Best Hotel Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Advance Manufactured Spending Methods

This is a somewhat comprehensive list of the major hotel credit cards out there. This list has been completely updated as of 12/21/2015. I have tried to list the cards by the approximate value of their cards. The cards where also grouped with versions that where similar to it. Again, the ones with the best values are found above the ones with less value. I calculated the value of each bonus by multiplying the number of points you get from sign-up bonuses with the multipliers mentioned here. I do not know the value of cards that say N/A because the value you get depends on where you stay.

Here are some of other “best” cards that I have wrote about as well:

Best Business Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Best Airline Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Best Personal Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses 

Best Cards to Manufacture Spending

Credit Card Information

Starwood Preferred Guest by Amex

Notes: This is an amazing card to have. This card has probbly the best valuation for hotel cards. Points are worth around $750 total. Spend these points wisely. It’s very hard to earn these points outside of sign-up bonuses!

Bonus: 25,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $750

Annual Fee:   $0 first year, then $95

Earning Points: 5x at SPG hotels, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Business by Amex

Notes: This card is similar to the personal card. The only difference is that you have to spend $5,000 within three months. MS using this Serve will be difficult because you’re only allowed to load $1,000 per month (or $3,000 in 3 months).

Bonus: 25,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $750

Annual Fee:   $0 first year, then $95

Earning Points: 5x at SPG hotels, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

 

Mariott Rewards Premier Business by Chase

Notes: You get 1 free night stay at a category 1-5 hotel after your account anniversary. You also earn 15 credits towards elite membership after approval. You earn 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent. The business card differs in three different ways. It has a higher fee after one year, it has a higher sign up bonus, and you also get 2x on purchases made office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services.

Bonus: 70,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $490

 

Annual Fee:   $0 first year, then $85

Earning Points: 5x at Mariott locations, 2x on airlines, car rental, office, and restaurants

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

Mariott Rewards Premier by Chase

Notes: You also get 1 free night stay at a category 1-5 hotel after your account anniversary. You also earn 15 credits towards elite membership after approval. You earn 1 elite credit for every $3,000 spent.

Bonus: 50,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months, plus earn 5,000 when adding an authorized user within 3 months

Approx. Value: $385

 

Annual Fee:   $0 first year, then $99

Earning Points: 5x at Mariott locations, 2x on airlines, car rental, restaurants

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

IHG Rewards Club Select by Chase

Notes: Annual free night worldwide after account anniversary, 10% rebate on point redeems. i.e. if you redeem 1,000 points, you receive 100 back. This card is totally worth the fee because you can get a free night at ANY IHG location. That’s definitely worth more than $49!

Bonus: 60,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $420

 

Annual Fee:   $0 first year, then $49

Earning Points: 5x at IHG hotels, 2x at gas station, grocery stores, restaurant, 1% everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx, 

 

Hilton HHonors Surpass by Amex

Notes: There’s not much to say about this card. The value of this card is pretty average. Although you can earn a lot of points through purchases. This card is also easy to MS using Serve as you can easily load $3,000 in 3 months.

Bonus: 60,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $300

 

Annual Fee:  $75 annual fee

Earning Points: 12x at Hilton locations, 6x at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, 3x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

 

Hilton HHonors by Amex

Notes: Compared to the surpass, this card has no annual fee. It also earns less points on qualifying purchases. You can easily use Serve to MS for this card.

Bonus: 40,000 points after $750 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $200

 

Annual Fee:   No annual fee

Earning Points: 7x at Hilton locations, 5x at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, 3x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

 

Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa by US Bank

Notes: Receive 40,000 bonus points when you renew your card after account anniversary. That’s valued at an extra $160. Also earn a free night when you charge $10,000 and renew your card. You also get automatic gold status with this card.

Bonus: 50,000 points after first purchase, 35,000 points after $2,500 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $340

 

Annual Fee: $60 annual fee

Earning Points: 10x at Club Carlson hotels, 5x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature by US Bank

Notes: Similar to the business card, receive 40,000 bonus points when you renew your card after account anniversary. That’s valued at an extra $160. Also earn a free night when you charge $10,000 and renew your card. You also get automatic gold status with this card. Only real difference is the fee.

Bonus: 50,000 points after first purchase, 35,000 points after $2,500 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $340

 

Annual Fee:  $75 annual fee

Earning Points: 10x at Club Carlson hotels, 5x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature by Premier Rewards

Notes: 25,000 point upon account renewal. Worth around $100. You’ll earn a free night after $10,000 in purchases and you renew your card. You also get automatic silver elite status. Notable differences on this card is the points you earn on purchases, the bonus, and point on renewal.

Bonus: 50,000 points after first purchase, 10,000 points after $1,500 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $240

 

Annual Fee: $50 annual fee

Earning Points: 6x at Club Carlson hotels, 3x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

Hilton HHonors Visa Signature by Citi

Notes: Automatic silver status. Very easy to get the $1,000 in 4 months. You could probably just use real spending to earn the bonus.

Bonus: 40,000 points after $1,000 spend in 4 months

Approx. Value: $200

 

Annual Fee:   No annual fee

Earning Points: 6x at Hilton Hotels, 3x drugstores, grocery, 2x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

Hilton HHonors Reserve by Citi

Notes: Notable differences from the previous card includes: fee, weekend certificate, and earning points.

Bonus: 2 weekend night certificates after $2500 spend in 4 months

Approx. Value: N/A

 

Annual Fee: $95 annual fee

Earning Points: 10x at Hilton hotels, 5x airline/car rentals, and 3x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

Ritz Carlton Rewards Visa by Chase

Notes: You can receive a 10% annual bonus on the point you earn on purchases made during each year. You also get 3 Ritz-Carlton Club Level upgrades, $300 annual travel credit, and $100 hotel credit on paid stays of two nights or longer to use towards dining, spa, etc. Personally I would not get this card because of the high annual fee. I can use other cards to get free hotel nights.

Bonus: 2 nights at any tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after $4,000 spend in first 3 months

Approx. Value: N/A

 

Annual Fee: $395 annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at Ritz-Carlton hotel, 2x airline, car rental, and restaurants

Recommended Method of MS:  VGC, Buxx

Note 1: There may have been some phrases/words below that many people are not familiar with. I will explain them in this section below.

MS stands for manufactured spending. Manufactured spending, as the name suggests, is a way of manufacturing spending using credit cards so that you can earn the rewards. This is often done through buying gift cards, Serve, or Visa Buxx. You can often spend a net of $0 or close to $0 and get hundreds of dollars of free sign-up bonuses. Here’s a post where I give a small summary of each of the most popular manufactured spending methods!

Serve refers to a company based off of American Express. They offer prepaid cards that can be loaded with only American Express cards. You’ll be able to put money into the prepaid card to get your credit sign-up bonus. Afterwords you can use the billpay option on Serve to pay back the same credit card. You essentially spend $0 in this case. Here’s my Serve post that shows you how you can manufactured spending with Serve.

VGC refers to Visa Gift Cards. The idea is to buy these visa gift cards using your credit card. Then you liquidate/load them onto Bluebird or Serve at participating stores. Once you do that, you can again use the billpay option to pay off your credit card.

Visa Buxx refers to another prepaid card. You can only load Visa Buxx with Visa and Mastercards. The process is somewhat similar to Serve. You load the prepaid card using a credit card. This can be done online. You’ll also points from this as well. Let’s say your card offers 1% cash back. Using Serve will earn you the 1% cash back as well the sign-up bonus. Although Visa Buxx does contain fees. Lastly, there’s no billpay option, you have to withdraw the money via an Allpoint ATM. You can find more information at my Visa Buxx post.

Note 2: It should also be noted that not all of these are the best offer out there. These are merely public offers that are available for everyone else to apply to online. I merely gathered all of the information in one spot and placed it in a neat table. These offers are subject to change. I will update them ASAP when I find that they have changed.

Note 3: If I were to personally apply for a credit card, I would probably apply for both of the Starwood Preferred cards along with the IHG card.

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