3 Ways to Get Max Value From a Hotel Rewards Credit Card

Having the right credit card opens the door to a world of amazing benefits. Free hotel nights are a welcome benefit for both frequent travelers and people who take just one or two vacations per year. Using the right credit card can help you rack up enough points or even cash back rewards to get you free hotel nights, sometimes even a complete hotel stay.

Make sure you pick the right credit card.

Your favorite hotel chain may not offer the best credit card, so it pays to read the details of the credit card offer. Choose a credit card that offers valuable rewards for a hotel chain that has locations in the places you typically like to travel. Make sure you’re also familiar with other brands owned by the same hotel chain. This may allow give you a little more flexibility in the hotel credit you choose.

Nearly all hotels have a loyalty program which allows you to earn points on each stay. Make sure you’re enrolled to get membership benefits and to earn points on your stay.

Make sure your credit card also gives you the ability to earn rewards on all your other purchases. If there’s a bonus category like groceries or dining, you’ll have another opportunity to increase the rewards you earn. The more rewards you can earn, the closer you get to a free hotel stay. Plus, this is a great perk if you don’t use your credit card for hotel bookings very often.

Choose a card with an annual free night benefit.

Some hotel rewards credit cards offer one free night as a reward for remaining a cardmember year after year. You can save up your rewards all year long, then redeem them along with the free night benefit to get more reward nights.

The free night benefit is more common with rewards that carry an annual fee, which might steer away some cardholders. Paying the annual fee might be worth if the card’s value exceeds the cost.

Make sure you read the rewards program’s fine print to be sure the free night benefit is worth it. You may have to spend a certain amount on your card each year to receive the bonus night. Or, your redemption options may be limited to certain hotel properties or a certain night of the wek.

Look for other benefits on top of free nights. Perks like room upgrades, early check-in or late check-out, room upgrades, and loyalty status are a few other perks that make a hotel rewards credit card more beneficial.

Consider a generic travel rewards credit card.

The drawback of hotel rewards credit cards is that maximizing your rewards requires frequent hotel stays. If you’re not a frequent traveler, staying in hotels often, this may not be the best option for you. A travel rewards credit card – one that pays points or miles on all travel purchases – may be a better option. You can redeem your rewards toward your travel and sometimes even transfer points to the hotel rewards program.

Make sure you enroll in your preferred hotel’s loyalty program, even if you opt for a general travel rewards credit card.You can still earn points to get closer to a free room and you’ll have access to member benefits based on your loyalty status.

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