Hotel Credit Cards

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!

Hotel credit cards can help you rack up free nights fast, and provide valuable on-property benefits.

Current Offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
$0
Foreign Transaction Fee

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Card Bonuses: Earn 5 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Why we like this card: The annual free night certificate valid at any IHG property and Platinum elite status for as long as you have the card make this a winner, especially given how low the annual fee is.
$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49
Current Offer: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Foreign Transaction Fee
N/A

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Card Bonuses: Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases. Two stay credits and five night credits towards elite status with Starwood annually per card (you can get both cards for four stay credits and 10 night credits towards elite status annually); Starwood Gold status after spending $30,000 on the card annually; Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide (Enrollment required).
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
Apply Now
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card: Starpoints are incredible versatile, and are probably my favorite all-around flexible points currency. The four stay credits and 10 night credits towards status with Starwood annually for having both cards (personal and business) are also invaluable to me. Terms & Conditions Apply.
Current Offer: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Foreign Transaction Fee

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Card Bonuses: Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card. Terms apply.
$75
Annual Fee
Apply Now
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card: You earn Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as you hold the card. You also have the opportunity to spend $40k in a year and receive Hilton Diamond, though we generally don't recommend it.
Current Offer: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
Foreign Transaction Fee
N/A

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Card Bonuses: Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating SPG® Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint® for all other purchases. Redeem Starpoints® for free nights at over 1,300 hotels & resorts in over 100 countries and for free flights on over 150 airlines with SPG Flights. Some hotels and resorts have mandatory service charges. Access to Sheraton Club lounges on eligible stays. Two stay credits and five night credits towards elite status with Starwood annually per card (you can get both cards for four stay credits and 10 night credits towards elite status annually); Starwood Gold status after spending $30,000 on the card annually; Enjoy complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide (Enrollment required).
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Apply Now
on American Express' secure site
Why we like this card: Starpoints are incredible versatile, and are probably my favorite all-around flexible points currency. The four stay credits and 10 night credits towards status with Starwood annually for having both cards (personal and business) are also invaluable to me. Terms & Conditions Apply.
Current Offer: Earn 2 Complimentary Nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
0%
Foreign Transaction Fee

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

Card Bonuses: 5 points per $1 spent at any participating Ritz-Carlton hotel or our worldwide partner hotels, including EDITION,® JW Marriott,® Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels and Marriott Hotels®. 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies and restaurants. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Read Our Review
Why we like this card: While the annual fee on the card is high, it comes with lots of great benefits, such as automatic Gold Elite status during your first account year and each account year thereafter when you spend $10,000 on your card, and the ability to upgrade to The Ritz-Carlton Club® level 3 times annually on paid stays of up to 7 nights.
$450
Annual Fee

Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card has been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. The offer from Fairmont appears to have gone up to $3,000 spend unless your linking to something other than the public offer.

  2. Hilton Surpass Card now offers Hilton Gold status not only for the first year of card membership, but for the duration of card membership, doesn’t it?

  3. Ben, I have both the Hilton Amex Surpass card and the SPG Amex card. But recently I’ve noticed that both charge foreign transaction fees. Normally, that’s not a big deal, as I would just not use those cards when I travel outside the U.S., since I have other cards that don’t charge such fees.

    But it strikes me as odd that I can’t really use my SPG Amex to pay for my hotel when I stay at a Starwood property outside the U.S. And same goes for staying at a Hilton property in a foreign location. I usually like to use my affinity card when I stay at one of those chains because of the bonus points you get, but in this case, I don’t think the bonus points are worth the high foreign transaction fees.

    Doesn’t this seem like a major oversight on the part of Hilton and Starwood to allow Amex to charge fees that provide incentives for cardholders to NOT use those cards at their properties outside the U.S.? Do you know if this is something the chains are aware of and maybe planning to change at some point in the future?

    I sent an email to Amex complaining about this issue, but I just get a boilerplate response that tells me Amex offers many cards that don’t charge foreign exchange fees and I should just use one of those. Again, I’m not sure Starwood and Hilton would be very happy if they saw Amex urging customers to use competitive products!

  4. Ben,is the fee still waived the first year for the Fairmont card? I clicked through your link, and I don’t see anything on the landing page or pricing / t&c pages indicating that the fee is waived first year . . . But maybe I’m just missing something?

    Thank you for your great content, and happy to use your link if the fee waiver offer is still working.

  5. My gf and I will be travelling to Africa in September, and this trip will include a 3 night stay in Botswana for safari along the Chobe River. Are any of the major hotel rewards programs useful for staying at any of the lodges/chalets in this area, or is this a job for just using Barclay Arrival+ miles to defray the net cost?

    Btw, I have been trying to access the Ask Lucky page but I just get a blank page whether I use Chrome or IE. Is there a certain browser that is best for viewing the page?

  6. @ Kenny — In that case Barclaycard Arrival miles are indeed your best bet. Hmmm, if you’re still having issues accessing the page, mind sending me an email? Very odd…

  7. Hi, I read your experience about staying in Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. And now thinking about to apply Hyatt visa card as it offers 2 free nights to stay at any Hyatt properties. However, when I read the terms and condition, it said free nights only apply to “Standard” room. When I check the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong for reservation. The room type only has Grand King or Club King but no standard. Does it mean the 2 free night cannot be applied to Grand Hyatt Hong Kong? I also checked other two Hyatt properties in Hong Kong ( There are only 3 properties available in Hong Kong) None of them came out with any Standard room. Do you know the 2 free nights are not able to apply to Grand Hyatt Hong Kong or any other properties in Hong Kong?

    Thanks.

  8. @ Coolgo — In the case of the Grand Hyatt, the Grand King is a standard room. Similarly at a Hyatt Regency, a Regency King will often be the standard room.

  9. Hi Lucky,

    Thanks for your advice!

    I was wondering if I can use the 2 free night certificates to upgrade to Club king room or suite which include access to Grand Club lounge and breakfast with the platinum membership status I earned from Hyatt visa card? Or can I pay the difference with points to upgrade to Club King room? I looked at the gold passport reservation page the standard room for Grand deluxe king is 25000 points and Club King is 33000 points. Can I transfer points from my AE or Chase to gold passport.

  10. Fairmont 1st year is waived.

    My husband and I were approved for a Fairmont card. I paid two work invoice and got reimbursed for them. We are off to Canada and staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for free and a zero balance.

    Question: how long should i wait until i can cancel the card?

  11. does buying amex giftcards through their portal count towards them minimum spend for this card? when i got the card in the email, on of the papers said that I’d get no starpoints for purchasing “cash equivalents”, which I am thinking giftcards are.

  12. Ben,

    I was going to use your link to sign up for the AmEx Hilton Surpass but the link it takes me to says the bonus is only for 60,000. Do you have an updated link? Thanks!

  13. I really enjoy your page and articles, but i must admit im a little bummed to notice that you dont seem to keep up with the credit card offers. A few of these (havent checked the rest) are out of date offers and currently will be losing people possible points. I understand you have a lot of stuff you work on, just almost seems like you shouldnt have this section on your page though if your not going to keep it update. Like i said I do enjoy your blog, read it almost daily, just this part was a little saddening because I wanted to help and click on your link, but decided to go elsewhere because I realized your info was incorrect.

  14. If I sign up for both the Starwood Preferred AMEX and Starwood biz Amex, will I be able to claim both sign up bonuses towards the same account or will it be 2 different ones?

  15. @ Joe — You can absolutely claim it towards the same account. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  16. What does “The four stay credits and 10 night credits towards status with Starwood annually for having both cards (personal and business) are also invaluable to me,” mean? Can you point to to a definition of a ‘stay credit and night credit?’

    THANKS,
    Jeff

  17. Hey Lucky,

    I love the blog! I’ve always been fairly savvy with credit cards; however, your blog took my understanding of how to maximize the benefits to the next level. I’ve been making a point to use your links to apply. I happened to notice Hilton is doing a better promotion than your link has through the hhonors site with Amex. It is only until the end of the month so it isn’t too big of a deal, but I figured you would appreciate the heads up.

    https://www262.americanexpress.com/dapply/partner/preacq/hil/hil-105/carddetails/#/cshop

    Josh

  18. What effects, if any, does the Marriott-Starwood merger have on the SPG Amex card? Will it be going away? Dropped from Amex’s offerings?

    This current promo is an astounding 105k Marriott points, after the 1:3 transfer from SPG points, compared to the 80k from the Marriott Amex card.

    Thanks for your help and all your insight!

  19. I’m looking to get the SPG (Personal) Amex. I can generate an app inside my Amex online account with the same terms. I’m happy to use OMAAT’s referral and earn you bonuses, but is there any technical advantage or disadvantage to applying through one’s own account for an existing Amex cardmember?

  20. I have both the marriot rewards card and the spy star word american express. Can you please tell me which one is better t keep over the other now that they merged. No reason to pay both annua fees now. Correct? Thanks for your help, Gemma Gennello

  21. Gem , I expect the Starwood will be changed to a Marriott card or some other version if you wait .
    Maybe it will be somehow to your advantage . I think this will probably happen before the end of 2018 . So you are risking $95 by keeping your Starwood card until you know what the new offer will be . Let’s hope for the best outcome .

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