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Are you interested in hotel credit cards for small businesses? If so, keep reading for some of the best options available to you.
In this article, I’m going to first talk about some tips for getting approved for business credit cards for hotels. There are a few considerations that you’ll want to consider when choosing a hotel card and the factors below will help guide you through that process.
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Getting a business credit card
Contrary to what you might think you don’t have to operate a traditional business like an LLC or a corporation to open up a business credit card.
Instead, you can open up a business credit card even if you only have a sole proprietorship.
So, for example, if you are only selling things on craigslist or on eBay, that could potentially constitute a business and allow you to open up a business credit card.
- For more tips and tricks for getting business credit cards, you can click here.
Tip: Use WalletFlo to help you optimize your credit cards. It’s free and will help you get approved for some of the best travel cards!
Hotel credit card considerations
Before choosing a credit card there are a few key factors that you want to consider.
One of the first considerations you want to think about is which hotel loyalty program that you want to go with.
The major hotel programs are Marriott/SPG, IHG, Hyatt, and Hilton.
There are, of course, other major loyalty programs that you can go with but these are some of the top programs that offer some of the best credit cards in my opinion.
At the same time, maybe you don’t know which hotel loyalty program that you want to go with. In that case, you might want to just go with the card that earns transferable points.
If you go that route then you can later decide which program you want to transfer your points to and book a stay at their hotel.
You always want to consider the value of a sign-up bonus before you sign up for a credit card.
When it comes to hotel credit cards, I like to think about the value of a sign-up bonus in terms of how many free nights I can’t get out of it.
The number of free nights will usually vary depending on if you want to redeem your points for lower tier properties or if you want to go for higher, more luxurious properties. So it’s often a good idea to take a peak at a program’s award chart to see how far your points can go.
Another major consideration is whether or not the credit card comes with free nights.
Free nights are different from other redemptions because they are usually only good for a single night.So when you use a free night certificate you usually want to make sure that you are using it for some of the most expensive properties.
If not, then a lot of value might go to waste.
Many hotel credit cards offer free anniversary nights.
Sometimes these anniversary nights are attached to the welcome offer of the card but other times they require a certain amount of spending per year. In some cases, the free nights are worth much more than the annual fee so utilizing them is a great way to offset the cost of the annual fee.
Many credit cards will allow you to obtain status with a specific hotel loyalty program.
Not all elite statuses are created equal.
When looking at hotels status you want to think about things like: upgrades, free breakfast, lounge access, late checkout, and some other perks that are associated with the elite status like free gifts.
For many business travelers, getting a free breakfast will be a priority along with lounge access and late check out since those features are probably the ones that will make your life on the road much easier.
Another elite status perk to consider is guaranteed room availability.
That allows you to be guaranteed a room within a specified time period, such as 48 hours for 72 hours. Whenever you are traveling to a area where a large conference or event is being held, this park can be very handy.
Finally you want to consider it a card allows you to earn points that can be transferred out to multiple hotel loyalty programs.
A prime example of this is the ChaseInk business preferred card.
This card allows you to transfer points out to IHG, Hyatt, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton.
Chase Ink Preferred
The reason I put so much value in the Chase Ink Preferred is that it’s a solid all-around credit card with a great welcome offer and great bonus spending.
The current welcome offer is 100,000 points after you spend $15,000 or more within three months of account opening. That is a huge offer at 100,000 points and could easily be worth up to $1,600 worth of travel depending on how you value Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This card also earns great bonus earning.
You’ll earn 3X on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year on:
- Travel, including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets and taxis
- Shipping purchases
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- Internet, cable and phone services
Earning three times Ultimate Rewards on travel purchases including hotels is really big for this card. At a valuation of 2 cents per point, it’s like earning 6% back on hotel purchases which is great.
The hotel transfer partners for the Chase Ink Preferred are IHG, Hyatt, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton. Out of all of these partners, Hyatt is the clear winner. That’s because you usually get the most value out of Hyatt redemptions.
I think that the Chase Ink Preferred is also perfect for people who aren’t sure they want to stick with one hotel loyalty program.
If you want to keep things wide open so that you can have the widest range of possibilities (and open awards), then you can always transfer your points to any of the hotel partners in the program, which is a huge advantage.
Amex Business Platinum
- 5X on flights and eligible hotels on amextravel.com
- 1.5X per dollar on each eligible purchase of $5,000+
- Centurion lounge access and Priority Pass for you and two guests.
- Does NOT come with the $200 Uber credit.
- Redeem your Membership Rewards at a rate of 1.54 cents per point with premium cabin flights (and one chosen airline)
- $200 airline incidental credit
- Hilton Gold
- Global Entry ($100) statement credit or one TSA Pre✓® ($85) statement credit every 4 years
- $595 annual fee
- 10 Gogo wifi passes each year
The Business Platinum comes with a host of travel benefits.
The most popular benefits of the Amex Business Platinum card is lounge access. It offers Centurion Lounge access for you and two guests along with Priority Pass and Delta Sky Club access when you fly with Delta.
But there are some great hotel perks offered by this card, too.
The hotel benefit that I really like is the elite status with Hilton and SPG.
Soon the SPG Gold status won’t be worth as much but the Hilton Gold status will still offer you solid perks like free breakfasts, upgrades, and some times even lounge access. You can read more about the benefits of Hilton Gold status here.
Once you’ve obtained Hilton Gold, you might be able to do a status challenge and make your way to Hilton Diamond.
Another benefit is earning 5X on hotels through amextravel.com. The issue with this is that you won’t earn loyalty points since this is an online travel agency equivalent and you might miss out on receiving your perks for having status.
For that reason, I’m not huge on the 5X benefit myself but I know many others could get value out of that perk.
The Business Platinum earns Membership Rewards which can be transferred out to hotel partners, such as Hilton. However, the value is usually not very good unless you’re staying at one of the most expensive Hilton properties, so I usually don’t recommend this option.
Amex has some special application rules, so you might want to read about those here.
Amex Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
- 12X on Hilton purchases
- 6X on select business and travel purchases
- 3X everywhere else
- Automatic Hilton Honors Gold Status
- Upgrade to Diamond Status by spending $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year
- Free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a year
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee (not waived)
The Amex Hilton honors American Express business card is one of the better business cards in my opinion. This card earns 12X on Hilton purchases which is pretty strong and the 6X on business and air travel purchases is pretty decent as well.
One of the strongest perks of this card is that you will get Hilton Honors Gold status automatically. As already stated this can get you some perks like free breakfasts and lounge access. But one advantage is that it also can be a pathway to top-tier Hilton honors diamond status.
You can get upgraded to Diamond status by spending $40,000 in one year but you could also try to do a status challenge from Gold to Diamond and get there via a short cut. Diamond status will offer better upgrades and also get you lounge access so for business travelers it actually can be a worthwhile benefit to pursue.
You can also earn a free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a year which is very obtainable. This free weekend night is not limited to categories like other credit cards limit you.
The World of Hyatt Card
- Bonus earning:
- 4X spent with your card at Hyatt hotels, including participating restaurants and spas
- 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services
- 2X at restaurants, cafes and coffee shops
- 2X on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
- 2X spent on fitness club and gym memberships
- Free nights:
- Receive one free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort every year after your cardmember anniversary
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Elite status:
- Receive 5 qualifying night creditstoward your next tier status every yea
- Earn 2 additional qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- $95 Annual Fee
There currently is no business version of the Hyatt credit card, so if you want to take advantage of Hyatt for your business travels, you’ll just need to go with the personal version.
This is the new and improved Hyatt credit card and has a lot of good bonus earning potential.While of the bonus categories for travel and dining could be betterServed with cards like the Chase Sapphire reserve for Chase ink preferred, the bonus earning for purchases at Hyatt hotels is really good at 4X.
Another major perk of this car is the annual free nights. You get a annual free night at a category one through four hotel each year automatically but you can also receive an additional free night when you spend $15,000 during her cardmember anniversary year. That’s a pretty obtainable free night at only $15,000 worth of spend.
And finally this card grants you credits toward elite status that can really help you because there is no limit on how much you can earn. If you are a big spender then you can start to quickly climb up the Hyatt unique tears just by spending money on your credit card.
Tip: Use WalletFlo to help you cut down on your hotel and airline expenses by optimizing your travel credit cards. It’s free and will help you get approved for some of the best travel cards!
IHG credit card
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card comes with the following features:
- Annual free night certificate at an “eligible hotel”
- 10X for spend at IHG
- 2X at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Automatic Platinum Elite Status
- 20% discount on purchases of IHG points
- 4th night free on award stays
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit of up to $100 every 4 years
- No foreign transaction fees
- $89 annual fee
The new IHG credit card is actually very good for people who want to be loyal to their properties.
This card used to offer one of the best free night certificates because you could use it at any category property including some high-end luxury properties like the Intercontinental but now they have put limitations on the free nights so it’s not quite as valuable.
Still they allow you to earn 10X for your spend at IHG properties which is pretty fantastic and that is why it is such a good card for IHG loyalists.
In addition you get a 20% discount on purchases of IHG points and a fourth night free on awards stays so once again if you are thinking about becoming loyal to IHG this card can be a great way to maximize your value with them.
And while platinum elite status with IHG is not the most valuable of the elite statuses, it has gotten us upgrades in the past so it can be nice to have.
These are some of the best business credit cards for hotel rewards currently out. It’s a good idea to have somewhat of a plan when choosing a hotel credit card so you don’t earn useless points but if you go with cards that offer more flexibility, you can always jump on board with that hotel program at a later date.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.