Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

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Faisal
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Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Faisal » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:36 pm

I originally used SPG when I was single and worked in the third world. So it afforded good classy hotels at a reasonable rate. Now those same hotels in Europe or the US are dated and the service isn't that great. We have a young kid and haven't been on vacation in 2 years and I believe my wife deserves some time off to relax.

We have the chase sapphire and am looking for a card that helps with points for a good hotel brand.

The merger of Marriott and SPG affords a good many hotels and brands to choose from but I have been put off by some of the hotels in the chain in Rome, Geneva and parts of the USA.

What would you guys recommend? The aim would be to use the points earned on the credit card mixed with cash to get decent hotels in good vacation spots.

Angelus359
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Angelus359 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:33 pm

I like the Hyatt card actually, but I only travel to a few specific places where it's good
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Watty
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Watty » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:35 pm

Once your kid is in school you may find that you have a harder time finding good hotels with a reasonable point cost to take vacations at during school holidays.

Other than getting sign up bonuses using a good cash back card would give you extra cash to just pay for whatever vacation you can find a good deal on. I'm sure that there are better ones but the Costco Visa pays 3% on travel.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:38 am

I have the Marriott Rewards card, I have been happy staying at Marriott long before I got the card. I usually stay at Courtyard, save my credits to stay at a higher level hotel. I have stayed in very nice hotels in the U.S. major cities, but for the most part Courtyard fits my style.But if I see any dated look to a property, they get a write up online that improvements are needed.

student
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by student » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:12 am

I like Hilton as I find Embassy Suites are usually good with free breakfast and free alcohol at evening manager reception.

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Kenkat
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Kenkat » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:18 am

I have a Hilton Honors Visa through Citibank that is tied to the Hilton brand - Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Hampton Inn, etc. Marriott is another popular brand.

Loik098
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Loik098 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:01 am

If both you and your wife signed up for the Chase IHG, you could combine the free anniversary nights you'd each get once a year to stay at a really nice place for a weekend. A good bargain for the $98 in annual fees you'd pay. There are targeted 80,000 IHG point offers for $2k spend out there.

mpsz
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by mpsz » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:12 am

Citibank no longer issues Hilton HHonors credit cards. American Express has them exclusively now.

If you already have a Chase Sapphire... I'd say add a Chase Freedom into the mix to use in the 5% bonus categories. You will earn UR points that can be pooled into your Sapphire's account.

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ChowYunPhat
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by ChowYunPhat » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:29 am

Have a Hilton Honors surpass Amex card and has been great. Very large point multiplier bonuses for hilton(12X), gas station(6X), supermarket(6X), and restaurants(6X) but based on 3X bonus for all other purchases I place other charges on my Fidelity Elan card which is a 2% cash back card. If you travel occasionally the Hilton Surpass card has been a best value for me even after the $75/annual fee based on the travel I do.

My favorite perk is you achieve Hilton Diamond status automatically if you place $40,000/year in charges on the card which fits well into my family's spending and business travel patterns. If you do not travel that frequently, I would find another travel card or redirect spend to a good cash back card.

Link to sign up - https://www.americanexpress.com/us/cred ... s-surpass/

Hilton family hotels have quite a few brands and as a diamond member, you will always get a free breakfast in any Hilton hotel as well as other perks.
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:53 pm

Angelus359 wrote:I like the Hyatt card actually, but I only travel to a few specific places where it's good
FYI, they just changed the sign-up bonus on the Hyatt card from two free nights at any level hotel to 40,000 Hyatt points. That translates into only one free night at the higher-level hotels in the chain, which was a popular reason to get the Hyatt sign-up bonus.

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gunn_show
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by gunn_show » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:03 pm

There have been quite a few hotel / CC game threads lately you may want to check out. Also, I think your post is a bit too generic and not specific for what you want and where. Cheap in USA or expensive in London? World is a large place with many hotel provider options.

Personally I have the SPG, Marriott, Ritz Carlton Chase cards. There are plenty of -very nice- upscale SPG and Marriott properties all around the world. And for Ritz, we just got back from the Ritz Kapalua Maui using the free nights that came with the sign-up bonus, worth $650+ each night, a fantastic value and amazing property. And this was over Memorial weekend, so no blackout date issues if planned in advance. Also used the BofA Alaska Visa to get the points and $99 1-time companion pass fare, which saved us $600+ for DW's airfare. Overall I saved about 70% on the cost of a very high-end Maui trip using 2 credit cards with spend I easily hit to get the sign-up points.

Lot of deal combos like this out there... to me, you have to work backwards by figuring out your ideal destination(s), then determining the best flight carrier and hotel options based on that. Then go get the associated CC to those carriers.
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Kenkat
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Kenkat » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:52 pm

mpsz wrote:Citibank no longer issues Hilton HHonors credit cards. American Express has them exclusively now.

If you already have a Chase Sapphire... I'd say add a Chase Freedom into the mix to use in the 5% bonus categories. You will earn UR points that can be pooled into your Sapphire's account.
Well that is interesting to know - thanks for the heads up. I have a boatload of HHonors points so will have to see how they will transition the Citi card to Amex (if they will).

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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Mudpuppy » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:15 pm

Kenkat wrote:
mpsz wrote:Citibank no longer issues Hilton HHonors credit cards. American Express has them exclusively now.

If you already have a Chase Sapphire... I'd say add a Chase Freedom into the mix to use in the 5% bonus categories. You will earn UR points that can be pooled into your Sapphire's account.
Well that is interesting to know - thanks for the heads up. I have a boatload of HHonors points so will have to see how they will transition the Citi card to Amex (if they will).
That also means there's no longer a sign-up bonus for two free nights with a Hilton credit card either, since it was a Citi card which had that bonus. The AmEx Hilton cards just have point bonuses for sign-ups. And frankly, the no annual fee AmEx Hilton has a better sign-up bonus (50k points for $1000 spend vs. 75k points for $3000 spend on the $75 annual fee card). The annual fee AmEx is only appealing IMHO if you value gold status and a bigger point multiplier (12x vs 7x for the no-fee card). That may or may not be worth the $75 annual fee depending on your level of travel in a year.

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Kenkat
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Kenkat » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:17 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:
Kenkat wrote:
mpsz wrote:Citibank no longer issues Hilton HHonors credit cards. American Express has them exclusively now.

If you already have a Chase Sapphire... I'd say add a Chase Freedom into the mix to use in the 5% bonus categories. You will earn UR points that can be pooled into your Sapphire's account.
Well that is interesting to know - thanks for the heads up. I have a boatload of HHonors points so will have to see how they will transition the Citi card to Amex (if they will).
That also means there's no longer a sign-up bonus for two free nights with a Hilton credit card either, since it was a Citi card which had that bonus. The AmEx Hilton cards just have point bonuses for sign-ups. And frankly, the no annual fee AmEx Hilton has a better sign-up bonus (50k points for $1000 spend vs. 75k points for $3000 spend on the $75 annual fee card). The annual fee AmEx is only appealing IMHO if you value gold status and a bigger point multiplier (12x vs 7x for the no-fee card). That may or may not be worth the $75 annual fee depending on your level of travel in a year.
Yes, I am probably looking at getting one of the no annual fee Hilton Amex cards; I will probably give it a few months to see if there are any promotions offered by Hilton or Amex for existing Citi cardholders.

mpsz
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by mpsz » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:22 pm

Kenkat wrote:Well that is interesting to know - thanks for the heads up. I have a boatload of HHonors points so will have to see how they will transition the Citi card to Amex (if they will).
Your points should be safe, as they are in your HHonors account (with Hilton) and not held by Citi.

That being said, I believe that the latest update is that AmEx will not be purchasing accounts from Citi, so you'll receive a different Citi card (my guess is it will be the no fee ThankYou Preferred card): https://thepointsguy.com/2017/06/hilton-drops-citi/

brajalle
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by brajalle » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:24 am

The best flexibility is probably staying brand agnostic (for most flexible hotel choice), especially since it sort of sounded like you aren't going to be traveling extensively (ie no vacations in 2 years). Most of the hotel programs seem to be optimized to very frequent travelers for benefits. There's some with some decent points+cash programs, but I'm not sure they're the hotels you seem to be looking for.

Everyday cards for travel redemptions? You're probably looking at either a generic earning card or a top card+lesser cards for actual point earning. Ie-
Chase Sapphire Reserve+other Ultimate points cards - typically some great transfer options & overall great point earning options
AmexPlat+other Amex point earning cards - typically lower point earnings/value than Chase, fairly flexible, their FHR & some other perks may be nice
Citi Prestige+other Citi TY point cards - weakest in everyday point earnings IMO, probably best in consumer protections/warranties & prestige's hotel 4th night free benefit can be amazing

Some decent standalone card options could be-
Crystal Infinite (its 3% in many categories)
US Bank Altitude (can be 3% in a ton of locations)
2% cards (Citi DoubleCash, Fidelity Visa, etc)

I will say, that once you get above the flat 2% cards (or cards like the Citi Costco with speciic spend % at various places), that you're going to need a solid plan to make sure you're earning full benefits from the large annual fees many of those cards typically have.

Each have their perks/downsides. I'd probably personally be concerned about program changes & point valuation changes in most points programs unless you're just putting a ton of spend on and redeem frequently. I'd be much more interested in points with a cash value I can redeem frequently or in flat out cash back...with a notable exception if I wanted a specific perk (the Citi Prestige comes to mind).

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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by jay22 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:30 pm

Loik098 wrote:If both you and your wife signed up for the Chase IHG, you could combine the free anniversary nights you'd each get once a year to stay at a really nice place for a weekend. A good bargain for the $98 in annual fees you'd pay. There are targeted 80,000 IHG point offers for $2k spend out there.
What is the best way to redeem those 80,000 points? I got that offer in mail yesterday.

RyanV
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by RyanV » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:12 pm

I would target transferable points rather than actual hotel points. SPG is good too since their points are also transferable. Since you already have a Chase sapphire card I would suggest a Chase Freedom Unlimited which gives you 1.5pt per dollar which you can use the chase sapphire card to transfer to Hyatt. SPG card is also great since they transfer at a 1 SPG to 3 Marriott pt ratio since the merger and SPG/Ritz/Marriott is a huge number of properties. There aren't near as many Hyatt hotels. Using points for Hilton isn't really worth it generally as the value just isn't there.

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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by liveoss » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:22 pm

jay22 wrote:
Loik098 wrote:If both you and your wife signed up for the Chase IHG, you could combine the free anniversary nights you'd each get once a year to stay at a really nice place for a weekend. A good bargain for the $98 in annual fees you'd pay. There are targeted 80,000 IHG point offers for $2k spend out there.
What is the best way to redeem those 80,000 points? I got that offer in mail yesterday.
Honestly, I don't think there's a great way to redeem them. Point to value wise, they're not that great. For example, if you want to stay in Boston, it'll cost you anywhere from 30,000-60,000 points per night.

They do have this thing that they offer called "PointBreaks", where they offer nights at specific hotels for 5,000 points per night. In the US they're usually in cities that you don't normally vacation to, though you might get lucky, but the international ones are better.

Your best best is use the points to supplement your free anniversary nights or use them in case of an emergency.

mhalley
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by mhalley » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:34 pm

I heard Clark Howard recommend this one (Starwood from Amex)on his podcast the other day.
http://www.wisebread.com/best-rewards-c ... an-express

Loik098
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Re: Recommendations for a credit card/good hotel brand combo

Post by Loik098 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:35 pm

jay22 wrote:
Loik098 wrote:If both you and your wife signed up for the Chase IHG, you could combine the free anniversary nights you'd each get once a year to stay at a really nice place for a weekend. A good bargain for the $98 in annual fees you'd pay. There are targeted 80,000 IHG point offers for $2k spend out there.
What is the best way to redeem those 80,000 points? I got that offer in mail yesterday.
There's now a targeted 100k offer floating out there as well, so keep an eye out for it.

The most beneficial way to redeem the points is by looking for the pointsbreak list on their website. Unfortunately, these points are most valuable at lower-end hotels (so you might not want to stay at those, anyway), and the better properties fill up fairly quickly.

But you're not really getting these cards for the points; you're getting them for the free anniversary nights :-)

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