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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.
Why get the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card
The Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card offers the following benefits.
1. 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.
2. No annual fee or foreign transactions fees
This card won’t cost you anything to keep or use abroad.
3. 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.
4. You can 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.
» Learn more: Benefits of booking with Hotels.com
5. 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 using 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.
6. Automatic Silver status with Hotels.com
The Hotels.com Rewards program can be an easy way to unlock lower rates, priority customer service, freebies and more. The Hotels.com elite status levels entail the free-to-join, basic membership level, as well as earned , Silver and Gold status.
Typically you can earn Silver status by booking and staying 10 nights during a membership year. But Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card holders have it easy, automatically receivinge Silver status for as long as their card account is open.
Benefits of Hotels.com Silver status include:
Access to member-exclusive prices, which it calls “Secret Prices.”
Free goodies at VIP Access properties. Exact freebies vary by location, but can include free breakfast, Wi-Fi and spa vouchers.
Price Guarantee Plus, which is the company’s promise to match and refund the price difference if you find the same stay at a better price (as long as you notify Hotels.com before the first day of your check-in time). If you have a Price Guarantee Plus claim, you can register it here.
Priority customer service phone line.
Depending on your travel habits, the complimentary status can enhance your travel stays without any added expense.
7. 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. Given the ongoing uncertainty of travel coupled with the fact that separate trip insurance can be expensive, this perk can turn out to be especially lucrative.
When you pay for your transportation with the Hotels.com® Rewards Visa® Credit Card, it may be covered if you need to change or cancel your trip for a covered reason.
Wells Fargo will pay up to $2,000 per insured person for nonrefundable common carrier tickets (like airfare or ferry tickets). However, your change or cancellation must be tied to a cover reason, like getting sick. Spouses, domestic partners and dependent children are also eligible for coverage.
It’s admittedly not the most comprehensive travel credit card coverage out there, but it’s pretty solid amongst travel cards with no annual fees. Other travel and emergency assistance services offered to cardholders include:
24/7 travel and emergency assistance services.
Auto rental collision damage waiver.
Travel accident insurance.
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 elite 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 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card