The Best Hotel Credit Card To Own

Hotel Credit Cards are a must-have to everyone who travels frequently. These cards can help you get room upgrades, free stays, discount on travel and hotel loyalty member perks among many other benefits. To earn more points, get more rewards and enjoy more value for your points, hotel credit cards need to be used for paying travel or hotel-related expenses.

There are two types of hotel credit cards you can choose from Cobranded and General travel. Cobranded hotel credit cards are your best choice if you are loyal to one particular hotel chain. This is because the cards are usually sponsored by the card network, i.e. American Express, Visa, etc. and a specific hotel or airline associated with the card. As you can guess, these cards aren’t very flexible, but they do tend to net perks at a much higher rate helping you to attain elite loyalty status with that particular hotel.
If you are a regular traveler with no particular preference on a specific hotel chain or airlines, the general travel credit card is your best pick. These cards give you the much-needed flexibility to earn rewards while spending on different hotels and airlines. Transferring and redeeming points with these cards are also more flexible compared to the co-branded credit cards.

Choosing A Hotel Credit Card

There are only two main types of hotel credit cards, but under each category, we have quite a lot of cards. These cards come with different terms and reward rates on different traveling and hotel expenses. To identify the best hotel credit card that will give you the best rewards, you must analyze your traveling and spending habits. Ask yourself how much do you spend on hotels? Do you have a specific hotel that you prefer or you are more of a flexible guy who likes trying out different chains of hotels? Are your travel expenses spread out to different cities or do you travel to one particular area?

Having this information will help you identify the best hotel credit card for you. If for instance, you only use a particular chain of a hotel while traveling, you are better off getting a credit card that partners with that hotel. This card will give you more rewards and perks compared to a general travel credit card.

You also need to monitor your spending on other categories outside hotels. Look at how much you spend on supermarkets, restaurants, gas, etc. Most hotel credit cards also have rewards for these categories, but the rates vary. For example, a card may reward you six points for every dollar you spend on restaurants and five points per dollar spent on supermarkets. Therefore, if you spend a lot on restaurants, getting a card with a higher rewards rate in that particular category will be more sensible.

While choosing a hotel credit card, you must also decide between rewards and flexibility. Some hotel cards will have really enticing rewards such as room upgrades, free rooms, etc. but all of these will only be enjoyed if you stick to one particular chain of hotels. On the other hand, you can have a card with fewer rewards but with the convenience of transferring your points to different airlines and other partners. At this point, you must ask yourself whether getting tied to one particular hotel chains just so you can enjoy more rewards is worth forfeiting the convenience of transferring and using your points with different partners.

Top 3 Hotel Credit Cards

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers all its new customers 50,000 bonus points (worth around $625) once they spend $4,000 in the first three months. You will also earn 2x points on traveling and dining purchases and 1x points on all other purchases. To enjoy the best value for your points, the company has a special Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Redeem your points through this program, and they will boost the value of your points by as much as 25%.
All the bonuses and reward potential makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card one of the best hotel credit cards in the market.

Cons

– The Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with a $95 annual fee. This is pretty high considering most other hotel credit cards don’t charge anything. The good thing is you will receive a waiver for the first year. You can use this time to determine whether the card is a good fit for you and if the annual fee is worth it.

– The card also has a variable APR of between 17.99% to 24.99%

2. Discover it Miles

There are so many reasons to get the Discover it Miles, and at the top of them, all is the fact that the company will match all the miles you will have earned in your first year. If, for example, you get around 2,000 miles, Discover will match it and automatically give you 4,000 miles!

We also loved to Discover it Miles due to its incredible rewards program. With this card, you will earn 1.5 miles for every dollar you spend and here is the best part; the program doesn’t limit the cardholder to any particular purchase category. All you have to do is book your flights, get the miles and cover the cost by redeeming the miles as a statement credit.
The Discover it Miles also doesn’t come with any annual or foreign transaction fees. New customers will also get a 0% APR for all purchases they make in the first 14 months.

Cons

  • Discover it Miles doesn’t come with any sign-up bonuses
  • There are also no higher mileage rates
  • The APR becomes variable after the introductory phase

3. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card comes with sign-up bonuses of 20,000 miles (worth around $200) if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. You will also earn 1.25 miles for every dollar you spend and 10 miles per dollar if you use your card to pay for hotels through venture or hotels.com.
New Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Cardholders will also enjoy a 0% APR on their first purchases within the first 12 months. There is also no annual fee.

Cons

– After the first one year, the variable APR of between 13.74% to 23.74% is activated

Drawbacks of Hotel Credit Cards

a. Restrictions – Most hotel travel credit cards come with lots of restrictions. Cobranded hotel cards, for example, won’t accrue any points if they are used outside the designated hotel chains. Also, using the cards on any other purchases outside hotel expenses will only give you 1% in rewards which is pretty low. You also won’t feel the real value of the points if you redeem them outside travel expenses.
b. Fees – Hotel credit cards have some of the higher APRs in the market. Some of them also have annual fees. It’s, therefore, best to avoid carrying balances as the interest payments can get very high.
c. Eligibility requirements – To qualify for a hotel credit card, you will need a FICO credit score of at least 670.
d. Complex rewards structures – Some cobranded hotel credit cards have very complex rewards structures. If you don’t understand these structures correctly, you won’t be able, and this will limit the number of rewards you get.
e. The high threshold to qualify for sign up bonuses – Hotel credit cards come with incredible sign-up bonuses, but these can only be earned once the cardholder spends thousands of dollars. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card, for instance, requires you to spend $4,000 within three months to get the sign-up bonuses.

Final Thoughts

A hotel credit card will earn you significant perks if you are a frequent traveler. The right cards can also help businesses save a lot of cash on travel and hotel stays. Take your time and analyze through the different cards to find one that suits you best. It is also vital that you look for a card that you can meet its spending threshold to qualify for the signup bonuses as this help to increase the value of the credit card significantly.