Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 points per dollar on all travel and dining. So paying for hotels with this cards gets you 3 points that transfer to different airline and hotel programs, you get to choose later.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is actually more rewarding for spending at hotels than any hotel credit card is. It’s better at Hyatt than the Hyatt card, better at Starwood than the Starwood card.
That means the role that hotel credit cards have is their signup bonus and the benefits that come with them. They aren’t for spending except for benefits-related threshold bonuses you may be after.
- Hyatt Credit Card. You get it for the signup bonus [and it is not subject to 5/24 limits on getting approved for the card], and you keep it for the annual free night which is worth well more than the annual fee. You’re limited to category 1-4 properties for that free night but at Hyatt that’s most of their hotels.
View of the Petronas Towers from the Category 3 Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
- Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express This is the strongest hotel card for actual spend because Starpoints are the most valuable currency. One Starpoint is worth more than 1 of any other point. I use this for some of my unbonused spend and have been a cardmember since 2001.
However at Starwood properties I will still take 3 Chase points per dollar from the Sapphire Reserve which I value at 5.7 cents (3 x 1.9 cents) rather than 2 Starpoints which I value at 4.6 cents (2 x 2.3 cents).
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card lets you earn 80,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You can also earn 7,500 bonus points for adding an authorized user to the account and making a purchase within the same 3 month period. (Offer expired)
The reason to keep the card is its Category 1-5 hotel free night stay every year after your account anniversary date, and 15 elite night credits each year just for having the product. The reason to spend on the card would only be to earn more elite night credits.
Al Wadi Desert Resort
- Hilton has a variety of new credit cards but even the premium $450 card that earns 14 Hilton points per dollar on Hilton spend nets a 5.6% return (14 x .004) versus 5.7% for Chase Sapphire Reserve.
You’re getting Hilton cards for benefits, primarily elite status, not for spending — although free weekend nights at spend tiers can be worthwhile for instance the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card which has a signup bonus up to 100,000 points also lets you earn free weekend nights for spend: $15,000 spend in purchases in a calendar year earns a weekend night reward and another weekend night after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
- IHG Rewards Club credit card get it for the signup bonus and annual free night plus the 10% rebate on points redemptions. It offers the lowest return on spend of the major hotel card products.
All of these cards offers a reason to acquire the product, and a reason to keep the product.
Only the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express offers a strong enough value proposition for spending to keep making purchases on the card without having additional threshold bonuses as an enticement.
That’s because whatever rewards for spending these cards offer, Chase Sapphire Reserve offers even more.