Hotel Credit Cards Worth Keeping

Credit cards that offer hotel stays are an important part of travel hacking. Sometimes we get a card and don’t want to pay the annual fee but did you know that there are hotel credit cards worth keeping every year? I have several that I get so much value out of, that I can’t imagine ever closing them. Between the free nights, they offer each year when I pay the annual fee and the benefits they offer me, they are a permanent part of my wallet. Let’s talk about my favorites and why I keep them.


Marriott Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Chase Bank offers the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. It has an annual fee of $95. Currently, the bonus is 75,000 Bonvoy points after a minimum spend of $3,000 in 3 months. It gives an anniversary night up to 35K points each year when I renew it. It also gives the cardholder Silver Elite status but that is not that valuable. I keep it because I like Marriott hotels and can stay at a hotel up to a category 5 with these points, depending on peak redemption pricing. One of my favorite hotels I’ve ever stayed at is the JW Marriott Phu Quoc in Vietnam and it is a category 5 hotel so I could stay there for a free night. It is usually priced at $300-$400 so well worth my $95 annual fee. My husband and I each have this card so it is worth two great nights a year to us.


hotel living room

Hotel upgrade to a suite in Phu Quoc, Vietnam thanks to hotel status!

Ritz Carlton Credit Card

Fortunately, for me, I was able to sign up for this card just before it was taken off the market. I will keep this card in my wallet because it is no longer available and gives me great benefits. It has a high annual fee of $450 but I get the following benefits:

  • $300 travel credit (baggage fees, upgraded seats, lounge access, cancellation fees)
  • Anniversary night award of 50K point certificate
  • Automatic gold status which gives me room upgrades, sometimes breakfast
  • Priority Pass lounge access including access to the Priority Pass restaurants

I can use the 50K certificate for hotels that can go as high as $1,000.  I can really make good use of this credit card.


Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card

This card and the next card are offered by American Express. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Credit Card has a high annual fee of $450. At first glance, that may sound horrible and not worth paying, except for the first year when you would receive 75,000 Bonvoy points. I really like the benefits that come with this card and think it is worth the annual fee.

  • $300 credit used at Marriott hotels (this could pay for a room stay, resort fees, or meals for me that I have to pay anyway)
  • Anniversary night award of 50K point certificate
  • An automatic gold status which gives me room upgrades, sometimes breakfast
  • Priority Pass lounge access
  • Application fee for TSA Precheck or Global Entry
  • Boingo Wifi Access
  • Elite Nights

When you take off the $300 credit, the card is only $150 and well worth it for the other benefits. The 50K point certificate has gotten me a free night at the Ritz Carlton in Maui. It is a room that costs over $1,000 a night. Even without the other benefits, I’ll keep this card for my husband and myself just for that!


Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card is another credit card my husband and I both have with no plans to cancel. The annual fee is $125 and you will get 75,000 the first year you sign up for it too. Each year you will receive a 35K certificate to spend for a free night.  As I wrote above, under the Chase Bonvoy card, this is worth around $300.

With these four credit cards, x2 for my husband’s cards, we have 8 great redemptions a year at Marriott properties. I can’t imagine canceling any of these cards unless Marriott devalues them a lot in the future. They certainly work well for me now. I got the Chase and American Express Marriott cards when you could have both of them. Unfortunately, now you can only have cards branded from one company at a time so you have to choose what to go for.


IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) Credit Card

TThe IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. Is another card hotel credit card I plan on keeping.  I think it is totally worth it’s $89 annual fee because of the following benefits:

  • Anniversary night up to 40,000 pts. (I have redeemed for hotels from $180-$350)
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status (I have had several upgrades to a suite with this, especially internationally)
  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee

For these reasons, my husband and I keep our IHG credit cards year after year. This gives us  2 more free nights a year after paying a small annual fee and great benefits too!


IHG Dubai

Free breakfast and room upgrade in Dubai at this IHG hotel!


World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit card offers 25,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months and an additional 25,000 points if you spend $3,000 more in a total of 6 months. Because you can find hotel nights at just 5,000 points, it is a great card to have. Additionally, it gives a free night certificate at a category 1-4 Hyatt Hotel on your anniversary. With an annual fee of only $95, it is worth keeping each year. It is possible to cancel the card and reapply in 24 months to get your bonus points again if you don’t want to keep it.


Park City Hyatt Place Hotel Pool

You can use your free night certificate to stay at this Hyatt Place in Park City, Utah.


Other Hotel Credit Cards

I’ve had other hotel credit cards in the past like Hilton, Wyndham, and Choice. None of these gave me an anniversary night (Hilton does give free nights but the particular card I had did not) so I didn’t see a need to keep them past the first year and getting the bonus points. Wyndham and Choice did not have very luxurious redemptions but they made for nice airport stays for early flights out. I may reapply for them later. I have not had the Hilton Aspire Credit Card yet so I will probably get that sometime soon to add to my Hilton points. That card comes with some amazing benefits. If you are a Hilton loyalist then you may want to consider adding that card to your wallet. Because I have closed those first Hilton credit cards, I have to keep extending my expiration date. I usually do that by buying 1,000 points for a minimal amount until I decide how to use the points.


Hotel credit cards worth keeping

Hotel, pool and palm trees

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