Underrated Reasons You Need a Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit Card

If you don't want to stick to one hotel brand, this card can help you earn rewards while not limiting your options.
Keith M. RossoJan 1, 2021

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The $0-annual-fee Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card gives travelers the flexibility to redeem rewards at more than 500,000 properties around the world, including independent boutique hotels, villas and apartments. If you’re not loyal to a specific hotel brand, then earning rewards with this card can open up countless options for saving on stays. Plus, you won’t have to deal with blackout dates.

Besides flexibility, the perks of the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card range from a straightforward earn rate to travel protection and cell phone insurance. Here are some of the better-known and lesser-known benefits of the card.

The well-known reasons

The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card offers these well-known benefits:

  • Sign-up bonus: Get 2 reward nights worth $250 total (max $125 per night), when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

  • No annual fee or foreign transactions fees: This card won’t cost you anything to keep or use abroad.

  • Earn ongoing rewards with every $500 in purchases: This card doesn’t have different bonus categories for ongoing spending. Instead, you’ll earn 1 stamp for every $500 spent on purchases on the credit card; 10 stamps will earn you one reward night.

  • Combine rewards from purchases and stays: Hotels.com rewards members will earn a stamp for every night they stay at an eligible property. This means cardholders can combine stamps earned from everyday spending with those earned from booking eligible stays.

The underrated reasons

Cell phone insurance

Paying your monthly cell phone bill with the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card means you’ll get automatic protection in the event your device is damaged or stolen. This coverage is limited to the cost to repair or replace your phone, less a $25 deductible. It has a maximum benefit limit of $600 per claim and $1,200 per 12-month period.

As a $0-annual-fee card, this perk can be extremely valuable considering monthly third-party cell phone insurance can cost quite a bit and come with higher deductibles.

If you plan on utilizing this coverage, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the fine print of the terms and conditions. Several NerdWallet readers have reported success filing claims and getting reimbursed; however, a few readers experienced an extended processing time and noted this isn’t the best option if you’re in need of a replacement phone right away.

Automatic Silver status with Hotels.com

Hotels.com has a tiered rewards system for members; status levels include Rewards, Silver and Gold status.

Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card holders automatically receive Silver status for 12 months from the date of account opening, and those who already have Silver status will receive an additional 12 months. To earn Silver status without this credit card, you must book and stay 10 nights during a membership year.

Benefits of this tier include free breakfast, spa vouchers, priority customer service and more at eligible VIP access properties. Depending on your travel habits, the complimentary status can enhance your travel stays without any added expense.

Travel protection benefits

When you pay for travel with your card, you’ll be covered by various travel protection benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption, auto rental collision damage waiver, roadside assistance and travel accident insurance.

You can likewise utilize unique travel and emergency assistance services offered to cardholders, including medical and legal referrals, emergency translation services and prescription assistance.

Getting all of these travel protections without having to pay an annual fee is a welcome perk for this credit card.

The bottom line

The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card has no annual fee and offers flexible rewards for travelers who enjoy staying with different lodging options, spanning major hotel chains to independent hotels. Besides the welcome bonus and rewards for ongoing spending, cardholders can enjoy benefits like cell phone insurance, Silver status and travel protections.

How to Maximize Your Rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:

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