The Best Hotel Credit Cards to Get Right Now

A huge hotel lobby in a luxury hotel
Nomadic Matt has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Some or all of the card offers on this page are from advertisers and compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. Nomadic Matt and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. This page does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

When I started traveling the world, I stayed in hostels. Money was tight and hostels were cheap so it was a no-brainer. Plus, I was a bit introverted and hostels were a great way to connect with other backpackers and make friends.

I still love hostels but since I now run a business while I travel I often need more space — and privacy — when I’m on the road. However, I’m still a budget traveler at heart so I hate paying hundreds of dollars for a room I’m just going to be in for a few hours.

Enter the art of collecting points and miles by getting credit cards and joining loyalty programs. These points and miles can then be used to get free perks and upgrades, including free hotel stays.

Over the years, I’ve used points to earn countless free stays at hotels, which has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars in accommodation (tools like Awayz are great for helping you maximize hotel points).

Whether you’re a casual tourist or a die-hard backpacker, every traveler needs at least one hotel credit card in their wallet. These cards come with big welcome bonuses, cool perks, and free nights that can help you save money on accommodation.

All the major brands have multiple credit card options but below are my favorite from each brand:

The Best Hotel Credit Cards for…

Below, you’ll find a detailed review of each card, including the perks and cost, so you can pick the best hotel credit card for your travel style and budget.
 

IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card

card_name has a great welcome offer and is easy to earn points on, with 5X points on travel, dining, and gas stations, as well as up to 26X points on IHG purchases. The card’s perks more than outweigh the $99 annual fee, with one free stay per year, and up to a $100 statement credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS every 4 years.

This card offers:

  • bonus_miles_full
  • 5x points on travel, dining, and at gas stations
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Up to 26x points on IHG purchases
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status
  • Reward night when you redeem points for a consecutive four-night IHG hotel stay
  • Free anniversary night (up to 40,000 points) at eligible IHG hotels
  • up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS every 4 years
  • Up to $50 United® Airlines TravelBank Cash each calendar year

—> LEARN MORE <—


 

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The card_name is a no-fee card that comes with a generous (limited time) welcome offer, which is a great way to get started with earning points for hotel stays if you don’t want to pay an annual fee right away. You’ll also earn 5x points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, as well as 3x points on all other purchases. (See Rates and Fees.)

This card offers:

  • bonus_miles_full
  • 7x points on Hilton hotels and resorts
  • 5x points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3x points on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors(TM) Silver status status
  • No foreign transaction fees

—> LEARN MORE <—

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card

With this card, you unlock free stays at the largest hotel chain in the world. While it has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), this is a great card for fans of Marriott hotels and resorts, as you’ll more than recoup that cost with just a few stays per year.

This card offers:

  • bonus_miles_full
  • Earn 6x Marriott Bonvoy® points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. Supermarkets (on up to $15,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and supermarkets, then 2X points)
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn 1 Free Night after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases on your Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ Card in a calendar year
  • Automatic Marriott Bonvoy® Gold Elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees

—> LEARN MORE <—

 


 

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

While the card_name offers a slightly lower welcome bonus compared to other cards on this list, Hyatt offers great ways to redeem points. That means their points often go further than other hotel chains’ points. If you’re a fan of Hyatt hotels, the ease of racking up points in your top 3 spending categories easily makes it worth it ($199 annual fee).

This card offers:

  • bonus_miles_full
  • 2x Bonus Points per $1 spent in your top three eligible spend categories each quarter through 12/31/24, then your top two categories each quarter
  • Up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 on qualified purchases at Hyatt hotels & up to 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2x points on fitness clubs and gym memberships
  • Automatic Hyatt Discoverist status (10% bonus points on Hyatt stays, among other benefits)
  • No foreign transaction fees

—> LEARN MORE <—


 
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No matter your travel budget or style, every traveler should have a hotel credit card in their wallet. From the free loyalty status to free annual nights, the best hotel credit cards offer tons of amazing perks that can significantly lower the cost of your trip.

Don’t spend hundreds of dollars for accommodation that could be free. Grab one of these cards, start earning points, and you’ll be on your way to free accommodation in no time!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card and my current favorites to get started and see the latest best deals.

Need Help Finding Activities for Your Trip?
Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace where you can find cool walking tours, fun excursions, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more.

Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.

Advertiser Disclosure: “Nomadic Matt has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Some or all of the card offers on this page are from advertisers and compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. Nomadic Matt and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.”

Editorial Disclosure: “Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. This page does not include all card companies or all available card offers.”

For rates and fees for the Hilton Honors American Express Card, See Rates and Fees.

For rates and fees for the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, See Rates and Fees.