Earning free hotel stays with hotel credit cards is a perk travelers enjoy immensely. Free travel is something people rarely turn down, and there’s no better way to ensure you’re going to get a free night in a hotel than with a hotel credit card. They’re best for frequent travelers, but not all cards require you stay in a specific hotel brand.
If you are loyal to one specific hotel family, it makes sense to apply for that hotel credit card. If you’re not loyal to one hotel brand, you might want to take a look at the five best hotel credit cards available right now. Each one has something to offer the rest don’t, but they all work hard to ensure travelers are cared for each and every time they use their card.
Hyatt Hotels are plentiful in many countries, and there’s a Hyatt brand for every budget. From high-end luxury hotels to affordable suites-only hotels for those with a tighter budget, there’s nothing you can’t book through Hyatt. The Visa card is great for those who love a Hyatt property but still want to use their card for everyday purchases.
- Earn two free nights at any Hyatt after spending $1,000 in three months
- Earn 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase with that card
- Earn 3 points for every dollar spent at all Hyatt properties
- Earn 2 point for every dollar spent on airline tickets, restaurants, and rental cars
- Earn 1 point for all other purchases
- Earn a free night at Hyatt every year on your cardholder anniversary
As long as you remain a Hyatt Visa holder, you are given complimentary access to Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Status, which offers even more perks. You’ll get first choice of your rooms at any hotel, free upgrades, free perks, and even guaranteed rooms even when a hotel is listed as sold out. There’s no annual fee the first year, and it’s only $75 per year after that.
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
This is a great card for those who like to travel without spending too much money. The sign-up bonus is worth $455 in free travel, and people who carry this card love the options they have when they present it at check-in.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in three months
- Earn 5,000 bonus points when your authorized user makes their first purchase within three months
- Earn 5 points for every dollar spent at any IHG property
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at gas stations
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at grocery stores
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at restaurants
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere
- Earn a free night each year on your cardholder anniversary
- Annual fee is only $49, and it is waived the first year
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
One of the best travel cards on the market, this is a travel card that offers a myriad of hotel perks even though it’s not a specific hotel credit card. Chase Sapphire does work closely with Hyatt’s Gold Passport, IHG’s Rewards Club, and Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs, so brand-specific travelers to any of these hotels will reap the biggest benefits.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points by spending only $4,000 in three months
- Earn 2 points on every dollar spent on airlines, hotels, rent cars and dining
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent anywhere else
- Use anywhere Visa is accept
- No foreign transaction fee
- No annual fee for one year, $95 fee after that
- 20% discount on all hotels, airfare, and rental cars when you book through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
This card is great for anyone who loves a wonderful value during their hotel stays. The perks are numerous, and SPG hotel locations are all over the world. Anyone with this card will earn serious points with SPG hotels, making it one of the best for various methods of travel.
- Earn 25,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in three months
- Earn 5 points for every dollar spent at SPG hotel locations
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at Marriott properties
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent elsewhere
- No annual fee for one year, $95 after
- Free internet access in room
- Unlimited Wi-Fi at all Boingo hotspots
- There are more than 1,300 SPG hotels in the world
What makes this card stand out among the rest even with the lower sign-up bonus, the lack of anniversary nights offered free of charge, and the lower number of hotel properties across the world is the rate of redemption. Starpoints are more valuable than any other hotel reward point, valued around 2.3 cents for each point your account accrues. This means your dollar goes a lot further with SPG than it does at many other hotel brands. Additionally, SPG hotels are among the nicest in the world.
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
If you love free nights and rewards points, this is the hotel card you want in your wallet. This card offers the best anniversary bonus. Each year, cardholders are offered a free night at a hotel in the 1-5 categories anywhere in the world. One free night at a hotel in a tropical destination or expensive city goes a long way in helping travelers afford the vacation of their dreams. Other perks this card offers travelers are just as impressive.
- Earn 80,000 points by spending $3,000 in three months of opening your account
- Earn 5 points for every dollar spent at a Marriott hotel or on a Marriott property
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on airline tickets through airlines
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at rental car agencies
- Earn 2 points for every dollar spent at a restaurant
- Earn 1 point for every dollar spent otherwise
- Use anywhere Visa is accepted
- No foreign transaction fees makes this card great for international travelers
- Low $85 annual fee
Marriott hotels are numerous. There are more than 4,300 properties located in more than 80 countries, which means you’re almost guaranteed to find a property anywhere you go.
To maximize hotel rewards points to earn more free hotel stays, use your hotel card for every major purchase you make. Pay your mortgage and your utilities with it, and use it as your everyday card for purchases and bill pay purposes. Pay it off in full each month, and you’ll be able to earn more points than you imagined. Depending on the card you choose, you could earn several free nights each year with your hotel credit card, which can make personal travel more lucrative than ever.
Using your car responsibly is the best way to earn points and free travel, and staying out of debt is what makes life more enjoyable and affordable. Use your card as often as possible, but always pay the balance in full to maintain an excellent credit score.