Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2024

Hotel credit cards offer unique rewards, from bonus points at specific hotel chains to free nights or status upgrades. Here are our top six.

Written by
Luke Daugherty
Last Update on Jan 10, 2024

Hotel credit cards offer some unique benefits compared to other types of rewards cards. Especially if you don’t mind sticking with one specific hotel chain, you may be able to maximize rewards points and take advantage of other perks like status upgrades or free nights.

These cards aren’t for everyone, but if you’re a regular traveler, you might enjoy having a hotel card or two stashed in your wallet. Here are six of our favorites for you to consider.

Best All-Around Hotel Credit Card

Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express

150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months
14X Hilton Honors points on hotel purchases within the Hilton portfolio
Up to $600 in statement credits available each year
20.74%–29.74%, variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent (700+)
Rewards Rate
3X to 14X points, depending on category
Annual fee
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If you gravitate toward Hilton properties, this card should be a mainstay in your wallet. Stays and purchases at hotels within the Hilton portfolio will help you bank rewards fast, at 14 points per dollar. You’ll also earn extra statement credits for those purchases, and an automatic free Hilton night every year. Plus, enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status to stretch your points even further. Note that the points don’t carry quite the same weight as they do on some other cards.

Additional Details
  • 14X points on spending at Hilton properties
  • 7X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com, along with rental cars from select partners and all dining at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X points on all other purchases
  • Up to $250 in statement credits each year for eligible Hilton resort purchases
  • Automatic free night every year, plus one more when you spend $60,000 per calendar year
  • $250 airline credit for any incidental airline expenses you pay for with your card
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
Most Flexible Hotel Rewards Card

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 bonus miles ($750 in travel) for spending $4,000 in the first three months
Unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars when booked through Capital One Travel
Perks easily outweigh the annual fee if you use it right
21.74%–28.74%, variable
Credit Score
Excellent (750+)
Rewards Rate
2X to 10X miles, depending on category
Annual fee
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Looking for more flexibility to stay where you want? The Venture X Rewards card from Capital One is a premium travel card that offers some nice hotel perks for a reasonable annual fee. If you book hotel stays and rental cars through Capital One Travel, you’ll earn 10 points per dollar. Plus, booking flights in the same way will get you 5 points per dollar. Easily cash in your points for hotel stays or miles on Capital One Travel, but keep in mind that this does have some limitations.

Additional Details
  • 2X miles on all purchases not mentioned above
  • Unlimited complimentary access to more than 1,300 lounges
  • Extra perks at luxury hotels and resorts in the Premier Collection
  • Miles are transferable to 15-plus travel partners
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Capital One lounge network is still growing
Best Luxury Hotel Card

The Platinum Card® from American Express

High rewards for frequent luxury travelers
5X points (on up to $500,000 per year) on flights booked directly through airlines or American Express Travel
Elite status and luxury benefits with Hilton and Marriott
20.99%–28.99%, variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent (700+)
Rewards Rate
1X to 5X miles, depending on category
Annual fee
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Make no mistake — The Platinum Card® from American Express is a status card with a substantial annual fee. But, if you use it right, you can cash in big time in travel rewards and luxury hotel perks. Any hotels or flights you book with American Express Travel, plus flights booked directly with airlines, earn 5X points. Plus, you can earn up to $200 in statement credits for luxury hotel bookings through AMEX. This card also offers loads of other credits for a range of spending, and these can quickly outweigh the annual fee if you take advantage of them.

Additional Details
  • High $695 annual fee
  • Access to tons of airport lounges
  • 80,000 bonus points when you spend $6,000 in the first six months
  • Earn statement credits of $200 or more when you use your card for hotels, Walmart membership, streaming services, Sax Fifth Avenue, Uber rides, and more
  • Statement credits to cover application fees for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or CLEAR® Plus
Best Extended Stay Hotel Card

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Up to 26X points on stays at IHG properties worldwide
Free night each account anniversary, plus fourth night free when you redeem your points for stays
140,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months
20.74%–27.74%, variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent (700+)
Rewards Rate
3X to 26X points, depending on category
Annual fee
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If you don’t mind sticking with IHG properties, you can load up rewards quickly with the IHG® Rewards Premier card. Every time you use this card at an IHG hotel, you’ll rack up 10 points per dollar. Plus, you’ll get an extra 10X points for being an IHG Rewards member and another 6X points for Platinum Elite status, which comes with the card. That’s 26 points on the dollar, a rate that’s tough to beat. Outside of that, though, the card offers limited benefits, so it’s more of a supplement than an everyday workhorse.

Additional Details
  • 5X points on spending on travel, gas stations and restaurants
  • 3X points on all other purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status
  • Redemption options outside of IHG properties are limited, and point values are low compared to other cards
Best for Best Western Travelers

Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard

20X points for Best Western stays
Up to 120,000 bonus points in the first year
Automatic Gold status
22.49% or 29.49%, variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent (700+)
Rewards Rate
2X to 20X points, depending on category
Annual fee
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A lot of hotel cards reserve their biggest perks for one specific set of properties, and this one is no exception. If you like to travel on a budget, you can cash in big with the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard, nabbing 20 points on the dollar for any Best Western stays around the world. With a generous bonus-point structure and no foreign transaction fees, this card can help you travel far and wide without overspending. If you don’t frequent Best Western properties, however, this card won’t offer much.

Additional Details
  • 80,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 total during your first three billing cycles
  • Extra 40,000 bonus points every year when you spend at least $5,000 over every 12 billing cycles
  • 10% discount when you use the Best Western Rewards Rate at bwrcarddiscount.com
  • 2X points on all spending outside of Best Western stays
Best Mid-Tier Hotel Rewards Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Earn 130,000 bonus points plus a free night when you spend $2,000 in the first three months (ends 7/19/2023)
12X Hilton Honors points for all spending at properties in the Hilton portfolio
10 complimentary Priority Pass lounge visits each year (a $299 value)
20.74%–29.74%, variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent (700+)
Rewards Rate
3X to 12X points, depending on category
Annual fee
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If you don’t have the credit score (or don’t want the annual fee) for Hilton’s top-tier card, this mid-level option offers great hotel rewards value. On top of 12X points for Hilton spending, you’ll get 6X points for eligible purchases at supermarkets, restaurants and gas stations in the U.S., plus 3X points on all other spending. You can also earn a free night every year when you spend at least $15,000 on your card. Note that your points will have limited value for redemption outside of Hilton properties.

Additional Details
  • Complimentary elite Gold status, which you can upgrade to Diamond if you spend $40,000 per calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Great bonus offer (noted above) ends 7/19/2023
  • Low annual fee

Understanding Loyalty Incentives In The Hospitality Industry

There are incentives to promote client fidelity to hotels or hotel groups. These include earning points through accommodation bookings and other eligible outlays, redeemable for rewards such as room upgrades, complimentary stays, and late check-out. Depending on the program, free Wi-Fi or minibar credits may also be included, catering to various travel preferences.

Earning Points Without Credit Cards

You don’t need a hotel-affiliated credit card to earn points. By frequenting a hotel or its brand and booking stays, points are accrued. These rewards are akin to frequent flyer miles, transforming repeat visits into future free trips. However, seasonal and nightly price fluctuations should be considered.

An Insight Into Hotel Credit Cards

Hotel credit cards are specialized rewards cards in association with particular hotel chains. Points are earned with each transaction and credited to the hotel loyalty account at the end of the billing cycle.

  • Additional Perks: Besides earning points on preferred programs, extras like complimentary breakfast and discounts may apply.
  • Premium Cards: With often an associated annual fee, premium cards may offer:
    • Elite status within the hotel chain
    • Yearly complimentary stay
    • Trusted traveler program credits
    • Selective travel insurance

How To Collect Hotel Points

Whether using a co-branded hotel credit card or not, points are mainly accumulated through hotel-related spending, with bonus points on other purchases.

Utilizing Your Rewards Points

  • Redeeming Points: Redemption methods may vary, but typically involve logging into an account, searching for eligible hotels, and booking with points.
  • Maximizing Benefits: To make the most of rewards points, choosing a card that aligns with spending habits is key, along with travel flexibility and careful management to avoid point expiration.
  • Pro Advice: Always compare the point rates to cash rates for optimum value.

Selecting The Ideal Hotel Credit Card

  • Know Your Brand: Understanding the geographical locations of hotel properties and their alignment with your travel plans is crucial.
  • Consider Flexibility: Cards with multiple redemption options provide more freedom.
  • Beware of Annual Fees: High fees may not be justified for infrequent travelers.
  • One-Time Bonuses: Welcome bonuses or free night certificates can be valuable.
  • Evaluating Earning Rates: Although earning rates may seem high, understanding the real-world value is vital.
  • Additional Perks for Travelers: Luxury cards may include various additional benefits, but the value must be weighed against the costs.

Are Hotel Credit Cards Worth It For The Rewards?

The suitability of a hotel card depends on individual travel patterns and preferences. These programs, often extended with co-branded credit cards, offer an array of benefits for regular travelers, providing free nights, upgrades, and more. It’s a rewarding strategy for frequent hotel patrons but requires careful consideration.

Interested in other credit cards for travel? Check out the best airline credit cards.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are The Benefits Of A Hotel Card?

Hotel credit cards offer a wide range of benefits, from earning extra rewards points and free nights to late checkouts and complimentary status upgrades. If you travel frequently, hotel cards can provide more benefits than standard cash-back cards.

How Many Reward Points Do You Need For A Hotel Room?

The point value of one night’s hotel stay depends on the hotel, the type of room, the time of year and more. Depending on the hotel chain and the rewards program, you might need anywhere from 5,000 to 95,000 points for a standard hotel room.

Is It Better To Book A Hotel With A Credit Card?

Although you can use a debit card to reserve your hotel room, a credit card may be a better choice because it’s not tied to your bank account. Plus, you won’t get the extra perks of bonus points or miles if you don’t use a rewards card.

Luke Daugherty is a freelance writer, editor, and former operations manager. He covers personal finance, operations, marketing, and sustainable business, as well as many of his personal passions. His work, bylined and ghostwritten, has appeared in The Balance, CNET, CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur, and more.