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Under 5/24?  Top 8 Cards for Big Travel at Hotels!

Under 5/24?  Top 8 Cards for Big Travel at Hotels!

Million Mile SecretsUnder 5/24?  Top 8 Cards for Big Travel at Hotels!Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

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Making your dream trip a reality can be expensive, but if you know the secrets to miles & points, you can take your next getaway for nearly free!

Because you can get lots of Big Travel with Small Money with great offers from top travel rewards cards.  And by planning your credit card strategy wisely!

Because the cost of hotel stays can really add up, I put together a list of the top cards for hotel stays.

It’s aimed at folks under Chase’s 5/24 rule, who still qualify for Chase cards.  And includes cards from other banks, like American Express and Barclaycard, too!

With these cards, you should be on your way to getting your next hotel stay for free. 😉

Top Hotel Cards If Under 524
You Can Use the Points You Earn From the AMEX Starwood Small Business Card to Stay at the Stunning St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. And the Good News Is, Applying for the Card Won’t Count Against Chase’s 5/24!

Here’s more about the best cards for hotel stays for those under 5/24!

1.   3 Chase Cards Great for Hotel Stays

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite points because they’re so flexible!  Just remember, with Chase’s stricter application rules, dubbed the “5/24” rule, if you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months (excluding certain business cards), it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for most of their cards.

For this reason, I recommend applying for Chase credit cards before you sign-up for cards from other banks.  Because Chase has some of the most valuable credit cards for getting Big Travel with Small Money.  So if you’re under 5/24, it’s important to get these cards now, because you might not be able to later!

Chase Ultimate Rewards are great for hotel stays, because you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt, and get incredible value from using them for award nights at Hyatt hotels!  I recently shared 6 reasons why Hyatt is my favorite Chase hotel transfer partner.

Emily and I have had fantastic experiences at Hyatt hotels, like the Hyatt Regency Maui and Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite travel card for folks new to miles & points.

You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.  That’s worth $625 when you redeem your points for travel through Chase’s travel portal.  And potentially more if you transfer your points to travel partners like Hyatt.

Top Hotel Cards If Under 524
Emily and I Used Chase Points for Free Nights at the Beautiful Hyatt Regency Maui!

You’ll also get:

  • 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases worldwide
  • 5,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months
  • Primary car rental insurance – Covers damage or theft to your rental car, when you pay for the rental with your card
  • Trip delay reimbursement – Get up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours
  • NO foreign transaction fees

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

That’s worth $750 in travel, on purchases like flights, hotels, car rentals, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  Because when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each on travel booked through Chase!

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Link:   Chase Ink Business Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred

With the Chase Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem for travel through the Chase portal, the sign-up bonus alone is worth at least $1,000!

The card also comes with:

Don’t forget, you’ll need to have a small business to get the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.  But you might qualify for a small business card without realizing it!  And you do NOT need an EIN (Employer Identification Number).   You can apply with just your Social Security Number.

2.   AMEX Starwood Cards

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Link:   Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

With the personal and small business versions of the AMEX Starwood card, you can earn 25,000 Starwood points after meeting minimum spending requirements.

You’ll also get perks like:

  • Starwood points per $1 you spend at StarwoodMarriott, and Ritz-Carlton hotels
  • 2 stay credits or 5 night credits toward Starwood elite Status
  • Access to AMEX Offers, which can save you money on everyday purchases
  • Free in-room internet at participating Starwood hotels
  • No foreign transaction fees

And the $95 annual fee is waived the first year on both versions.

Top Hotel Cards If Under 524
The Sign-Up Bonus From Just One of These Cards Is Enough for a Free Night at the Stunning Blue Palace Hotel in Crete, Greece

That said, if you’re deciding between these 2 cards, I recommend getting the AMEX Starwood small business card.  Because it will NOT count against you for Chase’s “5/24” rule if you want to apply for more Chase cards in the future!  And the business version offers additional advantages like access to Sheraton Club Room lounges and AMEX OPEN discounts for small businesses.

Just remember, you’re only eligible to earn AMEX sign-up bonuses ONCE per card, per lifetime.

3.   Chase Marriott Rewards Cards

Link:   Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

The Chase Marriott personal and small business cards currently come with an 80,000 Marriott point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.

And the personal version comes with an additional 7,500 Marriott points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months of account opening.

You’ll also get:

  • 5X Marriott points at Marriott hotels
  • 2X Marriott points on restaurants, car rentals, airline tickets purchased directly from airlines
  • 2X Marriott points office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone (business version only)
  • Free night each card anniversary at Marriott category 1 to 5 hotels
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • …and more!

The $85 annual fee on the personal card and the $99 annual fee on the business version are NOT waived the first year.

The sign-up bonus from either of these cards is enough points for a night at a luxurious Tier 5 Ritz-Carlton hotel, like the The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park.  Or 2 free nights at a Category 9 Marriott hotel, like the Cotton House Hotel, Autograph Collection in Barcelona.

Top Hotel Cards If Under 524
Million Mile Secrets Team Member Meghan Used Points for 3 Free Nights at The Cotton House in Barcelona Earlier This Year. And Saved Nearly $1,800!

And don’t forget, you can use Marriott points at Starwood hotels because of the merger between the 2 chains.  So if you don’t want to use your Marriott points at a Marriott hotel, you can transfer your Marriott points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio.

4.   Barclaycard Wyndham Rewards Visa

Link:   Barclaycard Wyndham Rewards Visa

Link:   My Review of the Barclaycard Wyndham Rewards Visa Card

The annual fee version of the Barclaycard Wyndham Rewards comes with a sign-up bonus of 45,000 Wyndham points.

You’ll earn 30,000 Wyndham points after your first purchase.  And another 15,000 Wyndham points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Top Hotel Cards If Under 524
Stay 3 Nights for FREE at the Wyndham Grand Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Which Features a Lagoon-Style Pool and Rooms With Bunk Beds for the Kids, With the Sign-Up Bonus From the Barclaycard Wyndham Rewards Visa!

You’ll also get:

  • 6,000 Wyndham points on your account anniversary each year
  • 5X Wyndham points per $1 you spend at Wyndham hotels
  • 2X Wyndham points points per $1 you spend on eligible gas, utility, grocery purchases
  • Automatic Platinum status

The $75 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.  But because ALL Wyndham hotels cost 15,000 points per night (even the expensive ones!), it’s worth it.

Bottom Line

Folks under 5/24 should plan their credit card strategy wisely.  So I made a list of the best cards for hotel stays, for those who aren’t affected by Chase’s stricter application rules!

The list includes Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards, like Chase Sapphire Preferred (our favorite card for newbies!) and Chase Ink Business Preferred.  You won’t be able to get these once you’re over 5/24.

These cards are especially useful for hotel stays, because Hyatt is one of my favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners!

A card like the AMEX Starwood small business card, which won’t hurt your chances of being approved for Chase cards in the future, is also a great option.

Are there other cards you’d add to the list?  Let me know in the comments!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Top 8 cards! Just kidding.. here’s four

Count again. It is 8 – 3 separate Chase cards in item 1, 2 separate Amex (item 2), 2 separate Marriott (item 3), and 1 Barclay.