How to Earn Free Hotel Stays and Perks Through Rewards Cards
Finance

How to Earn Free Hotel Stays and Perks Through Rewards Cards

Lissa P.
Dec 23, 2020

The travel world has been disrupted but when the world reopens, there will be a rush to get away from our homes, see new places, and have someone do the cleaning. Get ready for the influx by signing up for a credit card that gives you points toward free hotel stays just by spending money as you would normally do. From a free getaway to upgrades to suites and late checkouts so you can sleep in, these travel rewards cards are the best in perks.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The introductory card for Amex’s Hilton Honors won’t make you spend a ton or charge you an annual fee, yet it’s offer practically guarantees free nights during your first few months as a cardholder.

  • Bonus points: 80,000 points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Rewards: 7x the points for every dollar used at a Hilton property; 5x the points for U.S. restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores; 3x the points for all other spending
  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card

Not only do you earn a ton of points with the bonus offer, but an insane point-to-dollar ratio. This card also ups you to Gold status at Hilton, which comes with all of the elite perks. You’ll grab 10 free visits to Priority Pass airport lounges, avoid foreign transaction fees, and be covered with rental car loss and damage.

  • Bonus points: 130,000 points after you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
  • Rewards: 12x the points for every dollar used at a Hilton property; 6x points for U.S. restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations; 3x the points for all other spending
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

You’ll find bigger rewards if you choose the Aspire Card, although it does come with a $450 annual fee. You get what you pay for in having greater point accumulation for your spending.

  • Bonus points: 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
  • Rewards: 14x the points for every dollar used at a Hilton property; 7x the points for flights, car rentals and U.S. restaurants; 3x the points for all other spending
  • Annual fee: $450
  • APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Not only will you have automatic Elite status with this card (for 15 nights), you’ll receive premium Internet, no foreign transaction fees, and get a free night’s stay every anniversary that you have your card. Another benefit is the points don’t expire.

  • Bonus points: 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 6x Bonvoy points for every dollar spent at 7,000 participating hotels, and 2x the points for all other expenses
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 15.99% 2 22.99%

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card

The current promotion for this high-level card gives you Platinum Elite Status beginning February 2021. Your card also gives you up to $100 property credit and a $00 statement credit along with the free night reward on your anniversary, lounge access and Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit. But there is a hefty annual fee for all of these rewards.

  • Bonus points: 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months and another 25,000 points once you hit your first anniversary
  • Rewards: 6x Bonvoy points for every dollar spent at 7,000 participating hotels, and 3x the points for restaurants and flights and 2x on all other expenses
  • Annual fee: $450
  • APR: 15.74% - 24.74%

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

If you are a regular at IHG properties, which includes InterContinental, Kimpton, Crown Plaza, and Holiday Inn hotels and resorts, you will want this card for giving you 25 times the points to your dollars spent at the hotels. You’ll also earn a free night every anniversary and a fourth night free when you redeem points for a stay that is 4 nights or more. As a cardholder you also receive Platinum Elite rewards and perks.

  • Bonus points: 140,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 25x points for every dollar spent at IHG hotels; 2x points for gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; 1x points for all other spending
  • Annual fee: $0 the first year, then $89
  • APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

Issued by Chase, this card is specifically for travelers with no annual fee, unlike the Premier card. Although you’ll earn fewer points, the 15:1 at IHG hotels is still tops, and you’ll get the same benefits of an anniversary night, Platinum Elite status, the fourth night free, and $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

  • Bonus points: 100,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Rewards: 15x points for every dollar spent at IHG hotels; 2x points for gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; 1x points for all other spending
  • Annual fee: $0
  • APR: 15.99% - 22.99%

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Similarly, World of Hyatt aims to give more to its loyal customers at properties like Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Andaz, and other brands in its family, Although not as as many points match IHG’s hotel match, World of Hyatt gives you more ways to earn. The card is issued by Chase, as well.

  • Bonus points: 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months; 25,000 additional points if you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months OR $200 statement credit and a free night hotel after spending $3,000 in the first. months
  • Rewards: 9x the points pm Hyatt property stays; 2x the points on restaurants, airlines, transit, fitness/gym club membership; 1x points for all other spending
  • Annual fee: $95
  • APR: 15.9% - 22.99%

Summary

Of course, there are also travel cards that can get you both hotel points and airline miles, such as Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred. Just remember to earn the rewards smartly you should avoid carrying interest on your cards and be sure to use them to earn you the biggest point-to-dollar match.

Sources

  1. (1, 2, 3) American Express: https://creditcard.hilton.com/hilton-aspire-credit-card/
  2. (4) Marriott Bonvoy https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/marriottboundless/aep?CELL=67K4&SPID=G5RW
  3. (5) Marriott Brilliant https://apply.americanexpress.com/marriottbonvoymclp17/
  4. (6) IHG Premier: https://creditcards.chase.com/travel-credit-cards/ihg-rewards-club/premier
  5. (7) IHG Traveler: https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/ihg/140k100ksbsnaep
  6. (8) World of Hyatt: https://creditcards.chase.com/lp/worldofhyattcc/dualoffer?CELL=61R2

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