On September 14, 2020, Hotels.com announced the launch of a new, no annual fee credit card — the first co-branded card from the accommodation booking site.
Issued by Wells Fargo, the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card earns cardholders 1 stamp for each night spent as a Hotels.com Rewards program member at an eligible property booked on Hotels.com and 1 stamp each time you spend $500 on purchases with your Hotels.com Rewards Visa (regardless of your Hotels.com Rewards program membership). For every 10 stamps you collect, you get 1 complimentary reward night.
“The Hotels.com Rewards program already offers freedom and flexibility to redeem reward nights at half a million properties — you’re not tied to any one city, chain or room type,” said Ben Blake, senior vice president for Hotels.com, in a news release. “And now the Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit Card helps unlock way more, even faster.”
Benefits of the Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit Card
As a welcome bonus, new cardholders earn a reward night valued at $125 after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months (not including taxes and fees).
Ownership of the card also gets you silver status with Hotels.com for your first year, meaning free breakfast, Wi-Fi and airport transfers for 12 months at select properties.
Additional card features include:
- No foreign transaction fees
- 24/7 fraud monitoring
- Trip interruption and cancellation benefits of up to $2,000 per insured person
- $600 in cellphone protection from damage or theft when you pay your cellphone bill with the Hotels.com Rewards Visa
- Customizable credit card alerts
- Zero liability protection
A closer look at the Hotels.com Rewards Visa rewards program
The Hotels.com Rewards program utilizes “stamps,” rather than points, miles or another turn of phrase, and allows program members to collect stamps toward reward nights.
Ten stamps equal 1 reward night, redeemable for future Hotels.com bookings; there are no other redemption options available. It’s important to note taxes, fees and other charges in relation to your hotel stay are not included in your rewards nights.
According to the Hotels.com Rewards program, the value of your stamps depends on the “average value of the 10 stamps you’ve collected,” while also stating the current value sits at $110 per stamp.
“If you earn a free night solely through spending on this card, you’d spend $5,000 to get a free night worth $110,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate. “That’s essentially a 2.2 percent return on your spending. It’s a bit better than the best flat-rate, no annual fee cash back cards (2 percent), but not nearly as flexible.”
Is the Hotels.com Rewards Visa right for you?
Those who frequently stay with a particular hotel brand may find more value from a co-branded hotel credit card, but if you’re already a frequent user of Hotels.com or aren’t loyal to a particular hotel chain, the Hotels.com Rewards Visa may make sense for you.
“Rewards programs and cards from big chains like Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt usually win in terms of the math, but Hotels.com could be a suitable option for an occasional traveler who values simplicity,” says Rossman.
As for perks to consider, Rossman highlights the ability to cover a reward night with a mix of stamps and cash.
“If you don’t have enough rewards to cover the entire cost of the stay, you only have to pay the difference,” Rossman says. “You’re not shut out entirely. So you could put that $110 credit toward a $200 room and only have to pay $90.”
Additionally, Rossman points out that, per the Hotels.com Rewards program, a stamp is earned for each stay at a Hotels.com property (with 500,000 properties to choose from in over 200 countries across the globe).
“You can mix and match stamps earned via everyday card spending and stamps earned by staying at hotels,” Rossman says. “That could potentially stretch your rewards further.”