Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Credit Cards Best Credit Cards for Free Hotel Nights Updated Feb 28, 2022   |   6-min read Written by Jeff Gitlen, CEPF® Written by Jeff Gitlen, CEPF® Expertise: Student loans, personal loans, home loans, insurance, credit cards Jeff Gitlen, CEPF®, is the director of content operations at LendEDU. He graduated from the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware. Learn more about Jeff Gitlen, CEPF® Some offers mentioned on this page may be outdated. To confirm offers and credit card details, check the issuer’s website. Hotel credit cards can be a smart way to earn free nights for frequent travelers. Similar to other rewards cards, users earn points toward hotel stays and other perks simply by making purchases with their selected hotel credit card. Most varieties of hotel credit cards come in two broad forms, including co-branded cards and general hotel cards. For those who are loyal to a specific hotel brand, a co-branded card is often the best option. Regardless of the type of hotel card used, there are considerations to take into account to ensure the free hotel nights earned are beneficial. Choosing the Right Credit Card for Free Hotel Nights Generally, hotel credit cards with free nights are co-branded between a card issuer and a specific hotel chain or brand. With every dollar spent, card users accumulate points for the hotel brand’s loyalty program. Over time, free nights are offered based on the amount of points earned. Redeeming hotel credit card rewards is typically done through the hotel’s loyalty program, not with the credit card issuer itself. In order to make the best decision regarding which hotel credit card to use, potential cardholders need to think through a few aspects. First, hotel rewards are only beneficial when the rewards and perks will be used, so selecting a hotel brand you prefer to stay at when traveling is important. It is also necessary to consider the annual fees, foreign transaction charges, and interest rate costs associated with the card, particularly if a balance is left unpaid from month to month. Card users should also review the qualification requirements before applying for a new card to ensure they meet the income, credit score, and credit history eligibility. Other Features to Look For In addition to the potential for free hotel stays, hotel rewards credit cards also offer other advantages to card members. Some provide travel protections like car rental damage waivers, trip insurance, luggage insurance, and a concierge hotline to help with on-demand travel needs and requests. In other instances, hotel credit cards may provide transfer opportunities to airline frequent flyer programs, or redemption of rewards points for other uses. Hotel credit cards may also offer balance transfer promotions or zero-percentage purchase APRs initially for new card members. Things to Watch Out For Although hotel credit cards have some impressive benefits for travelers, there are downsides to consider when selecting the right card. Some cards come with annual fees that can be difficult to overcome if spending isn’t at a particular threshold. Also, rewards redemptions may be limited to hotel stays only, and the points needed to redeem a free stay can be hefty. Hotel credit card holders may also be stuck with one hotel brand for redemption options, which can limit travel options in some locations. 3 Hotel Credit Cards With Free Nights Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express Learn Moreon American Express’ secure websiteHilton Honors Aspire Card from American ExpressAnnual Fee: $450APR: 17.42% – 26.24% variable APRBenefits: Earn 14x points on eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels, 7x points on airfare through American Express, and 3x points on all other purchasesCategory: Hotel Credit Card Penalty APR of 20.99%No foreign transaction feeLate fee up to $38 The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express offers cardmembers 14 times the Hilton Honors points on eligible purchases at participating Hilton hotels. Purchases of airfare made directly through American Express, card rentals booked with rental car companies, and at U.S. restaurants earn seven times the Hilton Honors points. Cardholders also earn three times the points on all other purchases. A weekend night reward of one free night stay is available every year when at least $60,000 is spent, and a $250 statement credit is available for purchases made at Hilton Resorts. Additionally, cardholders will receive complimentary Diamond status. Diamond status gives cardholders access to potential room upgrades. The annual fee is significant with this card, so it is only beneficial to those who travel frequently and stay within the Hilton brand often. The World of Hyatt Credit Card The information for this card is outdated. For more accurate information, visit the issuer’s website. Learn Moreon Chase’s secure websiteThe World of Hyatt Credit CardAnnual Fee: $95APR: 17.49% – 24.49% variable APRBenefits: Earn 4x points on all Hyatt hotel and resort purchases, 2x points at restaurants and airline tickets, and 1x points on all other purchasesCategory: Hotel Credit Card No penalty APRNo foreign transaction feeLate fee of up to $37 The World of Hyatt Credit Card offered by Chase gives cardholders the chance to earn four bonus points per dollar spent on all Hyatt hotel and resort purchases. Two bonus points are earned for purchases at restaurants, airline tickets, and car rental companies. And one point is earned for all other purchases. A free night hotel stay is available every year at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort after the cardmember anniversary. Moreover, cardmembers can earn an additional free night stay by spending at least $15,000 during the year. The credit card also offers additional travel and purchase coverage for cardmembers, and elite status for Hyatt stays. The annual fee of $75 is lower compared to other hotel credit cards, making this a smart choice for loyal Hyatt customers. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card Learn Moreon Ritz Carlton’s secure websiteRitz-Carlton Rewards Credit CardAnnual Fee: $95APR: 17.49% – 24.49% variable APR Benefits: Earn 6x points at participating Marriott and SPG hotels, 2x points on all other purchasesCategory: Hotel Credit Card No penalty APRNo foreign transaction feeLate fee up to $37 The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card by Chase allows cardmembers to earn five times the points on purchases made at Ritz-Carlton and SPG hotels participating in the program. Cardmembers also earn two times the points on airline tickets, car rental companies, and restaurants, plus one point per dollar for all other purchases. There is also a $300 annual travel credit to use for baggage fees, seat upgrades, and access to airport lounges. New cardmembers can earn 10,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user, and there are two complimentary nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending at least $4,000 within the first three months. The card’s annual fee is significant, so cardmembers may only benefit when they spend a substantial amount of time at Ritz-Carlton properties.