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Hotel Credit Cards: Make the Most of Your Hotel Visits
If you're a regular hotel visitor, did you know you could get a credit card that can earn you free stays and more in your favorite hotel chain?
Hotel credit cards work just like any other credit card, but every time you use them you collect reward points. These can be exchanged for free stays, room upgrades, gourmet meals, merchandise, discounts, and other benefits. You accrue most points when you use the cards in the hotel chain concerned, but you normally get points for spending on your hotel card in other outlets as well.
There are various cards available, and your choice may depend on the chain (or chains) you stay at most often. There are dedicated Starwood® and Hilton® hotel credit cards, operated by American Express, or you might prefer to go for the generic TripRewards® card. This card offers rewards including free stays at AmeriHost Inn®, Days Inn®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Ramada®, Super 8®, Travelodge® (US hotels only), Wingate Inn®, and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®.
A typical example is the Starwood Preferred Guest® credit card. With your first purchase on this card you earn 10,000 Starpoints, which is enough for up to three free nights at a Starwood® hotel. You can use your Starpoints for free nights and upgrades at over 825 participating Starwood® hotels and resorts in 95 countries. You can also transfer Starpoints — normally on a 1:1 basis — to the frequent flyer programs of over 30 major airlines. You earn one Starpoint for every dollar of eligible spending, and double Starpoints at participating Starwood® properties and retail outlets. The first year is fee-free, and you pay a year thereafter.
Of course, before applying for any credit card, you should study the terms and conditions carefully and ensure it is suitable for your needs. Reward cards are great for people who pay off their entire balance every month. If you will not be doing this, however, it is more important to look for a card with a low APR. Otherwise there is a risk that the value of any rewards you receive will be outweighed by the extra interest you are paying.
Naturally, I do not recommend that you spend more than you normally would on your credit card just to get your hands on the rewards. If you're a regular hotel visitor, however, you may as well put your normal spending on your hotel credit card, to enjoy free stays, upgrades and so on in the hotel chain of your choice.
As with all credit cards, though, it is important to shop around and not simply apply for the first card you see. Different cards offer different combinations of terms and incentives, and the best card for one person may not be the same as for another. Independent credit card comparison sites make this easier for you by listing all the best current credit card offers, and also have a range of articles offering impartial advice and information.
About the Author: Nick Davis writes for http://www.finest-credit-cards.com , which aims to match you up with the ideal credit card to suit your situation. The site has an entire section devoted to hotel credit cards .