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Not sure which credit card to choose in order to maximize your rewards from hotel stays? Check out our handy list below and find the right card for your travel and spending habits.

The very best hotel credit card for you will depend on your hotel requirements and spending habits. With this in mind, we’ve selected the top five credit cards that cover a range of travel styles—from travellers who collect hotel rewards from chains (such as Marriott Bonvoy™, Fairmont, Fine Hotels & Resorts, the Hotel Collection, and Best Western) to Aeroplan point collectors to business travellers. If you’re looking to maximize your hotel stays with rewards and perks, these cards will get you there.

Overview of the Best Hotel Cards

Credit cardBest forRead more
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
Luxury hotel staysRead more
Best Western Mastercard® credit card
Budget hotel staysRead more
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card
Flexible perksRead more
American Express® Aeroplan®* Card
Aeroplan collectorsRead more
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelRead more

Best for Luxury Hotel Stays: Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

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If you love staying at Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, you’ve got to have the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card in your wallet. With this card, you’ll become a Marriott Bonvoy™ member, which entitles you to redeem your accumulated points for free hotel stays at over 7,000+ properties worldwide with no blackout dates. It also gives you an Annual Free Night Award, which gets you a room worth up to 35,000 points every year.

Earning rewards can be easy and fast and you’ll get an Annual Free Night Award for a room worth up to 35,000 points every year. On top of this, you can get a welcome bonus of 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy™ points (which is enough for a three-night stay at a Category 2 hotel) when you spend $1,500 on the card in the first three months.

When staying at Marriott Bonvoy™ properties, the card offers some sweet perks, starting with a complimentary upgrade to Silver Elite status (value approx. $57 CAD). With this VIP status comes 10% more points on stays, free WiFi, exclusive member rates, priority late check out, and access to the Elite reservation line.  The annual 15 Elite Night Credits get you closer to the next tier where the rewards and perks add up. You can also instantly redeem points for cocktails, dining, spa experiences and more — basically, anything you can charge to your hotel room.

The Details:

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Income eligibility requirement: None
  • Credit score required: Good–Excellent
  • Earn Rate: Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy™ properties and 2 points for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 50,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you spend $1,500 in the first three months
  • Additional benefits: $500,000 in travel accident insurance; lost or stolen baggage and flight and baggage delay coverage; car rental theft and damage coverage; hotel burglary insurance; travel assistance; American Express Invites privileges
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 21.99%

Learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card

Best for Budget Hotel Stays: Best Western Mastercard® credit card

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With 4,700 hotels in 100+ countries, it’s easy to cash in your Best Western points for free hotel stays at home and abroad. So why not add the Best Western Mastercard® credit card to your wallet?

It has no annual fee and welcomes you with 20,000 Best Western Rewards points when you make your first purchase of any size. This means that for the cost of a cup of coffee, for example, you can earn enough points for a one-night stay! Based on that alone, this card is worth getting but there’s more to enjoy here.

Regular guests at Best Western hotels will earn big with a rate of 5 points per dollar spent at the hotel chain. This comes out to a staggering 4.5% return. Other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Redeem your Best Western Rewards® for hotel stays, dining cards, gift cards, and more, and the points never expire.

With this card, you’re automatically enrolled in Gold Elite status which gets you a 10% points bonus, room upgrade and access to a reservations line. Or, if you’ve got Elite status with another hotel loyalty program, Best Western will match it.

The Details:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Income eligibility requirement: None
  • Credit score required: Fair–Good
  • Earn rate: Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at participating Best Western properties and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: 20,000 bonus Best Western Rewards with your first purchase
  • Additional benefits: Trip interruption and car rental coverage
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99% | Interest on Balance Transfers & Access Cheques: 22.99%

Learn more about the Best Western Mastercard® credit card.

Best for Flexible Rewards: Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

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If you’re a fan of flexibility, get the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card. You can redeem Scotia Rewards points for gift cards at hotels like Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, the Disneyland® Resort in California, Best Western, or Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Or simply search for hotels listed through the Scotia Rewards® Travel Service and redeem points for stays.

And, it’s dead easy to use your Scotia Rewards points towards an Airbnb stay: once the booking charge appears on your credit card statement, just login to the Scotia Rewards portal and select “Apply Points to Travel.” It will issue a credit for that purchase.

The earning structure makes it easy to accumulate points. When you make purchases at grocery stores, on dining or entertainment, or for daily transit, you’ll earn 2 Scotia Rewards points per $1. Card purchases anywhere else get you 1 point per dollar. This will add up fast, but if you’re a new cardholder, you go straight to 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months plus spend at least $40,000 in the first year. That’s up to $400 CAD when redeemed on travel purchases, which include flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. Plus, no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards and 5X Scotia Rewards points on Travel for the first 3 months (up to $2,500 in total travel purchases).

The benefits don’t end there. Cardholders receive a top-notch travel insurance package (notably with up to $1M in emergency travel medical coverage), plus car rental and hotel/motel burglary protection. You’ll enjoy complimentary Priority Pass™ membership worth $125 CAD ($99 USD), plus six free visits per year, valued at $40 ($32 USD) each. Finally, there are no foreign transaction fees, which will automatically save you 2.5% – 3% on every purchase made in another currency. This card is a winner.

The Details:

  • Annual fee: $139
  • Income eligibility requirement: $60,000 in personal income, $100,000 household income, or a minimum of $250,000 in assets under management
  • Credit score required: Good–Excellent
  • Earn rate: Two Scotia Rewards points for every $1 you spend on grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and daily transit (which includes buses, subways, taxis and more); 1 point for every $1 on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Earn up to 40,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points in your first year (that’s up to $400 towards travel).‡ Plus, no annual fee in the first year, including on supplementary cards and 5X Scotia Rewards points on Travel for the first 3 months (up to $2,500 in total travel purchases).
  • Additional benefits: Up to $1M in emergency travel medical, up to $50,000 in travel accident, and up to $2,500 in trip cancellation or interruption insurance per person plus flight delay and lost or delayed baggage coverage; rental car collision loss/damage protection; hotel/motel burglary insurance up to $1,000; no foreign transaction fees; complimentary Priority Pass™ membership, plus six free visits per year; Avis Preferred Plus membership
  • Purchase APR: 19.99% | Cash Advance APR: 22.99%

Learn more about the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card

Best for Aeroplan®* Collectors: American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

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If you’re an Aeroplan collector, you’ll definitely want to check out this new charge card from American Express®. That’s right—it’s a charge card, meaning that the balance must be paid in full each month (there’s a 30% annual interest rate for overdue balances).

The American Express® Aeroplan®* Card lets you earn Aeroplan points that you can redeem for travel rewards like flights, hotel stays, and rental cars.

The generous welcome bonus of up to 75,000 gets you off on the right foot. With this card, you’ll earn points with each use, plus when you show your Aeroplan card at over 150 participating Aeroplan partner brands and at 170 online retailers you can earn points twice.

Not only are these Aeroplan points good for travel, but you can also rack them up even faster when you spend at travel-related partners like IHG, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Langham hotels, Marriott Bonvoy™, Shangri-La, and Wyndham.

As for hotel perks, you can use your Aeroplan points to redeem stays at any hotel listed on the Aeroplan online booking platform. This includes typical extras like travel insurance and car rental coverage. But where the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card really shines in with its uncommon perks.

For instance, included in the welcome bonus is a Buddy Pass which gets you a second companion ticket anywhere Air Canada flies in North America for just the taxes and fees.

Additionally, you’ll get your first bag checked for free, as well as for up to nine of your travel companions. And, you’ll reach Elite Status faster when you earn 1,000 Status Qualifying Miles and 1 Status Qualifying Segment for every $10,000 in eligible net purchases.

The Details:

  • Annual fee: $120
  • Income eligibility requirement: None
  • Credit score required: Good–Excellent
  • Earn rate: Two Aeroplan points per $1 spent directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations; 1.5 points per $1 spent on dining and food delivery; 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Earn up to 75,000 Aeroplan®* Points. New American Express® Aeroplan®* Cardmembers, earn 44,000 Aeroplan®* points after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Cardmembership. Plus, earn a total of 5X the points on eligible eats & drinks purchases in Canada for the first 6 months of Cardmembership, up to a maximum of 25,000 points. You can also earn 1,000 Aeroplan points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in purchases on your Card for the first six months of Cardmembership. That could add up to 6,000 Aeroplan®* points.  Apply by August 3, 2021.
  • Additional benefits: Up to $500,000 in travel accident insurance plus flight delay, lost or stolen baggage, baggage delay, up to $500 in hotel burglary protection, and car rental theft or damage coverage; one-time Buddy Pass; first checked bag free for you and up to nine travel companions; access to American Express Experiences and American Express Invites
  • Purchase APR: N/A| Cash Advance APR: N/A

Learn more about the American Express® Aeroplan®* Card

Best for Business Travel: The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

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With the Business Platinum Card from American Express®, you can take full advantage of your business expenses by earning rewards points (1.25 points per $1) while maximizing your cash flow with a 55-day interest-free period.

Your purchasing power adjusts dynamically so efforts to improve your credit score are immediately rewarded. You’ll also have access to your expense management reports which will simplify your tax season.

This card gets you Marriott Bonvoy™ Gold Elite status and gains you access to benefits within Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection, which covers more than 600 properties globally, including free room upgrades and a travel credit of up to $120 CAD ($100 USD) to be spent on services at the facility.

Each program has its own perks and may change depending on hotel and stay, but some common benefits include free room upgrades, complimentary breakfast for two, late checkout, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

You’ll also enjoy access to more than 1,200 airport lounges in 130 countries with the American Express Global Lounge CollectionTM which includes free Priority Pass—a value of $495 CAD ($386 USD)—and discounts on flights through the International Airline Program.

Add to that the 75,000 welcome bonus Membership Rewards points which are worth $750 CAD as a statement credit, and there’s no reason not to try this card out.

The Details:

  • Annual fee: $499
  • Income eligibility requirement: None
  • Credit score required: Good–Excellent
  • Earn rate: Get 1.25 points for every dollar in purchases
  • Welcome offer: 75,000 bonus Membership points when you spend $7,000 in the first three months
  • Additional benefits: Travel insurance including $500,000 in travel accident, out of province/country emergency medical coverage (for under age 65), trip cancellation and interruption, flight delay, and stolen, lost, or delayed baggage; hotel burglary coverage; car rental theft and damage protection; employee card misuse protection; fraud, purchase, and buyer’s assurance protection; American Express Invites
  • Purchase APR: N/A | Cash Advance APR: N/A

Learn more about the Business Platinum Card® from American Express.

Comparison of the Best Hotel Cards

Credit cardAnnual feeWelcome offerLearn More
Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card
$12050,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 monthsVisit SIte
Best Western Mastercard® credit card
$020,000 bonus Best Western Rewards with your first purchaseVisit Site
Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card
$13940,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months and spend at least $40,000 in the first yearVisit Site
American Express® Aeroplan®* Card
$120Up to 20,000 Aeroplan points (14,000 when you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months plus a monthly 1,000 bonus when you charge $5,000 for the first 6 months); a Buddy PassVisit Site
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express$49975,000 bonus Membership points when you spend $7,000 in the first 3 monthsVisit SIte

The Verdict: Which is the Best Hotel Credit Card?

If you’re a frequent traveller, whether for business or pleasure, chances are you’ve already thought about how you can maximize your hotel stays. The card you ultimately choose will reflect how you collect rewards (Aeroplan, Best Western Rewards, Marriott Bonvoy™ points, etc.) and which hotel chain you use the most.

While the card that’s best for you depends on your unique spending habits and the factors mentioned above, our overall top pick is the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card. It’s the most flexible of the bunch, with rewards redeemable across many different partners, from Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida to AirBnb. Plus there’s that big welcome bonus and all the other perks (such as fantastic insurance coverage) that come along with being a cardholder.

If you need to do more research before you commit one card or another, why not check out the best travel credit cards as well? Armed with research and an idea of how you want to redeem your rewards, you’re sure to find the perfect card to suit your needs.

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