Best Hotel Credit Cards: Free Stays, Hotel Perks & More [2021 Edition]

As a travel junkie, when you set off to book a hotel for you, your family, or some friends, you have a good idea of what you’re looking for. You might book from one of the top sites to get the best deal, need a dog-friendly hotel, or you might just be looking for the best bang for your buck. 

Hoping to stay in a hotel and be rewarded? Whether that’s with free stays, additional perks, points, etc., we have a list of the 2021 best hotel credit cards for you. 

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

The Basics: The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card makes our list of the best hotel credit cards because your points start racking up immediately. Spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership, and you’ll earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points, plus you can earn an additional 50,000 bonus points after you spend a total of $10,000 in the first six months. Credit cards are meant for spending, right?

Annual Fee: $95
Regular APR: 15.74% – 24.74% variable

The Perks: You’ll get automatic Gold Hilton status, which gives you access to space-available room upgrades and complimentary breakfast. You don’t turn down a free breakfast… 

Plus, if you’re a Hilton fan, it will be easy for you to earn free stays through this point system that offers plenty of ways to earn bonus points. Do you think this is the best credit card for hotels (Hiltons, that is)? Leave us a comment below! 

The Points: 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.

6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations.

3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases.

Apply for this card here

>> Click here to compare the best cash-back cards.
>> Click here to compare the best travel rewards cards for your credit score

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

The Basics: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card makes our list of the best hotel credit cards for numerous reasons, including, no foreign transaction fees! Also, a Free Night Award?! What! After your account anniversary each year, you’ll receive a Free Night Award that’s eligible for a one-night hotel stay.

A Marriott credit card is like no other because there are plenty of Marriott’s to choose from and plenty of opportunities to earn points. 

Annual Fee: $95
Regular APR: 15.99% – 22.99% variable

The Perks: No foreign transaction fees, Free Night Award, and for a limited time, new cardmembers will earn 125,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. 

The Points: 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating hotels.

2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Apply for this card here

Discover it® Miles

The Basics: While the Marriott credit card has some awesome perks, The Discover it Miles card makes our list of the best hotel credit cards for a few sweet reasons, including, Discover will match all of the miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. Did we mention there’s no annual fee? 

Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 11.99% – 22.99% variable

The Perks: First year’s miles matched, no annual fee, and you’re not limited to using a Discover travel portal to redeem your rewards. Also, you can redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel packages, public transportation, or get cashback. We like options! 

The Points: Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase.

Apply for this card here.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Basics: The Platinum Card from American Express puts up a good fight as the best credit card for hotels. Here’s why: Points don’t expire. That’s a HUGE benefit. Also,  you can redeem them for all or a portion of qualifying travel purchases.

Annual Fee: $695
Regular APR: See Pay Over Time APR

The Perks: One of the best perks of this card is the $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA Precheck statement credit, just charge the application fee to your Platinum card every four years, and American Express will credit you for the cost. Do you think this is the best credit card for hotels? Leave us a comment below! 

The Points: You can earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of membership. 

10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months.

5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.

5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Apply for this card here

Citi Premier® Card

The Basics: The Citi Premier Card is an important addition to our list of the best hotel credit cards because it’s well known for everyday travel. If you’re not looking to front a heavy annual fee or not looking for anything too luxurious, this card is for you. It’s perfect for someone who might not be a frequent traveler.

Redeem points for gift cards, merchandise, travel, cash, Amazon.com, and BestBuy.com purchases. Bonus! Points never expire, and there are no blackout dates for travel redemptions. 

Annual Fee: $95
Regular APR: 15.99% – 23.99% variable

The Perks: You can earn up to 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of membership. 

The Points: 3 Points per $1 spent at restaurants and supermarkets.
3 Points per $1 spent at hotels, air travel, and gas stations.
1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Apply for this card here

>> Click here to compare the best cash-back cards.
>> Click here to compare the best travel rewards cards for your credit score

World of Hyatt Credit Card

The Basics: The World of Hyatt Credit Card earns a place on our list of the best hotel credit cards because there are lots of Hyatt lovers out there! Also, this card has some nice specs.

With this card, you can earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, you’ll earn up to 30,000 more Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening (purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, up to $15,000 spent). 

Annual Fee: $95 
Regular APR: 15.99% – 22.99% variable

The Perks: Cardholders receive a free night at a category 1-4 hotel (worth up to 15,000 points) each year. You receive an additional free night every year you spend $15,000.

The Points: Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member.

Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card.

Apply for this card here

Hilton Honors American Express Card

The Basics: The Hilton Honors American Express Card is featured as one of the best hotel credit cards because Hilton has a wide network of hotels, points are redeemable for lots of things, and there are no blackout dates when booking. 

Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: 15.74% – 24.74% variable

The Perks: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points once you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Yippee! Do you think this is the best credit card for hotels? Leave us a comment below! 

The Points: 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.

5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. 

3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases.

Apply for this card here

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The Basics: There are over 6,000 IHG network hotels around the world, and each time you stay at one, you’ll earn 25 points per dollar. Plus, earn 150,000 bonus points after spending just $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of membership – that’s a pretty big reward. 

Annual fee: $89, waived the first year
Regular APR: 15.99% – 22.99% variable

The Perks: Aside from what we mentioned above, every four years, you’ll get a credit for up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Plus, after each anniversary year, you’ll earn a certificate for a free stay. 

The Points: 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel.

2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.

1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Apply for this card here

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

The Basics: This Marriott credit card is perfect for Marriott fans who like a little bit of luxury. Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. 

Annual fee: $450 
Regular APR: 15.74% – 24.74% variable

The Perks: The card offers cool perks like lounge access through Priority Pass Select membership and automatic Gold elite status. And the annual bonuses to look forward to including $300 credit for purchases at Marriott Bonvoy properties and a free award night. Also, most hotels part of this program will allow you to book with both cash and points. 

The Points: 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating hotels.
3 points at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines.
2 points on all other eligible purchases.

Apply for this card here

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

The Basics: The best thing about this Marriott credit card is that there’s no annual fee, and there’s still a great sign-on bonus. For a limited time, you can earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual fee: $0
Regular APR: 15.99% – 22.99% variable

The Perks: While there are no annual bonuses or credits, you will get a fast-track to silver elite status, and you won’t have to pay an annual fee, sounds like one of the best hotel credit cards to us. 

The Points: 4X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating hotels.

2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases.

1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Apply for this card here

>> Click here to compare the best cash-back cards.
>> Click here to compare the best travel rewards cards for your credit score

Now that you’ve seen our list of the best hotel credit cards for 2021, what did you think? Which one is the best credit card for hotels? Did you like the Marriott credit card? The Hilton credit card? Leave us a comment below!

And be sure to check out our tips on RFID blocking to keep you and your money safe! 

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