Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Ever eavesdropped on the elite status check-in line at your hotel and been left green with envy as you hear someone receive an upgrade, complimentary breakfast, and a couple of free drinks for good measure? While I hate to cause you any ill feelings, I can’t lie – it’s pretty great. 

For the uninitiated, elite hotel status seems an impossible goal reserved only for the most ardent of road warriors traveling for work. And while it’s possible that a high-tier guest hit the required stays for that particular brand, it’s far more likely they took the back door – a hotel-cobranded credit card. 

Almost every major hotel has a range of co-branded cards that can bestow elite status upon the holder, allowing even the occasional traveler to enjoy the benefits. Some even offer some amazing intro bonuses that could translate into multiple free nights. 

But like airline cards, sometimes the best hotel card is a general travel card. Many major banks are transfer partners with hotels, offering even more flexibility when searching for your perfect stay.

To help you along, here are the best hotel credit cards for November.

Best Airline Credit Cards:

Best Credit Card for Luxury Travel Perks:
The American Express Platinum Card

Who’s This For: The frequent traveler with an eye on top tier perks like airport lounge access.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

80,000 Membership Rewards® points

after you spend $6,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership. 

Best Credit Card for Premium Travel: 
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Who’s this for? The traveler with several dependents in tow; both old and young

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Best Hotel Credit Card For Points Transfers:
Chase Sapphire Preferred

Who’s this for? 

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

60,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Best Hotel Credit Card for Hilton:
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Who’s this for? Regular and even infrequent travelers with a preference for Hilton branded hotel when on the road.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Best Hotel Credit Card for Marriott:
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Who’s this for? Casual to frequent travelers with a preference for Marriott branded hotels

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Best Hotel Credit Card for Hyatt:
World of Hyatt Credit Card

Who’s this for? Casual to frequent travelers with a preference for Hyatt branded hotels.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Best Hotel Credit Card for IHG:
IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Who’s this for? Casual to frequent travelers with a preference for IHG branded hotels.

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

The Best Premium Hotel Card: 

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Who’s this for? The Hilton loyalist with an eye on high-end perks – although, it’s still valuable with only a few stays a year.

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

75,000 Bonus Miles

after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

FAQs

Should I open an airline card?

Hotel cards can be extremely useful for a wide range of reasons. Unlike airline cards, which are generally less flexible and offer fewer perks, co-branded hotel cards often go above and beyond. 

Intro bonuses can often comfortably cover two or three nights in a hotel, and many reward customers with a free stay each year, which easily offsets the cost of the cards in many cases. Many of the cards listed in this article come with a free yearly stay and only have a fee of around $95. If you stay in a hotel once a year and spend $200 on that hotel, you’ve already got your money back. 

What really sets them apart is the perks the elite status perks they have available. Becoming a high tier elite member of a hotel brand can mean many things, like free breakfasts, room upgrades, and bonus points on spending. All of these factor together to produce buckets of value of a card. 

 

Is it worth splashing on a premium card?

As with many credit cards, the answer lies in your lifestyle. If you’re an extremely occasional traveler, going for a high-fee premium option will almost never be worth the cost. The worth in these cards come from regular usage and a personal value for the luxury perks they offer – like lounge access. 

The mid-tier cards are far more risk free, and offer simple ways to ensure the fees are validated. So if you’re only spending a few nights in a hotel a year, don’t make the jump. 

 

Should you stick to one brand?

This comes down to personal preference. Some travelers swear by a certain hotel collection and won’t even look elsewhere. Others go on a case by case basis. If you feel confident that you can get use from two hotel brands, make a calculated decision. 

Some general cards also offer hotel status, although only Amex gifts you Gold status in two chains.

 

Bottom line

Hotel credit cards can be an amazing tool for saving money on one of your biggest travel expenses, but they prove even more valuable in the form of experience, with upgrades, free breakfasts, and other members-only perks offered to cardholders.

Related Stories

Built with ❤️ by travelers, for travelers.

© 2022 Dollar Flight Club Inc. All Rights Reserved

Join The Navigator

Navigate the news better.

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.