Hilton, Marriott and the Best Hotel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards from hotels — like the Marriott credit card — offer perks that add up to big savings.

 

Travel credit cards are more popular than ever. Nearly half of Americans have at least one travel rewards card, according to a 2015 Harris Poll. Cards offered by hotels and airlines are especially popular, with 31 percent of Americans in the survey reporting having one.

Finding the best credit card for hotel rewards for you will depend on what you value most. Some people might prefer a credit card with free hotel nights, and others might like to take advantage of a credit card sign-up bonus. If you're considering getting a hotel credit card, be sure to get a travel credit card before your next trip.

Top Hotel Credit Cards

To better compare hotel credit cards, take a closer look at seven of the best cards offered in terms of travel perks and rewards. Before you choose one, consider which rewards program suits your specific needs and spending or travel preferences.

Best Hotel Credit Cards
Hotel Credit CardRegular APRAnnual FeeHotel Perks/Rewards
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express15.99%-19.99%$0 first year; $95 thereafter5 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Starwood hotels
2 Starpoints for every dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Rewards hotels
1 Starpoint for all other eligible purchases
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card16.74%-23.74%$855 points per $1 spent at participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels
2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
2 points per $1 spent at car rental agencies and restaurants
1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card16.74%-23.74%$4505 points per $1 spent at participating Ritz-Carlton Rewards and SPG hotels
2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
2 points per $1 spent at car rental agencies and restaurants
1 point per $1 spent on all other card purchases
The Hyatt Credit Card16.74%-23.74%$753 bonus points per $1 spent at all Hyatt hotels and resorts
2 bonus points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
2 bonus points per $1 spent at restaurants and car rental agencies
1 bonus point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express15.99%-19.99%$7512x Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent at a participating hotel or resort within Hilton Portfolio
6x Hilton Honors points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations
3x Hilton Honors points for all other purchases
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card16.74%-23.74%$0 first year; $49 thereafter5 points per $1 spent when you stay at IHG hotels
2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card15.99%$9510 Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent on hotel stays within Hilton Portfolio
5 Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases
3 Hilton Honors bonus points per $1 spent on other purchases

Related: Travel Experts' Secrets to Scoring Free Perks and Upgrades

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
Shawn O'Connor / Starwood Hotels

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

APR: 15.99%-19.99%
Annual Fee: $0 first year; $95 thereafter

This card offers a $0 annual fee for the first year. Card members receive free in-room internet access and additional travel benefits such as roadside assistance and 24/7 access to emergency assistance services. You'll also receive credit for five nights and two stays each year toward SPG Elite status, which entitles you to the next tier of benefits, including room upgrades.

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
darwin cayetano / Flickr.com

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

APR: 16.74%-23.74%
Annual Fee: $85

With this card, you can earn 100,000 bonus rewards points during your first three months as a card member when you make $5,000 in purchases. You also receive a free night's stay each year after your account anniversary. Additional benefits include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, and complimentary concierge services from Visa 24 hours a day.

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
NoRud / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0

The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

APR: 16.74%-23.74%
Annual Fee: $450

The Ritz-Carlton credit card provides cardholders with travel protection services. When you carry this card, you receive special hotel privileges that include a $100 hotel credit toward dining, spa or other hotel recreational activities. Cardholders also enjoy a $300 annual travel credit to use for baggage fees, seat upgrades or access to their preferred airport lounge. As a bonus, if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of having your card, you receive two complimentary nights at any participating Ritz-Carlton hotels.

Find Out: 50 Things Your Hotel Will Give You for Free

The Hyatt Credit Card
©Hyatt Corporation

The Hyatt Credit Card

APR: 16.74%-23.74%
Annual Fee: $75

With this card, you earn one free night every year, and you can redeem free nights with as few as 5,000 points. You can earn 5,000 points during your first three months by adding an authorized user to your account and making a purchase. If you make $2,000 in purchases during the first three months, you receive two free nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide. When you upgrade to "Discoverist" status, you can take advantage of additional benefits, including 10 percent bonus points on eligible spending, complimentary in-room premium internet and late check-out upon request. The Hyatt credit card also provides cardholders with travel protection services.

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express
©Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

APR: 15.99%-19.99%
Annual Fee: $75

Through May 31, 2017, you can earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points if you make $3,000 in purchases during your first three months of card membership. In addition, you can earn a free weekend night award after your first anniversary of card membership. With this card, you automatically earn Hilton Honors Gold status, which entitles you to an online booking bonus of 500 points as well as access to a global assist hotline and car rental loss/damage, baggage and travel insurance plans. Your card will also give you exclusive access to ticket presales for concerts and other entertainment as well as card-member-only events.

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
©IHG

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

APR: 16.74%-23.74%
Annual Fee: $0 first year; $49 thereafter

The IHG card offers you a range of options for earning bonus points during your first three months as a card member, from 60,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases to 5,000 points after you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase. With this card, cardholders enjoy a free night after each account anniversary year at over 5,000 hotels worldwide. When you upgrade to Platinum Elite status, you are eligible for a 10 percent rebate on point redemptions. For example, if you redeem 40,000 points, you will receive 4,000 points back for up to 100,000 points back annually.

Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card
©Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card

APR: 15.99%
Annual Fee: $95

You enjoy gold status as long as you are a card member, which entitles you to receive every fifth night free on standard room reward stays of five nights or more as well as automatically receiving a 25 percent bonus on all points you earn. In addition, you receive one weekend night certificate on each account anniversary. If you make $2,500 in purchases during your first four months as a card member, you earn two weekend night certificates. Cardholders receive complimentary access to the internet and fitness centers.

Read: Travel the World for Practically Free

Methodology: GOBankingRates.com identified the best hotel credit cards by analyzing intro APR, regular APR, annual fees and hotel rewards or perks. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers' discretion. And, some bonus offers may or may no longer be available on the credit card issuers' websites, depending on how you access the web page.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article.