Closing out our "Best Credit Card" series we will discuss the best options for booking hotels.
Similarly to the choices for flights, I will be omitting co-branded hotel cards as that would obviously be the best choice if you only want to earn those points instead of transferrable points. Again, I value transferrable points more than co-branded points, but I understand each person is different.
There are significantly more variables when it comes to choosing a credit card to pay for hotel stays than other categories, so this may be a bit more involved than the other posts, but it also provides more opportunity to save and ball on a budget.
Let's get to it:
Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 fee): 3x points on Hotels
-There's a reason Chase ran out of metal cards when they introduced the Reserve-- it's a flippin' awesome card. Triple points on hotels is, along with some other options you'll see below, the best. Hotel purchases also count towards the $300 travel credit that will help you drop that annual fee significantly. This is a great card. You should get it.
Citi Prestige ($450 fee): 3x points on Hotels
-Despite losing some great perks, the Prestige is still one of the strongest travel credit cards out there, especially for hotels thanks to its "fourth night free" perk. This benefit was tweaked recently, and instead of getting your actual fourth night back in the form of a statement credit when you book through the card's concierge service, you will now get the average nightly rate of your stay (of four nights or more) back. While this can be a negligible difference, it was easier to get creative and maximize the benefit the other way. One four night stay can make up for the whole annual fee!
Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 fee, waived the first year): 2x points on Hotels
-Again, the Preferred has long been a favorite because of its simple double point structure on travel and dining, two of the most popular categories for credit card enthusiasts. Nothing more to say.
American Express Platinum Card ($450 fee): 2x points on Hotels (booked through Amex's travel portal)
-This isn't a recommendation to grab points necessarily, but the Platinum Card gives you access to booking through their industry-leading Fine Hotels and Resorts program. While there are similar programs through other cards, no program has the luxury portfolio or respect that Fine Hotels and Resorts does. You will get access to welcome amenities, room upgrades, resort credits and generally pampered treatment.
American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card ($195 fee, waived the first year): 2x points on Hotels (booked through the Hotel Collection portal)
-This card is a little bit trickier to get the double points on hotels, but it's not that much harder. While you will only get two points per dollar when you book through Amex's Hotel Collection portal, it makes sense to purchase that way anyway as you can get access to hotel spa credits, food and beverage credits, room upgrades and late check-out.
Citi Premier Card ($95 fee, waived the first year): 3x points on Hotels
-As covered previously, this card is a great option if the signup bonus returns as you get the same earnings structure as the Prestige without the hefty annual fee since you'll earn triple points on hotel stays. However, you do not have access to the fourth night free perk.
When you get into hotel purchases, you can see the value of paying with the right card since you can get up to three points instead of just one. Additionally, depending on how you like to vacation, cards with higher annual fees can deliver significantly higher return than cheaper cards.
As always, make sure you look at the entire value proposition when choosing a credit card to pay with.