Established Contributor
Posts: 766
Registered: ‎01-16-2012
Re: Hotel cards that pay for itself.

The 15 free nights per year is towards the number of stays needed to qualify for various elite levels. It does not mean 15 actual nights for free. If you are not concerned about elite status, it won't matter.

If you are concerned about elite status, then that is another way the cards can "pay for themselves". For example, I've used my hilton surpass twice for hotel stays of 3 days each. As a "gold" elite (not much, but something), I got free wifi and free breakfast x6. If you conservatively estimate the free breakfast at a $10 value (probably 20 in most big cities) and wifi is, I believe, around $20/day, then I've already paid back the $75 AF.

But if you are really just looking for 1 or 2 free nights/year and don't care about elite status, accumulating points or aspirational hotel stays, probably priority club is your best bet.

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.