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As travel restrictions begin to lift, banks have really upped their game with hotel credit card welcome bonuses. Currently, there are five hotel credit cards with welcome bonuses that offer outstanding value.
The Amex Bonvoy cards both feature terrific welcome offers, and the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is sporting a big six-figure signup bonus.
At the same time, Hilton's two mid-tier cards continue to provide generous welcome offers that keep them featured at the top of the best hotel rewards card lists.
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
The latest offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card offers a solid welcome bonus of 75,000 points, plus up to $150 in statement credits.
- Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, earn up to $150 back in statement credits on eligible purchases made on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
- 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- Terms apply.
- Rates & Fees
- 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping
- 2x points on all other purchases
The 75,000-point bonus is this card's standard offer. Although we've seen limited-time offers on this card as high as 100,000 points, the current offer, isn't a bad deal. Throw in the $150 in statement credits, and this welcome bonus looks pretty good for a card with such a modest annual fee. Particularly when you factor in that the card receives an anniversary free night award each year up to the value of 35,000 points!
As an Amex business card, the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card won't contribute to your personal 5/24 count with Chase, making it a great option if you are trying to get back under 5/24 to round out your Chase card portfolio.
Although it doesn't offer the same luxury benefits as its premium counterpart, we see the Marriott Bonvoy Business Card as the sweet spot for current Marriott card offers.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
Stacked with high-value perks and travel credits, Marriott's top-tier rewards card is offering new cardmembers 75,000 bonus points after meeting the minimum spending requirements. Plus, you'll get up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months you hold the card.
- Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
- Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy Hotels. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive 1 free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
- Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $450 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- Rates & Fees
Cardholders can also take advantage of some of the best ongoing perks and benefits featured on any hotel rewards card including an annual free night certificate valued at up to 50,000 Bonvoy points, a Priority Pass lounge membership, and up to $300 in statement credits towards Marriott purchases each year. Enrollment is required for select Amex benefits.
Learn more about this card: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card Review
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
The IHG Rewards Premier Card (review) offers valuable perks—including Platinum Elite status and 4th night free—for a modest annual fee. The card comes with an anniversary free night certificate good for a night costing up to 40,000 points. That alone makes this card a great long-term keeper.
- Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
- Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
- Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
- Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
- IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®
- Earn 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
- 2X points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
- 1X point per $1 spent on all other purchases
The earning for spending at IHG hotels breaks down as follows:
- Earn 10X points for being a IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Cardmember
- Earn 5X points from IHG® with Platinum Elite Status, a benefit of having this card
- Earn 10X points from IHG® for being an IHG® Rewards Club Member (Being a cardholder is not required to earn this bonus for participating in the IHG® loyalty program)
This is arguably the best signup bonus ever offered for IHG's flagship card. With all these points, the possiblities are endless. Need to book two weeks at a Candlewood Suites hotel? You can do that. Want to blow the points on a stay at a luxury resort? Sure—why not! 150,000 bonus points gives you plenty of options.
Learn more about this offer: New offer of 150,000 bonus points for IHG Rewards Premier Card
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (review) falls squarely in the middle of Hilton's co-branded card offerings. It easily justifies its $95 annual fee with some great benefits including Gold Elite status and 10 Priority Pass lounge passes each year. Add in lucrative bonus categories and you can understand why it's a favorite among Hilton fans.
- 12X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
- 6X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
- 3X Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
Moreover, many of the best hotel cards are issued by Chase. That means that anyone that's gotten more than 5 cards in the past 24 months is locked out of getting those excellent bonuses. However, Hilton cards are issued by American Express—which doesn't turn away potential new cardholders based on cards you've gotten from other banks. That said, beware of Amex's once-per-lifetime rule.
Learn more about this offer: Extract Maximum Value from the Amex Hilton Surpass Card
The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
If Chase has you worried about your 5/24 status, there's another option. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (review) offers benefits that are similar to the Hilton Surpass with the same lifetime rules.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, Earn Up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family of hotels in the first 12 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/25/2021.
- Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, 3X on all other eligible purchases. Terms & Limitations Apply.
- Enjoy complimentary Gold Status with your Hilton Honors Business Card.
- Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- Earn another Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
- Terms apply.
- Rates & Fees
- 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
- 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases
- 3X Everywhere Else
However, unlike the Hilton Surpass, the Hilton Business Card won't show up on your personal credit report. That makes it a way to get similar benefits without the adverse effect on your Chase 5/24 limit.
Comparing These Hotel Credit Card Offers
The two Marriott cards are both sporting high-value welcome offers and feature top ongoing benefits. These cards both provide an annual free night certificate each year you hold the card, and the premium Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card gets some additional high-value perks like the $300 annual Marriott credit and a Priority Pass membership.
I'm also a fan of the IHG Rewards Premier Card. In addition to the 150,000 bonus points, the $89 annual fee (which is waived for the first year) grants cardholders an annual free night worth up to 40,000 points. It's hard to find a decent hotel for less than this annual fee. So, if you stay with IHG one night a year, the card can pay for itself.
And lastly, the Hilton cards. These are some of the best hotel rewards cards on the market, stacked with benefits and providing much more value than the modest annual fee you'll pay each year. Thanks to Amex's less restrictive application rules, these are great options if you are locked out of Chase cards due to 5/24. Basically, if you haven't had the card before, you're probably eligible for the welcome offer now.
When it comes to hotel loyalty, I fall into the camp of people who like to build entire trips out of aspirational hotel redemptions. Each of these cards can offer a shortcut to a luxury hotel redemption, particularly the Marriott cards that offer complimentary top-tier elite status.
Just make sure that before you apply for a hotel card, be sure to consider your stay preferences and future travel plans.
Which kind of bonus do you prefer: free nights or points?
For rates and fees of the cards mentioned in this post, please visit the following links: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees)
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