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Hotel stays are often the largest expense consumers face when traveling. Thankfully, there are credit cards on the market that offer rewards programs where you can earn free nights, enjoy complimentary services during your stay and even get statement credits on your travel purchases to help offset the costs.
Check our pros and cons on these five cards to find the right one for you.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.. Earn 2x points on travel expenditures. The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95.
Pros: When a Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholder spends $4,000 within the first three months, they earn 50,000 bonus points which is $625 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Travel and restaurant purchases earn 2 points for every $1 and other eligible purchases earn 1 point for every other $1 spent. Cardholders enjoy additional travel benefits such as trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement and baggage delay insurance, benefits certain other travel rewards cards on the market don’t offer. There are no foreign transaction fees or travel blackout dates.
Cons: There is a $95 annual fee, however the first year is free. Only those with excellent credit will qualify. There is no introductory APR.
The Verdict: This travel rewards card was named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption by Kiplinger's Personal Finance in July 2016 and continuously receives high grades from consumers. If you travel frequently, this card should be at the top of your list.
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles. No annual fee. Earn 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days.
Pros: With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card, new cardholders earn 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days, which is equal to a $200 statement credit towards travel purchases such as flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees. There aren’t any restrictions on where and when you book travel so there’s no need to use specific websites and you’re not subject to blackout periods. Those who travel internationally won’t pay foreign transaction fees.
Cons: This card has one of the more restrictive rewards programs on the market as rewards points can only be redeemed for statement credits on travel purchases.
The Verdict: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card offers a solid travel rewards program and the fact that there are no blackout dates is a great option for those consumers who need flexibility when making their travel arrangements.
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. One-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, equal to $400 in travel. Annual fee waived for the first year, then it’s $59.
Pros: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has one of the highest rewards rates on the market at 2 points for every $1 spent, with no limits and Miles won't expire for the life of the account. The redemption rules are flexible, which means you can book your travel however you want and there are no blackout dates-- just travel when it’s convenient for you. Traveling overseas? Take this card with you as there are no foreign transaction fees, either.
Cons: The $59 annual fee after the first year. There is no introductory APR.
The Verdict: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a good card to have in your wallet if you plan on doing any traveling in the future. The annual fee shouldn’t be a deterrent because earning double miles on purchases means the card will pay for itself in no time.
Cardholders earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.. 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95..
Pros: With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express you earn 2 Starpoints for every $1 you spend at participating Starwood and Marriott Rewards® hotels and 1 point for all other eligible purchases. You can redeem Starpoints for free nights at Starwood’s luxury hotels and resorts around the world and while you’re globe-trotting, there are no foreign transaction fees on purchases.
Cons: The $95 annual fee after the first year. No introductory APR. Little flexibility as to where you can redeem your rewards.
The Verdict: If you frequent Starwood’s high end portfolio of properties, you should apply. If you don’t often find yourself at Starwood hotels and resorts, there are other rewards cards that have no or low annual fees that allow you to earn more rewards with fewer restrictions.