Ranking Limited Time Hotel Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Update: The below links for the Starwood Preferred Guest cards, Citi Hilton Honors Visa Signature card, Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express, and Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express are expired, but you can learn more about best available offers here.

Update: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has a limited time offer through 11/1/2017. Learn more about best available offers here.


At the moment we’re seeing more increased hotel credit card sign-up bonuses than I recall seeing at any point in the past. Given that these offers are limited time, I wanted to use this post to rank the offers based on the sign-up bonuses alone. Which cards offer the biggest sign-up bonuses, based on my valuation of points, and taking into account the annual fees the first year?

Here they are ranked, based on my valuations:

1. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Sign-up bonus value: $770 (35,000 Starpoints worth 2.2 cents each)

Offer end date: April 5, 2017

Sign-up bonus details: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Then, earn an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make an additional $2,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Other perks of this card: The card offers two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, SPG Gold status when you spend $30,000 on the card per calendar year, and premium internet at Starwood hotels.

2. Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Sign-up bonus value: $770 (35,000 Starpoints worth 2.2 cents each)

Offer end date: April 5, 2017

Sign-up bonus details: Earn up to 35,000 bonus Starpoints®. Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Earn an extra 10,000 bonus Starpoints® after you make an additional $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Other perks of this card: The card offers two elite qualifying stays and five elite qualifying nights towards status annually, SPG Gold status when you spend $30,000 on the card per calendar year, premium internet at Starwood hotels, and access to Sheraton club lounges in conjunction with a hotel stay.

3. Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Sign-up bonus value: $775 (100,000 + 7,500 Marriott Rewards points worth 0.8 cents each, minus annual fee); on the surface this bonus is a bit bigger, but in reality keep in mind that Marriott Rewards points can be converted into Starpoints at a 3:1 ratio, which is why my valuation of points between the two currencies isn’t exact)

Offer end date: not published

Sign-up bonus details: Earn 100,000 Points after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, plus an additional 7,500 points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase.

Annual fee: $85

Other perks of this card: The card offers 15 elite qualifying nights towards status annually, an additional elite qualifying night for every $3,000 spent, and an annual Category 1-5 free night.

Marriott-Credit-Card-100k

4. Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Sign-up bonus value: $500 (100,000 Hilton Honors points worth 0.4 cents each, plus the weekend night certificate which I’m valuing at $250, minus two annual fees)

Offer end date: May 31, 2017

Sign-up bonus details: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months, plus a free weekend night on your first anniversary after paying the annual fee.

Annual fee: $75

Other perks of this card: The card offers Honors Gold status for as long as you have the card, which gets you free breakfast room upgrades, etc., and Honors Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year.

5. Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

Sign-up bonus value: $320 (80,000 Hilton Honors points worth 0.4 cents each)

Offer end date: May 31, 2017

Sign-up bonus details: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual fee: none

Other perks of this card: The card offers Honors Silver access for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points and access to fifth night free awards, plus Honors Gold status if you spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Hilton-Amex

6. Citi® Hilton Honors™ Visa Signature® Card

Sign-up bonus value: $320 (75,000 Hilton Honors points worth 0.4 cents each)

Offer end date: not published

Sign-up bonus details: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual fee: none

Other perks of this card: The card offers Honors Silver access for as long as you have the card, which gets you bonus points and access to fifth night free awards, plus Honors Gold status if you spend $20,000 on the card in a calendar year, plus 10,000 bonus points when you spend at least $1,000 at Hilton portfolio hotels over the course of a year.

Bottom line

There has never been a better time to sign-up for a hotel credit card, given the number of great bonuses we’re seeing. Given that these cards are from various issuers — American Express, Chase, and Citi — you can potentially even pick up a few hotel credit cards at once.

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Comments

  1. How can a Marriott point be worth 0.8 and an SPG point worth 2.2? An SPG point is worth exactly three times a Marriott point, since they are one and the same; like a dollar is worth 100 cents.

  2. @ Matt of Canada — Agree with your logic, but to answer your question:
    — I created my valuations before the points became transferrable between programs
    — When it comes to valuing points, I round to the nearest tenth of a cent; since there’s no science to this, getting any closer seems silly

    That’s why I added the disclaimer above regarding Marriott and Starwood.

  3. @Lucky – can I apply for the SPG Business card without a “business”? I hear different facts…

  4. @Lucky continues, undeterred by clear evidence that he ought to try a different approach: “Sign-up bonus value: $320 (75,000 Hilton Honors points worth 0.4 cents each)”

    That wrong math and the idea utterly simplistic.

    Let’s take a random real-world case:

    Hampton in Ozark (look it up)
    — Best Available Rate: $104/night
    — Standard award rate for same room: 10,000/night

    For 75,000, one would be able to book a 75K/10K = 7.5-night award stay.
    If one paid cash, a 7.5-night stay would cost: $104/night * 7.5nights = $780

    That’s right: @Lucky would like you to believe that the monetary value of 75K HH points is $320, when just a simple back of the envelop calculation for a random stay in the Ozarks yields about 2.4x his “value.”

    That’s why you need to take the valuations that you see thrown all over the place with a huge grain of salt. They usually do not withstand scrutiny in real-world cases…

    G’day!

  5. I have an offer from American for their AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard with 60,000 bonus (50k after 3k spend in 3 months/10k after 5k in 12 months). This offer would be better than all of these offers, correct? I primarily use ORD so this seems to make sense.

  6. All of these have had good bonuses in the past year too. I have all these cards and cancelled most of them by now. Unfortunately, I cannot get any of the AMEX cards due to already have had them. The Marriott card is a Chase card and it limited by the 5/24 rule, and the other Citi one has me waiting for about 18 months to get them. Same for my wife.

    Somehow you need to list the once in a lifetime rule, the 5/24 rule, and the 24 month rule when talking about these cards.

  7. @DCS yes I’m sure people are earning their points hoping one day they could book Hampton inn ozark for a nice vacation. Who cares how large the redemption value is on paper for some random low category hotels. The points worth nothing if virtually nobody want to go there.

  8. @Allen – You may not realize it but you just made my point, which is that everyone should stop trying to decide for others what points are worth…

    I seldom redeem HH points for what we’re constantly told they are worth. Conrad Koh Samui for me was 1.3 cpp, which would be like getting 7+ cpp using starpoints.

    G’day.

  9. What about the IHG 100,000 point offer from Chase? That bonus offer expires on 4/27. Where does that fit in?

  10. Helpful comparisons. It’s important to consider the spend required as well. You could spend $5,000 and get two Hilton cards, netting 175,000-180,000 points, whereas $5,000 will get you 107,500 Marriott or 35,000 SPG points. Obviously Chase 5/24 is important to consider in choosing Marriott over others as well. Thanks.

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