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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card, Expedia+ Card from Citi, Expedia+ Voyager Card from Citi, Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, Hilton Honors Card from American Express
Some hotel co-branded credit cards, like the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Card, offer sky-high welcome bonuses of up to 100,000 points. However, you’ll usually need to spend several thousand dollars in the first few months to earn the large bonuses. If that’s not ideal for you, not to worry — these hotel card bonuses require spending $1,000 or less, and the bonuses are nothing to sneeze at, either.
Hilton Honors Card from American Express
Current welcome bonus: 75,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months. According to TPG’s valuations, this bonus is worth $450. Award night redemptions range from 5,000 points to 95,000 points. This bonus isn’t available to those who currently have or have had this card.
Other benefits: Earn 7x points at participating Hilton hotels and resorts, 5x at US restaurants, US grocery stores and US gas stations and 3x for all other purchases. Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status. Earn Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year after spending $20,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. Travel and shopping benefits include baggage insurance, return protection, extended warranty and purchase protection.
Annual fee: $0 (See Rates & Fees)
Quick take: This card offers complimentary Hilton Silver status, solid earning potential at Hilton properties and an elevated welcome bonus that can get you up to 15 award nights. With no annual fee, if you stay at Hilton properties this may be an easy long-term choice.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
Current welcome bonus: 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Other benefits: Earn 6x points at SPG and Marriott hotels and 2x points everywhere else. The card also comes with additional perks like an annual free night award (up to 35,000 points) after card renewal. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $95
Quick take: The personal and business Starwood Amex cards were somewhat in flux, as the new combined Marriott and Starwood program will be launched in August.
Expedia+ Card from Citi
Current welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 Expedia+ Rewards bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first three months. These bonus points are redeemable for $200 towards your stay at one of Expedia’s +VIP Access hotels. Bonus points aren’t offered if you’ve opened or closed an Expedia+ or Expedia+ Voyager card in the past 24 months.
Other benefits: Earn 3x Expedia+ Rewards points on eligible Expedia purchases and 1x Expedia+ Rewards points on other purchases. Cardholders obtain Expedia+ silver status, which provides a 10% bonus on Expedia+ base points as well as extra amenities and 250 bonus points at +VIP Access hotels.
Annual fee: $0
Quick take: If you book, or are willing to book, hotel stays through Expedia, this card could be useful. You’ll often forfeit any elite benefits you’d otherwise receive when booking through Expedia though, so this card would be most useful for those who don’t have status or who book non-chain hotels through OTAs.
Choice Privileges Visa Signature Card
Current welcome bonus: Earn 32,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. That’s worth $192 based on TPG’s valuations, but I’d personally value it higher due to the great value that can be found in Europe and Japan. Award night redemptions range from 6,000 points to 75,000 points. Bonus points are only available for those who haven’t previously had this card.
Other benefits: Earn 15x at Choice Privileges properties, 5x on purchases of Choice Privileges points or Choice Hotel gift cards and 2x on other purchases. Enjoy complementary Elite Gold Status and get a 10% point bonus every time you purchase a stay with Choice Hotels. Earn 8,000 anniversary bonus points every year you spend at least $10,000 by your account anniversary date.
Annual fee: $0
Quick take: This card offers complimentary Elite Gold status, good earning potential at Choice properties and a welcome bonus worth up to five award nights. With no annual fee, it’s a card that’ll earn a long-term place in my wallet.
Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature Card
Current welcome bonus: Earn 15,000 bonus points after making one purchase or balance transfer and earn an additional 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. According to TPG’s valuations, 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points are worth $360. Award night redemptions at all Wyndham properties cost 15,000 points, or you can redeem 3,000 points plus a variable amount of cash.
Other benefits: Earn 5x on eligible purchases at Wyndham properties, 2x on eligible gas, utility and grocery store purchases and 1x on other purchases. Enjoy Wyndham Rewards Platinum elite, which provides many benefits including early check-in, late check-out and upgrades on Avis and Budget car rentals. No foreign transaction fees. Earn 6,000 bonus points — which TPG values at $72 — annually after your account anniversary.
Annual fee: $75
Quick Take: This card provides Wyndham Platinum elite status, good earning at Wyndham properties and a sign-up bonus that can get you two nights or up to ten nights of points plus cash. The 6,000 anniversary bonus points essentially cover the annual fee, so this could be a long-term card if you like to stay at Wyndham properties.
Best Western Rewards Premium Mastercard
Current welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first three billing cycles. Based on TPG valuations, 50,000 Best Western points are worth $350. Award night redemptions range from 8,000 points to 36,000 points.
Other benefits: Earn 10x on eligible Best Western room night purchases and 2x on all other purchases. Earn 20,000 points during each period of 12 complete, consecutive billing cycles in which at least $5,000 is spent. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $0 first year, then $59
Quick take: If you stay at Best Western properties — including some of the company’s more upscale brands — the welcome bonus can get you one to six nights.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the SPG Amex Card, please click here.
Feature image courtesy of the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
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