How To Choose The Best Hotel Credit Card Rewards Program - Make Lemonade

How To Choose The Best Hotel Credit Card Rewards Program

By Make Lemonade Staff | Updated January 28, 2019

When you want to know how to choose the best hotel credit card rewards program, the good news is that you have multiple options. The best hotel rewards cards can offer you hotel rewards that help you earn points and free travel at your favorite hotels.

Here’s how the best hotel rewards cards work: for every dollar you spend with a hotel rewards card, you earn rewards that you can redeem for hotel stays and other hotel rewards.

The best hotel credit card rewards program often include signup bonuses, which may offer bonus points if you spend a certain amount of money in the first few months of joining the best hotel credit card rewards program. Many of the best hotel credit cards with no annual fee can help you earn substantial hotel rewards, which can come in handy on your next vacation.

Here are the best hotel credit cards of 2019:

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The Best Hotel Credit Cards – Review

Here are the best hotel credit cards of 2019:

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Current Bonus: $50,000
Annual Fee: $95, but waived first year
Great Benefits: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards credit card has great benefits, including:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®.
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs.
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Bonus: 50,000 Bonus Points
Annual Fee: $95, but waived first year
Great Benefits: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has great benefits, including:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • That means 50,000 bonus points is valued at $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred was named “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption.”
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – so long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Current Bonus: 20,000 miles
Annual Fee: $0
0% APR Period:: 12 months
Great Benefits: The Capital One VentureOne Rewards credit card has great benefits, including:

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
  • Earn 1.25x miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture.
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime.
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Current Bonus: 125,000 points
Annual Fee: $95
Great Benefits: The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card has great benefits, including:

  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you use your new credit card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
  • 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.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Current Bonus: 75,000 points
Annual Fee: $95
Great Benefits: The Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card has great benefits, including:

  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 6X points per $1 spent at over 6,700 participating Marriott Rewards & Starwood Group (SPG) hotels.
  • Earn 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year.
  • Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Current Bonus: 60,000 Miles
Annual Fee: $95
Great Benefits: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card has great benefits, including:

  • Earn up to 60,000 Bonus Points – 40,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn an additional 20,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening – free nights start at 5,000 points.
  • Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member.
  • Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships.
  • Receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year.
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Current Bonus: 25,000 points
Annual Fee: $0
Great Benefits: The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card has great benefits, including:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don’t expire.
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening – that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees.
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases.
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account.
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%.
Discover it® Miles

Current Bonus: 75,000 points
Annual Fee: $95, but waived the first year
Great Benefits: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has great benefits, including:

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Earn 6 points for each dollar of eligible purchases at over 6,700 participating SPG® and Marriott Rewards® hotels across 29 brands.
  • You can redeem points at Starwood, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel properties.
  • Earn 4 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, and on U.S. purchases for shipping. Earn 2 points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your card account anniversary (redemption level at or under 35,000 points) at a participating hotel. Select hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Silver Elite status with your card.
  • Plus, earn Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 or more in eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
American Express® Business Gold Card

Current Bonus: 80,000
Annual Fee: $89
Great Benefits: The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers great benefits, including:

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
  • Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights.
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®.

Finding The Best Hotel Credit Card

If you want to know how to choose the best hotel credit card, ask yourself how much you travel and the types of hotel rewards that you would like. Here are some considerations when deciding how to choose the best travel hotel credit card for you.

1. Determine how often you travel

A hotel rewards card is best for people who travel frequently. Therefore, the best travel credit hotel card or best hotel rewards card is optimal for people who travel often for work or vacation. When it comes to hotel rewards credit cards, determine how much you plan to travel and spend on airfare, hotels or other travel. If you travel frequently, then you will want to compare the best hotel credit card rewards program that is right for you. This way, you can save money when it comes to travel because you can use hotel rewards card instead. If you are not a frequent traveler, then you may prefer the best cash back credit cards or the best rewards credit cards.

2. Determine if pay off your credit card balance each month

The best hotel rewards cards are for people who pay off their credit balance in full each month. If you plan to have a credit card balance each month, the interest rate with even the best travel credit cards can be costly. In fact, even when you choose the best travel credit card, the interest rate can be higher than the hotel rewards. Therefore, make sure to pay off your full credit card balance each month if you plan to have the best travel hotel credit card.

3. Determine if you like hotels rewards

When looking for the best hotel credit card rewards program, you can earn free hotel rewards. The good news is that the best hotel rewards cards can be redeemed at many leading hotels. So, if you are interested in the best hotel credit cards with no annual fee or the best hotel credit cards rewards program, make sure that your hotel rewards card matches your preferences.

The Best Hotel Credit Card Rewards Program: Key Factors To Consider

When you want to know how to choose the best hotel rewards credit card, there are several factors to consider.

The best hotel rewards cards are the ones that makes most sense for your personal preferences. When you choose the best hotel credit card rewards program, here are some helpful search criteria to find the best hotel rewards cards for you:

  • Points
  • Sign-up bonus
  • Ongoing rewards
  • Other perks
  • Tier levels
  • Annual Fee
  • Foreign transaction fee

Look for high hotel rewards and a big sign-up bonus

Many of the best hotel rewards credit cards come with high hotel rewards and a big sign-up bonus.

Most of the best hotel rewards credit cards will offer hotel rewards equal to 1% to 2% of your spending. If you choose a hotel rewards credit card with a higher annual fee, your hotel rewards program may offer even higher rewards and benefits.

The best credit cards rewards program will also offer a big sign-up bonus. Many of the best hotel rewards credit cards offer a sign-up bonus that can earn you a free airline ticket. Typically, the higher the annual fee, the higher the sign-up bonus. The best hotel rewards cards ask you to spend a certain amount – such as $2,000 or $3,000, for example – in the first few months of having your hotel rewards card. Once you meet that minimum amount of spending, you will receive your sign-up bonus, which is a great way to earn hotel rewards points or hotel rewards miles quickly.

The best hotel rewards credit cards offer great rewards and great perks

When you go to choose the best hotel rewards credit card, make sure you understand how the hotel rewards credit card earns rewards and how you can redeem rewards. Many of the best hotel rewards credit cards offer higher rewards for spending on travel and a lower rate (such as 1%) on all other types of spending.

The best hotel rewards credit cards typically offer 1% to 1.5% rewards on a hotel rewards credit card with no annual fee and offer 1.5% to 2% rewards on a hotel rewards credit with an annual fee.

You should avoid hotel rewards credit cards that only offer you less than 1 cent per airline mile or 1 cent per point when you redeem for hotel rewards.

Remember, in addition to the best hotel rewards program, you can also earn great perks through the top hotel rewards credit cards such as:

  • Free checked bag
  • Priority boarding
  • Upgrades
  • Discounts
  • Rental car insurance coverage
  • Lost luggage insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Travel delay insurance
  • Concierge services
  • Emergency services

How should I use the best hotel rewards cards?

When it comes time to use the best hotel rewards cards, there are multiple ways for you to maximize your benefits:

1. Use your hotel credit card when you travel

Your travel hotel credit card will come in handy when you travel. First, with the best hotel credit card rewards programs, you can earn more hotel rewards when you travel and spend with your hotel rewards cards. Second, the best hotel rewards cards for you may also include travel benefits such as no foreign transaction fee and other benefits with hotels, for example for international travel. Third, the best hotel credit card may include free rental car insurance.

2. Travel off-peak to maximize hotel rewards

If you are thinking about the best hotel credit card, consider booking your travel during off-peak travel times. This will save you points and miles when redeeming through the best hotel credit card rewards program. The best hotel rewards credit card may also benefit you if you travel mid-week and not during holidays to ensure that the hotel rewards are available.

3. Focus on having a strong or excellent credit score to qualify for the best hotel rewards cards

The best way to be approved for the best hotel rewards cards is to have a strong credit score or excellent credit score. If you have a strong credit profile, you will maximize your chance to be approved for the best hotel rewards cards. Credit card companies prefer customers with strong credit profiles to reduce their own credit risk as the lender. Therefore, you have a better chance to be approved for hotel rewards credit cards when you have a strong credit score.

What can the best hotel rewards credit cards be redeemed for?

You can redeem the best hotel rewards credit card for many rewards and benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  • Free hotel stays
  • Room upgrades
  • Statement credit
  • Higher loyalty status
  • Much more

So, choose the best hotel rewards cards that match your preferences. For example, if you like free hotel stays, you can choose the best hotel credit card rewards program at your favorite hotel brand.

What is the best hotel credit card?

When it comes to the best hotel credit card rewards program, we want to answer the question: “what is the best hotel credit card?”

Based on our reviews, here are some of the best hotel rewards cards:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Learn More)

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (Learn More)

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card (Learn More)

Hilton Honors American Express (Learn More)

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card (Learn More)

Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card (Learn More)

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