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New Contributor
Chrysostom
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎04-15-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

The PRG is good for different reasons (mainly, putting all of your airline spending on it for 3x points), but MR has been severely devalued in terms of available partners and resultant cash value and flexibility of a given point in the past few years. If you don't spend (tens of) thousands a year on flights, and at least $30k total spend on the card for the bonus, the PRG isn't worth the $175 annual fee (of course, it's not a revolver, but one would be stupid to revolve and not transact on any rewards card, let alone an Amex; all Amexes are essentially charge cards when used properly). The signup bonus can be worth it in some cases, but for the card itself, Chase SP is better for flights (2x points instead of 3x, but the points are worth more and more flexible, and the AF is almost $100 less) and dining (2x vs 2x), BCP or BCE for groceries and gas ($0.01 is worth $0.01, one of the benefits of cash back; your points will never be devalued like HHonors or Sky Miles), PenFed for gas if you buy a lot of it, etc.

Chase Ultimate Rewards is now the undisputed king of general points-programs for travel, with SPG for hotels, Avios for international travel or travel on OneWorld airlines, etc.

I've even heard from some old folks there was a time, once upon a time, when Delta Sky Miles were worth something!


Goal: 760 by End of Year
Current Score: 714 TU (2-3/12); 681 EQ (2-3/12); 714 EX (AmEx Pull: 2-7/12); 777 VantageScore (2-3/12)
AmEx BCE ($4k) - AmEx SPG ($7.5k) - Amex PRG (NPSL) - Citi Forward ($7.6k) - Discover IT ($3k) - BankAmericard Cash Rewards ($5k)
Chase Freedom ($1k) - Chase Amazon ($3k) - PayPal Extras ($6k) - Cap One Cash ($0.5k) - Amazon Store ($2.5k)

Application-Free Since the 14th of the Second May of 2012.
Frequent Contributor
shols44
Posts: 397
Registered: ‎11-03-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

Just wanted to mention Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Sig! This card doesn't get much love here but with 85K signon bonus, 40K bonus on annual renewal, 10 points per dollar spend on participating hotels, 5 points per dollar EVERYWHERE else, this card is ridic. Reedeem two nights get the third free.

 

They also have a business premier rewards. You could technically get both, and have 170K signon bonus. 

 

Only negative, these are hotel only points and don't transfer to airline rewards. But the earn rate IMHO is outstanding. 

 

  • 10 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide1
  • 5 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else1
  • 85,000 Bonus Gold Points to start - Receive 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase.  Plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days2
  • Bonus Award Night - When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free.3 Exclusively for cardmembers!
  • Club Carlson Gold Status is yours after you activate and use your card4

Starting Score: 501
Current Score: 706 EQ,TU 689,EX 686
Goal Score: 720

New Contributor
Chrysostom
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎04-15-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

The problem with that card is threefold:

1. Few hotels and fewer nice ones
2. No transfers.
3. Major caveat: when you get 5-10 points/dollar, like the 6 points/dollar on HHonors, the points are generally worth 1/3 a cent.


Goal: 760 by End of Year
Current Score: 714 TU (2-3/12); 681 EQ (2-3/12); 714 EX (AmEx Pull: 2-7/12); 777 VantageScore (2-3/12)
AmEx BCE ($4k) - AmEx SPG ($7.5k) - Amex PRG (NPSL) - Citi Forward ($7.6k) - Discover IT ($3k) - BankAmericard Cash Rewards ($5k)
Chase Freedom ($1k) - Chase Amazon ($3k) - PayPal Extras ($6k) - Cap One Cash ($0.5k) - Amazon Store ($2.5k)

Application-Free Since the 14th of the Second May of 2012.
New Contributor
nishant1
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎12-23-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

You can leverage Shell Fuel Rewards network together with US Bank Cash +

 

US bank cash + card has 5% category for hotels.

 

You save 5% every time on any hotel of your choice with an advantage of no annual fee unlike most hotel credit cards which have annual fees

 

If you have an account with Shell "Fuel Rewards Network' you can book and earn additional 1 to 2 points per dollar as credit on gas and still use US cash + card to receive 5% cash back.

 

I find this approach- No obligation and maximum savings

 

 

 

 

New Contributor
Chrysostom
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎04-15-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

[ Edited ]

Maybe I have fallen behind the times (even though I'm really young): a comment on View from the Wing:

"I give props to Gary for recognizing that the common man likely won’t find much value in retaining this card after the first year. Back in the day, advice used to be, “Chase SP for this, AmEx PRG for that, and SPG AmEx for everything else.” Yeah, and $330 in annual fees on top of that."

That's still pretty much my advice, but with the PRG swapped out for the CSP or BCP or Southwest Rapid Rewards or British Airlines for those who don't spend $30k/an. The CSP is excellent for avoiding F/X fees, although the 2.7% F/X is still worth it at Starwood properties overseas (4 SPG/dollar [valued at 2.5c/p] - 2.7% = still over 7% net). The CapOne Venture is probably decent-to-good (2 points per dollar on everything, no F/X, pretty low AF), but I really don't like Cap One so I've never checked it out, and No Hassle Rewards don't have a reputation for being excellent like UR, SPG, MR, etc. do.

Almost all of my travel is either domestic or to Rome (again, Catholic functionary), so YMMV (no pun intended) if you have a more varied or different travel itinerary.


Goal: 760 by End of Year
Current Score: 714 TU (2-3/12); 681 EQ (2-3/12); 714 EX (AmEx Pull: 2-7/12); 777 VantageScore (2-3/12)
AmEx BCE ($4k) - AmEx SPG ($7.5k) - Amex PRG (NPSL) - Citi Forward ($7.6k) - Discover IT ($3k) - BankAmericard Cash Rewards ($5k)
Chase Freedom ($1k) - Chase Amazon ($3k) - PayPal Extras ($6k) - Cap One Cash ($0.5k) - Amazon Store ($2.5k)

Application-Free Since the 14th of the Second May of 2012.
Regular Contributor
pastnow123
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎09-27-2011

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?


sengpatt wrote:

I think the Priceline card is good for anyone whose main goal is to save as much money as possible on hotel purchases. (And don't forget 2% back on everything!)

On the other hand, different folks are looking to get the most out of their already-planned trips and loyalty to one brand. Priceline is not as good for earning elite status at one chain and the perks that come along with it (e.g. free breakfast/internet, room upgrades). Also, many find rewards in the form of future stays more enticing than plain cash back.

 

ETA: SIGN-UP BONUSES


Thx. That makes sense. so I would say how good a hotel card is really depend on what people need. if money saving is the first priority, priceline definitely comes on top. if other perks matter or travel on companies,  SPG is a better.

Senior Contributor
Walt_K
Posts: 3,065
Registered: ‎11-02-2009

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

I don't think Hilton is as bad as people are making it out to be even with the devaluation.  It's way worse than it was before, but before it was much easier to earn a free night in one of their top properties than it was with say SPG. 

 

At SPG, with the Amex SPG, you're earning 5 pts/$ if you are Gold/Plat, 6pts if you are upper tier Plat.  At 35K points for a top property, you need $5800-$7000 in-hotel spend to earn a free night.

 

Hilton requires 50K points for a top property, but that is going up to 95K points.  Still, you can earn 12 pts/$ with the Amex Surpass (10 pts/$ with Citi Reserve card).  You can earn 15 base points in the program, and 25% bonus for being Gold.  So you're looking at 28-30 pts/$ with Hilton.  Taking the low end of that, you need $3390 of in-hotel spend to earn that 95K point room. 

 

Obviously that only looks at in-hotel spend.  There's lots of ways to crunch the numbers.  But Hilton isn't as bad as people are making out.  It's just not as good as it was before.     


Starting Score: ~500 (12/01/2008)
Current Score: EQ 681 (04/05/13); TU 98 728 (01/06/12), TU 08? 760 (provided by Barclay 1/2/14), TU 04 728 (lender pull 01/12/12); EX 742 (lender pull 01/12/12)
Goal Score: 720


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Established Contributor
Cdnewmanpac
Posts: 767
Registered: ‎01-16-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfromthewing/2013/02/26/which-hotel-program-is-most-rewarding-for-f...

 

Gary's very comprehensive analysis backs up Walt's statement. Although the devaluation hurt the 'aspirational" crowd quite a bit (and made the Amex cards much less competitive with Citi, imo), Hilton is still one of the cheapest in terms of spend (real, at the hotel spend) needed for a useful free room.

 

To the OP: I think the question is what do you want from a hotel card? If you are a road warrior who already qualifies for high elite status, then the impact of the card on points earning and flexibility of the points are probably the only factors that matter.

 

If you don't care about elite status, upgrades, etc. then the card that helps you earn free rooms the fastest is probably the best.

 

If what you care about is elite status/benefits/upgrades, then that changes the analysis completely. Someone who stays at a starwood property 3-4 times/year isn't getting any closer to elite status with the spg than without. OTOH, someone who is 5 stays short every year could really benefit from the stay credits.

 

For me, the biggest thing I want from the card is help obtaining/maintaining elite status. I don't stay at hotels enough to qualify on stays, but I stay enough that the benefits of status really make the stays more pleasant. I think the Hilton gold is the best mid-tier elite status out there, giving free breakfast/wifi, occasional upgrades and definite point multipliers. In that context, the citi reserve (which guarantees gold as long as you have the card, but only earns 10 points/dollar at hotels) trumps the surpass (which only gives gold for up to 21 months, but has 12 points/dollar at hotels). Both trump the SPG for me, since again I'm focused on benefits vs points.

 

So first, determine what you want. Then, see which card gets you there the best.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
Established Contributor
FutureBillionaire
Posts: 638
Registered: ‎12-12-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfromthewing/2013/02/26/which-hotel-program-is-most-rewarding-for-f...

 

Gary's very comprehensive analysis backs up Walt's statement. Although the devaluation hurt the 'aspirational" crowd quite a bit (and made the Amex cards much less competitive with Citi, imo), Hilton is still one of the cheapest in terms of spend (real, at the hotel spend) needed for a useful free room.

 

To the OP: I think the question is what do you want from a hotel card? If you are a road warrior who already qualifies for high elite status, then the impact of the card on points earning and flexibility of the points are probably the only factors that matter.

 

If you don't care about elite status, upgrades, etc. then the card that helps you earn free rooms the fastest is probably the best.

 

If what you care about is elite status/benefits/upgrades, then that changes the analysis completely. Someone who stays at a starwood property 3-4 times/year isn't getting any closer to elite status with the spg than without. OTOH, someone who is 5 stays short every year could really benefit from the stay credits.

 

For me, the biggest thing I want from the card is help obtaining/maintaining elite status. I don't stay at hotels enough to qualify on stays, but I stay enough that the benefits of status really make the stays more pleasant. I think the Hilton gold is the best mid-tier elite status out there, giving free breakfast/wifi, occasional upgrades and definite point multipliers. In that context, the citi reserve (which guarantees gold as long as you have the card, but only earns 10 points/dollar at hotels) trumps the surpass (which only gives gold for up to 21 months, but has 12 points/dollar at hotels). Both trump the SPG for me, since again I'm focused on benefits vs points.

 

So first, determine what you want. Then, see which card gets you there the best.


So, do you use your CSP just for dining, airlines, and rental cars? 

Gas: Discover It, Penfed Platinum Rewards x2, Chase freedom, Citi TYP
Plane tickets: CSP
Groceries: AMEX BCP, Penfed Platinum Rewards,Citi TYP
Clothes: Express, Amex BCP, Discover IT
Amazon: Citi Forward, Cash +
Restaurants: Citi Forward, Chase Freedom, Discover IT, CSP
Hotels and other travel: Discover Escape, CSP
Movies: BofA travel rewards visa signature(fandango), Discover IT, Citi Forward, Freedom
Bars, clubs, tomfoolery: CSP, Citi Forward, Discover IT, Freedom
Balance transfers: Kroger 123 rewards
Bill Pay: Chase Ink Plus, Citi Forward,
Everyday spending: Bofa Accelerated cash rewards amex, Discover Escape
Valued Contributor
jsickz32
Posts: 1,987
Registered: ‎06-25-2012

Re: What are good hotel credit cards out there?

Im glad to read that the SPG is the best hotel card out there :smileyhappy:
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