The 7 Best Hotel Credit Cards of 2019

Enjoy the best hospitality from these trusted hotel chains

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. The Balance has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The below content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.

Using a hotel credit card gives you access to great perks such as rewards you can use for free nights and complimentary upgrades. Many of the best hotel credit cards offer sign-up bonuses if you meet the minimum spending requirement. Note that you may not be able to receive a sign-up bonus if you earned one for that credit card in the past 24 months. We've checked out hotel credit cards from various credit card issuers and selected the best. Our list includes:

  • Best Sign-up Bonus: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
  • Best for Hyatt Hotels: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card
  • Best for Balance Transfers: Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature
  • Most Hotel Options: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
  • Best for IHG Hotels: IHG Rewards Club Premier
  • Best for Business Travel: Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card
  • Best Premium Hotel Rewards: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Being loyal to a specific hotel can pay off in a big way, especially if you have that brand’s hotel credit card and you’re a member of its loyalty program. When you’re choosing the best hotel credit card, it might pay off—literally—to consider a credit card outside your current favorite hotel chain. Let’s check out the best hotel credit cards for this year.

01
Best Sign-up Bonus: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card
Courtesy of American Express

What we like: The Hilton Honors has the best welcome offer of any hotel credit card on our list and the ongoing rewards don't disappoint. Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a free weekend night reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 4 months of Card membership.

You'll earn 12 Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar you spent with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio; six points for each dollar you spend at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations; and three points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

Being a cardholder gives you complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status.

What we don't like: The Surpass doesn't automatically offer a free award night on the cardmember's anniversary. Instead, you'll have to spend $15,000 each calendar year to earn a bonus weekend night.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.99% to 26.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and a free weekend night reward after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 4 months of Card membership.

View details about this credit card

02
Best for Hyatt Hotels: The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

What we like: With The World of Hyatt Credit Card gives you two chances to earn signup bonus points. First, you’ll earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. Then, you can earn an additional 25,000 bonus points if you spend $6,000 on total purchase within the first six months of having an account.

Ongoing, you have several opportunities to earn points in bonus reward categories. Earn up to 9 points at Hyatt hotels; 2 points on local transit and commuting, dining out, flights purchased directly with the airline, and on fitness and gym memberships; and 1 point per dollar on everything else. You can start redeeming your points for free nights at just 5,000.

As a bonus, you’ll enjoy one free night each year after your cardmember anniversary. Choose from any Category 1 to 4 hotel or resort.

What we don't like: Hyatt has a somewhat limited presence both domestic and international. There's a chance the location you're traveling to doesn't have a Hyatt hotel making your current rewards useless.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: 25,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months; earn and additional 25,000 bonus points when you spend $6,000 total in the first six months.

03
Best for Balance Transfers: Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature

Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature
Courtesy of Barclays

What we like: The Wyndham Rewards Visa Signature has one of the easiest-to-earn sign-up bonuses of any credit card. Earn 15,000 bonus points after making your first purchase or balance transfer. Most other credit cards exclude balance transfers from rewards programs and the signup bonus.

What makes the signup bonus even easier to earn is that there's no minimum spending amount required. The 15,000 bonus is enough to redeem for up to 2 free nights.

Ongoing, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar spent on participating hotel stays and 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and utilities. Earn 1 point per dollar spent on purchases everywhere else.

You do have the option of transferring a balance and taking advantage of the introductory offer. Enjoy 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles for any balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of opening. After that, balance transfers will receive the purchase rate.

What we don't like: Only purchases on Wyndham Timeshares are offered an introductory promotional rate.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles; 0% on Wyndham Timeshare Purchases
  • Ongoing APR: 17.49% to 27.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 5% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: 15,000 points after your first purchase or balance transfer

04
Most Hotel Options: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
Courtesy of Chase

What we like: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless comes packed with automatic hotel perks. Enjoy a free night each year on your account anniversary and 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year. Your card gives you automatic Silver Elite Status.

You'll earn 6x points for every dollar you spend on over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You'll earn 2x points per dollar on all other purchases.

What we don't like: You may not be eligible for the signup bonus if you've had certain Chase credit cards in the past 24 months.The list includes other Bonvoy cards including the Business credit cards and the discontinued Starwood Preferred Guest Card.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

05
Best for IHG Hotels: IHG Rewards Club Premier

IHG Rewards Premier
Courtesy of Chase 

What we like: Not only can you earn 80,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first three months of opening the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card, you'll also earn an additional 10,000 points when you spend $20,000 on purchases and make an additional purchase each anniversary.

Ongoing, you'll earn 10 points for every dollar spend with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card and another 15 points per dollar spend during your stay as an IHG Rewards Club member. IHG Group properties include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, and several other properties.

You'll earn 2 points for every dollar spend on gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Get a free night each year on your anniversary as a card member and a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights.

What we don't like: Points are automatically transferred to your IHG Rewards Club account at the end of each billing cycle, so you have less flexibility in how your points are used.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $89
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: 80,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months

06
Best for Business Travel: Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card

Hilton Honors American Express Business
 Courtesy of American Express

What we like: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers great rewards and perks for small business owners, plus the annual fee makes the card pretty affordable.

You'll earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar you spent with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio; 6X points for each dollar you spend on business purchases at U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services directly from U.S. service providers, and U.S. purchases for shipping.

You'll also earn 6X points on select travel purchases including purchases at U.S. restaurants, flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies.

Finally, you'll earn three points for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

As a cardmember, you get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold Status giving you additional perks like room upgrades, point bonuses, and more.

What we don't like: You don't get an automatic free night each year on your card's anniversary.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.99% to 26.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months

07
Best Premium Hotel Rewards: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Mariott Bonvoy Briliiant
Courtesy of American Express 

What we like: Each year you'll get up to $300 statement credit that you can use for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. And each year on your card's anniversary, you'll earn one free night, with some restrictions.

Your card membership comes with complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status and you'll earn Platinum Elite status by making $75,000 in eligible purchases each year.

You'll earn 6x points on participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 3x points at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines, and 2x points on all other purchases.

What we don't like: The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant comes with a steep annual fee. You'll have to be a big spender to earn enough rewards to make up for the annual fee.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Good
  • Annual Fee: $450
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 17.99% to 26.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 3% of the cash advance
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Welcome Offer: 75,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months

About Our Reviews

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. The Balance has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The above content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.