Home » Travel » Best No-Annual-Fee Hotel Rewards Card

Best No-Annual-Fee Hotel Rewards Card

Best No-Annual-Fee Hotel Rewards Card

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

This article was last updated Jul 30, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

If you travel frequently, a hotel rewards card should be on your radar. Even better, a credit card that offers rewards that can be used toward free hotel stays and hotel perks, without charging an annual fee — like the Hilton Honors American Express Card or Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card.

In addition to offering bonus rewards on hotel stays, these cards let you earn free hotel stays and give you access to special hotel perks, such as early check-ins, late check-outs and free WiFi.

While there are a large number of hotel rewards credit cards currently on the market, there are only a select few that don’t charge an annual fee. Read on to learn more about these no-annual-fee hotel rewards cards.

Comparing no-annual-fee hotel rewards cards

Hilton Honors American Express Card Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card
Welcome offer 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 50,000 Bonus Points
Rewards rate Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations AND 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. Earn 3X points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
Regular APR 17.24%-26.24% Variable 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee $0 $0
Foreign transaction fees None $0

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • 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.

  • Up to 7X Hilton Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad

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

See additional details for Hilton Honors American Express Card

More Info

With the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you’ll earn 7x hilton honors bonus points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the hilton portfolio, 5x hilton honors bonus points at u.s. restaurants, u.s. supermarkets, and u.s. gas stations and 3x hilton honors bonus points for all other eligible purchases on your card.

Plus, you’ll 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.

What else we like

Automatic Silver status. Get complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, which includes a 20% bonus on all the Hilton Honors base points you earn, guaranteed member discounts, a fifth standard night free, late check-out and more.

Upgrade to Gold status. When you spend $20,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year on the card, you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year. Gold status includes an 80% bonus on all the Hilton Honors base points you earn, a fifth night free, space-available room upgrades, complimentary breakfast at all hotels and much more.

Pay it Plan it feature. The Pay It option lets you lower your balance by making small payments under $100 throughout the month, while still earning rewards on your card. Or, you can split up large purchases over time for a fixed monthly fee and no interest charges with the Plan it option.

To see what plan duration and plan fee options are available to you, check out the Plan it Pre-Purchase Calculator.

No foreign transaction fees. You will not be charged additional fees when you use your card to make purchases outside of the U.S.

Travel and purchase protections. The Hilton Honors American Express Card offers car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranties, cell phone purchase protection, fraud protection and much more.

What to look out for

No intro APR on purchases. If you plan to carry a balance, the Hilton Honors American Express Card is not ideal, since it does not offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases.

No intro APR on balance transfers and a balance transfer fee. If you plan to transfer a balance from a different credit card, you’ll be better off using a card that offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and does not charge a balance transfer fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

  • Earn 3X points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).

  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Points*

  • $0

Highlights
  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card from CHASE® with no annual fee!
  • Limited Time Offer! Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains)
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn Unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

See additional details for Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

More Info

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card lets cardholders Earn 3X points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).

What else we like

15 elite night credits. Receive 15 elite night credits each calendar year, which automatically qualifies you for Silver Elite status.

Silver Elite status benefits. Silver Elite status comes with several hotel perks, including 10% bonus points on stays, priority late checkout, access to a dedicated elite reservation line and more.

Travel and purchase coverage. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card comes with coverage, including baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection and access to 24/7 Visa Signature concierge service.

No foreign transaction fees. Like the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you will not be charged foreign transaction fees when you use your Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card outside of the U.S.

What to look out for

Lower rewards rate than other Marriott Bonvoy cards. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card offers a lower welcome bonus and a lower rewards rate on Marriott purchases than the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cards — however, those cards also come with annual fees.

Read Which Marriott Bonvoy credit card is best for you?

No intro APR on purchases. The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card does not offer an introductory APR on purchases.

No intro APR on balance transfers. Along with not offering a 0% intro rate on balance transfers, the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card charges Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

How about a travel rewards card instead?

If you aren’t loyal to one particular hotel brand, you may want to consider a no-fee travel rewards card that also offers bonus points on hotel purchases, such as the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card or the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

  • 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

  • 0% intro on purchases for 12 months

  • 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

Highlights
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.49% - 23.49% variable APR after that

See additional details for Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

More Info

The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card also comes with a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, equal to $200 in travel. Miles can be redeemed for statement credits or transferred to over 12 loyalty programs, including JetBlue TrueBlue, Air France KLM Flying Blue, Air Canada Aeroplan and Emirates Skywards.

If you’re planning to finance a large purchase or transfer a balance from a different credit card, you’re in luck. The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card comes with an intro APR on purchases of 0% intro on purchases for 12 months (then a APR of 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable), dependent on creditworthiness).

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Along with not charging an annual fee, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card offers bonus points in a variety of categories, many of which relate to travel. Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Points can be redeemed for travel, cash back, charitable donations, merchandise and gift cards.

The bottom line

If you are a Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy™ loyalist, the Hilton Honors American Express Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card both great options. Each card lets you earn a large influx of rewards in a short period of time and offers a variety of hotel perks — all without charging an annual fee.

However, if you want to earn bonus rewards at a broader range of hotels, you may be better off with a no-fee travel rewards card, like the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card or the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, instead.


Recommended Posts:

Read More

How to Get to Australia with Miles

Australia is one of the toughest places to get to with miles, especially if you want to fly in first or business class. With tickets often approaching $2,000 even for economy class, finding a way to make your miles work can save you a lot. The good news is, major U.S. airlines American, Delta and […]

Read More

August 28, 2019