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The Best Hotel Credit Cards to Get Right Now

Best Hotel Credit Cards? 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 travel hacking.

Travel hacking is the art of collecting points and miles from credit cards and loyalty programs and using those points and miles to get free perks and upgrades, including free hotel stays.

Over the years, I’ve used my points and miles to earn countless free stays at hotels, which has saved me thousands and thousands of dollars in accommodation. Whether you’re a casual tourist or 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 the below are my favorite from each brand:

The Best Hotel Credit Cards for…

Hilton: Hilton Honors American Express
Marriott: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
InterContinental Hotel Group: IHG Rewards Club Premier
Hyatt: The World of Hyatt

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.
 

Hilton Honors American Express

Best Hotel Credit Cards

This no-fee card comes with a generous 80,000-point welcome offer after you spend just $1,000 in the first 3 months. This 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.

When you sign up for this card, you get:

100,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
7x points on Hilton hotels and resorts
5x points on U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations
3x points on all other purchases
Complimentary Hilton Silver status
No foreign transaction fees

Learn More
 

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Best Hotel Credit Cards

With this card, you unlock free stays at the largest hotel chain in the world. With just a $95 annual fee, this is a great card for fans of Marriott Bonvoy hotels and resorts, as you’ll more than recoup that cost with just a few stays per year.

When you sign up for this card, you get:

3 free nights (up to 150,000 total point value after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
17x points on spending at Marriott Bonvoy properties
3x points on the first $6,000 of spending on gas stations, grocery stores, and dining
2x points on all other purchases
One free night per calendar year (up to 35,000 point value)
Automatic Bonvoy Silver elite status (10% bonus points on Marriott stays, among other benefits)
No foreign transaction fees

Learn More
 

IHG Rewards Club Premier

Best Hotel Credit Cards

This card from InterContinental Hotel Group has a great sign-up bonus of 140,000 points after spending only $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. It’s also easy to earn points, 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 a $100 statement credit for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS every 4 years. When you sign up for this card, you get:

140,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
5x points on travel, dining, and gas stations
3x points on all other purchases
Up to 26x points on IHG purchases
Automatic Platinum Elite status
Free anniversary night
$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
 

The World of Hyatt

Best Hotel Credit Cards

While this card offers a slightly lower welcome bonus compared to other hotel cards on this list, if you’re a fan of Hyatt hotels, the free annual stay easily makes up for the $95 annual fee. And with 2x points on popular categories like restaurants, local transportation, flights, and gym memberships, it’s relatively easy to rack up points.

When you sign up for this card, you get:

30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on categories that normally earn 1x point in first 6 months of account opening
9x points on Hyatt stays
2x points at restaurants, flights, gym memberships, and local transportation
1 free stay per year (plus 1 more free night when you spend $15,000+ in a calendar year)
Automatic Hyatt Discoverist status (10% bonus points on Hyatt stays, among other benefits)
No foreign transaction fees

Learn More

*****

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 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 they consistently return 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:

SafetyWing (best for everyone)
Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

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. 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.”

The post The Best Hotel Credit Cards to Get Right Now appeared first on Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site. For more on travel.

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