Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
A Capital One miles earning credit card is the best first hotel credit card.
There are scads of fantastic hotel credit cards to choose from. And they can all give you hundreds and hundreds of dollars in free hotel stays. However, if you’re still undecided as to which hotel chain best fits your travel goals, or simply which one you’d prefer, you should open a card like:
Capital One Miles Are Perfect for an Undecided Hotel Loyalist
The best hotel-specific credit cards can save you TONS on hotel stays, and come with some fantastic benefits.
For example, The World Of Hyatt Credit Card comes with:
- Enough bonus points for a weekend stay at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun (worth $1,000+)
- 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary – your choice of hundreds of Hyatt hotels
- Hyatt Discoverist Status (bonus points per stay, upgrades to a preferred room based on availability at check-in, late check-out upon request, etc.)
The Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card comes with:
- Enough bonus points for 3 nights at the Hilton Barcelona (worth $1,800+)
- 12 Hilton points per $1 spent at a Hilton hotel or resort
- Gold Elite status (80% bonus on points you earn at Hilton hotels, free breakfast at Hilton hotels, room upgrades when available, etc.)
But There’s a Catch
When you open one of these cards, the points you earn are only valid at their respective hotel chain. So if you open The World of Hyatt Card, you’ll have to make sure your travels include areas with a Hyatt nearby or your points will be useless!
Chains like Hilton and Marriott have hotels just about everywhere, so collecting points from them is a pretty safe bet. But if you don’t yet know which hotel will serve your upcoming travels, the best hotel credit card for you might be:
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 50,000 bonus miles (worth $500 in travel, including hotels) after meeting minimum spending requirements
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business – Up to 200,000 miles (worth $2,000 in travel, including hotels) after meeting tiered spending requirements (this huge offer ends January 28, 2019)
With these cards, you can stay at any hotel you want. You can try out all the different chains! You don’t have to plan your cheap vacation around which hotel chain you’ve invested in. You can even use the welcome bonuses to stay at Airbnb and boutique hotels that don’t have a loyalty program at all!
And when you’re purchasing your hotel stay instead of redeeming points, you can earn 10 Capital One miles per $1 you spend on hotel stays booked and paid for with your Capital One Venture through the special Hotels.com link (valid through January 31, 2020)!
Some of my best hotel experiences have come from using Capital One miles instead of hotel points.
Note: Most of us in the miles & points hobby eventually open multiple hotel cards and earn hundreds of thousands of hotel points with different chains. Then we’re guaranteed to have plenty of hotel choices just about everywhere we go. You can check out our top hotel credit card recommendations here!
Which card would you recommend to a friend as their first hotel credit card?