The best hotel credit cards with no annual fee could save you money with free nights and other discounts at a variety of hotels.
While you’re at it, you could also enjoy a more comfortable stay with perks like complimentary room upgrades and late check-outs. Let’s take a look at our picks.
|Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®||Budget travelers|
|Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card||Road trips|
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||International travelers|
|Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card||Hotel status|
|Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card||Business trips|
Here’s why: Best Western is a popular budget hotel, but with the Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®, you could save even more on your stays. Cardholders will earn a 10% discount on their bookings through bwrcarddiscount.com thanks to the Best Western rewards rate.
You could also earn 50,000 points from the sign-up bonus when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 billing cycles after your account opens. You can also earn 20,000 points when you spend at least $5,000 each 12 billing cycles.
You’ll also receive 13 points for every $1 you spend on a Best Western stay: 10 points for being a Best Western Rewards member and three extra points for making the purchase with your Best Western Rewards® Mastercard®. And you’ll earn two points per $1 on eligible purchases everywhere else.
Best for road trips: Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card
Here’s why: This card offers bonus rewards on gas and rewards and perks at hotels you might find off the highway.
The Wyndham Rewards Earner® Card offers five points for every $1 you spend at Wyndham hotels, which include brands like Days Inn and Howard Johnson. Plus, you’ll get five points per $1 spent on qualifying gas purchases, which can help you earn points while you drive from stop to stop.
You’ll also get two points per $1 spent at restaurants and grocery stores and one point per $1 on all other purchases.
New cardholders also earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after your account opens. Redemptions start at 7,500 per night, so that bonus alone could earn you four nights at a Wyndham hotels.
Here’s why: The Hilton Honors American Express Card gives you access to a large hotel chain, with thousands of properties around the world. And since the card charges no foreign transaction fees, you can also use it to make other purchases on your international trip without that additional cost.
The card offers a welcome bonus of 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months after opening your account.
You might be able to earn a significant number of points with your regular purchases, as well. The Hilton Honors American Express Card gives you seven points for every $1 you spend directly with a Hilton hotel or resort; five points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; and three points per $1 on all other purchases.
The card also provides complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status, which brings 12 points for every $1 you spend when booking with Hilton. Add that to the rate you get from the credit card and you could earn 19 points for every $1 you spend with Hilton.
Here’s why: The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card gives cardholders 15 Elite Night Credits annually, which can make them eligible for automatic Silver Elite status — and be a shortcut to the 25 night credits required for Gold Elite status.
With Silver Elite status, Marriott Bonvoy® members get several benefits, including priority late checkout and a 10% bonus on the program’s base rate of 10 points for every $1 spent on eligible hotel purchases. And this card offers an extra three points per $1 spent on eligible hotel purchases — that gives you a total earning potential of 14 points for every eligible $1 spent.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card also earns you two points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases and one point per $1 spent on all other purchases. New card members also get the chance to earn 30,000 bonus points after they spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.
Read our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card to learn more.
Best for business trips: Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card
Here’s why: The Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card can help you save on your next business trip.
You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases during the first 90 days after opening your account. You’ll earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases.
You can redeem your points for a statement credit to offset travel and dining-related purchases, travel with no blackout dates through the Bank of America Travel Center, cash back or gift cards.
Read more about this card in our rundown of Bank of America’s business credit cards.
How to make the most of your hotel credit card
To make the most of your hotel credit card, be sure the hotel chain has properties where you travel, or where you hope to travel to in the future. If you’re on a road trip, keep in mind you might not be able to find your preferred hotel at every exit. In that case, it may be smart to check ahead of time the nearest hotel where you can earn benefits and head there.
On the other hand, if you’re not loyal to a specific hotel or want to keep your options open on a road trip, you might find it easier to use a generic travel card that rewards you for staying at many different hotels.
If you like the sound of free rewards nights, see if you can connect your hotel card to your rewards membership. Often, you’ll earn even more points through your membership than you would by swiping your card. You may be able to combine these points to redeem points for free nights more quickly.
How we picked these cards
To find the best hotel credit cards with no annual fee, we started by looking at the options available from budget hotels. We figured people who book at budget hotels are looking to save money, so a credit card with no annual fee would fit with their needs.
But we expanded our scope to other kinds of credit cards, too.
For instance, Hilton and Marriott are major hotel chains that offer credit cards with no annual fee, so we included them even though they’re more upscale brands.
Beyond hotel-branded credit cards, we also looked at generic travel cards with no annual fee.