Best Hotel Credit Cards Of April 2024 – Forbes Advisor


Hotel rewards programs incentivize customer loyalty and return by offering reward points, perks and other benefits to those who participate. They frequently include co-branded credit cards to enable customers to earn additional points and rewards for both hotel and non-hotel spending.

These programs reward customers with upgrades, complimentary nights and other benefits and can often be lucrative and rewarding for those who travel or stay in hotels frequently.

Transfer Partner Combinations

When selecting the best hotel credit card, an often overlooked but crucial aspect is the flexibility offered through transfer partners—and the combination of transfer partners available through multiple cards. These combinations allow cardholders to transfer their credit card points to various hotel loyalty programs, maximizing the potential value and versatility of their rewards.

For instance, cards that earn flexible rewards points like American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards offer transfers to multiple hotel loyalty programs like Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt. This feature is particularly beneficial for travelers who aren’t committed to a single hotel brand, providing the freedom to choose from a broader range of hotel options and potentially better redemption rates, and can be even more valuable when paired with a co-branded credit card from a specific hotel chain.

Understanding the transfer ratios and the potential value per point with each partner is key to making the most of these combinations. For example, transferring points to World of Hyatt often yields a higher value per point compared to other hotel programs. Moreover, some cards may offer bonuses or special promotions for transferring points to certain partners, further enhancing the value of your points. Always consider the flexibility and the variety of options provided by transfer partner combinations when choosing a hotel credit card, as they can significantly impact the overall benefit and utility of your rewards, especially for diverse travel needs and preferences.


How to Pick the Right Hotel Credit Card

The right hotel credit card is different from one person to the next. These tips can help you find the best hotel credit card or travel credit card for your needs.

Choosing a Hotel Brand or Chain

Make sure you know which hotel brand would work best with where you want to travel. Before you apply for a travel credit card affiliated with a specific hotel brand, take the time to see where each brand has properties around the world. It’s common for one hotel brand to work better than others based on where the bulk of their properties reside, whether that’s mostly in the U.S., in Europe or somewhere else.

If you’re unsure which hotel brand might fit best with your travel plans, consider flexible rewards cards that let you redeem your rewards for various types of hotel stays. Some let you transfer points to hotel partners or use your points to book travel through a portal, which means you’ll never be tied down.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

Hotel credit cards frequently offer a one-time welcome bonus to new cardmembers who meet required spending amounts or other criteria. These bonuses vary by card and may come in the form of free night certificates or bonus points and are often valued at the equivalent rate of two free nights or more.

What Is an Earning Rate?

Earning rates on hotel credit cards often look especially high, such as earning 10 or more points per dollar on select purchases. Because not all hotel points are created equal—and most are worth less than a cent a piece—carefully consider the cash value of those earning rates before committing. It may look impressive, but be more in line with the competition when you look at the dollar amount.

That said, there are still some great deals to be found, especially if you can line up the earnings rate on bonus categories with purchases you tend to make anyway. All hotel credit cards reward spending at their line of hotels, but some others offer generous earnings on other purchase categories, too.

Other Benefits

Frequent travelers in particular can do well when considering other benefits included on hotel credit cards.

Ultra-premium hotel cards may come with a ton of perks ranging from property credits to airport lounge access. If you’re thinking everyone would benefit from those, it’s true, but it comes at a price.

Some of the best hotel cards come with high annual fees, which is something to keep in mind if you don’t travel often. If you only travel once or twice per year, luxury travel credit cards with high annual fees should likely be ruled out. These cards offer a ton of travel benefits and perks that are only worth it when you’re able to use them enough to justify the fee.

Find the Best Travel Credit Cards for 2024

Find the best travel credit card for your travel needs.



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