If you frequently travel and stay at hotels then you should consider signing up for a co-branded hotel credit card! Hotel credit cards are specialized co-branded cards that offer rewards and perks with a specific hotel brand or set brands.
Keep in mind that most co-branded card only lets you redeem the rewards you earn within the hotel chain you chose, however, consider a general travel credit card if you want flexible rewards that you can either transfer to select hotel rewards programs or use to book any hotel property.
Continue reading below to learn more about popular co-branded and general travel credit cards.
Best Hotel Credit Cards Summary
|American Express® Green Card||Best overall card for travel|
|The Platinum Card® From American Express||Best card for luxury hotels|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Best premium card for earning|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Best mid-tier card for earning|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card||Best overall Marriott card|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card||Best low-cost Marriott card|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||Best overall Hilton card|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||Best low-cost Hilton card|
|IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||Best overall IHG card|
Hotel Credit Card Features
As you consider the options we’ve listed, think about what benefits you’re looking for in a hotel credit card, as well as the value you may get from having added the flexibility of a general rewards program versus a hotel loyalty program.
Also checkout the following:
- Welcome bonus
- Earning potential
- Elite status perks
- Recurring benefits
- Category bonuses
- Spend bonuses
The Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2020
The American Express® Green Card is the best overall card for travel with 30k welcome bonus points – worth $600 in value – and triple points on travel worldwide. See what you can do with these points from our guide to American Express Membership Rewards®.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is the best card for luxury hotels with 60k welcome bonus points – worth $1,200 in value – and 5x points on prepaid hotel bookings via Amex Travel. You’ll also get automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold and Hilton Honors Gold status. Check out our guide to American Express Membership Rewards® to find out what else you can do with these bonus points.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 80,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
This card comes with an annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only. Terms Apply.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is the best premium card for earning on hotel spending with 50k welcome bonus points – worth $1,000 in value – and triple points on travel. You’ll also get $300 in travel credit every year.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
• 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
• 5X total points on flights
• 3X points on other travel and dining
• 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
When redeeming your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 50% more value.
This card does carry a $550 annual fee and there are no foreign transaction fees. However, you're able to earn a $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year & up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre?®.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best mid-tier card for earning on hotel spending with 80k welcome bonus points – worth $1,600 in value – and double points on travel.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
• 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
• 3X points on dining
• 3X points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases
• 2X points on all other travel purchases
• 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit and when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 25% more value!
This card carries a $95 annual fee.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is the best overall card for Marriott hotels with 125k welcome bonus points – worth $1,125 in value – and 6x points on Marriott spending. You’ll also get automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, 15 Elite Night Credits every year, a $300 annual Marriott Bonvoy statement credit, a $100 annual Marriott Bonvoy property credit and one Free Night Award each year.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card offers 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
With this card, you'll earn:
• 6X Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott BonvoyTM program.
• 3X points at Worldwide Restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines.
• 2X points on all other eligible purchases.
A Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite member will earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar or the currency equivalent that is incurred and paid for by the member.
Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck (up to $85) when you pay the application fee with an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
$100 Luxury Property Credit: Enjoy your stay. Receive up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card.
This card comes with a $650 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. However, you can receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy(R). Certain hotels have resort fees. (See Rates & Fees)
Furthermore, enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass Select membership.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is the best low-cost card for Marriott hotels with a generous welcome bonus and high earning rate on Marriott spending. You’ll also get automatic Marriott Bonvoy Silver status, 15 Elite Night Credits every year, and one Free Night Award each year.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card offers 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
• Up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
• 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
• 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchase
• 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
You gain an automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
You'll receive 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year & an additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
This card does carry a $95 fee; there are no foreign transaction fees.
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the best overall card for Hilton hotels with 150k welcome bonus points – worth $900 in value – and 14x points on Hilton spending. You’ll also get automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status and a $250 annual Hilton resort credit.
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card is the best low-cost card for Hilton hotels with 150k welcome bonus points – worth $900 in value – and 12x points on Hilton spending. You’ll also get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status.
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is the best overall card for IHG hotels with 140k welcome bonus points – worth $700 in value – and 25x points on IHG spending. You’ll also get automatic IHG Platinum Elite status, one free night each card membership anniversary and your fourth reward night free.
The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card offers 175,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
You'll earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
This card offers several perks that you'll sure enjoy like: a reward night after each account anniversary at eligible IHG hotels worldwide (plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG hotel stay) And as long as you're a cardmember, you'll have Platinum Elite status.
You'll get Global Entry or TSA Pre?®, or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
There is an annual fee of $99.
Make sure that you know the difference between co-branded and general travel rewards credit cards when looking for one that best fits your needs! Usually, co-branded credit cards offer extra benefits when used in specific hotel chains, whereas general travel rewards credit cards offer consistent rewards across all applicable hotels!
Consider applying for a co-branded credit card if you regularly frequent one hotel chain over others, or if a certain chain is significantly more popular in the areas where you travel! However if you don’t stick to a single hotel chain, consider a card that earns transferable points, like the Amex Green Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
For more credit cards, see our latest list of the best credit card bonuses!
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