If you re loyal to a specific hotel brand, having a co-branded card makes a lot of sense, as it can get you complimentary elite status, bonus points, and other perks when you stay with that chain.
But if you care less about brand loyalty and more about earning as many points as possible, a general travel rewards credit card like one of these could make more sense:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® earn bonus points on travel and dining x on the Preferred, x on the Reserve, and you can transfer your Chase points to Hyatt, IHG, and Marriott, among other partners. The Sapphire Preferred has a $ annual fee, and the Reserve has a $ annual fee but comes with a $ annual travel credit that applies to everything from Uber rides to hotel stays.
Platinum Amrican Express Card
There s also the The Platinum Card® from American Express, which offers complimentary Gold status with both Hilton and Marriott. Plus, if you have the Amex Platinum you can earn points per dollar on Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts stays. These are stays at luxury properties, and your reservation includes benefits like complimentary upgrades, free breakfast, and property credits. The Amex Platinum has a $ annual fee, but it easily can be worth it thanks to benefits like this.Earn , bonus points after you spend $, on purchases in the first months from account opening. That s $ toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & point per dollar spent on all other purchases.Get % more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, , points are worth $ toward travelGet unlimited deliveries with a $ delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $ for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash s subscription service. Activate by .Earn X points on Lyft rides through March . That’s X points in addition to the X points you already earn on travel.High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of pointsDoesn t offer a Global EntryTSA PreCheck application fee credit or any other statement credit benefits
Hilton Honors Aspire Card
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card is hands-down the best co-branded hotel credit card out there. For starters, with the ,-point welcome bonus, you can book upwards of free nights, depending on the hotel category. But high-end redemptions aren t too far off, either. For example, with these points you can cover two free nights at the Hilton Waikoloa Village or the LondonHouse Chicago.
The card comes with top-tier Hilton Diamond status, which gets you free breakfast, lounge access, and a % bonus on points earned via paid stays.
Hilton Honors Aspire Card
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card also offers a free weekend night reward when you renew your card, plus an extra free night when you spend $, in a calendar year. Travelers will appreciate up to $ in annual Hilton resort statement credits, up to $ in annual airline incidental credits, and Priority Pass Select membership. You ll also earn up to $ in on-property credits when you book a -night minimum Hilton stay at qualifying properties on HiltonHonorsmaspirecard.
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card really goes above and beyond in providing exceptional value and a VIP travel experience at every turn.
With free nights at Hilton ranging from , – , points, the current welcome bonus on the Hilton Honors Surpass Card will cover one to free nights. Add in the free weekend night and you re looking at even more free nights. Of course, not everyone is looking to redeem their points at a low-category hotel. Even if you opt for a top-tier redemption, you ve got at least two free nights covered with this welcome bonus assuming one is a weekend night.
The reason why the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card earns a high spot on this list of top hotel cards is because of how easy it is to earn a free night via credit card spending. While some cards require upwards of $, for a free night at a top-tier hotel, it takes just $, on the Hilton Honors Surpass card. Add in the generous category bonuses on everyday spending, and earning free nights becomes even easier.
The Hilton Honors Surpass card doesn t slack off when it comes to travel perks, either. Cardholders receive instant Gold elite status, with the ability to upgrade to Diamond after spending $, in a calendar year. Hilton Gold status perks are equivalent to what most other reward programs offer top-tier elites: Free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, bonus points, and the possibility of club lounge access assuming you ve been upgraded to a Club room. This is a solid card for those who want elite status perks and the ability to rack up free nights quickly.Earn , Hilton Honors bonus points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $, in eligible purchases within the first months of Card Membership.Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $, on purchases on your card in a calendar year.Earn x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio.Earn x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations.Earn x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.Spend $, on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.Complimentary Hilton Gold elite statusGenerous bonus categories for earning pointsWeekend night reward requires spending $, on the card in a yearNot much in the way of complimentary benefits beyond Hilton Gold status
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is one of the best hotel cards in terms of value. In exchange for an $ annual fee, cardholders get access to impressive perks like complimentary Platinum elite status, a fourth night free on award bookings, and a $ Global Entry or $ TSA PreCheck fee credit every four years. Additionally, cardholders earn a reward night every year, which can be used at any IHG hotel worldwide that costs up to , points per night.
IHG free nights range from , – , points per night. With , points from the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, you could cover eight free nights. Additionally, IHG offers rates as low as , points per night through the PointBreaks promotion.Earn , bonus points after spending $, on purchases within the first three months of account openingEnjoy 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 or more nightsEarn points total per $ spent when you stay at an IHG hotelEarn points per $ spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn point per $ spent on all other purchasesPlatinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card memberGlobal Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $ every years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your cardIHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®Currently offering a very high welcome bonus of , pointsAnniversary reward night can be worth more than the annual feeCould offer better rewards on non-IHG purchases
Hyatt requires , – , points for a free night, depending on the category. That makes the sign-up bonus from the The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
Hyatt has one of the best hotel rewards programs left, and it s expanding rapidly. The World of Hyatt Credit Card is a great addition to your wallet if you re looking for a solid sign-up bonus and recurring benefits. The current bonus is good for a free night at a top-tier hotel like the Muse Saint-Tropez or up to nights at lower-category hotels. In addition, the card offers useful category bonuses and free nights issued annually based on card renewal.
World Of Hyatt Credit Card
The World Of Hyatt Credit Card comes with free Discoverist status, which offers benefits like premium internet and % bonus points on paid stays. Cardholders aiming for higher status will appreciate the qualifying night credits issued every year and the ability to earn two additional credits per $, spent on the card.Earn , Bonus Points after you spend $, on purchases in the first months from account opening. Plus, , Bonus Points after you spend $, total within months of account opening.Receive free night at any Category – Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversaryEarn an extra free night at any Category – Hyatt hotel if you spend $, during your cardmember anniversary yearGet automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is openEarn qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $, on your cardEarn points total for Hyatt stays – Bonus Points per $ spent at Hyatt hotels & Base Points per $ you can earn as a World of Hyatt memberEarn Bonus Points per $ spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym membershipsHyatt points are valuable, and this card earns x points on several bonus categoriesIf you spend a lot on this card, you can earn a second free night
At , – , points per night, you can book up to free nights at a Marriott hotel with this welcome offer. Off-peak award night rates start at , points, while a top-tier Category property could go as high as , points.
While the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card s annual fee is $, cardholders receive a lot of bang for their buck. The card includes a $ Global Entry or $ TSA PreCheck credit, a $ annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit, Priority Pass Select membership, and a $ credit when you book an eligible two-night minimum stay at a Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis hotel.
Cardholders will receive Gold Marriott status out of the gate, plus nights toward the next status tier. Overall, this is a solid card for travelers who stay with Marriott frequently and want a leg-up in the elite status race. Even those who only stay with Marriott a few times a year will find value in all the added perks.The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuerx points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotelsx points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlinesx points on all other eligible purchasesReceive Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night redemption level at or under , Marriott Bonvoy points at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees$ in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotelsComplimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. Earn Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status after making $, in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.Annual statement credits can save you money on Marriott staysYou get a free reward night each year after your account anniversaryComplimentary Gold elite status with MarriottOther cards are more rewarding for earning points on your spending
Category bonuses: x points at Wyndham hotels; x points on gas, utility, and grocery purchases.
Wyndham Rewards Card
Wyndham Rewards is a great program for families who need a little more space on their vacations. Most Wyndham properties are essentially condos, offering multiple bedroom, full kitchen, and washerdryer. These amenities are incredibly useful for families trying to save points while still traveling comfortable.
A free night at any Wyndham hotel is either , or , points per night. The card pays out bonus points per $ spent on common spending categories like gas, groceries and utilities.
Learn more: I ve spent free nights in Hawaii, Colorado, and South Carolina thanks to one of my favorite under-the-radar hotel cards
Welcome bonus: , points after your first purchase, plus , points once you spend $, on your card within the first days
Annual bonus: , renewal points each year when you renew your card. Earn one free night for each $, in spend up to $,.
Radisson Rewards is probably the most underrated hotel rewards program out there. I would rank this card higher on the list, except that there are *only* , Radisson hotels around the world. That means there are fewer places to redeem free nights, even if earning them is so easy with the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card.
It takes just $, – $, worth of non-bonus category spending on this card to earn a free night. To give you an idea the caliber of hotel Radisson has abroad, there s the Mayfair London which can go for upwards of $ per night or , points. The Radisson Blu Cannes and Radisson Blu Nice both have rates of over $ per night in the summer but can be booked with , points