Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.
By: Griffin Miller
Updated: August 1, 2018
With a simple hotel and travel rewards program that offers a generous 2X points rate on every purchase, the Venture card is a solid choice for beginners and experienced travelers. Capital One’s partnership with Hotels.com gives you even more ways to rack up points quicker than the average general travel credit card.
Editor’s Take: The Capital One Venture Card is Bankrate’s favorite hotel credit card due to the flexibility that it offers in how you can redeem your rewards. The sign-up bonus is valued at $500 in benefits, and the high rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar spent makes this card a terrific choice for the average consumer.
A staple in the travel and hotel rewards game, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a smart choice for collecting valuable points that can be used in a variety of ways. Chase’s Ultimate Rewards shopping portal offers extra value for cardholders and a wide range of options when choosing airlines in addition to hotels.
Editor’s Take: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an excellent choice for someone looking for a generous sign-up bonus (valued at $625 in travel) on a card that rewards every day spending. If you are willing to go the extra mile to maximize your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards points system, this card is a no-brainer.
With no annual fee, the Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card offers a nice rewards rate and generous sign-up bonus. The simple earning structure makes it easy to track rewards and plan vacations to any hotel using any booking site.
Editor’s Take: If you have money in a Bank of America account, you can earn a 10% to 75% bonus on card spending. Consumers who are looking for a solid hotel rewards card and already have a substantial financial relationship with Bank of America should have this card in their wallet.
More than 6,500 resorts and hotels in over 110 countries fall under the SPG and Marriott brand. The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express offers generous rewards on spending alongside flexible redemption options for businesses that require frequent travel, both domestic and international.
Editor’s Take: For any business that requires frequent travel, the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card is a must-have.
Luxury travelers will reap exclusive perks from the Platinum Card from American Express that simply don’t exist anywhere else. The high annual fee will turn some people away, but the Centurion Lounge access and additional benefits make it a unique hotel rewards credit card that many travelers will find compelling.
Editor’s Take: The Platinum Card from American Express sets the bar for premium hotel and travel perks. Hotel perks include Gold elite status at Hilton and Starwood Hotels, as well as access to Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts. As competitive as those offers are, they don’t even scratch the surface of the additional travel extras that come with this card. If you are looking for an upscale travel experience, this card is for you.
Hotel credit cards reward loyalty with free nights, room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and more. Benefits come in the form of points, which can be redeemed for all of those great perks. Most hotel cards offer big point totals on purchases made at their properties, and at least 1X points everywhere else. For frequent travelers, points add up quickly and can turn the average hotel stay into a luxurious trip.
Hotel credit cards are either co-branded cards like the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, or are general travel rewards cards like the Capital One® Venture® Card.
To make the most of a hotel rewards credit card, combine it with a membership to the hotel’s loyalty program for truly impressive benefits.
Questions to ask yourself before applying for a hotel card:
The answer to these questions will help you find the right hotel credit card for you. The perfect hotel card will:
Most of the best rewards credit cards generally offer points for travel and can potentially be used to book free nights at hotels. If you’re considering a hotel rewards credit card, you’re most likely looking for a co-branded hotel card or a general travel card.
Co-branded hotel cards offer big points when you book nights at their specific properties, and small point totals on everything else. The good news is that many of the best hotel credit cards are attached to hotels with thousands of locations. Forbes reports that after its 2016 acquisition of Starwood, Marriott has over 6,000 locations worldwide. So, if you apply for the Marriott® Rewards Premier Credit Card, even though your benefits are mostly limited to Marriott properties, you are likely never far from one of their locations.
General travel cards offer fewer points on hotel purchases but are never limited to one specific brand or location. For example, every time you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to book a room, you’ll collect 2X points, no matter where you are. The points you’ll get from a general travel card are also more flexible in terms of what you redeem them for. Bundle your hotel room and flight through Chase Ultimate Rewards and the value of a point jumps to 1.25 cents.
The bottom line: If you travel frequently and prefer a certain hotel, opt for their co-branded card. If you’d rather keep a flexible rewards program rolling, go for the general travel card.
Hotel rewards points don’t usually expire if your account is open, active, and in good standing. For the specific card you are considering, check out the following chart or visit the points expiration resource at CreditCards.com.
|Hotel Rewards Program||Rewards Expiration Date|
|Hilton Honors||No expiration as long as points are earned or redeemed every 12 months.|
|IHG Rewards Club Select||No expiration as long as points are earned or redeemed every 12 months|
|Hyatt Visa Signature from Chase||No expiration as long as points are earned or redeemed every 24 months.|
|Marriott Rewards Premier||No expiration as long as points are earned or redeemed every 24 months.|
|Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa||No expiration as long as points are earned or redeemed every 24 months. E-certificates expire one year after issue date.|
|Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express||No expiration as long as points are earned or redeemed every 12 months. Starwood points issued/earned through Vistana expire after six years.|
|Wyndham Rewards Signature Visa||Points expire four years after post date. Account must also be active every 18 months.|
Whether you’re interested in a Hilton, Marriott, or other hotel card, first consider what it takes to get the most value out of that card. Take these steps before applying and you’ll be well on your way to soaking up the rewards:
|Card Name||Bankrate Score||Best For|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||94/100||Straightforward, flat rate hotel rewards|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||95/100||Generous sign-up bonus|
|Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card||85/100||No annual fee|
|Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express||96/100||Business|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||95/100||Premium cardholder benefits|
* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.