Ask an Expert: What’s the Best Credit Card for Hotel Rewards?

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Here's how you can earn up to seven free nights at a high-end hotel simply by spending $1,000 with a credit card.

This post was written by Logan Abbott, editor of the credit card section of

A Money Talks News reader recently wrote me with the following question:

Hi Logan,

I’m finally to the point where my credit is pretty solid (700+ score) and I’m looking for a new credit card. I really like to travel a lot, but already have an airline mile card that I like. Thus, I was wondering if you could recommend a good hotel rewards credit card.


My response

We always hear about airline miles credit cards, but this is a good question because the hotel rewards credit cards aren’t talked about nearly as much. Right now, however, there are a few credit cards on the market that offer excellent rewards in the form of hotel stays.

Here are my three favorite hotel rewards credit cards today:

1. Marriott Rewards Premier

With the Marriot Rewards Premier, cardholders can earn up to 50,000 bonus rewards points by spending $1,000 in the first three months they have the card. That’s enough to earn up to seven free nights in a Marriott hotel.

The card gives cardholders 5 points for each dollar spent at Marriott locations, 2 for each dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly from an airline, 2 for each dollar spent on rental cars and restaurants, and 1 point for every dollar spent in other categories.

Cardholders receive one free night’s stay at a Marriott hotel right after being approved for the card, as well as on their cardholder anniversary each year. The Marriott Rewards Premier credit card also charges no foreign transaction fees. There is an $85 annual fee, but it’s waived in year one.

2. Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express

The Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express is another great hotel rewards credit card.

With the Starwood AmEx, cardholders receive 10,000 Starpoints after making their first purchase with the card, and another 15,000 when they make $5,000 in purchases with the card in the first six months they have it.

Cardholders earn 5 Starpoints for every dollar spent at Starwood hotels, and 1 for each dollar spent elsewhere. The card also makes members eligible for occasional free airline and hotel room upgrades. It comes with a $65 annual fee, waived the first year.

3. Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature

The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card is another great choice for hotel credit cards, especially if you’re a Hilton fan.

With this card, you get 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points by spending $1,000 with the card within the first four months of having it. In addition, cardholders earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each dollar spent at Hilton hotels, 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each dollar spent at supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations, and 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each dollar spent on all other purchases.

The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card requires no annual fee. 

Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page.

Follow Logan Abbott on Google+

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