2022’s Best Hotel Credit Cards & Comparison

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Best Pick For: Hilton Hotels

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

American Express issues several different cards that are co-branded with Hilton hotels, including one luxury card and one business card. The luxury card obviously offers the best perks and comes with the highest annual fee.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card isn’t cheap, but it comes with a variety of rewards and cost-saving benefits to offset its annual fee.

Runners-Up

  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card 
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card 
  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 

Best Pick For: Hyatt Hotels

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Your only option for a Hyatt-branded credit card is the World of Hyatt Credit Card from Chase, but it comes with quite a few perks to take advantage of every year.

Runner Up

  • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

Best Pick For: IHG Hotels

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

If you’re looking for a card branded with the InterContinental Hotels Group, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is your best option. It earns a wealth of points at IHG properties, comes with complimentary Platinum Elite status and provides a free reward night each year after your cardmember anniversary.

Best Pick For: Marriott Bonvoy Hotels

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Since the merger of Marriott with Starwood, which included Ritz-Carlton, there are now several co-branded Marriott Bonvoy credit cards.

The lineup includes one luxury card with great rewards and benefits — the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card. The annual fee is fairly high, but you’ll get more than a few cost-saving perks to justify the money.

Runners-Up

  • Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM  Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card 

Best Pick For: Elite Hotel Status

American Express Platinum Card®

Want to be treated like a rockstar? Tap into complimentary elite hotel statuses with the  American Express Platinum Card® and upgrade your next Hilton or Marriott Bonvoy stay.

You’ll enjoy both Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which means more points per dollar, better rooms and some nice amenities.

Hilton Honors Gold comes with an 80% point bonus, room upgrades, free breakfast and more. Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite gives you a 25% point bonus, room upgrades, a welcome gift of points and enhanced in-room internet access.

If you prefer a particular hotel brand — like Hilton, Marriott Bonvoy, Hyatt, or IHG — you’ll find hotel member status included with many co-branded credit cards as well.

Runners-Up

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card 
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card 
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card 
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

Best Pick For: No Annual Fee

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Most hotel credit cards have annual fees around $100, and it might be hard to decide whether it’s worth applying or not. Ask yourself: Will you use the card enough?

But, if you don’t travel often and still have a favorite hotel brand, a hotel card with no annual fee, like the Hilton Honors American Express Card, might be a good option. Or you might be better off with a general travel rewards card with no annual fee.

Runners-Up

  • Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
  • IHG® Rewards Traveler Credit Card
  • Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Discover it® Miles

Best Pick For: Premium Travel

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

If you’re not willing to settle for a lesser travel card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card should be on your shortlist. With a solid rate for just about every travel expense, including hotels, travelers should earn quite a few points per trip.

The points are accompanied by excellent perks, including a big travel credit to help bring the effective cost down and airport lounge access via Priority Pass Select membership.

Runners-Up

  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
  • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
  • American Express Business Platinum Card®
  • Capital One Spark 2X Miles for Business
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
  • Capital One Spark 1.5X Miles Select for Business
  • American Express Blue Business® Plus Credit Card
  • Brex Card (paid daily) 

Best Pick For: Business Trips

Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

You don’t have many options for co-branded hotel business cards, so you may want to expand your search to include general business travel cards, or the personal hotel cards on this page.

If Marriott is a regular feature on your itinerary, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card. With a reasonable annual fee and solid perks, like upgraded member status and a free night every year after your anniversary, it might even make those business trips something to look forward to.

Runners-Up

  • Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 
  • American Express Business Platinum Card®
  • American Express Blue Business® Plus Credit Card

Other Hotel Credit Cards

Best forCard
Best WesternBest Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard®
Choice PrivilegesChoice Privileges® Visa Signature® Credit Card
RCIRCI® Elite Rewards® Mastercard®
Wyndham RewardsWyndham Rewards Earner® Plus Card

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best hotel credit cards?

Hotel credit cards come with a range of annual fees and with more rewards and better perks on the more expensive cards. Some of the best include:

  • A general-use travel card you can use to get free stays for bookings of four nights or more
  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: A high-end card for Hilton enthusiasts with complimentary Diamond status and much more
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card: Get more rewards, an annual hotel credit and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card: A nice introductory bonus, World of Hyatt Discoverist status and a free night each year
  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: Tons of extra points per dollar, Platinum Elite status and an annual free night stay

What’s the best hotel credit card for free nights?

If you have a favorite brand, these cards will get you free nights at their co-branded hotels:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card: One free weekend night per year and another free night by spending $60,000 in a calendar year
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card: A free night every year starting after your first account anniversary; good for redemptions up to 50,000 points
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: A free night every year, starting after your first account anniversary; good for redemptions up to 35,000 points
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card: One free night at a category 1 – 4 hotel, starting after your first account anniversary
  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: An annual free night’s stay at an eligible IHG hotel

What hotel brands offer credit cards?

A number of major hotel brands offer co-branded cards you can use to get upgraded rewards and perks, including:

  • Hilton Hotels and Resorts
  • Marriott Bonvoy Hotels and Resorts
  • IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)
  • Hyatt Hotels Corporation

How do hotel credit cards work?

Hotel credit cards work like any other credit card. They come in two basic types:

  • General-use travel cards, which have wide-ranging features and can be used with any hotel
  • Co-branded hotel cards, which provide their best rewards and perks at specific hotel brands

In general, you’ll earn the most points for hotel bookings and other brand-related activities. Co-branded hotel cards often come with an elite membership status, bonus point opportunities, and free night stays, as well.

You’ll typically get the most bang for your buck by redeeming your points for hotel bookings. So you come full circle: Pay for hotel stays and make other purchases with your hotel card to earn points and then use those points for hotel bookings

How much should you pay for a hotel credit card?

You’ll have to decide how much you’re willing to pay for a hotel credit card: nothing, or quite a bit? There are three basic tiers to consider:

  • Low-end (no annual fee)
  • Mid-range (annual fee of around $95, or less)
  • High-end (annual fee of around $450)

You’ll find cards in these tiers from Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton and other hotel brands.

If you spend a lot of time and money with a particular hotel brand each year, it probably makes sense to go with the high-end card product. These come with plenty of cost-saving benefits, like free nights and travel credits, that will often offset the annual fee down below $100, or may even offset it completely. Don’t be afraid of a high annual fee: you’ll find that the rewards and perks you can earn make the effective annual fee quite affordable.

Even if you don’t spend a lot of time and money at hotels, it might still be a good idea to go with a high-end card offer. You might be surprised at how affordable some of these $450 cards can be — take the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, for example. You’ll pay the $450 Rates & Fees per year, but it comes with a $300 travel credit and one Free Night Award every year after your cardmember anniversary, along with other perks. The $300 credit reduces the effective annual fee to just $150, and the Free Night Award can provide as much as $500 in value at the upper end, or perhaps even more. Make good use of those perks, and that would mean you’re actually profiting by $350 per year!

Mid-range and low-end hotel cards don’t come with the same level and variety of cost-saving benefits, so in some cases they could actually have a higher effective annual fee than a high-end card. In general, we encourage you to take a look at the high-end cards to see how they’d fit into your travel plans, even if you typically shy away from credit cards with high annual fees.

But if you can’t justify paying a high annual fee, you may decide that a mid-range or low-end card would be better for you, especially if you don’t travel often or are less familiar with credit cards. There would be less pressure to make good use of it every year to get your money’s worth, and you wouldn’t have a $450 card in your wallet begging to be used.

Before applying for any hotel card, you should do some sample calculations to see how much value you’ll get and compare the results from different cards. Figure out how much you can expect to earn in hotel rewards, and what you’ll get from perks like travel credits, free nights, and complimentary hotel statuses. You may find that a high-end card would be far more profitable than a mid-range or low-end card.

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