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Best Hotel Credit Cards for December 2020

Best Hotel Credit Cards for December 2020

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Nov 30, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you typically stay at hotels or resorts when you travel, you may want to consider a hotel-branded credit card. In addition to offering benefits such as early check-in, late check-out, free WiFi, the potential for upgraded rooms and more, hotel credit cards could allow cardholders to earn points that can be used toward free hotel stays.

Before deciding which hotel credit card is best for you, you consider the card’s sign-up bonus, rewards rate, redemption options, travel benefits and annual fee. And perhaps most importantly – you must determine whether you’ll stay at the particular brand of hotels often enough to make the card worth your while.

Based on our research of cards available through CompareCards, as well as top cards offered by major issuers, here are our picks for the best hotel credit cards for the following hotel brands:

Best Hilton credit card: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card lets you earn a large influx of Hilton Honors points in a short period of time – which can be redeemed at over 5,700 Hilton properties in 113 countries, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and more.

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers an extremely high welcome bonus with a low spend requirement: 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

The card also offers a generous rewards rate for using the card in popular travel categories: Earn 12X 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 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card 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.

In addition to hotel stays, Hilton Honors points can be redeemed for experiences (such as concerts or travel excursions), vacation packages, travel and transportation, merchandise, dining and charitable donations. Points can also be transferred to a number of travel partners, including American Airlines, Amtrak, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways and more, although not necessarily at a 1:1 rate.

Best ways to redeem Hilton Honors points

Earning elite status

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card cardmembers receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, which comes with guaranteed member discounts, late checkout, fifth standard reward night free, complimentary breakfast at all hotels, no resort fees on reward stays and more. Plus, earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year when you spend $40,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Additional Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card benefits:

  • Free Weekend Night Reward after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which includes 10 complimentary lounge visits each year, once enrolled
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • 24/7 access to the Global Assist Hotline
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership – which gives you complimentary two-day shipping – upon enrollment
  • Terms apply.

What to look out for

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card charges an annual fee of $95. Also note that you can only use your free reward night for a standard room on a weekend. Terms may apply.

To see rates & fees for Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card please click here.

Best Hyatt credit card: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

  • Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member

  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Highlights
  • 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
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

See additional details for The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

More Info

If you are looking to book a trip at one of the more than 900 Hyatt properties (Andaz, Alila, Grand Hyatt, Thompson Hotels and more) in over 65 countries, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card should be on your radar.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card, which is currently the only Hyatt-branded credit card, comes with the following sign-up bonus: Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member. Cardholders also earn 2 bonus points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, on local transit and commuting fares and on fitness club and gym memberships.

You can redeem Hyatt points for free night stays, room upgrades, dining at participating locations, experiences, car rentals and more. Free night redemptions start at 5,000 points – meaning, the current sign-up bonus could potentially get you up to 10 free nights at a category 1 hotel.

You can also transfer points to several airline partners, including Aeroméxico, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways, although that’s typically not the best value for your points as they don’t transfer on a 1:1 basis.

Earning elite status

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card members receive automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status, which entitles you to a 10% bonus on points earned on eligible stays, access to preferred rooms, internet access, 2 p.m. late checkout, complimentary bottled water and more. You’ll also receive five qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year and two additional qualifying night credits toward your next tier status each time you spend $5,000 on your card.

Additional The World Of Hyatt Credit Card benefits:

  • One free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort each year after your account anniversary
  • Additional free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort when you spend $15,000 during your card member anniversary
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement, up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, up to $5,000 per trip
  • Purchase protection of up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Complimentary, 24/7 access to Visa Concierge Service
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0

Top 10 Hyatt Category 4 hotels for your free anniversary night certificate

What to look out for

Although The World Of Hyatt Credit Card offers a variety of airline transfer partners, the transfer rate is poor: 2.5 to 1. So, for example, if you transfer 5,000 Hyatt points to Delta Air Lines, you will only receive 2,000 Delta SkyMiles.

Additionally, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $95, and you will be required to spend quite a bit in the first six months of card membership to earn the entire sign-up bonus.

Best IHG credit card: IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

If you’re looking to earn a large amount of rewards points from your stays at InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) properties as well as a generous sign-up bonus, take a look at the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

Cardholders earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Note, to earn the maximum rewards rate on IHG purchases, you must be an IHG Rewards Club member with Platinum Elite status, which you will automatically receive upon card approval (more on that below).

IHG points can be redeemed for free night stays at more than 5,000 IHG Hotels and Resorts, including InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Kimpton Hotels, Staybridge Suites and more, starting at 10,000 points.

We found a nightly rate of 20,000 points at the Holiday Inn Express in Dallas, Texas in October 2020. With the current sign-up bonus, you can get seven free night stays at this location.

Points can also be redeemed for merchandise, IHG Rewards Club access, cash, magazine subscriptions, gift cards, digital entertainment and charities. Or, you can transfer points to airline transfer partners, such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines AAdvantage®, British Airways, Delta SkyMiles®, JetBlue TrueBlue, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and more.

Earning elite status

As an IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card member, you will automatically receive Platinum Elite status, which gets you 50% bonus earnings on top of base points, elite rollover nights, exclusive rates, complimentary internet, priority check-in, complimentary room upgrades and more.

Additional IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card benefits:

  • 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 and make one additional purchase on the card each account anniversary year
  • Free rewards night after each account anniversary
  • Fourth reward night free when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights
  • Reimbursement for your Global Entry or TSA Precheck application every four years
  • Baggage delay insurance for up to $100 per day for three days
  • Lost luggage reimbursement of up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Purchase protection of up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance of up to $5,000 per trip

What to look out for

The transfer rate for IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card points to airline miles is 5:1 or poorer. So, for example, if you transfer 40,000 IHG points to American Airlines, they will only be worth 8,000 AAdvantage miles.

Additionally, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card charges an $0 for the First Year, then $89 annual fee.

Best Marriott credit card: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

If you regularly stay at any of the 30 Marriott Bonvoy hotel brands across the globe, including Aloft Hotels, Le Meridien, Marriott Hotels, Residence Inn, Sheraton, St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels and Westin, check out the benefits of having the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card.

The card currently comes with the following sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The card also offers the following rewards rate: Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases.

You can redeem points for free night stays at more than 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels in 130 countries and territories. Redemptions start at 5,000 points for an off-peak night at a category 1 hotel and 7,500 points for a standard night. This means, the current sign-up bonus can get you 15 free off-peak nights or 10 free standard nights at a Category 1 property.

Marriott Bonvoy points can also be redeemed for airfare, car rentals, travel packages, merchandise, gift cards and charitable donations, or transferred to more than 40 airline partners – including American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta SkyMiles, JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Rapid Rewards and United MileagePlus – mostly at a 3:1 rate.

Earning elite status

As a Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card member, you will automatically receive Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, which includes 10% more points on stays, priority late checkout, exclusive member rates and complimentary room Wi-Fi. The card also allows you to reach Gold status, which includes 25% bonus points on stays, enhanced room upgrades, 2 p.m. late checkout and more, each account anniversary year when you spend $35,000 or more with the card.

Additional Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card benefits:

  • Free night award each year after your account anniversary
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Purchase protection of up to $500 per claim, up to $5,000 per account
  • 24/7 Visa Signature concierge service

What to look out for

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $95.

Best Wyndham credit card: Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

The Wyndham portfolio of hotels is made up of more than 9,000 hotels around the world, including Wyndham Grand, La Quinta, Wingate by Wyndham, Ramada, Howard Johnson, Travelodge and more. If you regularly stay at one of these properties, you should take a look at the Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card.

The card offers a sign-up bonus that’s worth up to 30,000 points: Cardholders also earn

Wyndham rewards can be redeemed for free night stays starting at 7,500 points. This means that the current sign-up bonus could get you up to four free nights. You can also redeem points for tours and activities, gas at participating Marathon Gas locations in the U.S., merchandise, gift cards and charitable donations.

Or, you can transfer Wyndham rewards to several loyalty partners, including American Airlines AAdvantage, Amtrak Guest Rewards, Caesar Entertainment, Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles, United MileagePlus and more, at varying rates. While you can transfer Wyndham points to Caesar Rewards and La Quinta at a rate of 1:1, the transfer rate to airline partners is 5:1.

Earning elite status

Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card holders automatically receive Platinum status, which gives them preferred room selection, early check-in, late checkout, complimentary Wi-Fi, Caesars Rewards status match, suite upgrades, a welcome amenity at check-in and more.

Wyndham Rewards Cheat Sheet: How to Get The Most Rewards From Your Points

Additional Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card benefits:

  • 6,000 bonus points each year after your account anniversary
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Foreign transaction fees: None

What to look out for

The Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card offers a much lower sign-up bonus and less benefits than the other hotel credit cards in this post, however, the annual fee is $75.

Which hotel credit card should you choose?

If you’re loyal to a specific hotel brand or looking at a particular hotel for an upcoming vacation, you should consider a hotel credit card from that portfolio based on the card’s benefits, the amount of rewards you could earn and the cost of the annual fee.

If you don’t want to be limited to one particular hotel brand, you may want to take a look at a travel rewards card that lets you earn and use rewards at many hotel chains or even Airbnb stays, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

Highlights
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

See additional details for Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

More Info

Along with 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Miles can be redeemed for hotel stays, airfare, car rentals, ride-sharing apps, cruises and more. They can also be transferred to 17 airline and hotel loyalty partners.


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