There are no hotel-branded credit cards in Australia. But you can get rewards credit cards and frequent flyer cards that offer:
- Rewards points you can redeem for hotels stays
- Point transfers to a partnered hotel loyalty program, such as Hilton Honors or Starwood Preferred Guest
- Hotel perks, such as complimentary stays, upgrades or free breakfast
We've rounded up the hotel-specific benefits and offers from the most popular credit card rewards programs in Australia. This includes bank rewards programs, as well as Qantas and Velocity Frequent Flyer.
Credit card reward programs that offer hotel benefits
|Rewards program||Hotel benefits|
|American Express Membership Rewards|
|Amplify Rewards (St.George/Bank of Melbourne/BankSA)|
|Velocity Frequent Flyer|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer|
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:
- Credit card hotel deals. Sometimes, you can get promotional hotel offers through your credit card – especially with complimentary programs including Visa Offers + Perks, Mastercard Priceless and Amex Offers. For example, cashback or discounts on a booking, complimentary breakfast or a welcome gift. You can check the Visa, Mastercard or Amex website for current deals before you book to see if there's any that fit your plans.
- 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.
- 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 do I find the best hotel credit card?
The best hotel credit card differs for every person. It really comes down to your travel needs and whether or not the benefits of the card are worth paying the card and points program fees.
To help you make a good decision when comparing cards with hotel benefits, focus on the following:
- Hotel partner or partners. Most of these credit cards only offer hotel benefits with specific brands or partners. 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.
Example: Comparing hotel credit cards
Let's take a look at 2 different credit cards that offer rewards and hotel perks.
|Card||Annual fee||Interest rate for purchases||Points per $1||Hotel benefits|
|Citi Prestige||$700 p.a.||21.49% p.a.|
|American Express Explorer||$395 p.a.||23.99% p.a.|
In this case, both cards have relatively high annual fees and interest rates for purchases. The key is to think about whether the points and hotel benefits will balance out the card costs.
With the Citi Prestige, the value of the hotel benefits depend on where you use them and how often you use them. For example, if you used the fourth night free benefit up to 4 times a year at hotels with an average night cost of $200, you'd get around $800 value from it.
In comparison, the American Express Explorer offers a $400 yearly travel credit, which you could use to completely offset the annual fee. So it's worth thinking about how often you travel and how much you'll be able to use the benefits to get value from a credit card with hotel perks.
Do I need a credit card to check-in to a hotel?
Most hotels do ask for a card (along with your ID) when you check-in, but you can usually give them either a credit card or a debit card that's issued in your name.
As well as helping to verify your identity, the card details are used as a security deposit for any additional charges, such as room service or minibar drinks/snacks.
In most cases, the hotel will put an authorisation hold on the card, which could be anything from $1 up to $100 or more per stay. This usually shows up as a "pending" transaction on your account (so that you can't spend it). When you check out, the money is released and goes back into your account – assuming you haven't used any extras.
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