HOTEL CREDIT CARDS: Best 17 Cards for 2023 (Detailed Guide)

HOTEL CREDIT CARDS

If you favor one hotel brand over another — and many travelers do — carrying that hotel’s branded credit card will provide you with enormous value. The finest hotel credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee are the quickest way to earn hotel rewards points and elite status, ensuring an improved experience during your hotel visits. Aside from the on-site bonuses provided by hotel-branded cards, you may also enjoy free hotel nights upon renewal and win additional free nights by meeting certain spending thresholds.

To demonstrate the usefulness of these rewards cards, we’ve compiled a list of the top hotel credit cards with no annual fee for bad credit, including cards that provide free elite status and free nights. If you aren’t a fan of a particular hotel brand, we have recommendations for you as well.

See BEST CREDIT CARD FOR DINING IN 2023

Best Hotel Credit Cards Rewards

Hotel credit cards, whether co-branded or generic travel cards with transferable points or miles, can open the door to a world of hotel rewards that are typically reserved for elite loyalty program members.

The finest hotel cards will include substantial welcome rewards (co-branded and general travel card benefits) as well as a high earning rate (co-branded and general travel card perks). Co-branded cards often provide automatic elite status and VIP perks (such as complimentary room upgrades and late checkouts), whereas standard travel cards provide more flexibility when redeeming points or miles for hotel stays.

#1. American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, the company’s flagship card, comes at a premium to match its top-tier status and benefits. It’s ideal for big spenders who frequent Hilton properties sufficiently to take advantage of the extensive amenities package that comes with complimentary Diamond status.

Pros

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with enrollment
  • Statement credits of up to $600
  • Immediate Hilton Diamond status with a plethora of benefits

Cons

  • A high annual fee with no first-year waiver
  • Excessive regular and penalty APRs
  • There is no introductory APR offer.

#2. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One’s most posh travel card is loaded with benefits that place it squarely in competition with other upscale credit cards, but it comes with an annual charge that significantly outweighs the others.

Pros

  • A cheaper annual fee than others in its category.
  • The yearly cost could be justified by the annual travel credit and anniversary miles alone.
  • Miles are simple to earn and use.

Cons

  • A scarcity of high-end hotel and domestic airline travel partners
  • The Capital One lounge network is still in its infancy.
  • The absence of benefits associated with hotel status

#3. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

If you spend a lot of money on vacation and dining out, this card will give you more points. The $300 travel credit more than makes up for the annual fee and using Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel.

Pros

  • The $300 annual travel credit is quite adaptable.
  • A sizable welcome bonus
  • Receive 50% more value when you redeem Chase points for travel.
  • Transfer of points to valuable airline and hotel partners

Cons

  • Expensive annual fee
  • Purchases with a high variable APR
  • It’s advised to have excellent credit.

#4. The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Even though Hyatt does not have a large network of properties in comparison to other chains, the World of Hyatt Credit Card provides exceptional value. If you are a frequent Hyatt traveler, the yearly price will be readily covered by a combination of high point redemption values, delicious perks, and one free night stay every year.

Pros

  • An annual free night certificate on the card member’s anniversary.
  • Free World of Hyatt Discoverist status
  • High points redemption values
  • A sizable welcome bonus

Cons

  • A limited number of properties
  • There are no redeemable choices other than Hyatt properties.
  • Excessive regular APR
  • There is no introductory APR offer.

#5. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card 

At a low annual cost of $95, Hilton’s mid-tier Card provides exceptional value for people who travel frequently. Once enrolled, you’ll receive 10 yearly Priority Pass trips worth $299, as well as Hilton Honors Gold status.

Pros

  • Complimentary Gold elite status
  • Each anniversary year, 10 complimentary Priority Pass Lounge visits are provided.
  • There are no international transaction costs.

Cons

  • Yearly charge
  • Spending $15,000 each year is required to earn a Free Night Reward.
  • Except for Hilton properties, points have a limited redemption value.

#6. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

This card, which charges a low annual fee, is a dream for frequent travelers and diners since it offers a unique combination of high rewards rates and redemption flexibility.

Pros

  • Get high rewards across multiple spending categories.
  • Transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to travel partners.
  • Many travel and shopping protections

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • There is no introductory APR offer.
  • The best travel earning rates are only available for bookings made through Chase.

#7. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card is intended for frequent travelers who want to take full use of the Platinum Card’s extensive range of luxury travel privileges and Platinum Concierge service. The original status card’s exorbitant annual fee is fully justified in the proper hands.

Pros

  • A high potential for rewards on flights and hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Having multiple credits can help you justify the expense.
  • Access to all airport lounges
  • Luxury travel benefits and elite status with Hilton and Marriott with enrollment

Cons

  • Expensive annual fee
  • Maximizing the statement credits requires some effort and may be impossible for many people.
  • The reward rate outside of travel is below average for a premium card.

#8. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

Even though the Bonvoy Brilliant has a hefty $650 annual fee, this card provides luxurious value to Marriott loyalists in the form of an anniversary night (worth up to 85,000 points) after your card renewal month, complimentary Platinum Elite status, statement credits of up to $25 per month for dining purchases, and a slew of other perks.

Pros

  • Annual Free Night Reward valued up to 85,000 points after each card renewal month (resort fees may apply)
  • Free Bonvoy Platinum Elite membership
  • Higher earnings for Marriott hotels
  • 25 Elite night credits per year

Cons

  • The APR can be high, depending on your creditworthiness
  • Expensive annual fee
  • There is no introductory APR offer.

#9. IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

For travelers who spend a lot of money at IHG properties, the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card is a must-have. The free night and other perks fully justify the annual charge, and the complementary Platinum level enhances the rewards on IHG purchases to stratospheric heights. Those who aren’t admirers of IHG should search elsewhere.

Pros

  • Earn up to 26 points for every dollar spent at IHG hotels around the world.
  • Annual night every year on the account anniversary
  • Free fourth-night on-point redemption stays
  • Automatic Platinum Elite membership

Cons

  • Low daily and non-category hotel earnings
  • A low overall point total
  • There are no redeemable options outside of IHG properties.

#10. Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard

The Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard is a wonderful value for a certain set of travelers: those who spend a significant amount of time (and money) at Best Western properties. Everyone else would benefit more from a general travel card.

Pros

  • Get 20 bonus points for every dollar spent on Best Western purchases.
  • Obtaining Automatic Gold Status
  • There are no international transaction costs.

Cons

  • The redemption value of Best Western Rewards points makes earning 2 points every dollar a relatively low value.
  • A yearly charge of $89

Hotel Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If your credit is bad or fair, you may believe that you are ineligible for credit cards with lucrative rewards programs or opportunities to win appealing hotel room upgrades. Fortunately, there are numerous options accessible for consumers with good or bad credit to start earning rewards right away.

A fair or bad credit score may prevent you from getting hotel credit cards such as the Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire alternatives. With these top hotel credit cards, which have no annual fee for people with bad credit, you might be amazed at how much you can earn.

#1. Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards card is a safe alternative that comes with a big rewards program and no annual fee. You can earn 1.5 percent cash back on all eligible purchases and an unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, making it an ideal alternative for those who are particularly interested in hotel rewards.

#2. Credit One Bank Wander® Card

The Credit One Bank Wander Card is an excellent opportunity to check for preapproval without a hard query on your credit score—ideal for anyone concerned about a negative impact on their credit score or the fence about applying for a credit card.

#3. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card is another consideration for the best hotel cards for fair credit or bad credit along with no annual fee.  The rewards program offers 3% cash back in a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, restaurants, travel, drug shops, or home improvement furnishings), so you may use this as a hotel credit card if you like. You can also get 2% cash back in grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on everything else.

#4. Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a strong unsecured card option for those with fair credit or who are just starting. The rewards program is exceptionally generous, paying up to 10% cash back on Uber purchases and 5% cash back on hotel and rental car reservations made through Capital One Travel. Furthermore, the introductory offer is unique among beginning cards, with a $100 cash incentive after spending $100 in the first three months and no annual charge.

#5. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is worth considering if you’re searching for a hotel rewards card designed exclusively for international travel. You can earn up to 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and up to 5% cash back on hotels and rental vehicles booked through Capital One Travel, which can help you save money on your trips. When comparing this card to other hotel credit cards for persons with bad or good credit, keep in mind that it has a $39 annual fee.

How Do Hotel Credit Cards Work?

Hotel credit cards enable you to earn and redeem points with a hotel brand while also gaining access to hotel and resort perks such as elite status, early check-in, late check-out, room upgrades, welcome gifts, premium Wi-Fi, and more. Some hotel credit cards permit you to transfer points to travel partners such as airlines or car rental companies. These cards often reserve the biggest bonus rates for hotel brand purchases, with other rates varying based on the category.

The Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus® Card and other hotel credit cards provide discounts on reserved rooms to cardholders. Some cards might provide lodging discounts through free anniversary nights every year or the fourth or fifth free award night.

What credit card is best for hotels?

American Express Hilton Honors Aspire Card. You won’t find the best hotel credit card for everyone else. Choosing which card is best for you depends on your financial goals, credit position, and existing hotel loyalty, especially if you prefer staying with one hotel brand over another.

What hotels have a credit cards?

You’ll get at least one free hotel stay every year from each of the hotel credit cards listed below:

  • The World of Hyatt Credit Cards
  • Hilton Honors American Express Credit Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.
  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
  • Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card.

What credit cards offer free hotel nights?

The credit cards that provide free nights are listed below:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
  • Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card

What are the benefits of a hotel credit card?

hotel credit cards allow you to earn rewards for your hotel spending, in the form of points that can be redeemed for hotel stays and other benefits. Aside from the ability to earn rewards points, many hotel cards also provide benefits such as late checkout, lower booking, and greater status in hotel loyalty programs.

How much do you need on a credit card for a hotel room?

A hotel credit card holder often consists of the room price plus tax, as well as an additional charge of $50 to $200 a day to cover incidentals such as room service or mini-bar snacks.

Is it better to book a hotel with a credit card?

It’s possible that you won’t need a credit card to stay at the hotel. The majority of hotels accept credit and debit cards, which is a standard need for two reasons: To confirm the reservation: Hotels want to know that you will be on time for your reservation. Hotels obtain that assurance by collecting your credit card information.

Conclusion

The top hotel credit cards with no annual fee for people with bad credit offer a lot of potential value, from earning points for future visits to rewards such as elite status and VIP extras. Loyalists might consider adding one or more cards to their wallets.

Moreover, keep in mind that you are not required to select just one rewards credit card. Travelers frequently combine hotel credit cards with cash-back credit cards or flexible rewards cards that enable them to transfer points to hotel loyalty programs.

References

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