How to Apply for the Right Hotel Rewards Credit CardNovember 22, 2011 - 6:27 am
One of the primary things to consider when you want to apply for a credit card offering rewards is exactly what rewards make sense for your life. In many cases, consumers who do a lot of traveling will apply for a airline miles rewards credit card which provides them with ample opportunity to rack up airline miles. These airline rewards enable card users to book free flights for themselves and maybe even other traveling companions. Most airline rewards cards offer additional discounts and resources which make sense to travelers.
However, there may be a point where there are only so many airline miles to be attained. In this case, a frequent flier may consider switching to a new credit card that offers relevant rewards such as free stays at quality hotels.
Understanding Hotel Credit Card Benefits
Hotel credit cards are in essence a loyalty rewards program where travelers get to earn points for each stay that can translate into free visits at any of the hotel’s other locations. For those who travel a lot using their hotel reward credit card, there is also the possibility of earning the status of progressing to a privileged cardholder with even more perks.
Unlike airline benefits, hotel credit card rewards often provide more options since there are more choices as to where you can stay and reap your rewards benefits. Hotel credit cards are also known for offering incredible deals because competition between the hotel chains is much more aggressive than it is among airlines.
Frequent travelers can use both hotel and airline rewards cards at different intervals in order to maximize rewards benefits they can actually use. This can be cost-effective for both business travel and personal travel itineraries. Rewards holders have been known to book entire vacations free of charge for the entire family based on their reward earnings.
More than Just Rewards
While the extended benefits of rewards credit cards in general can be attractive, consumers need to remember the finer points of applying for a new credit card. Beyond the great rewards and benefits, new applicants should also consider the following issues:
Membership Dues – while the rewards and benefits may be great, consumers need to calculate the actual math if a membership fee is required for card membership. More credit card companies are charging annual fees and depending on the card provider, the annual membership costs may not be cost effective to one’s budget.
Normal APR – consumers need to focus on what the annual percentage rate of interest will be on the credit card after any promotional benefits end. Many credit card providers still utilize a low-interest introductory offer to lure in new business but the offer is only good for a few months to a year. After the promo deals end, the consumer needs to ensure they can afford the regular APR of their rewards credit card.
Limitations on Rewards – each credit card provider has different protocol for transferring points into rewards so it is vital that all credit card applicants read the fine print before committing to a rewards credit card. While you may enjoy the offered benefits, the way the credit card company rewards those benefits may not be compatible with your lifestyle or spending habits.
Selecting a new hotel credit card will require some research on the benefits and rewards of several card offers. Never take the first deal you see as there is likely a better deal elsewhere that makes more sense for your financial life. Compare several offers before making a decision on which hotel card offers the most suitable, most relevant earnings potential for your travel needs.