Canadian Hotel Credit Cards

Ritz-Carleton, Okinawa

A hotel credit card gives rewards points that are applied to a frequent guest program. If you use hotels then you should consider having Hotel Reward cards in your portfolio.  

As a mid-century modern I have to admit that my back is not what it used to be. I like to sleep in a comfortable bed (far too many “open air”, hostel, kibbutz, Greek monastery beds…) I also like hot showers, new toiletries and free luxury accommodations in chichi neighbourhoods…

Ritz-Carleton, Okinawa
Ritz-Carleton, Okinawa, paid with Marriott points.

Points to consider before deciding on a Hotel Credit Card

  • Don’t get a hotel credit card as your first card as they won’t earn you many rewards on most common purchases.
  • Don’t get a hotel credit card as your second card if you spend a lot on gas and groceries on your card. Your best bet is a cash-back card.
  • Do get a hotel credit card if you consistently stay at the same line of hotels wherever you travel or you want to experience a bit of luxury for next to nothing…
  • Hotel credit cards are directly connected with the rewards program of the hotel. You earn more by staying at these hotels, and your points have value when redeemed for hotel rooms.
  • Don’t get a hotel card unless you are certain that you can make the minimum spend.
  • Always check to see if you can get cash rebates, from Great Canadian Rebates, when you get a hotel card.

While there are a number of Canadian credit cards that let you use your reward points to book hotels, unlike our US neighbours, Canadians currently have only four dedicated hotel credit card options. Of those, three – the Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott – are currently in merger negotiations, awaiting a thumbs up from China. There is significant well-informed frequent flyer chatter regarding the potential merger (e.g., Flyertalk Starwood-Marriott Merger.)

Hotel Credit Cards Available to Canadians

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
This card gives you 20,000 Starpoints (enough for up to 5 free nights) after spending $500 in the first three months of card membership.  You can transfer Starpoints to frequent flyer miles with nearly 30 airlines, usually on a 1:1 basis. The card comes with a comprehensive travel insurance package. The annual fee is $120.
Hotels include: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Westin, Sheraton, Aloft, Element, and Four Points by Sheraton and their respective logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates.
Great Canadian Rebates is currently offering $30 cash back

CHASE Marriott Rewards Premier Visa
This card gives you 30,000 Marriott Points (enough for up to 4 free nights) after your first card purchase. The card has no foreign transaction fees and you get a free night anniversary bonus every year. The annual fee is $120 but it is waived for the first year.
Hotels include: AC Hotels by Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Courtyard, Edition, Fairfield Inn, Gaylord Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, The Ritz-Carlton and TownePlace Suites.

MBNA Best Western Card
This card gives you  20,000 Best Western Rewards Points (enough for one free night) with your first eligible purchase. There is no annual fee.
Great Canadian Rebates is currently offering $60 cash back

The Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express
This card gives you 20,000 Starpoints (enough for up to 5 free nights) after spending $1000 in the first three months of card membership.  You can transfer Starpoints to frequent flyer miles with nearly 30 airlines, usually on a 1:1 basis. The card comes with a comprehensive travel insurance  and business coverage The annual fee is $150.
Although this is a Business card,  anybody can get it.
Hotels include: Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Le Méridien, Tribute Portfolio, Element, Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels.

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