Best hotel credit cards of May 2023

By
Benji Stawski
and
Christina Ly
Editor
Nick Ewen
Updated
May 25, 2023

If you’re a traveler that is often loyal to a particular hotel chain, having a cobranded hotel credit card can be a no-brainer. Unlike airline credit cards that don’t always offer strong enough perks to justify paying an annual fee, most hotel cards offer extremely valuable benefits packages. Perks can include an anniversary free night certificate, complimentary elite status (that may score you free breakfast), bonus points and potentially even on-property credits.

Some hotel credit cards are also currently offering increased welcome bonuses, making this a great opportunity to rack up points and perks for future getaways.

Here are some of the best hotel credit card offers from our partners.

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Since 2010, TPG has been dedicated to helping you make informed credit card and travel decisions. We know that credit card rewards can unlock travel that changes lives, and we strive every day to help our readers achieve their financial and travel goals.

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Best for travel insurance
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
Go to review
  • 5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x 3x on dining.
  • 2x 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
Intro Offer tooltip icon
60,000 bonus points
$95

Why We Chose It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit card on the market. Offering an excellent return on travel and dining purchases, the card packs a ton of value that easily offsets its $95 annual fee. Cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Chase or transfer points to one of Chase’s 14 valuable airline and hotel partners. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Pros

  • Multiple bonus categories.
  • Annual hotel statement credit.
  • Premium travel protection benefits.
  • Valuable transfer partners.

Cons

  • Complicated redemption system.
  • Annual fee.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, and 2x on all other travel purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Best for travel insurance
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
Go to review
60,000 bonus points
details
$95
2 - 5X points
details

Why We Chose It

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit card on the market. Offering an excellent return on travel and dining purchases, the card packs a ton of value that easily offsets its $95 annual fee. Cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Chase or transfer points to one of Chase’s 14 valuable airline and hotel partners. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Pros

  • Multiple bonus categories.
  • Annual hotel statement credit.
  • Premium travel protection benefits.
  • Valuable transfer partners.

Cons

  • Complicated redemption system.
  • Annual fee.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, and 2x on all other travel purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Pros

  • Multiple bonus categories.
  • Annual hotel statement credit.
  • Premium travel protection benefits.
  • Valuable transfer partners.

Cons

  • Complicated redemption system.
  • Annual fee.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, and 2x on all other travel purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Best premium travel credit card
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
Go to review
  • 10 Miles 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5 Miles 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2 Miles 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Intro Offer tooltip icon
75,000 miles
$395

Why We Chose It

If you can maximize the up to $300 statement credit toward Capital One Travel, the Venture X’s annual fee effectively comes down to $95, the same annual fee pegged to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Add in a 10,000-mile bonus every account anniversary (worth $185, according to TPG valuations) and lounge access, and the card may become the strongest option out there for a lot of travelers. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Pros

  • Travel and shopping protections.
  • Simple redemption structure.
  • Travel credits.
  • Anniversary bonus miles.
  • Lounge access.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Travel statement credit only applies through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit, daily breakfast for 2 and complimentary WiFi on every booking, plus other premium benefits like room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout when available
Best premium travel credit card
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
Go to review
75,000 miles
details
$395
2 - 10X miles
details

Why We Chose It

If you can maximize the up to $300 statement credit toward Capital One Travel, the Venture X’s annual fee effectively comes down to $95, the same annual fee pegged to the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. Add in a 10,000-mile bonus every account anniversary (worth $185, according to TPG valuations) and lounge access, and the card may become the strongest option out there for a lot of travelers. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Pros

  • Travel and shopping protections.
  • Simple redemption structure.
  • Travel credits.
  • Anniversary bonus miles.
  • Lounge access.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Travel statement credit only applies through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit, daily breakfast for 2 and complimentary WiFi on every booking, plus other premium benefits like room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout when available

Pros

  • Travel and shopping protections.
  • Simple redemption structure.
  • Travel credits.
  • Anniversary bonus miles.
  • Lounge access.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Travel statement credit only applies through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit, daily breakfast for 2 and complimentary WiFi on every booking, plus other premium benefits like room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout when available
Best card for IHG
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Go to review
  • 26X Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • 5X Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants.
  • 3X Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro Offer tooltip icon
140,000 points
$99

Why We Chose It

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is hotel chain’s top-tier cobranded card. The card delivers strong earning rates on IHG purchases, a free anniversary award night and generous sign-up bonus. Read our full review of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Pros

  • Multiple earning categories.
  • Free night certificate every year.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.

Cons

  • Few non-IHG redemption options.
  • Annual fee.
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Go to review
140,000 points
details
$99
3 - 26X points
details

Why We Chose It

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card is hotel chain’s top-tier cobranded card. The card delivers strong earning rates on IHG purchases, a free anniversary award night and generous sign-up bonus. Read our full review of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Pros

  • Multiple earning categories.
  • Free night certificate every year.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.

Cons

  • Few non-IHG redemption options.
  • Annual fee.
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC

Pros

  • Multiple earning categories.
  • Free night certificate every year.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit.

Cons

  • Few non-IHG redemption options.
  • Annual fee.
  • Earn 140,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night at IHG Hotels & Resorts. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG® hotel stay.
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Bonus points are redeemable at Hotels & Resorts such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
  • Member FDIC
BEST REWARDS CARD FOR NON-BONUS SPENDING
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
  • 5 Miles 5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2 Miles 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Intro Offer tooltip icon
75,000 miles
$95

Why We Chose It

When it comes to simplicity and strong rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. You’ll earn earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase with no bonus categories to memorize, making it an ideal card for those with busy lives. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Pros

  • Simple earning structure.
  • Multiple transfer partners.
  • Flexible redemption options.

Cons

  • Lower transfer ratios for select partners.
  • Limited bonus categories.
  • No U.S. airline transfer partner.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • 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 a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through the Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
BEST REWARDS CARD FOR NON-BONUS SPENDING
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
75,000 miles
details
$95
2 - 5X miles
details

Why We Chose It

When it comes to simplicity and strong rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. You’ll earn earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase with no bonus categories to memorize, making it an ideal card for those with busy lives. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Pros

  • Simple earning structure.
  • Multiple transfer partners.
  • Flexible redemption options.

Cons

  • Lower transfer ratios for select partners.
  • Limited bonus categories.
  • No U.S. airline transfer partner.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • 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 a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through the Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Pros

  • Simple earning structure.
  • Multiple transfer partners.
  • Flexible redemption options.

Cons

  • Lower transfer ratios for select partners.
  • Limited bonus categories.
  • No U.S. airline transfer partner.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • 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 a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through the Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Best for Luxury Benefits
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
Go to review
  • 5X Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • 5X Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Intro Offer tooltip icon
Earn 80,000 points
$695

Why We Chose It

The Amex Platinum is unmatched when it comes to travel perks and benefits. If lounge access, hotel elite status and annual statement credits are important to you, this card is well worth the high annual fee. Read our full review of the Platinum Card from American Express.

Pros

  • Lucrative welcome bonus.
  • Extensive airport lounge access.
  • Luxury travel perks and statement credits.
  • Hotel elite status.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Limited bonus earning categories.
  • Complicated credit redemption.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Walmart+ members enjoy shopping perks - both online and in-store - at Walmart. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month. $12.95 plus applicable taxes. Plus Up Benefits not eligible.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Benefit renews annually.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back per calendar year on an Equinox+ subscription, or any Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction, and an Equinox+ subscription is required.
  • Add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile on the Resy app or website and unlock Global Dining Access by Resy to exclusive tables and events.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
Go to review
Earn 80,000 points
details
$695
5X points
details

Why We Chose It

The Amex Platinum is unmatched when it comes to travel perks and benefits. If lounge access, hotel elite status and annual statement credits are important to you, this card is well worth the high annual fee. Read our full review of the Platinum Card from American Express.

Pros

  • Lucrative welcome bonus.
  • Extensive airport lounge access.
  • Luxury travel perks and statement credits.
  • Hotel elite status.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Limited bonus earning categories.
  • Complicated credit redemption.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Walmart+ members enjoy shopping perks - both online and in-store - at Walmart. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month. $12.95 plus applicable taxes. Plus Up Benefits not eligible.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Benefit renews annually.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back per calendar year on an Equinox+ subscription, or any Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction, and an Equinox+ subscription is required.
  • Add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile on the Resy app or website and unlock Global Dining Access by Resy to exclusive tables and events.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • Lucrative welcome bonus.
  • Extensive airport lounge access.
  • Luxury travel perks and statement credits.
  • Hotel elite status.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Limited bonus earning categories.
  • Complicated credit redemption.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Walmart+ members enjoy shopping perks - both online and in-store - at Walmart. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month. $12.95 plus applicable taxes. Plus Up Benefits not eligible.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Benefit renews annually.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $300 back per calendar year on an Equinox+ subscription, or any Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.
  • $100 Global Entry Credit: Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 years for a TSA PreCheck® (through a TSA official enrollment provider) application fee, when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $300 SoulCycle At-Home Bike Credit: Get a $300 statement credit for the purchase of a SoulCycle at-home bike with your Platinum Card®. Must charge full price of bike in one transaction, and an Equinox+ subscription is required.
  • Add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile on the Resy app or website and unlock Global Dining Access by Resy to exclusive tables and events.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Best low-cost card for Marriott
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Go to review
  • 17X Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 3X Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • 2X 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Intro Offer tooltip icon
New cardmember bonus: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points)
$95

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is an entry-level card that can help travelers dip their toes into the Bonvoy program. The card is best for those who stay at Marriotts, but not enough to take full advantage of Marriott’s higher-tier cards. Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Pros

  • Annual free night certificate.
  • Automatic Silver elite status.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • Few travel perks.
  • Annual fee.
  • New cardmember bonus: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Best low-cost card for Marriott
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Go to review
New cardmember bonus: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points)
details
$95
2 - 17X points
details

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card is an entry-level card that can help travelers dip their toes into the Bonvoy program. The card is best for those who stay at Marriotts, but not enough to take full advantage of Marriott’s higher-tier cards. Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Pros

  • Annual free night certificate.
  • Automatic Silver elite status.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • Few travel perks.
  • Annual fee.
  • New cardmember bonus: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Pros

  • Annual free night certificate.
  • Automatic Silver elite status.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • Few travel perks.
  • Annual fee.
  • New cardmember bonus: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
BEST LOW-COST CARD FOR HILTON
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
3.5/5
  • 12X Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • 6X Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Intro Offer tooltip icon
Earn 130,000 Points and a Free Night Reward
$95

Why We Chose It

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card stands out in the crowded mid-tier category of cobranded hotel credit cards. It comes with elite-like perks at a reasonable annual fee.  Read our full review of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Pros

  • High earning rate.
  • Large welcome offer.
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
  • Limited lounge access.
  • No travel credits.
  • Free anniversary night requires high annual spending.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and one Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 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.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
3.5/5
Earn 130,000 Points and a Free Night Reward
details
$95
3 - 12X points
details

Why We Chose It

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card stands out in the crowded mid-tier category of cobranded hotel credit cards. It comes with elite-like perks at a reasonable annual fee.  Read our full review of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Pros

  • High earning rate.
  • Large welcome offer.
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
  • Limited lounge access.
  • No travel credits.
  • Free anniversary night requires high annual spending.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and one Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 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.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • High earning rate.
  • Large welcome offer.
  • Automatic Hilton Gold status.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
  • Limited lounge access.
  • No travel credits.
  • Free anniversary night requires high annual spending.
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and one Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Spend $40,000 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.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
BEST FOR TRAVEL AND DINING BONUSES
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
  • 3X Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • 3X Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • 3X Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
Intro Offer tooltip icon
Earn 60,000 points
40,000 points
$150

Why We Chose It

The revamped American Express Green Card offers an impressive array of benefits for beginner travelers. You’ll earn 3x across assorted travel, dining and transit purchases, plus annual credits for LoungeBuddy passes and CLEAR Plus membership purchases. It’s quickly becoming one of our favorite starter travel cards.

Pros

  • The card offers some terrific bonus earning rates, awarding 3 points per dollar spent on dining, travel and transit purchases.
  • It also currently has an elevated welcome bonus.

Cons

  • The card carries a $150 annual fee, and the two embedded statement credits (up to $189 for Clear Plus membership and up to $100 for LoungeBuddy purchases) may not be useful to everyone.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
  • $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express® Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
  • Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit - you'll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you're traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
BEST FOR TRAVEL AND DINING BONUSES
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Apply now for American Express® Green Card at American Express's secure site
Earn 60,000 points
details
$150
3X points
details

Why We Chose It

The revamped American Express Green Card offers an impressive array of benefits for beginner travelers. You’ll earn 3x across assorted travel, dining and transit purchases, plus annual credits for LoungeBuddy passes and CLEAR Plus membership purchases. It’s quickly becoming one of our favorite starter travel cards.

Pros

  • The card offers some terrific bonus earning rates, awarding 3 points per dollar spent on dining, travel and transit purchases.
  • It also currently has an elevated welcome bonus.

Cons

  • The card carries a $150 annual fee, and the two embedded statement credits (up to $189 for Clear Plus membership and up to $100 for LoungeBuddy purchases) may not be useful to everyone.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
  • $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express® Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
  • Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit - you'll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you're traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Pros

  • The card offers some terrific bonus earning rates, awarding 3 points per dollar spent on dining, travel and transit purchases.
  • It also currently has an elevated welcome bonus.

Cons

  • The card carries a $150 annual fee, and the two embedded statement credits (up to $189 for Clear Plus membership and up to $100 for LoungeBuddy purchases) may not be useful to everyone.
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn 20% back on eligible travel and transit purchases made during your first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, campgrounds, and vacation rentals.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on transit purchases including trains, taxicabs, rideshare services, ferries, tolls, parking, buses, and subways.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the US.
  • $189 CLEAR Plus Credit: Receive up to $189 per calendar year in statement credits when you pay for your CLEAR Plus membership (subject to auto-renewal) with the American Express® Green Card.
  • $100 LoungeBuddy: No airport lounge membership? No problem! Purchase lounge access through the LoungeBuddy app using the American Express® Green Card and receive up to $100 in statement credits annually.
  • Payment Flexibility: When it comes to paying your bill, you have options. You can always pay in full. You also have the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee, up to your Pay Over Time Limit. You may be able to keep spending beyond your limit - you'll just need to pay for any new purchases in full when your bill is due.
  • Trip Delay Insurance: If a round-trip is paid for entirely with your Eligible Card and a covered reason delays your trip more than 12 hours, Trip Delay Insurance can help reimburse certain additional expenses purchased on the same Eligible Card, up to $300 per trip, maximum 2 claims per eligible account per 12 consecutive month period. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Coverage is provided by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees: No matter where you're traveling, when you use your American Express® Green Card there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Best card for Hyatt
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Go to review
  • 9X Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2X Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
Intro Offer tooltip icon
Earn up to 60,000 points
$95

Why We Chose It

If you’re a fan of Hyatt hotels, the World of Hyatt card is one of the top choices for hotel cobranded cards. You’ll earn valuable hotel points, automatic elite status and a free night certificate every anniversary year. Read our full review of the World oh Hyatt card

Pros

  • Annual elite night credit.
  • Multiple bonus earning categories.
  • Annual free night certificate.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
  • Limited usage for non-Hyatt travelers.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Go to review
Earn up to 60,000 points
details
$95
2 - 9X points
details

Why We Chose It

If you’re a fan of Hyatt hotels, the World of Hyatt card is one of the top choices for hotel cobranded cards. You’ll earn valuable hotel points, automatic elite status and a free night certificate every anniversary year. Read our full review of the World oh Hyatt card

Pros

  • Annual elite night credit.
  • Multiple bonus earning categories.
  • Annual free night certificate.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
  • Limited usage for non-Hyatt travelers.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

Pros

  • Annual elite night credit.
  • Multiple bonus earning categories.
  • Annual free night certificate.

Cons

  • Annual fee.
  • Limited usage for non-Hyatt travelers.
  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
Best Business card
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
  • 5X Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
  • 1.5X Earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
  • 1X 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
Intro Offer tooltip icon
Earn 120,000 points
$695

Why We Chose It

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a great card for frequent travelers looking to add a touch of luxury to their business trips. While the card does come with a high annual fee, you’re also getting a ton of valuable benefits in return. They include generous annual travel credits, unparalleled lounge access that includes Amex Centurion Lounges and more. Read our full review on The Business Platinum Card from American Express.

Pros

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application credit.
  • Elite hotel status.
  • Numerous statement credits.
  • Travel and shopping protections.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • High spend needed for welcome offer.
  • Minimal non-travel bonuses.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® Plus membership. CLEAR® lanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4/5
Earn 120,000 points
details
$695
1 - 5X points
details

Why We Chose It

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a great card for frequent travelers looking to add a touch of luxury to their business trips. While the card does come with a high annual fee, you’re also getting a ton of valuable benefits in return. They include generous annual travel credits, unparalleled lounge access that includes Amex Centurion Lounges and more. Read our full review on The Business Platinum Card from American Express.

Pros

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application credit.
  • Elite hotel status.
  • Numerous statement credits.
  • Travel and shopping protections.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • High spend needed for welcome offer.
  • Minimal non-travel bonuses.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® Plus membership. CLEAR® lanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

Pros

  • Global Entry/TSA Precheck application credit.
  • Elite hotel status.
  • Numerous statement credits.
  • Travel and shopping protections.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • High spend needed for welcome offer.
  • Minimal non-travel bonuses.
  • Welcome Offer: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® Plus membership. CLEAR® lanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
BEST FOR TRAVEL CREDITS
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
  • 10x Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 5x Earn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3x Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • 1x Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro Offer tooltip icon
60,000 points
$550

Why We Chose It

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of our top premium travel cards. With a $300 travel credit, bonus points on dining and travel purchases and other benefits, you can get excellent value that far exceeds the annual fee on the card. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Pros

  • Multiple transfer partners.
  • Annual travel credit.
  • Luxury travel perks like lounge access and travel protection.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Not useful for non-frequent travelers.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
BEST FOR TRAVEL CREDITS
TPG Editor's Rating tooltip icon
4.5/5
60,000 points
details
$550
1 - 10X points
details

Why We Chose It

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of our top premium travel cards. With a $300 travel credit, bonus points on dining and travel purchases and other benefits, you can get excellent value that far exceeds the annual fee on the card. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Pros

  • Multiple transfer partners.
  • Annual travel credit.
  • Luxury travel perks like lounge access and travel protection.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Not useful for non-frequent travelers.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

Pros

  • Multiple transfer partners.
  • Annual travel credit.
  • Luxury travel perks like lounge access and travel protection.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • High annual fee.
  • Not useful for non-frequent travelers.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

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Comparing the best hotel credit cards

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Card Best for Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus Earning Rate Annual Fee
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card Best premium travel credit card 75,000 miles
  • 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
$395
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Best low-cost card for Hilton Earn 130,000 Points and a Free Night Reward
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
$95
IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card Best card for IHG 140,000 points
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
$99
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Best rewards card for non-bonus spending 75,000 miles
  • 5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
$95
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express Best business card Earn 120,000 points
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
  • Earn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
  • 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
$695
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card Best card for Marriott Earn 95,000 points
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • 3 points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
$650
The Platinum Card® from American Express Best for luxury benefits Earn 80,000 points
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
$695
The World of Hyatt Credit Card Best card for Hyatt Earn up to 60,000 points
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
$95
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Best for travel credits 60,000 points
  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
$550
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Best for travel insurance 60,000 bonus points
  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
$95

Frequently asked questions

  • Even if you only stay in hotels a few times a year, it can be worth it to carry a hotel credit card. That’s especially true if you stay with one chain in particular, but not enough to earn elite status on your own.

    Hotel credit cards offer generous sign-up bonuses of hundreds of thousands of points or several free nights that can be worth well over $1,000, depending on how you use them. They also field valuable benefits, such as anniversary free nights, that can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, plus automatic hotel elite status with value-added perks, like early check-in, late checkout, food and beverage credits and the ability to earn even more bonus points on stays. 

    What’s more, some hotel credit cards provide even more premium perks — such as on-property statement credits during stays, application fee refunds for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, airport lounge access and comprehensive travel protections like trip delay insurance — that can add up to tremendous savings.

  • There are a few ways to earn hotel points, and carrying a hotel credit card is among the best.

    First, you can earn hotel points by signing up for a hotel chain’s loyalty program and staying with participating properties. For instance, if you stay at World of Hyatt brands like Hyatt Regency and Hyatt Place, you can earn points on each and every paid stay.

    Carrying a hotel credit card is a great way to supplement that earning since you accrue points not only on stays that you pay for with your card, but also on everyday purchases that you use your card to make. Finding a hotel credit card that earns multiple points per dollar on the purchases you make the most, such as groceries or gas, can boost your earning even further.

    Some hotel rewards programs have online shopping or dining portals, such as Eat Around Town by Marriott Bonvoy. When you sign up and dine out, you can earn several points per dollar on meals at participating restaurants.

  • The best hotel rewards program will depend on your travel habits and goals. If you tend to stay at the brands that are part of one chain, such as Hilton or IHG, then its loyalty program will probably be the best choice for you to focus on.

    On the other hand, if you are not loyal to a particular brand or two, you’ll want to evaluate your strategy for earning and redeeming points in the best way possible. It’s worth looking at all the brands that participate in each hotel loyalty program, which can run the gamut from no-nonsense, budget-conscious motels to ultraluxurious resorts. Pick a hotel rewards program that has the types of hotels where you tend to stay.

    Aside from your potential travel plans, you should look at which hotel credit cards will offer you the rewards and benefits you’ll be able to maximize most easily and put to use most frequently. After all, you don’t want to get stuck paying the annual fee for a hotel credit card whose perks you don’t use and whose hotels you don’t stay at. On the other hand, if you find a hotel credit card that offers benefits you can derive real value from, that earns bonus points on your major purchase categories each month and that has hotels where you actually want to redeem those points, then you’ve probably pinpointed the best hotel rewards program for you.

  • Like deciding what is the best hotel rewards program for you, choosing which hotel credit card is best will be based on your travel needs and goals, along with your everyday spending habits.

    For those who don’t travel frequently and only stay in hotels a few times a year, getting a hotel credit card with no annual fee (or a low one) that still offers a few benefits like low-level elite status and the ability to rack up bonus points on purchases is probably the best way to go.

    If you stick to one or two chains and spend a decent number of nights per year in each, you might want to consider a hotel credit card that offers a few more benefits with an annual fee of $100 or under. These cards tend to earn more points per dollar on more types of purchases and confer a higher tier of automatic elite status with more perks that you can take advantage of on a regular basis, such as space-available room upgrades and late checkout, thanks to your more frequent travels. 

    Finally, if you are all-in on loyalty to one of the major chains, spend many nights per year at participating properties and can optimize both hotel- and non-hotel-related perks, such as statement credits for certain types of bookings, mid- and high-tier elite status that might include perks like complimentary daily breakfast during stays, airport lounge access and application fee refunds for frequent traveler programs like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you might want to consider a premium hotel credit card whose annual fee could be as high as $695. 

    The type of traveler you are, how many hotel stays per year you usually book and the kinds of benefits you’re looking to reap from your hotel credit card will determine which hotel credit card is best for you. The good news is there are plenty of choices out there and options for trip-takers of every stripe.

  • Whether or not your hotel points expire depends on the specific program. Best Western Rewards points do not expire, for instance. However, Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy points expire after 24 months of no account activity. Wyndham Rewards points expire after just 18 months of no account activity, but they also expire four years after you earn them, whether your account has been active or not.

    Account activity in all these cases means earning or redeeming points, so it’s not just about having to book extra stays to keep your account in good standing. If you redeem points for a stay, that should reset your clock, too.

    Keeping your miles from expiring is also an excellent reason to carry a hotel credit card, since any points you earn with it, including on your day-to-day spending, will register as account activity and reset your points’ lifetime.

    We have a handy guide to expiration policies for airline miles and hotel points that can help you keep track of your points balances and ensure your hard-earned points stay safe.

  • Many types of hotel points are transferable, and even transferable in different ways, depending on the terms and conditions of the specific hotel loyalty program.

    For instance, Marriott Bonvoy points transfer to 39 airline loyalty programs. For most, the transfer ratio is 3 Marriott Bonvoy points to 1 airline mile. And, with most partners, when you transfer 60,000 Marriott points, you earn 5,000 bonus airline miles, meaning you end up with 25,000 miles instead of just 20,000. Likewise, World of Hyatt members can convert their hotel points into airline miles with 25 airline loyalty programs, though the value proposition of doing so is not great.

    Many hotel loyalty programs also allow members to transfer points between their accounts. For instance, both Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt members can transfer points to one another for free, though certain terms, conditions and limits apply regarding how many transfers members can make, the minimum and maximum number of points that are transferable and how long both accounts must have been open.

Best hotel credit cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Why we love it: Although this card carries a high annual fee ($695; see rates and fees), it’s worth it for high-end travelers who can take advantage of benefits such as extensive airport lounge access and a plethora of statement credits, including up to $200 in annual airline fee statement credits and up to $200 in annual hotel statement credits for Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings. 

Who should use it: The Amex Platinum is geared toward luxury travelers, but its money-saving perks go far beyond travel and include statement credits toward Equinox membership, digital entertainment, Walmart+ subscriptions and more (enrollment is required for select benefits). 

Unlocking elite status: Amex Platinum cardmembers can register for both automatic Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold status (enrollment is required). Hilton Honors Gold status usually requires staying 40 nights per year and confers perks like bonus earning on stays and daily food and beverage credits. Marriott Gold status, meanwhile, usually requires staying 25 nights per year and bestows privileges such as bonus earning on stays and availability-based room upgrades.

Why it’s in my wallet: I put all of my flights on this card to earn 5 points per dollar spent. I make sure to take full advantage of the Uber, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hulu/Disney+ and Clear Plus credits (enrollment required for these benefits). And, honestly, pulling a Platinum card out of your wallet to pay for something does feel pretty fancy.” — Matt Moffitt, senior credit cards editor

Alternative card option: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card has similar benefits to the Amex Platinum and earns more miles per dollar on everyday spending (i.e., non-bonus categories) with an annual fee that is much lower.

Related: Is the Amex Platinum worth the annual fee?

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Official application link: Platinum Card from American Express

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Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Why we love it: The Venture X gives cardholders many of the same benefits as other premium travel rewards credit cards — lounge access, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit and annual statement credits for trips booked through Capital One Travel (up to $300 in this case) — but at a much lower annual fee of $395 per year. Right now, you can earn up to 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Who should use it: Savvy travelers who know how to maximize Capital One’s many airline and hotel transfer partners (you even get 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary). This card is also a strong earner since it racks up 10 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked via Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

Unlocking elite status: Although cardholders aren’t eligible to register for automatic elite status with any of the major hotel loyalty programs, this card does open up the possibility of enjoying elite like perks such as availability-based room upgrades and complimentary daily breakfast on stays booked through Capital One’s new Premier Collection, a curated list of high-end hotels around the globe.

Why it’s in my wallet: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the card that rewards me for every purchase I make with 2 miles per dollar spent that I can then use toward my travel goals. I also love how easy it is to earn and redeem my miles either through transferring to partners or paying off travel purchases, big or small.” — Ashley Onadele, writer

Alternative card option: The $95-per-year Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a great alternative to the Venture X since its welcome offer is identical, its everyday earning rate is also 2 miles per dollar, and you can leverage all the same mileage redemption options as with the Venture X.

Related: Capital One Venture X review

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Official application link: Capital One Venture X

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Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Why we love it: This midrange hotel card offers plenty of valuable benefits, including automatic Hilton Honors Gold elite status, 10 Priority Pass lounge visits every year and the ability to earn a free night reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year — all for just a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees). 

Who should use it: If you stay with Hilton’s brands fairly frequently, but not enough to achieve Gold elite status on your own, this card is a no-brainer. What’s more, it has high everyday earning rates to help you rack up even more points even more quickly, raking in 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets; and 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Unlocking elite status: Hilton Honors Surpass cardholders automatically receive Hilton Honors Gold status, which comes with perks such as space-available room upgrades, a daily food and beverage credit, a fifth night free (plus no resort fees) during award stays, late checkout and more. Cardholders who make $40,000 or more in purchases on the card in a calendar year are bumped up to Hilton’s top-tier Diamond status. 

Why it’s in my wallet: “This card is a keeper for me in large part because of the annual free-night-reward certificate I get after spending $15,000 in a calendar year. The elevated earning rates on everyday spending categories are also a good match for many of my purchases.” — Senitra Horbrook, credit cards editor

Alternative card option: Want many of the same benefits (and a sizable welcome offer) without having to pay an annual fee? Consider the Hilton Honors American Express Card instead (see rates and fees). It comes with complimentary Hilton Honors Silver elite status and earns 7 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels; 5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets; and 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Related: Hilton Honors Amex Surpass Card review

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Official application link: Hilton Honors Amex Surpass Card

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Why we love it: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best all-around travel rewards credit cards thanks to a solid welcome offer, relatively low annual fee and strong earning rates on travel, dining, streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target and Walmart).

Who should use it: In short, everyone. This is a great card for rewards newbies and points pros alike thanks to the excellent value you can reap from the Chase Ultimate Rewards points this card earns — whether it’s by redeeming them for travel at 1.25 cents apiece through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal or transferring them to the program’s airline and hotel partners, such as United and Hyatt. Its travel protections, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance and trip delay reimbursement, are also excellent reasons to use it to pay for travel. 

Unlocking elite status: Although this card doesn’t confer elite status outright, you can transfer the points it earns to World of Hyatt, IHG One Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy and redeem them for nights with those loyalty programs, thus upping your elite qualifying nights through stays. Cardholders also receive up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary for hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards.

Why it’s in my wallet: The Chase Sapphire Preferred has remained a top card in my wallet for years. Between the consistently strong sign-up bonus, low annual fee and continual improvements that have been made over the years, it’s hard for any other mid-tier rewards card to compare.” — Madison Blancaflor, senior content operations editor

Alternative card option: If Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of your main loyalty programs and you feel like graduating to a new level of luxury, think about the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Although its annual fee is higher, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers perks including up to $300 in annual travel statement credits, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee statement credit (worth up to $100) once every four years, and Priority Pass lounge access so your time at the airport is that much more comfortable.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits you might not know about

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Official application link: Chase Sapphire Preferred

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Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Why we love it: The strong sign-up bonus, a reasonable annual fee and an annual free night reward worth up to 35,000 points (or up to 50,000 thanks to Marriott Bonvoy’s free night certificate top-up perk) all make this hotel credit card one of the best around.

Who should use it: Whether you stay in Marriott properties occasionally or all the time, you can get a ton of use from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless thanks to its benefits and strong earning rates. Bonus categories include purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and up to $6,000 in combined purchases per year at gas stations, grocery stores and on dining  — meaning you can rack up points for future stays even faster.

Unlocking elite status: Cardholders can expect automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status plus 15 elite night credits each calendar year toward reaching higher status. They can also hit Gold status by making $35,000 or more in purchases on the card in a calendar year.

Why it’s in my wallet: “This card is worth keeping in my wallet every year due to the fact I can get outsize value from the free night certificate for a low $95 annual fee. Combining the 15 elite night credits I receive with this card with the ones I get by holding another Marriott business card means it is attainable for me to requalify for Platinum Elite status every year.” — Matt Moffitt, senior credit cards editor

Alternative card option: Go all-in on Marriott Bonvoy with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, which not only gives automatic Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status (two tiers higher than the Boundless), but also an annual free night certificate worth up to 85,000 points (or 100,000 if you top up with the extra 15,000 points that’s permitted).

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card review

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Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

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World of Hyatt Credit Card

Why we love it: For a relatively low annual fee, you get some tremendous perks with this card, including one free night at a Category 1-4 hotel each year after your cardmember anniversary, plus a second free night at a Category 1-4 hotel each cardmember year when you spend $15,000 on the card.

Who should use it: Hyatt loyalists who want to up their earning potential thanks to this card’s accrual rates, which include at least 9 points per dollar on Hyatt stays (4 per dollar at participating properties, plus 5 per dollar for being a World of Hyatt member), 2 points per dollar on dining out and on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, 2 points per dollar on gym and fitness club memberships, 2 points per dollar on local transit and commuting, and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Unlocking elite status: Cardholders receive automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status — with perks like bonus earning on stays, availability-based upgrades and priority for availability-based late checkout — in addition to receiving five qualifying night credits toward the next level of elite status each year and two additional elite night credits for each $5,000 spent on the card each calendar year.

Why it’s in my wallet: The World of Hyatt Credit Card remains an integral card for me, especially for the ability to earn up to two free night awards each year. In addition, receiving five elite night credits just for having the card each year helps set me on the path toward renewing my top-tier Globalist status.” — Senitra Horbrook, credit cards editor

Alternative card option: The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great alternative to the World of Hyatt Credit Card since the Ultimate Rewards points it earns can be transferred to Hyatt, along with a dozen or so other airline and hotel partners, so you’re not locked into a single hotel loyalty program.

Related: World of Hyatt Credit Card review

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Official application link: World of Hyatt Credit Card

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IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

Why we love it: Consistently high welcome offers, a midrange annual fee, excellent earning rates and valuable benefits like an annual award night certificate worth up to 40,000 points and a Nexus, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit worth up to $100 every four years all make this card a keeper. 

Who should use it: Even travelers who only stay at IHG properties a couple of times a year should get a ton of use out of this card. For one, the award night certificate can justify the annual fee. Its earning rates of up to 26 points per dollar at IHG properties (10 points from this card, 10 points from being an IHG One Rewards member and 6 points from being a Platinum Elite, a benefit from this card); 5 points per dollar on travel, gas station and restaurant purchases; and 3 points per dollar everywhere else also mean you’ll accrue points quickly for even more stays.

Unlocking elite status: Cardholders receive automatic IHG One Rewards Platinum elite status, which normally requires spending 40 nights per year in IHG hotels and includes perks like earning bonus points on stays, a free welcome drink or snack, complimentary availability-based upgrades and more.

Why it’s in my wallet: Having the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card unlocks one of my favorite credit card perks: IHG’s fourth-night reward. This card benefit makes every fourth night cost zero points on stays of four nights or longer when I redeem IHG points. Plus, the card gives me an anniversary night worth up to 40,000 points every year, which is worth enough alone to justify paying the annual fee.” — Katie Genter, senior writer

Alternative card option: If you like the IHG One Rewards program but aren’t convinced you need a card with an annual fee, think about carrying the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card instead. It often posts high welcome offers and has strong earning rates of its own along with conferring Silver elite status … all for $0 per year. 

Related: IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card review

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Official application link: IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

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Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Why we love it: This premium hotel credit card costs a pretty penny ($650 per year; see rates and fees), but packs in tons of perks to compensate for it, including a free night award worth up to 85,000 points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (certain hotels have resort fees) and up to $300 in statement credits for eligible purchases (up to $25 per month) at worldwide restaurants. It’s also a decent earner, accruing 6 points per dollar at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Who should use it: Luxury travelers loyal to Marriott will likely make the most of this card thanks to both its hotel- and non-hotel-related benefits, which include up to $100 in credits for on-property charges when booking stays of two nights or more at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis properties, Priority Pass Select lounge access and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit worth up to $100 every four years. Enrollment is required for select benefits. 

Unlocking elite status: Folks with this card enjoy complimentary automatic Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status, which usually requires staying 50 nights per year and includes benefits such as availability-based upgrades (including to some suites) and late checkout until 4 p.m., club lounge access at certain properties, and a welcome amenity of points, a gift or free breakfast. They also receive 25 elite night credits each calendar year toward a higher level of status, which can be a very helpful boost.

Why it’s in my wallet: “This card is an absolute must for those who stay at full-service Marriott brands multiple times a year, but not quite enough to earn Marriott Platinum elite status on their own, and unlocks perks like free breakfast, club access and suite upgrades.” — Summer Hull, director of content

Alternative card option: If you want to rack up Marriott Bonvoy points at a quick clip but the idea of a card with a $650 annual fee is a dealbreaker, consider Chase’s Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card instead, which has a much lower $95 annual fee but still accrues bonus points on everyday purchases and offers automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver elite status, along with 15 elite night credits per year to help you hit a higher tier. 

Related: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex card review

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Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex

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Wyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card

Why we love it: This card’s steady sign-up offer of 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening is enough for up to six free nights at participating properties, of which there are 9,000 worldwide. Who doesn’t love a card that can get you a great vacation in one go?

Who should use it: The key to unlocking this card’s true potential is to leverage its earning rates by maximizing its bonus categories of 6 points per dollar on eligible Wyndham and gas purchases, 4 points per dollar on dining and grocery purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases. If those types of purchases are your typical spending centers, then you’ll be racking up enough points for free stays more quickly than you think. That’s not even taking into account this card’s 7,500-point anniversary bonus every year.

Unlocking elite status: Cardholders can enjoy automatic Wyndham Rewards Platinum elite status for perks like early check-in, preferred room choice and car rental upgrades with Avis and Budget.

Why it should be in your wallet: If you stay at Wyndham’s thousands of properties around the world, this card makes it super easy to rack up points for free stays quickly thanks to its excellent bonus earning categories.

Alternative card option: Small-business owners might prefer the Wyndham Earner® Business Card, which has an annual fee of $95 (as opposed to $75 with the Earner Plus) but earns more points per dollar on Wyndham stays and gas, and has bonus categories of marketing, advertising and utilities. It also unlocks Wyndham Rewards’ top-tier Diamond status to boot.

The information for the Wyndham Earner® Business card, and Wyndham Earner Plus Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Related: Which Wyndham Rewards credit card is right for you?

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Official application link: Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

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Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Why we love it: Where to begin? This card is truly one of the best hotel credit cards around thanks to stellar earning rates, automatic elite status and tons of value-added perks that can save you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars per year. 

Who should use it: This card has a few key benefits that should be the deciding factors on whether it’s the right choice for you. First, it awards cardholders with one free night reward good at any participating Hilton Honors property that can be worth well over $1,000, depending on where you redeem it, plus a second free night reward after spending $60,000 or more on purchases with your card in a calendar year. Each year of membership, cardholders also get up to $250 in statement credits toward eligible purchases made with participating Hilton resorts and up to $250 per calendar year in statement credits for incidental fees such as checked baggage, inflight refreshments, and flight change fees on an airline you designate. That’s some great value.

Unlocking elite status: One of this card’s almost-too-good-to-be-true perks is automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status, which normally requires staying 60 nights per calendar year and includes benefits such as earning 100% bonus points on stays, space-available upgrades to standard suites, executive lounge access at eligible properties and a daily food and beverage credit, among other features.

Why it’s in my wallet: I love that the Hilton Aspire provides top-tier Diamond status as a cardmember perk along with a $250 airline fee credit, $250 Hilton resort credit and an annual free night reward. These perks provide my husband and me with enough value in just a few Hilton stays each year to justify the annual fee.” Katie Genter, senior writer

Alternative card option: With a much lower annual fee of just $95 (see rates and fees) but similar earning rates and welcome offer (and just automatic Hilton Honors Gold status rather than Diamond), the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card might be a better choice for some travelers.

The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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What is a hotel credit card?

A hotel credit card is a type of rewards credit card that earns points with a specific hotel loyalty program, such as Marriott Bonvoy or World of Hyatt, on everyday spending. 

You can then redeem these points toward free stays and other awards, such as suite upgrades. Some general travel rewards credit cards earn points that can be transferred to hotel partners as well.

In addition to earning points on purchases, hotel credit cards usually come with other benefits, such as automatic hotel elite status and annual free night certificates. Some premium hotel credit cards even offer high-end perks like airport lounge access or statement credits toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry applications.

How to choose a hotel credit card

Here are the main factors to consider when choosing a hotel credit card.

First, think about the hotels where you tend to stay and pick a hotel credit card that earns points with those hotels’ loyalty programs. 

If you tend to stay in hotels that participate in Marriott Bonvoy, such as Westin, Courtyard by Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, then a card that earns Marriott Bonvoy points is probably your best bet. If your main chain is Hilton — which includes brands like DoubleTree, Embassy Suites and Waldorf Astoria — you may want to consider a credit card that earns Hilton Honors points instead.                                                        

Next, consider a card’s sign-up bonus. Opening a new hotel credit card can be a fantastic opportunity to earn hundreds of thousands of hotel points or several free award nights in a short period of time by meeting the introductory offer terms, such as spending a certain dollar amount on purchases within a set time frame. 

The quality of a hotel credit card’s welcome bonus should be one of the primary data points in your decision whether or not to apply for it.

Beyond the points you can earn through a sign-up bonus, however, look at the purchase categories where a hotel credit card earns bonus points on an ongoing basis. If groceries and gas are two of your main expenses each month, pick a hotel credit card that earns bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations. If you spend more on dining out and airfare, think about the hotel credit cards that earn multiple points per dollar on those types of purchases.

You’re probably going to want to hang on to your hotel credit card for a while, so look into the types of ongoing and annual benefits that each card you’re thinking about offers. Some hotel credit cards offer free award night certificates each year after your cardmember anniversary. Others confer automatic hotel elite status, or a boost toward higher status levels, just for carrying them. Still others offer value-added perks, such as airport lounge access or statement credits toward luxury hotel stays. Think about the kinds of perks a card you’re considering includes and whether you’ll be able to maximize them.

Finally, hotel credit cards have annual fees ranging from $0 up to hundreds of dollars per year. Before opening a new hotel credit card, think about whether that expense fits your budget and if it will be worth it based on how much value you’ll be able to get from a hotel credit card’s benefits. 

Benefits of hotel credit cards

Hotel credit cards typically offer several types of benefits which can not only make it easier to rack up free nights faster, but also to enjoy your stays even more when traveling. Here are several benefits to look out for in any hotel credit card you apply for.

Hotel loyalty program points-earning 

When you use a hotel credit card to make purchases, you earn points toward free stays, sort of like you earn points when actually staying at a hotel. 

What’s great about earning points with hotel credit cards, though, is that many of them accrue multiple points per dollar on a wide range of purchase categories. 

First and foremost, you should earn several points per dollar when using your card to pay for stays and other purchases at the hotel chain that the card is cobranded with. 

Then, look at what other categories a specific card earns bonus points in. These can range from airfare and car rentals to dining, gas, groceries and more. Pick a card that earns the most points in the categories where you spend the most each month.

Complimentary elite status

Hotel elite status can be a great way to enjoy extra benefits during stays. Typically, you have to spend a certain number of nights or earn a certain number of hotel points on stays throughout a calendar year in order to earn elite status. 

However, many of the best hotel credit cards offer cardholders automatic elite status at the lower or middle tiers, which can confer benefits such as earning bonus points on stays, food and beverage credits and late checkout, among other perks.

Some hotel credit cards also offer elite night credits toward earning a higher level of status if your typical travel activity already gets you elite status. This can be a great way to boost yourself to a higher rung of status, and thus enjoy even more benefits.

Free night certificates

One of the best benefits any hotel credit card can offer is an annual free night award. Usually, you receive this type of perk each year after your cardmember anniversary comes around and you pay the card’s annual fee. Some hotel credit cards offer these types of free night certificates for making a certain dollar amount of purchases with the card each year, too.

Some of these free night certificates have conditions attached to them, such as only being usable on weekend nights or at a restricted number of hotel categories, or being worth only up to a certain number of points. Others are relatively open-ended and usable at any participating property with standard award availability.

When considering a hotel credit card, look at the type of free night certificates it offers, what you need to do to earn them, and where they are redeemable to determine how you’ll be able to put them to the best use.

Airport lounge access

Certain premium hotel credit cards offer airport lounge access as one of their benefits. However, this can vary greatly by the card.

The Platinum Card® from American Express, for instance, which earns American Express Membership Rewards points that you can transfer to Hilton Honors, Marriott Bonvoy and Choice Privileges, also grants cardholders access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes Centurion Lounges and Priority Pass, Escape and Airspace lounges, plus Delta Sky Clubs on same-day Delta flights. Enrollment is required for select benefits.

By contrast, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card only offers Priority Pass lounge access for the cardholder and up to two guests (additional guests are charged $32 per lounge visit, and authorized users do not receive Priority Pass membership). Enrollment is required. 

The information for the Hilton Aspire card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Other hotel benefits

Carrying a hotel credit card confers other hotel benefits as well — some related to elite status, and some that are card-specific.

For instance, thanks to the Hilton Honors Gold elite status you can enjoy with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card or the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, you can count on perks such as space-available room upgrades, a daily food and beverage credit, a fifth night free (plus no resort fees) during award stays, late checkout and more. 

Certain hotel credit cards offer benefits that go beyond simple elite status, though. In addition to automatic Marriott Bonvoy Platinum elite status, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card extends value-added benefits such as a $100 Marriott Bonvoy property credit when using your card for qualifying charges at Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis hotels when you book directly using a special cardholder rate for stays of two nights or more.

How to maximize hotel rewards points

There are several things savvy travelers can do to maximize hotel rewards points, from snagging high introductory offers on hotel credit cards to racking up points even faster with strategic spending. 

Earn the sign-up bonus

One of the fastest and easiest ways to maximize hotel rewards points is to open a new hotel credit card and earn its sign-up bonus. That’s because these sign-up bonuses can be worth hundreds of thousands of hotel points, or come in the form of individual free night certificates worth tens of thousands of points each.

Sign-up bonuses change all the time, though. For that reason, it’s important to do some homework and find out whether the current sign-up bonus of a hotel credit card you may be interested in is at the higher end of the spectrum (i.e., worth more points than usual).

Some hotel credit card welcome offers require you to spend anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 on purchases within the first three to six months of account opening. Only apply for a hotel credit card if it has a spending requirement you can meet through responsible spending and if you can pay your balances off on time and in full. Otherwise, you might rack up debt and interest that costs far more than your hotel points are worth.

Join the associated hotel’s loyalty rewards program

It should go without saying, but if you are considering a hotel credit card, you should join the associated hotel’s loyalty rewards program. If you are not yet a member, signing up for a hotel credit card will usually generate a membership number for you with the hotel rewards program.

However, if you already have an account with the hotel loyalty program, make sure it is attached to your credit card so that you earn the points or awards from its sign-up bonus and that your everyday spending funnels the points you earn directly into your account. This will also ensure that any elite status benefits to which you are entitled are associated with your account during stays.

Book directly with the hotel or use a shopping portal

When it comes to earning hotel rewards points and credit toward elite status, many of these programs tend to require that you book your hotel stays directly with them rather than through a third-party online travel agency. 

You don’t give up anything by doing so since most hotel chains have a best rate guarantee, which means if you find a better price for the same stay, dates, room category, etc., the hotel will match the better rate, and sometimes even offer a refund or discount to make up for the inconvenience.

Aside from booking stays to earn hotel points, you can ramp up your points-earning by making purchases through an online shopping portal. An online shopping portal is basically a website where you log in using your loyalty program or credit card credentials. Once logged in, you can browse the list of partner merchants, which typically include well-known hotels along with hundreds of retailers like Macy’s, Nike and Best Buy. When you click through to the retailers’ sites from the online shopping portal, you can then earn additional points per dollar or cash back on those purchases. It’s a great way to accrue even more points on purchases you plan to make anyway. 

Methodology

Finding the best hotel credit card for you can be a stressful and overwhelming process, especially for beginners. The TPG team has spent hours researching the best offers and compiling our top options — some from our partners and some not — to help you compare cards. We looked at sign-up offers, earning structures and bonus categories, annual fees, redemption options and more to pick the best hotel credit card offers available to you.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Amex, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, please click here.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.