Why You Shouldn't Get a Hotel Credit Card

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5 Reasons Why a Hotel Credit Card Is a Terrible Idea

If you are thinking about getting a hotel co-branded credit card like a Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card, but have some doubts about it, you are in the right place. We will show you why hotel cards are not the cards you would want to have in your pocket and which card, or credit cards, is better to have instead. You will see how a general travel rewards credit card can help you save more on your next stay and other travel and non-travel expenses.

Here we're comparing basic features of a hotel credit card and regular credit card. As an example, we took a Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card and a regular credit card with travel rewards and compared them. This simple side-by-side comparison can help you understand if a hotel co-branded card is worth applying, or you'd be better off having a different card.

Max. Rewards
Rewards Bonus
Intro APR on Purchases
Ongoing APR
Annual Fee
GENERAL REWARDS CARD
VS
Discover it® Cash Back Apply for Discover it® Cash Back - Credit-Land.com
5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate
INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 to $300.
0% (14 months on Purchases)
11.99% - 22.99% Variable
No bonus offer2
N/A2
N/A2
N/A2
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 to $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
For Excellent/Good Credit

5 'You Cans' That General Travel Cards Give You And Hotel Cards Don't

It's easy to get impressed by branded cards' features when they may offer such perks as free nights, automatic elite status and so on. But before you fall for any hotel credit card offer, make sure that you will in fact use all the perks it has. Oftentimes, we end up paying enormous annual fees for the perks we do not use. If you make a list of your needs, you may be astonished to see that a regular travel rewards credit card is actually as good or even better option for you. Below is a list of benefits you won't be able to have if you apply for an airline credit card.
1
You Can Stay at Any Hotel, Anytime
Yes, we all know that general cards are accepted everywhere. And what if we tell you that they allow redeeming earned rewards the way you like? A hotel credit card will limit you to one specific hotel chain when you redeem rewards, but general travel rewards credit cards won't limit you. You simply book a hotel and then apply your rewards to the purchase to erase the cost.
2
You Can Redeem for Virtually Anything
Want to redeem for something other than hotel stay? Not a problem! Most general travel rewards credit cards will allow you to redeem for airline tickets, rental cars, gift cards or even cash. And when you are allowed to redeem for cash, nothing can stop you from using those free cash for any treat you wish.
3
You Can Earn Tons of Rewards
If you don't travel often, say you hardly stay at a hotel twice a year, it will take an eternity to earn enough points for a rewards night using an hotel credit card. That's because co-branded cards will reward you for brand purchases mostly. Non-branded purchases will earn nothing at all or a mere 1 point per dollar. General rewards credit cards give good rewards on all purchases, and if you are familiar with changing categories, you may reap even bigger rewards.
4
You Can Save on Interest And Fees
General travel credit cards may have no annual fees and zero interest rates, which is rarely offered with hotel cards. Zero rates are extremely useful when you need to spend a little fortune for your travel. A 0% intro APR can be given for a year or even more, so you can take your time paying off the card balance without spending a penny on interest.
5
You Can Make it Your Primary Card
You would hardly want to put all your everyday expenses on an hotel credit card when it has high interest and gives little rewards. It's quite logical to swipe the card that will save you most and general travel rewards credit cards can do it. A general credit card will work for you all the time and won't sit in your pocket doing nothing.
Excellent/Good Credit
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (14 months on Purchases) 11.99% - 22.99% Variable $0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
*See Terms
Excellent Credit
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (15 months on Purchases) 13.49% - 23.49% (Variable) $0
  • The Citi Rewards+SM Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Fair/New to Credit
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (6 months on Purchases) 12.99% - 21.99% Variable $0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
*See Terms
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
N/A 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable) $0
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
N/A 15.99% - 24.99% (Variable) $99, waived for first 12 months
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
Excellent/Good Credit
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (14 months on Purchases) 11.99% - 22.99% Variable $0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
*See Terms
APPLY NOW
Compare
Intro APR on Purchases Regular APR Annual Fee
0% (18 months on Purchases) 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable) $0
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer. After that the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® Score online.
Card Type Credit Check Rewards Program
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99% applies.
*See Terms

Limited credit history should never stop you from applying for a credit card. In fact, your limited credit is better than bad credit in the eyes of the creditors because you've just recently started and haven't had a chance to spoil your credit history. Therefore, there are a lot of credit cards offered and you will have something to choose from.

People with limited credit can find unsecured credit card offers. Credit cards may even have rewards or no annual fees. Interest rates vary, but if you pay off the card balance in full each month, you won't pay a penny of interest. Some store credit cards may also be available to those with limited credit, but their main disadvantage is credit limit, which is extremely low. So, if you do not want your credit card to be maxed out, consider regular credit cards with bigger limits.

User Questions about Savings on Travel Purchases

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Updated: November 29, 2020
Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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