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Even if you only travel a few times a year, a hotel credit card with no annual fee can be worthwhile just for the perks alone. Many of these entry-level cards include free nights on rooms, insurance coverage, priority reservations, and no foreign transactions fees. Here’s a closer look at some of the best deals.
Most people get hotel cards for the rewards points
The primary benefit of hotel credit cards are the reward points that you receive with each transaction, and they’re usually worth about 50 cents per point earned. These points also have bonus multipliers if you use the card for specific purchases, such as hotel room or restaurants. These cards also come with welcome bonuses that offer bunch of points for meeting spending targets when you first get the card. For example, the Hilton Honor American Express is currently offering 130k points (worth $780) if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
But there are other perks, too
The thing about no-fee credit cards is that you don’t really need to spend a lot of money—or travel a lot—to get value from the cards. Various perks are automatically included, like free nights, room upgrades, and insurance coverage. With that in mind, here’s a look at what some top hotel chains offer, for cards with a $0 annual fee:
Marriott Bonvoy Bold Card
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Best Western Rewards MastercardAutomatic Gold status, which gets 10% off rooms, plus early check-in and late checkout. Spending $5,000 or more every 12 billing cycles qualifies you for additional 20,000 bonus points. No foreign transaction fees.
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card
Hotels.com Rewards Visa Credit Card
As with other credit cards, you’ll want to make sure that you pay off any charges on your hotel card right away to avoid interest charges (otherwise the perks might not be worth the expense). And if you sign up for a bunch of hotel cards, keep close tabs on the balance for each one, perhaps with calendar reminders or automatic alerts.
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