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The best hotel credit cards with annual fees under $100

Dec. 30, 2022
17 min read
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


Before you book your next vacation, a simple way to ensure you’ll enjoy extra benefits is to carry the credit card of the hotel chain where you’re staying.

Hotel credit cards usually earn bonus points on spending with the hotel, plus they typically include additional benefits like automatic elite status, a generous welcome bonus and a free award night each year.

With so many lucrative benefits, the best hotel credit cards under $100 easily justify paying the annual fee.

The best hotel credit cards with annual fees under $100

Today, we'll look at credit cards from Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt and Wyndham Rewards. These cards are issued by different banks and offer benefits in their respective hotel loyalty programs, but each has an annual fee under $100 and could be worth a place in your wallet.

Comparison of the best hotel credit cards with annual fees of $100 or less

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® CardIHG Rewards Premier Credit CardMarriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit CardWorld of Hyatt Credit CardWyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card
Welcome bonusEarn 130,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership.Earn 175,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.Earn three free night awards (worth up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.Earn up to 60,000 bonus points. Receive 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening and receive up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2 points per dollar on purchases that normally earn 1 point per dollar — on up to $15,000 of these purchases.Earn 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening.
Welcome bonus value*$780.$875.Up to $1,260 if each night is redeemed for 50,000 points.Up to $1,020 if you receive the full 60,000 points.$495.
Annual fee$95 (see rates and fees).$99.$95.$95.$75.
Earning structure12 points per dollar at hotels and resorts participating in Hilton Honors.

6 points per dollar on dining at U.S. restaurants and on eligible takeout and delivery orders.

6 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.

3 points per dollar on other purchases.

10 points per dollar at hotels and resorts participating in IHG One Rewards.

5 points per dollar on travel, gas stations and dining (including eligible takeout and delivery orders).

3 points per dollar on other purchases.

6 points per dollar at hotels and resorts participating in Marriott Bonvoy.

3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 of combined spending each year at gas stations, grocery stores and dining (then 2 points per dollar).

2 points per dollar on other purchases.

4 points per dollar at World of Hyatt hotels, participating Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) locations and eligible Lindblad Expeditions.

2 points per dollar at restaurants, on flights purchased directly from airlines, fitness club and gym memberships and commuting — including local transit, taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-hailing services.

1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

6 points per dollar at Wyndham Rewards hotels.

6 points per dollar on qualifying gas purchases.

4 points per dollar on purchases from and down payments to Wyndham Vacation Club and timeshare properties.

4 points per dollar on dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart).

1 point per dollar on other purchases.

Value of points earned at hotels in that program*7.2 cents per dollar at Hilton hotels and resorts.5 cents per dollar at IHG hotels and resorts.5.04 cents per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts.6.8 cents per dollar at Hyatt and SLH properties.6.6 cents per dollar at Wyndham properties.
Elite status benefitsAutomatic Hilton Honors Gold status provides 80% bonus points on paid stays, a "fifth night free" benefit on points stays, space-available room upgrades (but not to suites), a welcome gift of bonus points and free breakfast or food and beverage credits, depending on where you stay.

Unlock Diamond status by spending $40,000 on purchases with your card in a calendar year.

Automatic Platinum Elite status provides 60% bonus points on paid stays, a "fourth night free" benefit on points stays, discounts on award reservation rates, a welcome gift of points or a snack at check-in, late checkout and early check-in (based on availability) and room upgrades based on availability at check-in.

Unlock Diamond Elite status through the end of the following year by spending $40,000 or more on purchases with your card in a calendar year.

Complimentary Silver Elite status provides 10% bonus points on paid stays and late checkout (subject to availability).

Unlock Gold Elite status by spending $35,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Complimentary Discoverist status provides 10% bonus points on paid stays,  premium in-room internet, two bottles of water each day of your stay, late checkout (when available) and status match opportunities with MGM Rewards.Complimentary Platinum status provides rollover nights, 15% bonus points on paid stays, upgrades to preferred rooms (but not suites), late checkout, early check-in, elite status with Avis and Budget car rental programs and status match opportunities with Caesars Rewards.
Annual free night benefitsEarn a free night award after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.Receive a free night award (worth up to 40,000 points) on each account anniversary.Receive a free night award (worth up to 35,000 points) on each account anniversary.Receive a free night award (valid at Category 1-4 properties) each year on your account anniversary.None, though you receive anniversary bonus points.
Foreign transaction feesNone (see rates and fees).None.None.None.None.
Other benefits10 Priority Pass lounge passes each year.

Free two-day shipping with eligible stores after enrolling for ShopRunner.

Access to Amex Offers for targeted rebates, spending offers and bonus points.

Up to $100 in statement credits to reimburse your Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Nexus application fee.

Up to $50 in United TravelBank credit each year after linking your IHG One Rewards and United MileagePlus accounts.

Receive a $100 statement credit plus 10,000 bonus IHG points after spending $20,000 on your card in a calendar year.

Save 20% on IHG points purchases when paying with your card; note that this does not apply to buying points with a discount or bonus offer.

Access to Chase Offers for targeted rebates, spending offers and bonus points.

Receive 15 elite night credits per year, which help you achieve higher status levels.

Receive one elite night credit for each $5,000 spent on the card.

Access to Chase Offers for targeted rebates, spending offers and bonus points.

Earn another free night award (valid at Category 1-4 properties) by spending $15,000 on your card within a calendar year.

Receive five tier-qualifying nights automatically each year.

Earn two tier-qualifying nights for each $5,000 spent on your card.

Receive 7,500 bonus points on each account anniversary after paying the annual fee.

Redeem 10% fewer Wyndham points for "go free" award stays.

 

* Points value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.

Details of the best hotel credit cards with annual fees under $100

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Current welcome offer: Earn 130,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates & fees).

Benefits at hotels participating in Hilton Honors: Receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. This offers benefits like 80% bonus points on paid stays, a "fifth night free" benefit on award stays using points, room upgrades at check-in (though not to suites) based on availability, a welcome gift of bonus points and either free breakfast or food and beverage credits, depending on where you stay.

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WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Why it’s worth it: The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card offers one of the highest hotel credit card welcome bonuses on this list but it sits in the middle of the pack in terms of its actual value. You’ll receive 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of cardmembership.

Cardholders receive automatic Gold status, which normally requires 20 nights at Hilton properties. You'll receive space-available room upgrades and a daily food and beverage credit at U.S. hotels (or continental breakfast when traveling abroad), plus you can receive five nights for the price of four when redeeming points for hotel stays. Your status will be upgraded to Diamond after spending $40,000 on purchases in a calendar year.

This card earns 12 points per dollar spent at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio and 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants (including eligible takeout and delivery orders), U.S. supermarkets and at U.S. gas stations. All other eligible purchases earn 3 points per dollar. If you make $15,000 or more in purchases with your card in a calendar year, you’ll receive a free night award that can be used at almost any participating Hilton Honors property. Plus, you can enjoy up to 10 complimentary visits at Priority Pass lounges annually (enrollment is required in advance).

For more information, see our full review of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card.


Apply here: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card


IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

Current welcome offer: Earn 175,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $99.

Benefits at hotels participating in IHG One Rewards: Receive complimentary Platinum Elite status, which offers benefits like 60% bonus points on paid stays, a "fourth night free" benefit on points stays, discounts on award reservation rates, a welcome gift of points or a snack at check-in, late checkout and early check-in privileges (based on availability) and room upgrades based on availability at check-in.

THE POINTS GUY

Why it’s worth it: People who redeem points with IHG love the fourth-night reward benefit on award stays. This perk saves up to 25% on points redemptions and can be used an unlimited number of times. You can pair this benefit with the annual free night award (worth up to 40,000 points) for an even longer stay. Plus, you’ll earn 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit each year that you make $20,000 in purchases and can enjoy $50 in United TravelBank credit by linking your IHG and United accounts and can receive reimbursement for your application fee to government security programs.

You can earn 10 points per dollar at hotels and resorts participating in IHG One Rewards, 5 points per dollar on travel, gas stations and dining (including eligible takeout and delivery orders) and 3 points per dollar on other purchases.

For more information, see our full review of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card.


Apply here: IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card


Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Current welcome offer: Earn three free night awards (worth up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee: $95.

Benefits at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy: Receive complimentary Silver Elite status. This tier provides 10% bonus points on paid stays and late checkout (subject to availability).

ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

Why it’s worth it: The welcome bonus of three free nights worth up to 50,000 each is very generous for those who can maximize their stays, making it worth up to $1,260 in TPG's latest valuations. The annual free night that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is capped at 35,000 points, so the free nights from the welcome bonus have a higher potential value. You also can add up to 15,000 points to free night awards to redeem for even higher-priced properties.

Cardholders receive automatic Silver Elite status, which includes 10% bonus points on stays, priority late checkout and free Wi-Fi. You’ll be upgraded to Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 on purchases each calendar year and will receive 15 elite night credits towards higher status levels, deposited in your Marriott Bonvoy account automatically at the beginning of each year. Those interested in earning Marriott Bonvoy status will also be interested in earning 1 elite night credit for each $5,000 spent on the card.

You can earn 6 points per dollar at hotels and resorts participating in Marriott Bonvoy, 3 points per dollar on the first $6,000 of combined spending each year at gas stations, grocery stores and dining (then 2 points per dollar) and 2 points per dollar on other purchases.

To learn more about this card, read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card.


Apply here: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless


World of Hyatt Credit Card

Current welcome offer: Earn up to 60,000 bonus points. Receive 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening and receive up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2 points per dollar on purchases that normally earn 1 point per dollar — on up to $15,000 of these purchases.

Annual fee: $95.

Benefits at hotels participating in World of Hyatt: Receive complimentary Discoverist status. The lowest tier in World of Hyatt offers benefits like 10% bonus points on paid stays, premium in-room internet, two bottles of water each day of your stay and late checkout (when available).

a hand holds a credit card
THE POINTS GUY

Why it’s worth it: The World of Hyatt Credit Card is a perennial keeper thanks to its annual free night valid at Category 1-4 hotels and the ability to earn a second free night after spending just $15,000 on purchases per calendar year. Most travelers can easily spend an average of $1,250 per month on their card each year to snag that second free night, and you'll also earn six tier-qualifying nights from that spending as well.

The card comes with automatic Discoverist status, which normally requires 10 tier-qualifying nights or 25,000 base points earned. This is the lowest status tier in World of Hyatt, but the card includes five qualifying night credits toward elite status each year automatically. Plus, you can earn two additional night credits for every $5,000 you spend on the card. Theoretically, you could earn Globalist status solely based on your credit card spend.

You’ll earn 4 points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and those affiliated with World of Hyatt (including some Small Luxury Hotels of the World properties). Plus, receive 2 points per dollar at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, local transit and commuting, fitness clubs and on gym memberships. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar.

For more information, see our full review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card.


Apply here: World of Hyatt Credit Card


Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

Current welcome offer: Earn 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening.

Annual fee: $75.

Benefits at hotels participating in Wyndham Rewards: Receive complimentary Platinum status, which includes benefits like rollover nights, 15% bonus points on paid stays, upgrades to preferred rooms (but not suites), late checkout, early check-in, elite status with Avis and Budget car rental programs and status match opportunities with Caesars Rewards.

THE POINTS GUY

Why it’s worth it: Because of Wyndham’s award structure, the full sign-up bonus alone of 45,000 points is worth up to six free nights at participating properties. That's because awards start at 7,5000 points and don't exceed 30,000 points.

Eligible purchases at Wyndham properties and at gas stations earn 6 points per dollar, while dining and grocery store transactions earn 4 points per dollar. All other purchases (except Wyndham Timeshare resort down payments) earn 1 point per dollar. You’ll also receive an annual bonus of 7,500 points each year upon renewal of the card, which is enough for a free night in some Wyndham properties. Those earning rates and the anniversary bonus are truly phenomenal if you visit Wyndham locations regularly.

Cardholders receive automatic Platinum-level elite benefits and exclusive discounts on rooms, and free night redemptions cost 10% fewer points for cardholders.

For more information, see our full review of the Wyndham Rewards Earn Plus Card.


Apply here: Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card


Bottom line

Choosing the right hotel credit card can unlock attractive benefits and more earning power at your favorite hotel brand.

The best hotel credit cards under $100 can provide automatic elite status, the opportunity for annual free nights, bonus points when paying for your stay and many other benefits.

Although most of these credit cards do charge annual fees, the value of their benefits and additional rewards easily make up for the small price tag.

Additional reporting by Lee Huffman.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Surpass Amex card, click here.

Featured image by GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.