Credit Cards with Hotel Points | An Expert Guide
If you travel frequently and are loyal to a particular hotel chain, then hotel-branded credit cards may be a great option for you. You can earn great benefits -- such as free lodging, room upgrades, complimentary services, discounts on dining & other perks -- as you use the card for regular spending. Click on the images below to get specific advice from our experts.
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What To Look For When Applying
When looking for a hotel rewards credit card, you should seek a card that offers rewards and benefits worth considerably more to you than the annual fee. The best hotel cards will offer you points towards free night stays that are worth 2% or more than the cost of the purchases. In addition, top hotel credit cards will offer you elite status in the hotel's loyalty program, as well as credit towards reaching the next level sooner. Other valuable features include an EMV smart chip for security and international compatibility, and no foreign transaction fees. Finally, you should ensure that the hotel chain you're earning points with offers properties convenient to the destinations you will visit most often.
What To Avoid When Applying
Credit cards that offer hotel points promise you the reward of a free night's stay, but you still need to use some caution. For example, you need to understand how the details of the hotel's loyalty program works, such as how many points are required for an award night, and if there are any blackout dates or capacity controls that limit when and where your award nights can be redeemed. In addition, if you travel internationally, then you should avoid hotel cards that have a foreign transaction fee. These charges, which are typically 3%, will outweigh any rewards you earn from hotel stays outside of the United States. Fortunately, many travel reward credit cards no longer impose this fee.
Should You Apply For More Than One?
In some circumstances, it can make sense for you to apply for multiple credit cards that earn hotel points. For example, if you need to stay at properties in several different chains, you might want to have a credit card that offers rewards and benefits at each property. In addition, you may wish to maximize your sign-up bonuses by receiving more than one credit card. Hotel credit card users also need to be cautious when applying for multiple cards. If you are tempted to spend more money by having multiple credit cards, then you should minimize the number of accounts that you open. In addition, applying for multiple credit cards will drop your credit score by a small amount.
When Is The Best Time To Apply?
Reward credit cards that offer hotel points can be very valuable if you are a traveler. Not only can you earn points towards free night stays, but hotel credit cards can offer you perks such as room upgrades, late checkouts, free Internet service and even complimentary breakfast. So the best time for you to apply for one of these cards is before you are scheduled to take a trip where you can utilize these rewards and benefits. At the same time, you should not apply for new cards before applying for a major loan such as a home mortgage. Opening up a new line of credit can be seen by some lenders as the need to borrow money, not just the desire to earn rewards.
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