Hotel Credit Card FAQ
Let’s explore some answers to frequently asked questions about hotel credit cards.
When comparing the best hotel credit cards, you’ll want to pay close attention to a few things:
- Annual fee – Look for a card with a low annual fee. Most waive the cost for the first year.
- Signup offer – Taking advantage of a signup offer can be a lucrative way to fund your travel.
- Rewards – Take a look at the rewards structure and make sure it aligns with your purchasing habits to ensure you’re earning maximum rewards.
- Expiration – Points or rewards may expire after a certain length of time. Make sure the details fit your travel habits.
Are hotel credit cards worth it?
How often you travel is a key determiner in whether or not you will be able to make the most of a hotel credit card. If you travel a lot and don’t often stay with friends or family, then a hotel credit card can certainly come in handy. This usually means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to charge your stays to a hotel credit card making it easy to earn points fast and put those toward free hotel stays and more.
What is a hotel credit card guarantee?
While not limited specifically to hotel credit cards, understanding a hotel’s credit card guarantee is important. This credit card guarantee works by the hotel taking your card at the time a reservation is made. Under the guidelines of these guarantees, no charges are made to your credit card so long as you check in as planned or cancel by the deadline.
Which hotel credit card is the best?
This is largely based on your own personal preference when it comes to rewards rates and particular hotel chains. Typically, the best hotel credit card for you is one that helps you earn points the quickest without forcing you to deviate from your spending habits. You’ll also want to choose a hotel credit card that offers rewards that fall in line with your particular lodging of choice.
Should I get a hotel credit card or travel credit card?
For the most part, you can earn rewards on travel-related purchases with either a travel or a hotel credit card. The main difference comes when you need to redeem those rewards. With a hotel credit card, you might only be able to redeem those points for free hotel stays. Travel credit cards can be a little more flexible by comparison in that you could redeem your rewards for travel, hotel stays, car rentals, etc.
How do I earn points?
There are a couple of different ways that you can earn points with a hotel credit card. Booking stays at participating hotels is usually the most common way. Some hotel credit cards also grant you points when you book travel through participating airlines. And then, of course, there are hotel credit cards where you can earn points just by using them on your everyday purchases.
What is Elite Status and how do I earn it?
Many co-branded hotel credit cards have their own programs where you can “unlock” extra perks based on how often you use the card, sometimes called “Elite Status.” Elite status benefits may include upgraded rooms, free breakfast, late checkout, bonus points, and more. Check with the card providers as these programs, benefits, and requirements are subject to change
Can I earn rewards by flying?
Yes. Each of our hotel credit cards offers an abundance of airline partnerships and generous point-to-mile transfer rates. Furthermore, some cards like the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express can make you eligible for Crossover Rewards with SPG® and Delta SkyMiles®. Be sure to visit these cardholders’ websites to learn more about possible rewards
Do hotel points expire?
The answer to this question can vary depending on the card and the policies associated with it. Generally, your hotel points tend not to expire so long as your card account demonstrates qualifying activity within a certain threshold. This qualifying activity includes staying at any participating hotel, redeeming rewards, etc.
Which hotel credit card earns the most points?
As it stands, Marriott/Starwood and IHG offer some of the highest earning potential when it comes to hotel credit cards. Combining over 40 brands and thousands of individual locations worldwide, it’s easy to see why. However, the rewards rates can change based on the brand you’re staying with, and you’ll want to check with the individual hotel credit card providers for specifics.
How many points do I need for a free night?
When it comes to earning free nights, redemption rates can vary by location and brand. Just as some rooms are more expensive at one franchise than another, some hotels require more points for free nights.
Here’s a quick guide to each hotel’s category or tier, and what it takes to earn free nights:
|Free nights with Marriott|
|Hotel Tier||Points (per night)||PointSavers (per night)|
|Free nights with Starwood|
|Category||Starpoints® (per night)|
|1||2,000 – 3,000|
|2||3,000 – 4,000|
|5||12,000 – 16,000|
|6||20,000 – 25,000|
|7||30,000 – 35,000|