1 basis to the following hotel loyalty programs: IHG Priority Club Rewards (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, Staybridge Suites, etc), Hyatt Gold Passport, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Marriott Rewards. You can also do 1:1 transfers with some frequent flyer programs like United and British Airways.
- 40,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 5,000 bonus points if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first 3 months.
- 2x points on travel (which includes hotels) and dining at restaurants. 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
- Transfer points to partner hotel loyalty programs -OR- redeem them through Ultimate Rewards and get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals & cruises (so your 40,000 bonus points are worth $500 in travel rewards!).
- No foreign transaction fees + chip and signature technology.
- Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Within the hotel reward segment the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, offers several unique features. The signup bonus offer of up to 25,000 points can be turned into a weekend stay in several of the Starwood hotel brands. This card can also be considered an airline miles card. How is that possible? Here's the deal – the Starwood Preferred Guest card allows you to transfer most points on a 1:1 basis to over 30 airline frequent flier programs. Plus, for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred within the same transaction, Starwood will automatically add another 5,000 Starpoints.
- Earn up to 25,000 Bonus Starpoints® – Earn 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase, and another 15,000 Starpoints after you spend $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
- Stay among the largest hotel companies in the world including W Hotels, Le Meridian, Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis, and many others. In total they have over 1,100 properties in nearly 100 countries where you can redeem Starpoints for complimentary nights with no blackout dates. Note that some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
- Starpoints stay active as long as you continue to spend on your Card.
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65.
- Terms and Restrictions apply.
Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are authorís alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.