Starwood Preferred Guests leads best hotel credit cards
Austin, Texas – 18 November 2016
The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card is the best hotel rewards card, according to CreditCards.com. Its #1 feature, according to the judges, is flexibility. Cardholders can transfer points to more than 30 airline loyalty programs, typically on a one-to-one basis. Because Starwood points are generally worth at least twice the value of the average card rewards point, consumers can buy a lot more travel with fewer points.
The Hilton HHonors Reserve credit card from Citi came in second. Its bounty of rewards starts with two free weekend nights at a Hilton hotel when you spend $2,500 in the card’s first four months. Cardholders get an additional weekend night certificate annually when they spend at least $10,000. The card also offers trip cancellation and interruption protection, lost baggage insurance and other premium insurance benefits. The only downside is Hilton points tend to be worth significantly less than the average card rewards point.
The Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature card placed third. Its sign-up bonus stands out: 50,000 points with the first purchase and 35,000 more after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days. Cardholders also earn 40,000 points and a free night each year they spend $10,000 or more. But like the Hilton HHonors Reserve card, Club Carlson points are valued below the industry average.
To choose the best hotel credit cards, CreditCards.com consulted credit card and personal finance experts and nominated three finalists. A panel of five judges – including independent experts and two members of the CreditCards.com staff – separately judged the three finalists and ranked them in order of preference. The card with the best average rank was chosen as the winner.