Best of

Best Hotel Credit Cards of June 2019

cheatgame.infoJune 12, 2019

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cheatgame.info's Best Hotel Credit Cards of June 2019

Our pick for

Easy redemption and Hotels.com users

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$0 for the first year, then $95

Regular APR

17.99% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

You're not restricted to any particular hotel chain. Book your own travel, then pay for it with rewards. You can also transfer points to over 12 travel loyalty programs. The card offers 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases. Through January 2020, you can also earn 10 miles per dollar at Hotels.com/venture. Redeem miles for credit against most travel expenses at 1 cent per mile. Also, get reimbursed for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee every four years.

Cons

You'll get no hotel-specific perks, such as room upgrades or late checkout. So, if you’re loyal to one particular hotel company, it might be worth comparing this card with the hotel-branded card. And point values don't budge. You can't get more than 1 cent worth of value per mile.
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

Our pick for

Point transfers to hotel programs

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

Flexible rewards and high-value redemption options are the main attractions. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when used to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, or you can transfer them at a 1:1 rate to several other loyalty programs, including hotel programs with Marriott, Hyatt and IHG.

Cons

As a general travel card, it lacks the special perks — such as free anniversary nights and room upgrades — that hotel-specific co-branded cards might offer.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Our pick for

Orbitz users

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.99% - 26.99% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

It offers broad hotel choice because rewards rates can be earned at any hotel booked through Orbitz, and you’re not restricted to one hotel chain for redeeming rewards. And if you jump through the right hoops with the rewards program, you can earn rates as high as 10% back on hotel bookings. The $0 annual fee is a big differentiator because most hotel-branded cards and lucrative travel cards charge one.

Cons

Earning the card’s highest rewards rates is complex. It depends on what you’re booking and how you’re booking it. You won't get hotel-specific perks. If you’re loyal to one particular hotel company, it might be worth comparing this card with that company’s co-branded card. Rewards are good for hotel bookings only, unlike general travel cards that offer points that can be used for a variety of travel-related expenses.
  • Earn an EXTRA 5% in Orbucks on Orbitz bookings – that's up to 10% total!
  • Earn 2% back in Orbucks on all other purchases
  • Get a $100 statement credit
  • No annual fee, no foreign transaction fee

Our pick for

Marriott

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

A typical downside of a hotel-branded card is a lack of places to earn and redeem points, but Marriott is huge, with 6,900 properties across 30 hotel brands spanning 129 countries and territories. A free night's stay annually and automatic Silver Elite status every year just for having the card are valuable, along with a points bonus during stays, late checkout and other perks. Another : Points are transferable to several airline partners. See our Marriott program review for the full list.

Cons

Rewards aren't as flexible for redeeming as general travel cards, making this card specific to fans of Marriott.
  • Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • An additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

Our pick for

Hilton

Hilton Honors Ascend

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees

on American Express's website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

17.99% - 26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

From Hilton and Waldorf-Astoria to Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn, the chain has 5,500 hotels in 109 countries and territories, making it easy to earn and redeem points. Earn extra points for purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. Plus, you'll get automatic Hilton Honors Gold status, which can snag you a complimentary stay every fifth night at a Hilton portfolio hotel, continental breakfast, and a slew of other benefits. Terms apply.

Cons

The card gives you a lot of points, but they have below-average value when you spend them, according to cheatgame.info valuations. You can redeem points for airline rewards, but at unfavorable rates.
  • Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a 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.
  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees

Our pick for

Holiday Inn/IHG

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$89

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

A free night after each account anniversary and a free reward night when you redeem points for a stay of 4 or more nights are huge benefits, as is Platinum Elite status, which promises exclusive room rates, room upgrades, free Internet and check-in/check-out privileges, among other perks. It also will issue a credit for a Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee every four years when paying with the card.

Cons

Like all co-branded hotel credit cards, its rewards are not as flexible for getting free travel as a general travel card.
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Enjoy a Free Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
  • Earn 25 points total 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
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

Our pick for

Hyatt

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

18.24% - 25.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

Hyatt has the highest point values among major hotel loyalty programs, according to cheatgame.info valuations. That's important when you can rack up double points on such spending as gym memberships, dining at restaurants, local transit and commuting and airline tickets purchased through airlines. You'll get a free anniversary night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, automatic Discoverist status and five qualifying night credits toward the next status tier every year. Discoverist status includes such perks as room upgrades and late checkout.

Cons

Hyatt is a smaller player among major hotel groups, which limits places to earn and redeem points.
  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free nights start at 5,000 points
  • Receive 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after your Cardmember anniversary
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
  • Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status and 5 qualifying night credits every year as long as your account is open
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

Our pick for

Best Western

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

20.99% - 24.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Pros

You’ll earn 13 points per $1 spent on Best Western stays and 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else. Points are worth an average of 0.6 cent apiece, according to cheatgame.info valuations. The card also comes with a sign-up bonus and automatic Gold status. That’s decent value considering this card has an annual fee of $0.

Cons

You won’t be awarded free nights each year just for being a cardholder, like you get with some hotel cards. And while Best Western loyalists earn points toward free stays at thousands of properties, the rewards are not as flexible as general travel cards that don’t tie you to a single brand of hotel — and their points can be used for airfare and a wide variety of other travel expenditures.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Earn 13 points per $1 on Best Western stays (10 points as a Best Western Rewards® member, 3 points for using your Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®)
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else
  • Automatic Gold Elite Status

How much is a hotel point worth?

By Joe Cortez, cheatgame.info point and miles expert

cheatgame.info researched the cash prices and reward-redemption values for hundreds of hotel rooms in both the U.S. and abroad. The tables below show average point values derived from that research.

Average value per point/mile, in cents
Hotel group Domestic International Overall
Hyatt 1.8 1.5 1.7
Marriott 0.8 0.7 0.8
Wyndham 0.7 0.7 0.7
Choice 0.7 0.8 0.7
IHG 0.6 0.5 0.6
Best Western 0.5 0.6 0.6
Hilton 0.4 0.4 0.4
Radisson 0.3 0.3 0.3

Major hotel brands and their credit cards

Although dozens of hotel chains operate in the U.S., most of the major brands are owned by a handful of companies. The table below lists major hotel companies, their best-known brands and cheatgame.info's recommended credit card for each:

Hotel company Major brands Recommended credit card
Best Western Hotels & Resorts Best Western, SureStay Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®
Choice Hotels Cambria, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Econo Lodge, Mainstay, Quality, Rodeway Inn, Sleep Inn Choice Privileges® Visa® Card
Hilton Hotels & Resorts DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Waldorf-Astoria Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
Hyatt Hotels Andaz, Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Park Hyatt The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Staybridge Suites IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Marriott International (including the former Starwood Hotels & Resorts) Aloft, Courtyard, Delta, Fairfield, Four Points, Marriott, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Springhill Suites, Towneplace Suites, W Hotels, Westin Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Radisson Hotel Group Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza, Radisson, Radisson Blu, Red Radisson Radisson Rewards™ Premier Visa Signature® Card
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Hawthorn Suites, Howard Johnson, La Quinta, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Wingate, Wyndham Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card, please visit this page.

Last updated on June 12, 2019

Methodology

cheatgame.info's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.
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