Hotel Credit Cards

Disclosure:  Emily & I get a commission for links on the blog.  You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do.  We don’t write about all the credit cards available in the US, but only the ones which get us miles and points or cash back for Big Travel with Small Money!

I keep the information on this page updated, but please double check the credit card applications for details about terms and conditions of the offers.  Please let me know if you find a better offer so that I can list it here!  Cards are listed alphabetically by hotel.

Here are 40+ ways to complete the minimum spending on credit cards if you are concerned about completing the minimum spending requirements.


1.  Club Carlson

US Bank Club Carlson Premier – 85,000 bonus points

  • 50,000 bonus points after 1st purchase and another 35,000 points after spending $2,500 within 3 months on the US Bank Club Carlson Premier (Personal) & US Bank Club Carlson Business Rewards - that’s up to 9 Free Award Nights at Category 1 hotels
  • 1 free award night when you redeem points for 2 or more consecutive award nights at the same hotel
  • Free Club Carlson Gold elite status for as long as you have the card or 15 night credit towards towards Concierge status if you are already a gold elite member
  • $75 ($60 for business) annual fee not waived for 1st year; 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 40,000 points for renewing your card each year
  • 10 Club Carlson points per $1 spent at Club Carlson hotels & 5 points for everything else

US Bank Club Carlson Rewards – 60,000 bonus points

  • 50,000 bonus points after 1st purchase and another 10,000 points after spending $1,500 within 3 months on the US Bank Club Carlson Rewards
  • 1 free award night when you redeem points for 2 or more consecutive award nights at the same hotel
  • Free Club Carlson Silver elite status for as long as you have the card or 15 night credit towards Gold/Concierge status if you are already an elite member
  • $50 annual fee not waived for 1st year; 3% foreign transaction fee
  • 25,000 points for renewing your card each year
  • 6 Club Carlson points per $1 spent at Club Carlson hotels & 3 points for everything else

2.  Hilton

Here’s how to earn hundreds of thousands of Hilton points.

American Express Hilton HHonors

American Express Hilton Credit Card

  • 50,000 points after spending $750 within 3 months on the American Express Hilton HHonors card according to this post
  • Free Hilton Silver elite status
  • NO annual fee; 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Gold elite status after spending $20,000 in a calendar year
  • 7 Hilton points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels, 5 points per $1 at  restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations & 3 points per $1 for everything else

American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass 

American Express Hilton Surpass Credit Card

  • 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within 3 months on the American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass card according to this post
  • Free Hilton Gold elite status as long as you have the card (free internet & breakfast!)
  • $75 annual fee NOT waived for 1st year; 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Diamond elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year
  • 12 Hilton points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels, 6 points per $1 at  restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, & 3 points per $1 for everything else

Daraius’ Tip:   See the Hot Deals tab for other offers. Free Hilton Gold elite status for as long as you have the card (free internet & breakfast!)


3.  Marriott

Daraius Tip:  See the Hot Deals tab for other offers.


4.  Starwood

Missing your favorite offer?  Tell us in the comments!

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

779 Responses to Hotel Credit Cards

  1. I’d be interesting in an article on that too, actually! In fact, I’ve been thinking for a while now that I’d really like to do a nice credit card app-o-rama sometime next year where I concentrate on just doing whatever I can to get a trip to Bora Bora (including the flights and staying at least one night at a place with the rooms over the water) for free or, at least, as close to it as possible.

    I read most of your Bora Bora Honeymoon series as they came out — but I’d love to see a good summary of the points used for everything — and maybe an article to go along with it making recommendations on what people might do to fly from the USA to Bora Bora and stay a few nights…

    – John…

  2. So funny I asked you a question about the intercontinental I did a light search and BOOM Darius is all over it!!! I think I got an apporama coming up between southwest and this card. Wowsers!!! Does this card have any bigger bonuses then the 85,000? I really love Intercontinental hotels they are really amazing! Thanks for your help!

    Best regards,
    Vince~

  3. @shannon – I don’t believe there is any other card whose points can be transferred to Club Carlson. You can redeem for 2 or more nights and get the 2nd night free.

    @Joe @John… – The IHG card gets you a free night at any IHG hotel is worth considering and the Hilton Reserve will get you 2 free weekend night and gold status which means free internet and breakfast. You can also get the Virgin Atlantic card for 50K miles and convert them to 100K Hilton points which is good for 1 night at their hotels in Bora Bora. The best way to get there is with Delta miles since they partner with Air France and Air Tahiti Nui who both fly from LA (is easier finding the flights from LA than the internal US flights on Delta) or American Airlines which partner with Air Tahiti Nui.

    @Vince – The highest bonus which I’ve seen for the IHG card is 80K points.

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  5. Hi Daraius,

    You show 60,000 Hilton points for the Surpass card but below it says 50,000 on first use and another 20,000 after $3,000 spend in 3 months.

    I was offered an “upgrade” if I cancel my Delta card but it says only 50,000 points. What’s the real offer?

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  7. Darius, you mention we can get free breakfast at Hilton with the Surpass card (gold status for 1 yr). How can we tell which hotels offer the free breakfast? I am going to Rome this summer and want to see which of the four Hilton Rome locations provides free breakfast.

  8. Pingback: Barclays Lufthansa 50,000 Mile Card | Million Mile Secrets

  9. @Frank – I updated the list. Thanks! Were you offered an offer for the AMEX Surpass card if you cancelled your Delta card? I haven’t heard of that happening before.

    @SunnyView – Most of the hotels there will offer the free breakfast, but list which hotel you have in mind and I can help confirm.

  10. I’m curious why the ihg.com and Fairmont hotel cards are missing. So far, we have had 8 free nights in ihg hotels and still have enough points for 2 more nights. $49 renewal fee each year for each card gives us 2 more nights. Chase Fairmont card is primary for rental car CDW.

  11. A tip. If you get both the US Bank business and personal cards, Club Carlson will transfer points from one account to the other, effectively pooling your points. Then, you don’t need both cards.
    They will not pool between spouses similar to BA Avios household accounts.

  12. I can’t seem to apply for the Amex SPG Personal card. It just asks me to login when I hit apply. Then it just takes me back to the apply page. I hit the apply button, and the same page just refreshes over and over again. Is the offer dead?

  13. Hey Daraius – Soon I will be traveling on work and will be in some extended stay hotel for at least a month. It is up to me to choose the hotel. Any recommendations on which hotel chain I should stay for long to rack up the member rewards points? e.g. Marriott or Hilton or Wyndhams? Anyway to convert these hotel rewards to airline points? Thanks!

  14. Is my memory correct in that there are two levels of Marriott Rewards Premier credit cards. Last year my wife applied for one and applied for the other which led me to believe we each could apply for the other. Am I dreaming?

  15. I just called American Express to upgrade my Hilton Honors no fee card to the Hilton Honors Surpass card and was told that I must possess my 1st card for a full 12 months to be eligible for the upgrade.

  16. Hi Darius, Do you know I have both the Hilton Reserve and the HHonors Visa Signature card? I could use the extra 60K points…:)

  17. @Jerry Mandel – This isn’t a comprehensive list. I’m trying to make the “Hot Deals” tab the comprehensive list and you will find the IHG and Fairmont card on that page.

    @grey – It could be a technical glitch and I’d try again later.

    @Fru-gal – It depends on which hotel chain points you would like to collect. IHG, Hilton, Marriott, & Starwood all have extended stay hotel chains. In general, Starwood points can be easily transferred to airline miles at a good transfer ratio. But it could be worth collecting hotel points to use in hotels later on (unless you’d prefer having airline miles).

    @Mark – There are 2 versions of the Marriott Rewards card – the Premier and regular card.

    @Kris – That’s true and thanks for confirming.

    @steven – I believe you can since they are separate products.

  18. Looks like Hilton or Amex has downgraded their Hilton Amex cards. Got notice in mail today my HHonors Surpass Amex is now ‘free’ Gold Status with $40,000 needed to achieve Diamond. It was $20K. Priority pass club membership is still included. Points earnings werent changed (again). Fortunately I just hit Diamond last month. This will be my last year with Hilton, between the devaluation of HHonors points and the 2nd time they’ve monkeyed with their brand cards I’m over it. This WAS the only hotel chain we used.

  19. @Daniel – Thanks for the update!

  20. There is a better offer on the Marriott card. I just logged into my Marriott account and booked a room, then got an offer for 1 free category 1-4 night on approval, then 70K points after $1K spend in 3 months. $85 annual fee is waived the first year, and 1 free category 1-5 night is included at every anniversary. Looks like all benefits are the same, except an extra 20K points.

  21. @jac – Thanks for the update!

  22. Hey Daraius, love your site. Been a huge help in jumpstarting our quest for points and miles :)

    Question: My wife is going to get the Citi Hilton card. I already have a Honors account with Gold status. Can we point the Citi card to my Hilton account and keep funneling that one? Or should she open an Honors account and start building that? Opening the credit card in my name won’t be an option for several months.
    Thanks!

  23. @John – She shouldn’t use your account number in her application. But she can apply and get Gold status with the Citi Hilton Reserve for herself.

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  25. Daraius,

    I have a couple of questions regarding Club Carlson’s program. My wife and mother-in-law are planning a 2 night trip and would like to stay at a Country Inn & Suites. I would use the last night free rewards. (1) Is there a problem with me making the reservation and my wife checking in? (2) Can you get the last night free if you use the “points + cash” option? Thanks!

  26. Thanks Darius. Took a while, but i was finally able to apply and get the Starwoods once more. You get paid to provide a great service to us. And yet you remain sincere and generous.

  27. @WJ – You can’t use them on points and cash option. But your wife should be able to check-in if you add her as the 2nd guest and let the hotel know that she will check in before you.

    @grey – Thanks for your kind words! Just be aware that the terms of the Starwood card says that you can’t get the bonus again unless you have cancelled the card for at least 12 months.

  28. @Darius- Yup. It’s been well over a year.

  29. Pingback: Which Hilton Card is Better? The American Express Hilton Surpass Or Citi Hilton Reserve? | Million Mile Secrets

  30. Yes, Daraius, I was about to cancel my Delta card and they offered the “upgrade” to the Surpass card – even kept the same card number. Got 50,000 points already but was hoping for some more … :)

  31. A small data for those who are applying for US Bank Club Carlson Premier and Business. My husband and I applied for both personal and business at the same time. We received an instant approval for all four; however, the whole process took 3 weeks for the personal and over a month for the business applications. An instant approval from US Bank is not the same as that from Citi or Chase, especially for the business application. We received letters after 10 days that they needed to verify our businesses (sole proprietorship). It took a few more days to talk to the investigation department as they were in the different time zone. After we submitted the documents (business license, business bank account, etc.), it took another two weeks for my husband and 19 days for me to receive the cards. The investigation department is speedy in resubmitting the applications as long as you can provide them with the documents, but they are not the ones to approve. We will NEVER cancel theses cards!

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  33. Hi Darius, Thank you for all the great website, I have learned a lot from you in the last few months that I have been at your website. I have a couple of questions
    1. Between Marriott and Hyatt which one is a better card?
    2. How do I find the Marriott brand categories?

    Thanks for your help

  34. @Emily – Thanks for the data. It does take a while for the cards to be approved, but they’re worth keeping for a long time!

    @roger – I prefer the Hyatt card because of the 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt and the free annual night in a category 1 to 4 Hyatt. Here’s a link to the Marriott award chart.

  35. Pingback: 10 Ways to Use 50,000 Alaska Airlines Miles! | Million Mile Secrets

  36. if I had a marriot rewards card and canceled 2 years ago can I get the 70k points for another one?

  37. Hi Darius! I’m relatively new to the points game and can’t thank you enough for the information you provide. I’ve stayed in Munich for Oktoberfest and flown to Guatemala and Scotland for free because of your site – this year alone!

    Scanning your sight (and others), I keep seeing the Starwood come up as a “favorite” and one worth paying the annual fee to keep. With only 30K sign-up bonus, with a relatively high spending requirement ($5K), I just can’t seem to figure out why its so highly acclaimed. I’m certain there is something I’m missing, as I’m new to all this, so would so appreciate a quick overview of why 30K Starwood points are better than 70K Hilton or Hyatt or Club Carlson or Marriott, etc. points.

    You’re the best!
    Jenny

  38. @Jenny – Thanks for reading! The short answer is that it is hard to earn Starwood points and if you spend a lot, the Starwood card is useful because you get 1.25 airline miles when you transfer points in increments of 20,000 to airlines. Here’s my series on Starwood hotel points.

  39. Hi Darius, is the Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Card churnable? Is so, how long after closing it should I wait before reapplying for their card to obtain the points?
    Have a great new Year!

  40. Hi Darius, follow up question to WJ. Will that strategy also work on the Hyatt certificate? I am waiting to receive mine after finishing minimum spend and my daughter and her friend are heading to the Andaz in West Hollywood in April. Also, the rates go up for redemptions next week. Do I need to transfer points from chase to hyatt to make the reservation at the cheaper rate to hold the room while I wait for the certificate? Multi-faceted question! ;-)

  41. @smay – You could do that, but there is no guarantee that you’ll find an award room when it is time to book with the certificate. But at least you’ve got a room held for that contingency. Award availability usually increases as your stay approaches (provided the hotel is not sold out).

  42. Hi Daraius,

    I think you had a post that give out a coupon to have free membership for a year to some hotel booking website that has discount price. I forgot the name of that. Can you remind me. Thanks

  43. i have applied the “Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express” from the links above and got approved .. :-) Thanks

  44. I notice in the terms that came with the Starwood card, it says ” Eligible purchases do not include fees or interest charges, balance transfers, cash advances, purchases of travelers checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of cash equivalents.” With respect to the last two categories, this may make it difficult to meet the 5K spending requirements.
    Now considering whether I should focus on other cards in the hotel category?.

    Thanks

  45. @riz… – Congrats and thanks for using our links!

    @Lynn – That’s only if you buy them directly from American Express or a bank. But buying cards at grocery stores etc. does count towards the minimum spending requirements.

  46. Daraius–Do you have a link for the Chase IHG card?

  47. @Gaurav – I don’t have an affiliate link, but there are links to the best offers on the “Hot Deals” tab.

  48. Thanks, I knew I had seen it on the site but couldn’t find it under hotel cards where I expected it. Sorry, couldn’t get you credit for it. Did use you for a couple of other apps so hopefully it evens out :).

  49. Of all the hotel credit/charge cards out there, which one do you find the most valuable in getting the best bang for the buck(Hilton, Starwood, Hyatt, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Carlson, etc). I’m mainly a domestic traveler at this point. But, may consider travelling to Europe or Asia next year.

  50. @Gaurav – Thanks!

    @ Tom – Depends on your goals, but it could be all of them!

  51. Looks like the link for American Express Hilton HHonors card expired :(

  52. Hi Darius,

    The link for the American Express Hilton Honors (#2) is no longer working. However, the exact same offer was emailed to me today, and here is the updated link:

    https://www262.americanexpress.com/apisites/microsite/apply/hilton-hhonors-card/71-1000-293?returnUrl=http://www.americanexpress.com&wt.mc_id=CMEM_BS86ORB84Elx30

    Your blog has been so helpful..thanks so much for putting it out there. We accumulated enough points/miles cover many of the costs of our vacation to Italy last year and our points/miles are covering the cost of our flight & hotel for our trip to Paris this April!

  53. Daraius:

    IHG has a 90 second video anyone can watch and get 1000 points.
    Also, at end have an opportunity to sign up for an 80K Chase IHG Visa.
    Didn’t see IHG under your CC deals, so thot I would alert u and your readers. Go to http://www.ihgrewardsclub.com/selecthotel and enter the code “jaxesqqaa60″, watch 90 second video and offer appears at the end.

  54. Despite it being over 12 months since having an SPG card, I hit the $5k spend and haven’t got the 15k SPG points. Think I got hosed.

    Anyone else got hit by this?

  55. @Kelli – Thanks for the new link! I’ve updated the post with the new link. Thanks for sharing your success. These are my favorite kind of comments!

    @Soosie – I updated the link with a new one.

    @Marshall – The Travel Cards page isn’t an extensive listing. But I do have it listed on the “Hot Deals” tab where I list many more cards.

    @grey – Some folks haven’t got the bonus for being current AMEX cardholders.

  56. SPG is hands down the best IF you are converting to airlines. I use it primarily for that reason. And the elephant in the room is that your conversion rate matters. 1 to 1 on spg. The other hotels or cards don’t buy 1 to 1 miles. If you want singapore airlines you can transfer one to one but if you use CSP and transfer to United it’ll cost you more for the same flight/similar flight. All these point cards make you believe you are getting a ton of points but when you redeem them it takes thousands more. I calculate how much 20000$ gets me on spg card or other hotel cards. THEN how much you can convert it over to the airline, THEN calculate how many points it take to redeem for the same flights. SPG comes out ahead hands down, since it transfers to airlines I actually use unlike the CSP which I have to pretty much use United which takes more points to redeem a similar flight that is flying to Asia. points aren’t valuable if you can’t use it. With SPG i can directly move the points over to the asian airlines and combine it with the miles I already earned whereas CSP you can only do that on United. ANd since I spend more than the avg american thanks to work SPG will more than pay for the 65$ annual fee. Value isn’t all in the the math. If you can’t use it for the things you would already use it doesn’t have the same inherent value even if the straight math is better in other hotel cards or airline cards. The no foriegn ex fee is in my CSP. I don’t need another hotel card for no foriegn ex fee if I don’t get the same value from it as SPG. If I become a bigger spender I’ll just switch to an amex card but it has a way higher annual fee which lowers the value. And the bonus game is not something i need to waste my time on. It’s stupid to open and close a card every other year rather than finding a set of cards that meet your needs and stick with it.

  57. I’ve recently been approve for Chase INK and Chase Sapphire. Do I have a chance of being approved for the Chase Marriott Premier card?

  58. @Don – I can’t comment specifically, but I’d wait ~3 months before applying.

  59. Daraius, you are such a great help. I appreciate all that you do.

    Am I eligible for The SPG AMEX with rewards points if I am a current AMEX cardholder?

  60. Is the Hyatt card no longer available? I don’t see it on this page.

  61. @Don – Check the application when you click to apply, because sometimes you are offered a lower bonus for already being an AMEX cardholder.

    @Ken – It is on the Hot Deals tab (which is the more exhaustive list).

  62. Hi Darius!

    Newbie question…if I sign up for a card ex…advantage citi and spend $3,000 and get the 50,000 points….do you just cancel the card and reopen a new one and just keep repeating the cycle? Or do you just rotate opening different cards to maximize? Better yet..what’s the best way to go about this?

    Thanks!

    Thaifood

  63. @THAIFOOD – I usually keep the card for 9 t 10 months and then evaluate whether it is worth keeping the card for any additional perks. If not, I close the card. Usually, you can’t get the bonus again on the same card, but there are lots of new cards

  64. Darius,
    Where is the hyatt card link? I am planning to apply and use your link. But can’t find one here

  65. Your 75K American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass link above has expired. The 60K link is still active however it looks like $75 annual fee is no longer waived. Do you have anything better than that for this card?

  66. @Diana – You can find it on the Hot Deals tab. It isn’t an affiliate link, but thanks for thinking of us!

    @SunnyView – Unfortunately, I don’t.

  67. Does anyone know if the 70,000 point offer for the Marriott Visa is still working? When I follow the link he application page itself does not mention the bonus amount.

    Thanks!

  68. Daraius,

    I hope you and Emily are doing well!

    I got a special offer almost a year ago from US Bank for the Club Carlson Reward Card (60,000 offer) and in this targeted piece of mail offered this deal with No Annual fee for the first year. So, I took the offer.

    I applied and was approved. I suspect that the 25,000 annual renewal points are worth the 2nd year’s annual fee of $50.

    My question is, can I still get approved for the Premiere offer, giving me the potential for 85,000 points for $75, if I already have the regular card?

    Thanks!

  69. If we had the starwood AMEX before and cancelled, can we get it again and get the bonus? If yes…How long do we have to wait?

  70. @Mike M. – It may be possible, but US Bank is tough with approvals!

    @Jana Miller – The terms used to say that it should be 12 months from when you last had the card.. But it depends on what the application says when you apply since it keeps changing.

  71. On the two free Hyatt nights for the Hyatt card… can they be used back-to-back as part of a 5-night stay? Or must they be seperate stays? The terms are a bit vague in respect to that kind of detail.

    Thanks!

  72. New to the Game

    I just received a targeted offer for the Marriott Rewards Premier Card.
    100,000K points after 5k spend in 3 months.

    I’m a Platinum Member and seriously considering taking up this offer

  73. @ jerry and darius, that offer for 70K bonus points has expired, only 50K points available. I was going to sign up myself tonight, and called their customer service, but they would not match the 70K bonus they were offering back in january. Darius, please update the post to reflect the 70K points offer is no longer available.

    @ New to the Game, is there a way for me to get a targeted offer like this?

  74. @RJP – You sure can.

    @ New to the Game – That’s a good offer!

    @giovanni – Thanks for the update.

  75. European Weekend?

    Daraius,

    Thank you for the information. It’s a lot to go through.

    I want to get a card that I can use solely to accumulate enough points, quickly, for a weekend at a fancy hotel in Europe when I’m there in August/September (I ended up with a steal of a round trip ticket thanks to the Barclay Arrival card). It would be nice to break from the hostels for a couple nights. I have a credit score approaching 800 and am willing to take the hit from cancelling a hotel card if it avoids a fee.

    Longevity not being a concern, focus being on a quick bonus, which card would you recommend?

    Thanks!

  76. @European Weekend? – I’d consider the SPG, Hilton Reserve, or Hyatt card. I’d search for hotels on their website and see which hotels are in the places you’ll be visiting.

  77. Just so you know, your American Express HHonors card link does not work. The website says it has expired.

  78. Daraius,
    I am considering the Hyatt card for the 2 night free sign on bonus. Can my wife also sign up separately and get an additional 2 noghts free, as long as we spend the minimum $2k in 3 months?
    Thanks for all the great info.

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