I generally do not recommend getting a hotel credit card unless you have a specific plan to use the points. Which is why it’s very hard for me to prioritize this particular list.
So, assuming you don’t have any specific hotel plans but would like to get something, my top pick would be:
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
- Get 5,000 extra points for adding an authorized user.
- Enjoy a free night each year of card membership at over 4,900 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49
- Pays me commission.
Note, that some have reported getting an offer of 80,000 points+$50 credit after logging in their IHG account and trying to make a reservation. Many of my relatives have applied for lower offer, but were able to send a message to Chase and get extra points as a gesture of goodwill.
You saw me write about PointBreaks program where hotels cost only 5,000 points per night. It’s tremendous value for a family and as long as they don’t discontinue it, this card will be my top hotel points bonus pick.
Another advantage is that you get a free night certificate anywhere in IHG chain as long as you renew the card for $49. Some are oceanfront Florida properties that go for $300 per night in peak season. You also get a 10 percent rebate on your redeemed points and Platinum status in the chain, which may give you upgrades on your stays. Both me and my husband have this card and I got my in-laws to sign up for it as well.
We live in Florida and will be able to get a room at any beachfront Holiday Inn with this certificate, a tremendous deal. CLICK HERE to do a search for specific properties near you. The card IMHO is not good for everyday earning, but make sure you charge something like Netflix on it every month. That’s because you don’t want Chase to cancel it for non-usage. And I personally will never cancel it as long as they don’t change the terms.
I recommend this card to everyone in my family. It could make sense to make it your first Chase card, so you can start the clock on renewal certificates.
Here are some other picks I would recommend for a family. IMO none, except Amex SPG and possibly Amex Hilton Surpass are a good fit for everyday spending past the bonus. It doesn’t mean you should cancel them though, because some come with valuable annual perks. Here is the list:
US Bank Club Carlson Signature Visa
You’ll get 85,000 points sign-up bonus after you spend $2,500 in 3 months. The annual fee is $75, not waived.
CLICK HERE to do a search for specific properties. It is probably worth keeping past the first year, since you get 40,000 points upon renewal. If you spend $10K during your cardholder year, you get a free night certificate redeemable at any property in USA.
Chase Marriott Premier Visa
Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Plus, earn 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening. Enjoy 1 Free Night Stay at a Category 1-5 location every year after your account anniversary date.
- Earn unlimited Marriott Rewards points and get free stays faster
- Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at 4,000 Marriott locations, 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines, at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else
- The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards points towards free nights
- The fastest way to earn Marriott Rewards Elite Status. Receive 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better. Plus, Earn 1 Elite Credit for every $3,000 spent on purchases
- All for an $85 Annual Fee
- Pays me commission when you apply through my site.
- CLICK HERE to see Marriott award chart.
There are a lot of hotels in USA that cost 10,000 points per night. So potentially, even a family can get a lot of value from this card. Whether to cancel it or not before renewal will also depend on your situation.
Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express card
Pays me commission. Be aware, American Express will most likely raise this offer in a near future.
- Starpoints® bonus: earn 25,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
- Free Hotel Nights: redeem Starpoints at over 1,100 hotels in nearly 100 countries worldwide – with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
- Free Flights: redeem Starpoints on over 350 airlines with SPG Flights – with no blackout dates
- No limits on the number of Starpoints you can earn
- $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
If you can find a category 1 (2,000 points per night on weekends) or category 2 (runs at 3,000 points per night on weekends) SPG hotels, you can get an amazing value from the sign-up bonus.
CLICK HERE to see hotels and corresponding categories. Scroll all the way down.
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa
The details on the bonus are below:
- Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening
- Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio
- Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
- Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
- Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
- Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card
- The annual fee on this card is $95, not waived.
- I consider this card and the last pick to be more of a “couple” rather than “family” sign-up bonus. It would certainly be nice to get it for an anniversary getaway to use in New York or another expensive city. And it’s valid in Hilton Bora Bora! Once again, it just depends on your specific plans. I put together a post on some of the best picks in New York, Chicago and Miami.
- The certificate expires 12 months after you get it. This card also gives a free weekend night hotel stay when you put 10,000 dollars on it during your cardmember year. I personally would not bother with it, but once again, it depends on your preferences. Gold status may be lucrative if you have a lot of Hilton stays planned. That’s because you get a free breakfast in most hotels. CLICK HERE to do a search for specific properties.
- Pays me commission.
Wyndham Visa Signature card
- Earn 30,000 bonus points after
- Earn 5 points per $1 spent on
every participating hotel stay
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on
purchases everywhere else
- Annual fee of $69 is not waived.
- Earn 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months on the card with an annual fee.
- The bonus is enough for up to 3 nights at any participating Wyndham property
- Pays me no commission. Apply here
Chase Hyatt Visa
- 3 points for every $1 spent at all Hyatt properties with your Hyatt Credit Card.
- 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and at car rental agencies.
- 1 point for every $1 spent anywhere else you use your card.
- FREE NIGHT AT ANY CATEGORY 1 – 4 PROPERTY every year on your cardmember anniversary
Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card
- For a limited time: Earn 75,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points after making $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Earn 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores and gas stations.
- Earn 2 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on all other purchases.*
- Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Silver status as long as you are a cardmember*
- No annual fee.
Chase Fairmont Visa Signature
This is a niche offer, read my post here