Many consumers only want to have a few credit cards. But even if you don’t want a wallet full of top travel cards, it’s likely worth getting and keeping a cobranded hotel credit card with your favorite hotel loyalty program.
In today’s Quick Points post, I’ll discuss three reasons you need a credit card with your favorite hotel brand.
The annual fee is often worth it
There are no-annual-fee hotel credit cards, but it’s usually worth getting the annual-fee version, as these offer more perks and sometimes a free night certificate each year.
In most cases, it’s relatively easy to get more value from the free night certificate than the annual fee you pay to keep the card. For example, the World of Hyatt Credit Card has a $95 annual fee but provides a free night at a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary. If you redeem your free night at a Category 4 Hyatt hotel, you generally should get more than $95 in value from the free night each year, easily justifying keeping your card, even if you rarely use its other perks.
Meanwhile, some cards offer enough bonus points on each account anniversary to justify the annual fee. For example, the Wyndham Rewards Earner® Business Card has a $95 annual fee, but cardholders get 15,000 bonus points each anniversary year. TPG’s valuations peg the value of 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points at $165, which is more than the card’s annual fee.
The information for the Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You’ll enjoy extra perks and bonus earnings
Each hotel credit card is different, but most offer bonus earnings at hotels within their program.
For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card offers 12 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card, which offers 6 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy. However, some of the best cards for travel purchases may offer more valuable earnings, especially if you aren’t loyal to one hotel loyalty program.
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Most hotel credit cards also offer other program-related perks.
Take the IHG® One Rewards Premier Credit Card as an example. It offers automatic Platinum Elite status and access to the fourth reward night free benefit. The latter is an extremely valuable perk that lets you pay zero points for every fourth night when you redeem IHG One Rewards points for award stays of four nights or longer.
Maintaining elite status is easier
Some hotel credit cards help you earn status or offer complimentary elite status. Even if you don’t stay in hotels frequently, having elite status when you do stay can be useful.
For example, the World of Hyatt Credit Card provides automatic Discoverist status in World of Hyatt, and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card gives automatic top-tier Diamond status with Hilton.
But some cards also help you obtain higher tiers of hotel elite status.
For instance, most Marriott Bonvoy credit cards offer elite night credits that can help you earn higher tiers of Marriott Bonvoy elite status. You can even combine these from personal and business cards, in some cases putting you just 10 nights away from qualifying for Platinum Elite status.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
If you have a favorite hotel brand or program, you should consider getting a cobranded credit card for your program.
For example, Hyatt loyalists may want to get the World of Hyatt Credit Card or the World of Hyatt Business Credit Card. There’s an entire portfolio of cobranded Marriott Bonvoy credit cards for Marriott loyalists, too, though I like pairing the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card.
In many cases, the annual free night certificate or bonus points will more than justify paying your hotel credit card’s annual fee. Plus, most hotel credit cards provide bonus earnings and extra perks when staying at the program’s hotels.