Some hotel credit cards, such as the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, offer sky-high welcome bonuses of 100,000 points points or more. But you’ll usually need to spend several thousand dollars in the first few months to earn the biggest bonuses.
If that’s not ideal for you, don’t worry — the hotel card bonuses on this list require spending $3,000 or less and offer up some great bonuses to boot.
These bonuses are ideal if you’re opening your first travel credit card and are nervous about being able to meet the minimum spending requirement. You’ll be able to earn a valuable bonus without spending more than you normally would.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Best hotel credit cards with low spending requirements
Comparison of the best hotel credit cards with low spending requirements
|Hilton Honors American Express Card||Earn 100,000 points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within your first six months of card membership. Offer ends Jan. 17||$0 (see rates & fees)|
|Choice Privileges® Mastercard®||60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months||$0 (see rates and fees)|
|Wyndham Rewards Earner Card||Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days||$0|
|Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®||90,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months||$0 for the first year, then $95(see rates and fees)|
The information for the Wyndham Rewards Earner card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Current welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within your first six months of card membership. Offer ends Jan. 17.
Other benefits: Earn 7 points per dollar at participating Hilton hotels and resorts, 5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and 3 points per dollar for all other eligible purchases. Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status. Earn Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year after spending $20,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. Enrollment required for select benefits. Terms apply.
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)
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Quick take: The Hilton Honors American Express card offers complimentary Hilton Silver status, which gets you access to Hilton’s 5th night free on award stays. It also has solid earning potential at Hilton properties and a healthy welcome bonus that can get you up to 18 award nights (if you take advantage of the 5th night free). This is the only Hilton credit card with no annual fee (see rates & fees), so if you like Hilton properties this is an an easy card to hold long term.
Apply here: Hilton Honors Card from American Express
Choice Privileges® Mastercard®
Current welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
Other benefits: With the Choice Privileges Mastercard, you can more points in various ways. The welcome offer of 60,000 bonus points is enough to redeem up to seven reward nights at select Choice Hotels in addition to cardholders earning 5 points per dollar on stays at participating Choice Hotels and on Choice Privileges point purchases. This card also earns 3 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plan services. The icing on the cake is earning 1 point per dollar on other purchases so regardless of where you’re tapping your card, you’re consistently earning rewards.
Annual fee: $0
Quick take: Cardholders get automatic Gold Elite membership in addition to enjoying 10% bonus points every time you book a qualifying Choice Hotels stay. That puts you halfway to Platinum Elite status right off the bat. You’ll also enjoy no foreign currency conversion fee for purchases converted to U.S. dollars.
Apply here: Choice Privileges® Mastercard®
Wyndham Rewards Earner Card
Current welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Other benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Wyndham properties, 2 points per dollar on eligible gas, utility and grocery store purchases and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. Enjoy Wyndham Rewards Platinum status, which provides many benefits including early check-in, late check-out, upgrades on Avis and Budget car rentals and you can match your status to Cesars Rewards status. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $0
Quick Take: This card provides Wyndham Platinum elite status, good earning at Wyndham properties and a bonus that can get you up to four award nights or up to 20 nights of points plus cash. The 6,000 anniversary bonus points essentially cover the annual fee, so this could be a long-term card if you like to stay at Wyndham properties.
For more information, see our full review of the Wyndham Rewards credit cards.
Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®
Current welcome bonus: Earn 90,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Other benefits: Earn 10 points per dollar on stays at participating Choice Hotels properties, 5 points per dollar on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores and phone plans from landline and cell phone providers and 1 point per dollar on other purchases.
Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95
Quick take: Along with its valuable earning rates, the Choice Privileges Select offers perks like 30,000 bonus points every account anniversary, a $100 statement credit for Global Entry and 20 elite night credits, qualifying you for at least Platinum level status each calendar year.
Apply here: Choice Privileges® Select Mastercard®
Pros and cons of hotel cards with low minimum spending requirements
Hotel cards with low spending requirements open the world of booking free nights with points to just about anyone with a moderately healthy credit score. You don’t need to be a big spender to get value from opening any of the cards on this list. And with smaller spending requirements you could even open more than one card and earn several different intro bonuses.
The downside of the small spending requirements is that they are rarely attached to the best welcome offers (worth over $1,000). So while these cards are great to get your feet wet, eventually you’ll want to graduate to cards with better ongoing benefits and bigger rewards. Making this jump isn’t as tough as you’d think; many of the best rewards credit cards have minimum spending requirements of $5,000 or less with even bigger and better welcome offers you can take advantage of once you get the hang of racking up and redeeming points.
Staying in hotels doesn’t have to bust your budget, there are plenty of hotel rewards credit card options that can help you defray the costs. Many of the best credit cards offer valuable welcome bonuses that can be worth hundreds or even $1,000+, but you’ll have to spend a certain amount (aka the minimum spending requirement) to earn these bonuses.
These spending requirements don’t have to stand between you and a hefty card bonus — there are hotel credit cards with decently reasonable minimum spending requirements. These cards provide the best of both worlds by giving you the chance to reward yourself for your everyday purchases without having to commit to putting a lot of expenses on a card.
Additional reporting by Jason Stauffer.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Amex Card, click here.