Hotel Credit Cards
Hotel branded credit cards are a very specific type of credit card. They generally should not be your very first travel credit card, because they are tied to one point and one brand, but they can be fantastic ways to enhance your relationship with a particular hotel brand and earn additional benefits like elite status and free nights.
In general, you want to start with Business Credit cards first if eligibile (and this page will explain how your small side hustle may qualify you for those bigger business credit cards bonuses) followed by general travel rewards-earning credit cards.
Assuming you are at the point that you are ready for a hotel credit card, here are things to look for:
Elite Status with Hotel Credit Cards
Some cards offer status outright or offer nights towards annual qualifications. For example, The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers automatic Discoverist status and 5 elite nights credited each calendar year as well as the ability to earn 2 elite nights for every $5,000 in purchases.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card will both get you 15 elite Marriott nights each year – good for Silver status and requiring just 10 more for Gold or 35 more for Platinum.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers instant latinum status with IHG.
And the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card offers included Gold status with Platinum status granted at $75,000 in annual spend. The Hilton Aspire, with a hefty annual fee, grants top tier Hilton Diamond status.
Free Hotel Nights with Hotel Credit Cards
Each year, at renewal, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card will grant you one free night worth up to 35,000 Marriott points. The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card also comes with a free night and the The World of Hyatt Credit Card grants one free Category 1-4 night each year as well.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card offers a free night up to 50,000 points to help offset its large annual fee.
We base our ratings below on the value of the points of each card multiplied by the amount of the bonus. Pretty simple!