Best hotel credit cards in February 2024



Fortune Recommends™ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fortune Recommends™ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

With hotel occupancy rates surging to pre-COVID levels (and sometimes beyond), banks and major hotel chains are competing vigorously for your loyalty. There are hotel and travel credit cards on the market offering perks such as multiple free nights for no annual fee, free upgrades at boutique hotels, and instant Diamond elite status. There’s even a card that rewards you with points transferrable to several hotels and airlines just for paying the rent on time. 

Amidst all this choice and competition, which card is right for you? 

To help you choose, the Fortune Recommends TM team evaluated more than a dozen of the top hotel rewards credit cards available today, as well as a selection of travel cards not tied to one specific hotel brand. We’ve ranked them based on factors including rewards, welcome bonuses, annual fees, free nights and elite status. Read on to see our top picks.

See our full methodology here.

All interest rates, rewards, and fees are accurate at time of publication, but are subject to change.

Best overall: IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

Intro bonus


165,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening





Annual fee $99
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card

The IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card feels like an elite-tier card that simply forgot to charge us more than its very reasonable annual fee of $99 a year. Right out of the gate it offers a welcome bonus of 165,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Depending on where your heart is set on traveling, that cache of points from the welcome bonus can net you several free nights. If we assume a cost of 30,000 points per night — which might be realistic for a stay in Atlanta, for example — 165,000 points is more than enough to cover five nights. But at 60,000 points per night in New York City, it’s not quite worth three nights. Be aware that in addition to your points, some properties may charge an amenity fee in cash.

This card also offers a credit of up to $100 toward Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or NEXUS and rewards of up to 26X combined total points per dollar spent on IHG purchases (10X for being a member, 10X for using the card, 6X for having Platinum Elite status). You’ll earn 5X points on purchases on travel, dining and gas stations, and 3X points on all other purchases. 

Plus, it anoints you with Platinum Elite status just for being a cardholder so you’ll score free upgrades and early check-in when available, reward night discounts, and more. Toss in a free award night on your account anniversary, and you have a hotel rewards card offering what we think most travelers will find to be well over $1,000 in value your first year as a cardholder. That’s a staggering bargain even the most steadfast Marriott and Hyatt loyalists can’t ignore.

For more info see our full review of the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card.

Best hotel card for status: The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Intro bonus


Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of card membership






Annual Fee $695
Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
Foreign Transaction Fee None


Why we like this card

If you like the idea of having instant status with multiple hotels and car rental agencies — but you’re less keen on tracking multiple cards and annual fees — you’ll probably be very happy with The Platinum Card® from American Express. 

Let’s start by ripping off the Band-Aid. Yes, the Platinum Card charges a $695 annual fee. But it also offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $8,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of card membership and more than $1,500 worth of statement credits including a $200 hotel credit, $200 in Uber Cash, a $200 airline incidental fees credit, a $100 Hotel Collection experience credit and $189 toward CLEAR Plus. 

The card also offers instant Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, Gold status with Hilton Honors and similarly-heightened status with car rental companies Avis, Hertz and National, so you’ll be well-pampered as soon as you land. 

Outside of those two hotel brands, you’ll also receive status-like benefits at over 1,500 properties that are part of Amex’s Fine Hotels + Resorts Program (FHR). These are generally unique/high-end properties like The Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee and Hotel Barriere Fouquet’s New York in New York City and your Platinum Card grants you a $100 amenity credit, plus upgrades (when available), late checkout, free daily breakfast for two and more. 

It certainly isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a Swiss Army Knife of travel, status and convenience, you should know that the Platinum Card is legendary for a reason. 

For more info check out our full review of the Amex Platinum.

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see rates and fees.

Best for independent or boutique hotels: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Intro Bonus


Earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening





Annual fee $95
Regular APR 19.99%–29.99% variable


Why we like this card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a compelling enough travel companion as is, offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase (5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel) and enjoy Hertz Five Star status upon enrollment, all for a reasonable $95 annual fee. 

But the Venture is especially great for fans of boutique hotels due to its Lifestyle Collection perk. Lifestyle Collection is Capital One’s handpicked list of “urban retreats,” “local gems” and “weekend getaways” that offer a bit more variety than the average chain. And if you book one of these hotels through Capital One Travel using your Capital One Venture Rewards card (phew), you’ll get 5X miles per dollar spent, a $50 experience credit to use during your stay, room upgrades when available, early check-in, late checkout and free Wi-Fi.

In essence, the Capital One Venture Rewards card gives you perks that one might say feel like Gold status to a massive collection of special properties, making it the ideal card for booking unique, memorable experiences. 

For more info check out our Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review.

Best premier hotel card: Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Intro Bonus


150,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening.





Annual fee $450
Regular APR 20.99%–29.99% variable


Why we like this card

When it comes to hotel rewards cards charging a $500+ annual fee, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card easily takes the cake from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
. The Hilton card offers a welcome bonus of 150,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, earn 14X points per dollar on Hilton stays, 7X points per dollar on airfare, car rentals and restaurants, and 3X points per dollar on other purchases. 

And, cardholders can enjoy up to $400 in Hilton Resort credits ($200 semi-annually), a $200 annual flight credit ($50 per quarter), a $189 CLEAR Plus credit, a $100 on-property credit for qualifying stays, an annual free night and more. 

You’ll also get instant Diamond status with Hilton — which brings upgrades, lounge access and a Gold status gift for someone else — and Emerald Club Executive status with National Car Rental, which sends you to the Executive Aisle where SUVs and convertible Mustangs await. 

With potentially more than $1,600 in first-year value, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire card quickly justifies its $450 annual fee and sets a high bar for other premier-level hotel rewards cards to match. 

To learn more check out our full review of the Hilton Aspire Card.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.

Best flexible points card for hotels: Bilt Card

Bilt Mastercard

Intro bonus

None






Annual fee $0
Regular APR 21.49%, 24.49%, or 29.49% variable


Why we like this card

The Bilt Mastercard is rather special because it rewards you with points for paying rent, and lets you avoid the convenience fee many properties would typically charge for paying rent by credit card. Even if your landlord isn’t part of the “Bilt Rewards Alliance” network, Bilt will set you up with an account number and routing number so you can pay through your online portal or will even cut them a physical check. 

Cardholders earn 1X for on-time rent (up to 100,000 points earned on rent each year) plus 2X on travel and 3X on dining. You must make at least five transactions on your card per statement period to earn points.

On top of that, Bilt Rewards points consistently rank as some of the most valuable credit card rewards points in the business. They transfer at a 1:1 rate to 13 airline partners as well as Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt and IHG Rewards.

Consider that you may be able to get 1.5 cents each or perhaps even 3 cents or more per point for World of Hyatt redemptions, and let’s estimate a $1,800 monthly rent payment — that’s 21,600 points earned on rent, worth between $324 and $648 in Hyatt stays per year. Not bad for a card with no annual fee. 

Credit where credit’s due, Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer to all three hotel chains at a 1:1 value if you have a premium chase travel card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred — but we felt compelled to give the accolade to the Bilt Card for giving such a helpful and clever way to earn said points in the first place. 

Best no-annual-fee hotel card: IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card

Intro bonus


100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening





Annual fee $0
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card

No-annual-fee cards are an interesting test of a hotel brand’s benevolence. They answer the question: How much are you willing to offer folks who haven’t really demonstrated a whole lot of brand loyalty yet? 

IHG’s answer appears to be “quite a lot,” because the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card offers a welcome bonus of 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, a fourth night free when you redeem points for a consecutive three-night stay and instant Silver Elite status. 

Plus, you can earn up to 17X points when you stay at IHG Hotels & Resorts, 3X points on purchases at restaurants, select streaming services, utilities and gas, 2X points on all other purchases—so your monthly bills can help fund your next escape to Hotel Indigo. 

Veteran hotel-hoppers may notice that the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors Card comes with a roughly comparable welcome bonus, but note that IHG One Rewards points are typically worth more. 

For more info check out our IHG One Traveler review

Best for Hilton: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Intro Bonus


130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of card membership





Annual fee $150
Regular APR 20.99%–29.99% variable


Why we like this card

In our program guide to Hilton Honors in 2024, we discuss how Hilton makes earning points and status relatively slow and unrewarding for members without Hilton-branded credit cards. Virtually every significant loyalty benefit (upgrades, breakfast etc.) is locked behind Gold status or higher, and you won’t reach Gold until you stay 40 nights (which, for comparison, is when IHG One Rewards gives you Platinum Elite status). 

But if you get a Hilton-branded credit card, you’re essentially getting Hilton’s equivalent to a Disney FastPass, letting you skip the line and get to the good stuff quicker. Heck, the best of the bunch is literally called the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, and it offers a welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card in your first 6 months of card membership. Plus, cardholders get instant Gold status and up to $200 per year ($50 per quarter) in Hilton statement credits. All of this helps justify the card’s $150 annual fee. 

The card also helps to make up for the relatively low value of a Hilton Honors point by offering 12X on Hilton purchases, 6X on dining, groceries and gas, 4X points for each dollar on U.S. online retail purchases and 3X points for all other eligible purchases on your card. So if you’re planning on staying at a Hilton property more than twice this year, you’ll definitely want this “FastPass” to skip the line and get to the benefits quicker. 

For more information check out our full Hilton Surpass review.

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, see rates and fees.

Best for Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Intro bonus


Earn 5 free nights (valued at 50,000 points for each night) after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.





Annual fee $95
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card

Unlike the competition, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card doesn’t mess around with a point-based welcome bonus. It simply gives you 5 free nights (valued at 50,000 points for each night) after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. These free nights could potentially get you into a solid room worth around $450 a night. 

Like its rivals, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless offers a free night every account anniversary to help justify its $95 annual fee and you’ll earn 17X total on Marriott-related purchases (10X for being a base member, 6X for using the card and 1X for having instant Silver Elite status). You’ll also earn 3X points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining, 2X points per dollar on other purchases on the card.

At first, Marriott fans may be disappointed that the card only offers instant Silver status, which isn’t too exciting compared with higher elite status tiers. Thankfully, however, the card also offers 15 Elite Night Credits per year so you start each year just 10 nights away from Gold (which unlocks Enhanced Room Upgrades). 

If the card offered instant Gold status it might be a contender for our Best Overall, but as it stands, it’s certainly on the podium and is a must-have for Marriott fans. 

All information about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has been collected independently by Fortune Recommends™.

Best for Hyatt: World of Hyatt Credit Card

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Intro bonus






Annual fee $95
Regular APR 21.49%–28.49% variable


Why we like this card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card might be Hyatt’s only personal credit card at the time of this writing, but that one card comes ready to compete with the best. This card offers a welcome bonus of . That could be worth up to five free nights at a Category 2 property like Hyatt Place. 

You can also earn up to 30,000 more bonus points, with 2X points spent on purchases that earn 1X point (up to $15,000 in the first 6 months). The card also provides a free night every year after your account anniversary, redeemable at Category 1-4 properties.

Plus, cardholders enjoy instant Discoverist status and ongoing rewards of up to 9X points per dollar spent on Hyatt purchases (5X for being a base member, 4X for using the card). You’ll earn . 

While 9X may sound tame compared to the double-digit rates you’ll see elsewhere on this page, keep in mind Hyatt points are among the most valuable hotel points in the business, often worth upward of 1.5 cents each and sometimes even 3 cents or more per point. So a 9X rate goes a long way toward booking your next award night, and even if you only stay at Hyatt properties a handful of times a year, you’ll keep receiving the free night each account anniversary — which instantly justifies the $95 annual fee. 

Best for road trips: Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card

Intro bonus


Earn 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.






Annual fee $75
0% APR period 15 months on balance transfers in first 45 days
Balance transfer fee 5%
Regular APR 20.99%, 25.24%, 29.99%/td>


Why we like this card

If you’re hitting the road to visit the stunning Pacific coast, rustic Route 66, Vermont in the fall or all of the above, you’ll probably want a hotel rewards card that’s better for road trips than plane rides. Ideally, you’ll find one that offers early check-in, late checkout and preferred room choices at some of the more budget-friendly properties scattered across the continental U.S. 

That precisely describes the Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus Card. For a $75 annual fee it offers all of the above plus a welcome bonus of 45,000 points (worth up to six free nights) after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, complimentary Avis and Budget Car Rental upgrades and cardmember booking discounts. 

Toss in rewards rates of 6X points per dollar spent on Wyndham purchases and gas plus 4X on dining and grocery stores, with 1X on other spending, and you have the ideal road trip companion for your wallet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which credit card is best for hotel travel? 

The best overall hotel rewards card in 2024, according to our analysis, is the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card since it offers a max rewards rate of 26X on IHG purchases, a hefty welcome bonus, and what we estimate to be over $1,000 in total first-year value for an annual fee of just $99.

What’s the best no-annual-fee hotel credit card? 

In a similar vein, the best no-annual-fee hotel rewards card on our list is the Premier card’s little brother, the IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card. It has a generous welcome bonus and higher rewards rate on qualifying hotel purchases than the rival no-annual-fee cards Marriott Bonvoy Bold and Hilton Honors Card. 

Which credit cards give you Marriott Gold status?

As of February 2024, the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy, Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful and the Platinum Card by American Express grant instant Marriott Gold Elite status. 

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card grants instant Marriott Platinum Elite status.

Is it better to book with a hotel credit card?

Yes. Generally speaking, your hotel stay will be far more rewarding if you book it using a brand-specific rewards card. You’ll typically earn points toward future stays and may receive special discounts or status perks. Your booking may even be mostly or completely free if you use your card’s welcome bonus to redeem an award stay.

While general travel rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Capital One Venture X may offer elevated rates of 2X to 10X on qualifying hotel bookings, you should know that booking through a credit card travel dashboard like Chase Ultimate Rewards may disqualify you from taking advantage of any elite status you may have through the hotel’s loyalty program.

Methodology

To bring you our top picks for the best hotel credit cards, the Fortune RecommendsTM team compared approximately 30 cards available from major issuers. 

We ranked each account in these core categories: 

  • Annual fee (20%): Some credit cards charge an annual fee, which can range from $50 to several hundred dollars. Usually, the more valuable the rewards and perks associated with a card, the higher the annual fee. However, some cards do not charge a fee at all. 
  • Hotel rewards rate (25%): This is the maximum rewards rate awarded on hotel purchases. Status bonuses were only considered if the status comes free with the card
  • Free night certificate (20%): We examined whether the card offered a free night upon renewal or on card anniversary. A points benefit equivalent to a night was counted as a night. Only nights that did not require credit card spending were considered.
  • Welcome bonus (15%): It’s common for airline cards to offer new cardholders a miles or points bonus after they spend a certain amount within a specific timeframe after opening an account. 
  • Status benefits (20%): Cards were awarded points based on what level status comes with the card without additional spending.

Keep in mind that the rewards, interest rates, and fee structures for the cards mentioned are available for limited periods and subject to change, which could impact how many miles or points you earn. 


Fortune Recommends™ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fortune Recommends™ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Eligibility and Benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions, and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefits guide for more details. Underwritten by Amex Assurance Company.



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