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Best hotel credit cards of 2020

Enjoy travel perks, free nights and more.

Updated . What changed?

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Our pick for a hotel card with everyday rewards: The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card logo

25,000-point

Signup bonus after spending $3,000 in first 3 months

  • Earn up to 9x points at Hyatt hotels
  • 2x points on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines
  • Annual Free Night Award
See offer

Whether you’re a die-hard loyalist to a particular hotel chain or you stay wherever it’s most convenient, there’s a hotel credit card for you.

Hotel credit cards can help you earn points that can be redeemed for free nights at the hotel of your choice, or they can even propel you through the ranks of a hotel’s elite program. This guide will help break down some of the best hotel credit cards out there so you can choose one that’s right for you.

Best hotel credit cards

Here are our picks for the top hotel credit cards in the following categories.

Quick look: Top rewards credit cards

Best hotel credit card for everyday spending
The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
25,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 9x
Points
The World of Hyatt Credit Card not only earns big rewards on Hyatt purchases, but offers a variety of everyday spending categories that can help you earn your next free night even when you're not traveling.
  • Signup bonus. Spend $3,000 on purchases in the 3 months following your account opening and get 25,000 bonus points. Spend an additional $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months to earn another 25,000 bonus points.
  • Earn points. Earn 4x bonus points at all Hyatt hotels and get an additional 5x base points just by being a World of Hyatt member for a total of 9x points. Earn 2x points on fitness club and gym memberships, local transit and commuting purchases, at restaurants and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline. On all other purchases, earn 1x points.
  • Free award nights. Earn a free night stay at at a category 1 to 4 Hyatt hotel or resort each card anniversary. You can also earn a free night for spending $15,000 in a given year .
  • Annual fee. To use the card and its perks, you'll pay $95 each year.
Annual fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months
Rewards 4x total points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases

Best hotel credit card for free nights
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$89 ongoing
Annual fee
140,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 25x
Points
Few cards can match the free nights offered by the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Best of all, the card's free nights are not restricted to a welcome offer.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 140,000 bonus points once you spend $3,000 in your first 3 months of account opening. Most credit cards that offer such generous signup bonuses usually require a higher spend of around $4,000 in the first three months.
  • Earn points. Earn 25x points on IHG stays, 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x points on everything else you buy.
  • Fourth reward night free. Redeem your points for four or more reward nights and get an additional reward night.
  • Annual fee. To use the card and its perks, you'll pay $89 from the second year.
Annual fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Purchase APR 15.99% to 22.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 25x points at IHG hotels, 2x on gas, groceries and dining and 1x on all other purchases

Compare other travel credit cards

Best for travel credits
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve® logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$550
Annual fee
50,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 10x
Points
When it comes to travel credits, few cards can match the sheer value offered by the Chase Sapphire Reserve® credits. Other cards may offer less, or place greater restrictions on how you use your credit.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. This is worth $750 if you redeem through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
  • Earn rewards points. Earn 3x points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide and 1x points on all other purchases. The 3x points can be worth 4.5% back if redeemed on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also earn 10x points on Lyft purchases until March 2022. This can be worth up to 15% back in travel purchases via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Annual travel credit. Get $300 in statement credit as reimbursement for your travel purchases every year on your card account anniversary.
  • Annual fee. Awesome perks come with a high annual fee. You'll pay $550 annual fee for the card.
Annual fee $550
Purchase APR 16.99% to 23.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases

Best hotel card with no annual fee
Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
80,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 7x
Points
Among the hotel cards with no annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Card card pulls ahead thanks to its point-earning potential.
  • Get a sizable 80,000-point welcome offer after you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases during your first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 7x points at eligible Hilton hotels and resorts. Earn 5x points at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, and 3x points on everything else.
  • Get a complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Silver.
  • As an Amex card, it's not as widely accepted overseas
Annual fee $0
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases

Compare more hotel credit cards with no annual fee

Best hotel credit card for transfering points to hotels
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

740
Min. credit score
$450
Annual fee
100,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 6x
Points
If you're looking for a dedicated hotel credit card with point transfer flexibility, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card fits the bill nicely. Plus, this luxury card offers an array of hotel perks.
  • Get a 100,000-point welcome offer after you spend $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of account opening. This is worth at least one free night. You'll also earn 25,000 bonus points after the first anniversary of card membership. This welcome offer ends on January 13, 2021.
  • Earn 6x points on eligible Marriott purchases, 3x points at US restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x points on everything else.
  • Get strong hotel perks, including a Marriott credit.
  • Get a hefty $450 annual fee.
  • Get a potentially higher than average purchase APR, up to 24.74% variable.
Annual fee $450
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus earn 25,000 after the first anniversary of card membership (offer expires 1/13/2021)
Rewards 6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 3x at US restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2x for all other purchases

Compare other Chase hotel credit cards

Best for airport lounge access without a high annual fee
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.5 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
130,000
Points welcome offer
Up to 12x
Points
The Surpass card is unique in offering limited access to Priority Pass lounges despite its status as a hotel card. Plus, the card's earning potential is solid.
  • 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 US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations.
  • Earn 3x Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card.
  • Pay a $95 annual fee to use this card.
  • Use this card in limited places as it's not as widely accepted overseas.
Annual fee $95
Purchase APR 15.74% to 24.74% variable
Foreign transaction fee None
Welcome offer 130,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases

Methodology

We looked at a variety of factors consumers might weigh when selecting a hotel card, including hotel brand, welcome offer value, bonus point earning rates, additional travel perks, annual fee, redemption options and other hotel or travel concerns. We chose the credit cards that stood out among the rest in a given category or fulfilled a specific niche.

What’s changed in 2020

Our best hotel cards for 2020 remained relatively the same this year. The biggest addition is the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, which combined pure hotel earning value with the ability to transfer points.

  • Why trust us? The Finder credit card crew spends hundreds of hours each week reviewing and writing about the latest credit card news and guidance. That research extends to every type of credit card available, from reward cards to airline cards to hotel cards. With so many travel reward cards to choose from, we know that consumers want help cutting through the chaff and finding the right card for them. This is our primary goal at Finder and one we take seriously: we follow strict editorial guidelines that keep our content unbiased, accurate and positioned to help our readers as best as possible.

Compare hotel cards by bank or hotel program

Marriott logoHilton-LogoChase-LogoAMEX logo

Compare hotel credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $$1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
80,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$0
With a massive welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card and up to 7x points at Hilton, this is a solid pick for Hilton fans and occasional travelers. Rates & fees
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
130,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
$95
With a big welcome offer worth up to $650, up to 12x points on spending, and free Gold status, this is an upgrade from the entry Hilton card. Rates & fees
The World of Hyatt Credit Card
25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months
4x total points at Hyatt hotels as a World of Hyatt member, 2x on gyms, commuting, dining and airlines and 1x on all other purchases
$95
Earn 25,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. 25,000 points after spending another $6,000 in the first 6 months.
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Let’s break down how hotel credit cards work

A hotel credit card offers rewards for purchases that can then be redeemed on hotel stays and other related purchases. Just as airline credit cards earn more miles on airline-related purchases, hotel credit cards earn more points on hotel-related purchases.

Like airline cards, hotel credit cards also come in two varieties: cobranded, which are branded with a specific hotel, and general which aren’t.

  • 1. Compare & apply for a card

    Review your travel needs and compare which of the two hotel card varieties fit your needs. From there, you can apply as normal.

  • 2. Earn points

    Once you have your hotel card, start spending on eligible categories to earn points. While both types of cards earn points on hotel stays, cobranded cards tend to earn more on hotels associated with that specific card.

  • 3. Redeem points

    After you’ve earned enough points, you’ll be able to redeem them on nights at eligible hotels. Depending on the card, you might be able to use these points on other hotel-related purchases as well.

    When is a hotel credit card worth it?

    Whether a hotel credit card is worth grabbing depends on a few factors, including whether you actually stay at hotels during travel. Here are a few reasons why it might be a good idea to pick up a hotel card:

    • You have a preferred hotel brand. A hotel card is often worth it if you regularly stay at a specific hotel chain when you travel. If you stay at different hotels each time you take a trip, however, a general travel card might be the better choice.
    • You take long hotel stays. Several hotel credit cards offer a free night if you stay for a certain number of days and pay with your card. This value can add up quickly.
    • You’re chasing elite status. Similarly, many hotel cards can boost your elite status gains or outright grant a status level altogether.
    • You spend rewards on travel. If you only plan on spending your points on hotel stays, a hotel card is your best value. If you want a bit more flexibility, you’re better off with a general travel card.
    • You want perks. Hotel cards offer specific perks associated with the card’s hotel brand. These are often lucrative and can make your stays more comfortable.

    If most of these reasons don’t apply to you, a general travel card is likely the better choice.

    How to compare hotel credit cards

    Here’s a quick overview of the major card features you’ll want to look at when comparing hotel credit cards:

    Loyalty program

    If you have a preferred hotel chain, you’ll want to see if they offer a cobranded credit card. Otherwise, a general hotel card might prove more useful.

    Signup bonus

    Many hotel credit cards offer a sizable signup bonus that you can use toward several free nights.

    Earning rates

    Beyond the signup bonus, a high earning rate or an earning rate on categories you often spend in are important to keep generating value through the lifetime of the card.

    Annual fee

    Travel cards that offer perks often require you pay an annual fee to use them.

    Travel expenses

    A hotel credit card only makes sense if you spend a significant amount of time and money at hotels during your travels.

    Perks

    In addition to rewards rates, hotel cards often come with additional perks to sweeten the deal, such as complimentary elite status, resort credits and free award nights.

    You asked, we listened: Top 5 common questions

    Unsung heroes in the travel card space, hotel cards have a lot to offer. Here are the 5 most common questions we receive on the subject.

    1. How much are credit card hotel points worth? The average value of your accrued hotel points ultimately vary depending on the specific hotel loyalty program.
    2. Can I get a hotel credit card with bad credit? Generally, most hotel credit cards require a good or better credit score. With that said, there are a few credit cards that may offer rewards on hotel spending that you can obtain with bad credit.
    3. What kinds of hotel cards are there? Hotel credit cards come in two varieties: cobranded, which are released under the umbrella of a specific hotel chain, and general, which can be used on any hotel.
    4. What is the best hotel credit card? The “best” hotel credit card ultimately comes down to your hotel and spending preferences.
    5. What’s the difference between hotel credit cards and travel credit cards? Hotel credit cards offer points, perks and rewards on hotel related purchases. Travel credit cards offer general reward points that can be used on hotels as well as other travel options, such as airlines and cruises.

    Read more about hotel credit cards

    Megan Horner

    Megan Horner
    Credit Cards Publisher

    Hi, I’m Megan! I recently opened a hotel credit card to get staus as well as stellar perks. I had lots of questions before I picked the right card for me. Below are some of the articles that helped me make my decision.

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    Bottom line

    There are numerous great hotel credit cards out there, but it’s hard to go wrong with one of the five we’ve highlighted above. If you need more help choosing what’s right for you, compare no-annual-fee hotel cards or check out hotel loyalty brands for more in-depth information.

    If you’re looking for more flexible options, consider a travel credit card designed for airline travel to find one that suits your needs.

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    Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

    We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

    Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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