If you're a casual traveler, signing up for a hotel credit card can qualify you for upgrades and special perks usually reserved for touring rock stars. Frequent guests can cover the costs of personal trips to the kinds of resorts not usually covered under corporate travel policies. Our list of this season's best hotel credit cards features rewards programs that maximize your earnings without holding back on bonus rewards.
Hilton relationships with two different banks mean you don't have to choose between your favorite hotel and your preferred bank. The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card from Citibank includes automatic Gold status, bumping you into preferred rooms and granting you Executive Lounge access at many Hilton properties. The no annual fee Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card from Citibank offers a sign-up bonus large enough for a few free nights in most cities. Both cards include Visa Signature benefits, including purchase protection and concierge services. Frequent fliers may find more value in the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express. This card includes complimentary airport lounge access and a discounted private car service among its benefits. At just a $75 annual fee, those features alone can save you a few hundred dollars each year. The basic Hilton HHonors Card from American Express carries no annual fee and upgrades you to Gold status for a year when you spend $20,000 on the card.
Starwood Preferred Guest
The Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express rewards you with 2 bonus Starpoints for every dollar you spend at participating SPG hotels. Upgrade to Gold or Platinum status for an extra bonus Starpoint. You'll get one Starpoint per dollar on your everyday purchases. With 12,000 Starpoints you can book a free hotel room in New York city on a typical holiday weekend, but bargain seekers can scope out free stays for as few as 7,000 rewards points per night.