Updated on Jul 23, 2020

Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2020

Bonus, budget or best overall? Find the hotel credit card that has what you're looking for.
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The best hotel credit cards reward you for staying in hotels with points, cash back or free nights. Hotel credit cards can be either flexible travel cards or co-branded cards tied specifically to a chain of hotels. We’ve reviewed every hotel credit card available and chosen the best options for you.

Summary

The Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2020

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for luxury travel perks The Platinum Card® from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • The World Of Hyatt Credit Card LEARN MORE
    Best for high-value hotel points The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
    Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card LEARN MORE
    Best for sign up bonus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
    Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card LEARN MORE
    Best for earning free night stays Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
    Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for Hilton loyalists Hilton Honors American Express Card
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Having a great hotel card in your wallet could benefit your stay next time you find yourself traveling. Americans are staying in hotels more than ever before, according to Deloitte’s annual Travel and Hospitality Outlook, which reports that hotel bookings rose to $185 billion in 2017.

The best hotel credit cards give you bonus rewards — either as points, cash back or other perks — for being a loyal customer and using your card regularly. You can turn these rewards into free nights, room upgrades and travel savings.

Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best for luxury travel perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Rewards Summary 5X Membership Rewards® points
Annual Fee $550 (See Rates & Fees)

Foreign Transaction Fee None (See Rates & Fees)
Current Offer 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • 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.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $550 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A*
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: See Rates & Fees
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A*
  • Ongoing APR: See Pay Over Time APR
  • Penalty APR: See Rates & Fees

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Platinum Card® from American Express is for travelers who don’t mind paying a high annual fee (See Rates & Fees) to unlock access to luxury travel perks. From free hotel room upgrades to airport lounge access, this card is for people who like to travel in style.

How to use it
The luxury travel perks of The Platinum Card® from American Express include access to more than 1,200 airport lounges, free room upgrades and breakfast, automatic gold status with Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors and more. You’ll earn 5x points on flights and hotels booked either directly with the airline, hotel or through Amex Travel.
Consider this

  • $550 (See Rates & Fees) annual fee
  • No rewards for purchases other than flights and hotels
  • American Express is not as widely accepted as cards in the Visa or Mastercard network

Why you'll love it

The Platinum Card® from American Express is perfect for those who take multiple trips each year, use Uber for transportation while traveling and take advantage of the airport lounges while waiting for your flight. What’s not to love?

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Pro tip: Boost the value of your Membership Rewards points by transferring them to a partner airline or hotel. The best current transfer value is to Hilton Honors, where you’ll get 2x points for every Membership Rewards point.

Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website

Best for high-value hotel points

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Rewards Summary 9 points total for Hyatt stays
Annual Fee $95

Foreign Transaction Fee Not Applicable
Current Offer 25,000 bonus points
  • 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
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: N/A

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you want to earn free nights at Hyatt hotels, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card is a great way to do it. With nights starting at just 5,000 points for Category 1 hotels, the sign up bonus is worth up to 10 free nights.

How to use it
With The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll earn 4x bonus points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels, 2x points per dollar on airlines, restaurants, local transit and gym memberships, and 1x point on all other purchases.
Consider this

  • Points can only be redeemed at Hyatt hotel
  • $95 annual fee with no intro period
  • Hyatt hotels may not be available in the city or area you’re traveling

Why you'll love it

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card is the best hotel credit card for earning high-value hotel points. This card is just full of surprises, including a sign up bonus where you can earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and another 25,000 points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months.

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Pro tip: Determine the cash value of your points by dividing the per night cost of a room by the hotel category’s points per night. For instance, a Category 3 hotel costs 12,000 points per night, but a room might cost $200, making your points worth 1.67 cents each.

Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website

Best for sign up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards Summary 2X points on travel and dining
Annual Fee $95

Foreign Transaction Fee Not Applicable
Current Offer 60,000 bonus points
  • Spend $4,000 on purchases in your first three months to earn 60,000 bonus points. That’s $750 in travel!
  • Get 25% more in redemption value when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can redeem for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals.
  • Transfer points to other travel rewards programs for a 1:1 value.
  • Refer friends and receive 15,000 bonus points for each friend who gets approved, up to 75,000 bonus points.
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

Do you need points fast to pay for your hotel nights on an upcoming trip? The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a fantastic sign up bonus to help you pay for your travels.

How to use it
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card’s sign up bonus gives you 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first three months — that’s $750 toward your next getaway when you make your reservations through Chase’s travel portal.
Consider this

  • 15.99% - 22.99% Variable regular purchase APR with no intro period
  • No premium travel perks
  • 2x rewards only on two categories — travel and dining

Why you'll love it

For an annual fee of $95, you’ll earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. You can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards to one of Chase’s partner rewards program at a 1:1 exchange ratio, letting you take advantage of hotel rewards from different hotel programs.

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Pro tip: If you have multiple cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can transfer them all to one card to keep all of your points in one, easy-to-access account.

Learn More on creditcards.com's secure website

Best for earning free night stays

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Rewards Summary 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Annual Fee $95

Foreign Transaction Fee Not Applicable
Current Offer 100,000 Bonus Points
  • Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ .
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 15.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

If hotels in the Marriott family are your home away from home, then the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is for you. You’ll earn a free night every year during your account anniversary and earn an excellent sign up bonus worth up to 10 free nights at participating hotels.

How to use it
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card helps you earn 6x Bonvoy points for every dollar you spend at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points on all other purchases with no limits.
Consider this

  • Rewards can only be redeemed at Marriott hotels
  • No free night until after your first account anniversary
  • Room costs vary based on peak and off-peak seasons

Why you'll love it

Your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card will also reward you with a free night every account anniversary, which alone makes up for the card’s $95 annual fee.

Learn More Back to top

Pro tip: Plan your longer trips in five-night increments if you can. Marriott will give you your fifth night free when you redeem four nights with your Bonvoy points.

Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best for Hilton loyalists

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Rewards Summary 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points
Annual Fee $0 (See Rates & Fees)

Foreign Transaction Fee Not Applicable
Current Offer 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $0 (See Rates & Fees)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 15.74% - 24.74% Variable (See Rates & Fees)
  • Penalty APR: 29.24% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you live, breathe and sleep at Hilton hotels while you travel, the Hilton Honors American Express Card should be the first card you choose for hotel rewards. With exceptional rewards and no annual fee (See Rates & Fees) , this hotel rewards credit card will keep you calm and comfortable in Hilton hotels everywhere you go.

How to use it
The Hilton Honors American Express Card rewards you with 7x points per dollar on Hilton purchases and 3x points per dollar for general purchases, making it a top-tier rewards rate. You’ll also earn 75,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after you spend $1,000 in purchases within your first three months.
Consider this

  • Hilton Honors points have a lower dollar-equivalent value than other hotel rewards points
  • Rewards can only be redeemed at hotels within the Hilton portfolio
  • No automatic free night

Why you'll love it

You won’t be able to beat a card with no annual fee that offers you 7x points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands, but that’s exactly what you’ll earn each time you use this card at participating Hilton hotels.

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Pro tip: If you spend $20,000 on your card in a calendar year, you can earn Gold status until the end of the next calendar year, granting you complimentary room upgrades and free breakfast at all hotels.

The Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2020: Summed Up

Best for... Credit Card
Luxury Travel Perks
The Platinum Card® from American Express Partner Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Apply Now
High-Value Hotel Points The World Of Hyatt Credit Card Learn More
Sign Up Bonus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Learn More
Earning Free Night Stays Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card Learn More
Hilton Loyalists
Hilton Honors American Express Card Partner Offer
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Apply Now
Card Hotel Rewards Rate Annual Fee Welcome Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express – Best for luxury travel perks Get 5x Membership Rewards points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms Apply. $550 (See Rates & Fees) Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months. Terms Apply.
The World Of Hyatt Credit Card – Best for high-value hotel points Earn four bonus points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and two points per $1 spent at restaurants, airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting as well as fitness club and gym memberships. Plus, earn one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $95 Earn 25,000 bonus points after $3,000 in purchases within three months. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 bonus points after $6,000 total in purchases within six months.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best for sign up bonus Earn 2x points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases. $95 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card – Best for earning free night stays Earn 6x points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, plus 2x points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. $95 Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Hilton Honors American Express Card – Best for Hilton loyalists Earn 7x Hilton Honors bonus points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged to your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio, earn 5x bonus points for each dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and earn 3x bonus points for all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply. $0 (See Rates & Fees) Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

FAQs

Adding a hotel credit card or two to your wallet helps you cut costs and earn rewards every time you travel. Not only can you earn free nights at thousands of hotels around the world, but you can also take advantage of many of the member perks that come with the best hotel credit cards like free breakfasts, complimentary room upgrades and extra rewards points.

How do hotel credit cards work?

Hotel credit cards function very similarly to most other rewards credit cards. You use your hotel credit card for everyday expenses and earn rewards. The biggest difference, though, is the type of rewards you earn. With hotel credit cards, you earn points and miles that can be redeemed for free nights and upgrades at hotels around the world.

What is hotel credit?

Hotel credit is a cash-value award that you can use on purchases at your hotel like spas, excursions and hotel bars. Many premium hotel credit cards offer it as a perk for being a member and using the card for your reservation. The Platinum Card from American Express, for instance, gives you up to a $100 in hotel credit when you book at least two consecutive nights with American Express Travel.

Which hotel points are worth the most?

You will usually redeem hotel points based on the hotel’s redemption chart, which shows the number of points you’ll need for a room at different hotels. Determining the cash value of hotel points can be tough, but World of Hyatt’s favorable redemption rates and hotel categories make its points the most valuable of all the hotel rewards programs.

How to choose the best hotel credit card for you

Choosing the best hotel credit card comes down to your personal habits and preferences. You should choose a card that quickly earns you points to use at hotels. Before choosing your hotel credit card, you’ll also want to consider which hotels you enjoy staying in the most and how many points it will cost for each night you stay there.

What credit score do I need for a Marriott credit card?

You’ll need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. Remember, though, your credit score alone does not guarantee approval for these cards. The card issuer looks at your entire credit history to determine your approval status.

How can I get free hotel stays?

The best hotel credit cards make it easy to earn free hotel stays. The most common way to earn free nights is to earn points by using your hotel credit card for your everyday expenses. If you need to earn points faster, you can use a credit card with a great sign up bonus like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card reward you with a free night on your account anniversary every year.

Hotel credit cards vs. airline credit cards: What’s the difference?

Hotel credit cards and airline credit cards are two types of rewards cards that can help you cover your costs while traveling. The difference between the two is the type of rewards you earn and where you can use them. Hotel credit cards earn points you can use toward free nights and room upgrades at hotels, while airline credit cards earn points or miles toward free flights and in-flight purchases.

Which hotels and rewards can get you free breakfast?

Many economy and mid-level hotels offer a free continental breakfast for their guests, but luxury hotels usually charge for your first meal of the day. You can, however, land free breakfast at luxury hotels by using The Platinum Card® from American Express to access Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts reservations. Elite status with Hilton Honors (Gold and Diamond levels), Marriott Bonvoy (Platinum and Titanium levels) and World of Hyatt (Globalist level) can also earn you a free first meal, depending on the hotel.

Which are the best hotel loyalty programs?

The best hotel loyalty programs reward you with free nights, great perks and high point values for accessible hotels. The World of Hyatt Credit Card, for example, offers a simple redemption system that makes using your points easy and efficient. Marriott Bonvoy, with over 7,000 participating hotels, is also a fantastic option, especially if you have the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card earning you rewards for every purchase.

Marriott vs. Hilton

In its 2018 Most Excellent Hotel Chains in the World rankings, TripAdvisor ranked Hilton third and Marriott fifth. Both chains have hotels across the spectrum from economy to luxury, including the Ritz-Carlton in Marriott’s portfolio and the Waldorf Astoria in Hilton’s portfolio.

Hotel chain Number of properties Portfolio brands Credit card Points value Elite Status Qualifications
Marriott Over 7,000 Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton, Westin Hotels, Fairfield Inn by Marriott The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card, which earns six points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy™ hotels and for a limited time earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 0.6-1.2 cents per point 10 nights in a calendar year; Gold: 25 nights; Platinum: 50 nights; Titanium: 75 nights; Ambassador: 100 nights and spend $20,000
Hilton 5,700 Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree, Embassy Suites by Hilton The Hilton Honors American Express Card, which earns 7x points per dollar at Hilton hotels and 75,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Terms Apply. 0.3-0.6 cents per point Silver: four stays or 10 nights; Gold: 20 stays or 40 nights; 30 stays or 60 nights

Can you negotiate hotel prices?

Yes, you can negotiate hotel prices! The best way to do it is to call the hotel directly to ask for rates. Once the manager gives you a price, you can ask if they would take a lower rate. The exception, however, is on rewards rates. Because most hotels set rewards redemptions based on a fixed chart, you won’t be able to negotiate how many points it costs you for a free room.

Should a frequent traveler have a hotel credit card?

Absolutely! A hotel credit card will earn you free nights that will save you an incredible amount of money over time. If you travel for business, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, earns 2x points for every dollar spent on travel. You can also take advantage of luxury travel perks with a premium credit card like The Platinum Card® from American Express, which can help you earn hotel credit, free breakfast and free room upgrades with your reservation.

How to make the most of your hotel credit card

Getting the most out of your hotel credit card doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little discipline, you can choose and use a card that will earn you free nights while you travel the world.

  • Pick a rewards program that you’ll actually use. Not the one with the highest sign-up bonus or the coolest perks, but the credit card that earns you points to hotels you actually want to stay in and are available in the areas you like to visit.
  • Use your card for your hotel purchases. You’ll earn the most points when you use a co-branded hotel credit card at the hotel that sponsored it, and your rewards rate will only increase as you earn higher levels of Elite status.
  • Cash in your free nights. Cards like The World Of Hyatt Credit Card earn a free night every account anniversary, but it expires within a year. It’s best to earn your free nights and use them as soon as you can so you don’t lose such a great value by waiting too long.
  • Compare hotels in the same area. Especially in cities, larger hotel companies like Marriott and Hilton will have several hotels in the same vicinity. Before reserving your room with your hotel points, check multiple hotels in the area to make sure you are getting the most value out of your points.
  • Be flexible with your dates (when you can). Flexibility allows you to make the most of your hotel credit card rewards. By being traveling during the off-peak season, you’ll land better rewards rates at hotels.
For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

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