Nothing says the holidays like hotel reservations. OK, so that might be a bit impolite, but rest assured, many families have maintained the peace and kept marriages in tact by reserving a hotel room for the duration of mother-in-law’s (or son-in-law’s) visits. Here are a few hotel rewards credit card options if you’re looking to really make the most of your efforts at peace-keeping this holiday season.
Marriott Rewards Premier Chase Credit Card
We’re guessing you’ll be more than happy to have that crazy aunt for the holidays when you see 50,000 bonus points after your first purchase on this Chase card. Not only that, but once your account is opened, you already have a free night at Marriott hotels and then each year on your anniversary, you receive another complimentary night. Every dollar you spend at Marriott locations earns you five points and you’ll earn two points for every dollar spent on dining, rental and airline purchases.
Check the terms and conditions to be sure your airlines, restaurants, etc. qualify for this program. Every dollar spent anywhere else earns a point, too. You can redeem your points any at Marriott hotel, including Residence Inn, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and Renaissance Hotels. Finally, the $85 annual fee is waived your first year, making this one of the stronger offers available on the market today.
Marriott Rewards Chase Credit Card
This is another co-branded offer from Marriott and Chase; it differs slightly from the Premier card, but is a strong contender. You’ll earn 30,000 bonus points after your first use, which equates to four free nights along with two additional free night “e-certificates” when you apply and are approved for the Marriott Rewards Chase credit card.
The annual fee associated with this offer is lower than its counterpart and is $45, though it’s waived your first year. Earn 3 points for every dollar you spend at Marriott locations, 1 point for every dollar spent on other purchases. No expirations and no limits, along with online account access and around the clock customer care rounds out this credit card offer.
Starwood Preferred Guest by American Express
This is another instant rewards card offer that also happens to be the 2011 SmarterTravel Award for “Best Travel Rewards Card.” Co-branded with Starpoints, this American Express offers 10,000 bonus points with your first purchase and then another 15,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 during your first six months. This gets you six free nights at any of the Category 1 or 2 hotels, which is perfect for those guests who show up to enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but then decide to turn it into a week-long vacation.
Like to fly? Your points can be redeemed for free flights, too. Use them with more than 350 airlines and to date, there are more than 1,000 participating hotels around the world. No blackout dates to spoil the fun, either. This credit card offer also has an annual fee of $65, but it’s waived the first year.
Other perks include a convenient year-end financial statement, purchase and return protection and emergency card and cash replacement. Travel easy knowing you’re covered under up to $100,000 travel accident insurance, medical referral services and legal help, too should you need it.
Small business owner? There’s a Starwood Preferred Guest credit card for this American Express offer, too. With an APR between 15.24% and 19.24%, it’s a great choice for businesses of all sizes. Same benefits and perks apply, which, again, makes for a fine choice for those business owners who travel often.
All of these hotel rewards cards offer many perks, and each with a waived annual fee comes at a great time of the year, too. Frees up your funds to buy more holiday gifts for the in-laws! These offers should put to rest all those concerns about extended guests this holiday season. Of course, if that doesn’t solve all your in-law indigestion, there’s no rule that says you can’t check into the hotel and enjoy the many amenities these hotels offer their visitors.
As always, be sure to closely examine the terms and conditions associated with any credit cards you might be considering. Knowing these terms ensures you’re not dreading your decision next holiday season.
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