Find and compare the very best hotel rewards credit cards that offer you the biggest savings and the finest rewards.
If you travel for business or can afford to holiday often then getting a credit card with hotel rewards may be a good option for you to consider. Take a moment to look through the credit cards shown on our comparison table and consider the various rates, fees, credit limits, points and rewards on offer.
There are many credit cards available form Australian banks that are linked with one of the major frequent flyer reward programs (Qantas, Virgin or AmEx). These rewards programs give you the option to redeem your points as hotel vouchers or hotel gift cards. You can then use these vouchers to cut the cost of your hotel stay, along with a wide variety of other travel rewards, retail products and many other services.
You can be enrolled in Qantas Frequent Flyer or Velocity Rewards without having a credit card. But if you’ve got a credit card that’s linked to one of these rewards program you can earn points as you spend on your credit card, thereby accelerating the growth of your points total.
Hotel rewards cards generally feature options to redeem points for either hotel vouchers, gift cards, or to simply log on to the program’s website and book hotels using your points. The places that you can choose from to use you points at depends on the particular program, but each offers accommodation at thousands of affiliated hotels, resorts, apartments and inns around the world. You should check that the program provides access to hotels and destinations that you want to visit.
The other side to the equation is earning points. You earn extra points when you book accommodation at the program’s partner hotels, which vary between the different programs, but again is a choice of thousands of international hotels. You’ll also earn rewards points simply by using your card to make purchases, although earn rates do vary.
If you are looking for somewhere to stay, check that the hotel is affiliated with your rewards program by logging into the program’s online store and browse for hotels. When you make the booking quote your membership number to ensure the points are correctly applied to your account.
You should also take note that some bookings do not earn points including discounted, group, wholesale, convention, package and special promotional room rates.
When you first sign-up for a hotel credit card the provider often gives you bonus points, a lump sum of points to get you started on the program. Some programs feature ongoing hotel rewards such as one free night’s stay per year, along with a rolling selection of special offers and discounts.
Hotel credit cards provide access to many other benefits such as concierge services, room upgrades, free entry to spa and gym facilities and restaurant discounts. If you fly to reach your hotel you may also gain entry to the VIP airport lounge. Additionally, these credit cards also often feature insurance and payment protection to cover you when you are travelling. The specific benefits depend on the individual card; always check before applying to see what perks are available.
Study all the features of a hotel credit card before applying to make sure that the package offers real value for money.
Purchase interest rate: You should always aim to clear the balance on your account every month, but if you do have an ongoing debt it will start to attract interest. The purchase rate should be low enough so that if you do carry over a balance to the next month the interest doesn’t nullify the scheme’s benefits. Sometimes you can apply for a card that has a promotional offer, such as 0% interest on purchases for a few months. Just make sure you know what the promotional rate will revert to – the deal may not be as good as you initially thought if it reverts to 20% or more.
Annual account management fees: The majority of hotel credit cards feature a high annual fee, with the most prestigious platinum cards attracting a significantly larger fee than other cards. Make sure the annual fee is affordable and comes with extra perks you can make use of.
Terms and conditions: Most hotel rewards programs have extensive rules and regulations regarding how points are earned, redeemed and capped. Your points may also expire and your membership terminate if you do not earn or redeem points for a certain period of time. Always familiarise yourself with the terms and condition so you know how to get the most out of your new card.
Obviously, you can get the biggest benefits if you are regularly booking rooms, staying at hotels, earning and redeeming points. In order to earn plenty of points you also need to be using your card for lots of spending, paying for everyday purchases, payments and direct debits. This doesn’t mean you should overspend, just pay for your normal expenses on the credit card.
It’s important that you try to always pay your monthly balance in full. If you have an ongoing debt on your account, it will accrue interest, which can quickly wipe out the benefits of the rewards program.