BEST OF

Best Hotel Credit Cards of January 2021

NerdWalletJanuary 14, 2021
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If you spend a lot of nights at hotels, it pays to think about which credit card you use. A co-branded credit card — that is, a card that bears the name of a hotel company — often entitles you to great perks and bonus rewards at that company's hotels. But to redeem your rewards, you're often limited to those same hotels. A general travel credit card, on the other hand, earns flexible rewards that you can use at any hotel — but doesn't give you the perks of a co-branded card.

NerdWallet's Best Hotel Credit Cards of January 2021

Best Hotel Credit Cards From Our Partners

Our pick for

Marriott

NerdWallet rating 

4.8

/5
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

2x-6x

Points

Intro offer

75,000

Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850

Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Easy redemption

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

2x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850

Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Point transfers to hotel programs

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1x-2x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850

Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Hilton

NerdWallet rating 

4.7

/5
Hilton Honors Ascend

on American Express's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

3x-12x

Points

Intro offer

130,000

Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850

Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Holiday Inn/IHG

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$89

Rewards Rate

1x-25x

Points

Intro offer

140,000

Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850

Good - Excellent

Our pick for

Hyatt

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1x-9x

Points

Intro offer

25,000

Points

Rec Credit Score

690-850

Good - Excellent

Want to compare more options? Here are our other top picks:

FULL LIST OF EDITORIAL PICKS: BEST HOTEL CREDIT CARDS

Click the card name to read our review. Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.

Our pick for: Marriott

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a worthwhile card whose benefits — especially a free night every year — can easily make up for its annual fee. Not only does Marriott have a wide selection of locations, both economy and upscale, but the card doesn't limit you to using points only for hotel stays. Read our review.

Our pick for: Easy redemption

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is probably the best-known general-purpose travel credit card, thanks to its ubiquitous advertising. You earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and miles can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent apiece for any travel purchase, without the blackout dates and other restrictions of branded hotel and airline cards. The card offers a great sign-up bonus and other worthwhile perks. Read our review.

Our pick for: Point transfers to hotel programs

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2X points on travel and dining for a reasonable annual fee. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel booked through Chase, or you could transfer them to about a dozen airline and hotel partners. The sign-up bonus is stellar, too. Read our review. 

Our pick for: Hilton

If you're loyal to hotels under the Hilton umbrella, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card can more than pay for itself despite relatively low rewards-point values. You’ll be able to hold on to your automatic Gold status as long as you’re a cardholder, making it easier to rack up rewards and earn free stays. Read our review.

Our pick for: Holiday Inn/IHG 

If you stay at the brands of InterContinental Hotel Group, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card can be well worth its annual fee for the free anniversary night alone, and you’ll enjoy Platinum Elite status as long as you have the card. Read our review.

Our pick for: Hyatt 

Hyatt isn't as big as its competitors, but The World Of Hyatt Credit Card is worth a look for anyone who spends a lot of time on the road. You can earn a lot of points even on non-Hyatt spending, and those points have a high value compared with rival programs. There's a great sign-up bonus, free nights, automatic elite status and more. Read our review.

Our pick for: Premium hotel card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with a steep annual fee, but its rich rewards (especially on travel and dining) and generous perks make it near-must for hardcore Hilton loyalists. Enjoy airline and resort credits, airport lounge access, automatic elite status, free weekend night awards and much more. Read our review.

Our pick for: Best Western

If you’re a fan of Best Western-owned hotel properties, the Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® offers solid rewards. But while you will get elite status, you won’t be getting the free anniversary nights that cards with annual fees usually offer. Read our review.

Our pick for: Wyndham

The Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Credit Card offers plenty of value for Wyndham loyalists, not to mention rich rewards on dining and grocery store purchases. You'll also get automatic Platinum status, plus anniverary points that could net you a free night every year. Read our review.

Our pick for: Radisson 

Rewards points on the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature® Card might be less valuable than those from other major hotel chains, but frequent guests at Radisson hotels won’t have trouble stockpiling a bunch of them, especially with a generous annual points bonus. For Radisson loyalists, it’s the card to have. Read our review.

Our pick for: Orbitz users

Among hotel rewards cards, the Orbitz Rewards® Visa® Card has some of the highest earning potential. But you’ll have to jump through hoops to get the best rewards, and you can spend them only on hotel bookings. Read our review.

How much is a hotel point worth?

By Sam Kemmis, NerdWallet travel rewards expert

Hotel credit cards earn loyalty program points every time you use the card, but the value of these points depends both on the hotel chain that issued them and how you redeem them.

To better understand what points are worth, NerdWallet researched the cash prices and reward-redemption values for hundreds of hotels rooms. See our valuations page for our findings.

Our valuations are different from many others you may find. That’s because we looked at the average value of a point based on reasonable price searches that anyone can perform, not a maximized value that only travel rewards experts can expect to reach.

Use these values as a baseline for your own redemptions. If you can redeem your points for the values listed on our valuations page, you are doing well. Of course, if you are able to get higher value, that’s even better.

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, please visit this page.

To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, please visit this page.

Last updated on January 14, 2021

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.