Save money on your worldwide accommodation and enjoy exclusive benefits with a hotel rewards credit card.
A number of reward and frequent flyer credit cards offer hotel rewards including free nights and points for popular hotel loyalty programs such as Hilton Honors or Starwood Preferred Guest. Depending on the card you choose, you could also enjoy a number of other exclusive benefits such as premium membership status, room upgrades and travel insurance.
Use this guide to learn about the different types of hotel rewards available, compare hotel credit cards and learn more about other features so that you can find an option that suits your needs.
Compare credit cards that offer hotel rewards and benefits
What hotel rewards can I get with a credit card?
The Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum is currently the only credit card in Australia that is directly linked to a hotel rewards program. But many other reward credit cards let you use points for hotel stays or give you the option of transferring your points to a partnered hotel loyalty program.
The table below offers details of the hotel benefits available through popular credit card reward programs. This includes bank reward programs, as well as Qantas and Velocity Frequent Flyer, which are also often linked to specific credit cards.
|Rewards program||Hotel benefits||Other details|
|American Express Membership Rewards||Point transfers. The transfer rates vary depending on your Membership Rewards stream. As a guide, the Amex website lists the Hilton Honors transfer rate as 1:1 and the SPG rate as 2:1 with a minimum of 1,000 Membership Rewards points per transfer.Points for hotel stays. The value you get for your points varies depending on your Membership Rewards stream and the booking service you use. As an example, the Membership Rewards Gateway stream offers $100 worth of hotel rewards value for 13,500 points.|
|Amplify Rewards (St.George/Bank of Melbourne/BankSA)||The amounts of points you’ll need varies depending on factors such as the hotel, room type and time of booking.As an example, a two-night, weekend stay at the Mercure in Sydney started from 155,450 points when we did a search in August 2017.|
|ANZ Rewards||Gift card options. Hotel gift cards are available for values of $100. You can also get QT and Rydges gift cards worth $250.Gift card values. As of August 2017, a $100 gift card costs 18,185 ANZ Rewards points and a $250 gift card costs 45,455 points to redeem.|
|CommBank Awards||Flight Centre rewards. You can use your CommBank Awards points to instantly pay for travel at Flight Centre. You also have the option of using a combination of points and cash for your booking.Hotel gift cards. Use your points to redeem gift cards from travel/hotel partners including Flight Centre and Crown.|
|Citi Rewards||Travel Centre bookings. The amount of points varies based on factors including your travel dates, the hotel, room type and number of nights you plan to stay. You will be able to see these details when you log in to your Citi Rewards account and start the booking process.Hotel gift cards. You can redeem Citi Rewards points for Rydges gift cards. Log in to your Citi Rewards account to see the points required and the value of gift cards available to you.|
|NAB Rewards||Webjet hotel bookings. The amount of points required varies and will be shown to you when you have logged in to your NAB Rewards account.Hotel gift card rewards. The amount of points you need for hotel gift cards varies and will be shown when you log in to your NAB account. In August 2017, a $100 gift card for Choice Hotels, Crown Hotels or Webjet required 19,230 points.|
|Velocity Frequent Flyer||Hotel stays. To redeem Velocity Points for hotel stays booked directly, just log on to your account and follow the prompts to redeem via Kaligo. The amount of points needed varies and is shown during the booking process.Hotel gift cards. The amount of points needed varies depending on factors including the hotel brand and dollar value of the gift card.|
As an example, in August 2017, a $100 gift card for Choice, Hilton or InterContinental was worth 17,000 Velocity Points. A Crown Hotels Melbourne gift card for $100, on the other hand, was worth 15,000 points.
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||Qantas hotel rewards. You can redeem Qantas Points for hotel stays around the world through the Classic Hotel Rewards. You can also use a combination of points and cash through the Points Plus Pay – Hotel option. The amount of points and hotel availability varies, so make sure you log in and check details before planning a redemption.Hotel gift cards and vouchers. Accor and Crown vouchers are valid for 9 months, while Cruiseco vouchers are valid for 12 months. Location restrictions may apply depending on the gift voucher.|
What other travel benefits can I get with a hotel credit card?
If you’re interested in getting a credit card that offers hotel rewards, here are some of the other benefits you could enjoy:
- Reward points. You’ll earn points for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made with a credit card that offers hotel rewards, which you can then use to redeem free hotel stays and other benefits.
- Complimentary travel insurance. Most premium credit cards offer complimentary travel insurance that could cover you for trips overseas or domestically. Just remember to check the activation and eligibility requirements for this insurance to make sure you’ll be covered.
- Concierge services. Many premium hotel credit cards also come with a concierge service that can help you with your travel bookings, restaurant recommendations or even find gifts for your loved ones.
- Flight or travel vouchers. Some reward and frequent flyer credit cards, such as the Virgin High Flyer or American Express Explorer, offer you a complimentary flight or travel voucher each year when you meet a spending requirement. This can help you save hundreds of dollars on travel and may offset the cost of the card’s annual fee.
- Airport lounge access. A wide range of travel reward credit cards also offer complimentary airport lounge access so you can start or end your journey in style.
How to compare hotel credit cards
If you’re interested in getting a credit card that offers hotel rewards and benefits, make sure you weigh up the following features to help you find an option that suits your needs:
- Hotel partner or partners. Most of these credit cards only offer hotel benefits with specific brands or partners. For example, the Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum will only give you benefits at Hilton Hotels. In general, the reward programs that offer booking services (Membership Rewards, Velocity, Qantas Frequent Flyer, etc.) will also give you a greater number of hotel options around the world.
- Points per $1 spent. Credit cards that earn a higher rate of points per $1 spent can help you get hotel rewards faster. But it’s also good to check how many points you’ll need to redeem hotel stays so that you can choose a card that offers the most value to you.
- Annual fee. The annual fee for this type of credit card can be worth hundreds of dollars. To get value from your card, the potential rewards you’ll get and any other benefits should be worth more than this charge.
- Interest rates. If you carry a balance, the purchase rate for the card will add to your costs and could outweigh the value of any rewards. Ideally, you should aim to pay off your balance in full by the due date on your statement for this type of card. Otherwise, it may be better to consider a low rate credit card instead.
- Other extras. Using complimentary perks such as travel insurance, flight vouchers and airport lounge access can help offset the costs of a credit card – especially if you're a frequent traveller.
Compare hotel credit cards trending now
Compare the features and benefits of these popular credit cards on finder.com.au.
|Card||Annual fee||Points per $1||Hotel benefits|
|Hilton Honors Macquarie Platinum||$295 p.a.|
|Citi Prestige||$700 p.a.|
|American Express Explorer||$395 p.a.|
Most reward and frequent flyer credit cards let you use points for free hotel stays and other benefits. But the specific features and costs of the cards vary, so make sure you weigh up all the features to find a hotel credit card that fits your budget and travel goals.Back to topPictures: Shutterstock