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Before You Get Started
Currently, several hotel credit cards are available that meet your travel goals; however, if you’re new to the hobby, you should take note of these issues first:
- The 5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards – This hobby isn’t for everyone, so make sure you know the risks.
- Start Out Slow – I recommend folks who are new to this sign-up for 1 or 2 cards, until they’re comfortable. This will give you time to see how your credit is impacted and if you’re able to pay your bills on time.
- Make Sure You Can Meet Minimum Spending Requirements – See my post on 40+ Ways to Meet Minimum Spending for tips.
- Chase Has New Rules – If you’ve opened ~5 or more new credit cards (with any bank!) in the past 24 months, you likely won’t be approved for any Chase credit card.
One of the first cards I’d consider is the Chase Hyatt, which will earn you 2 nights at ANY Hyatt hotel when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. In Paris, you’ll have the option to stay at the Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome, a hotel many consider one of the best in Paris, if not the world. Hyatt also boasts the Hôtel du Louvre and the Hyatt Paris Madeleine, both 5-star properties in desirable areas of the city. All three hotels would typically cost well over $400-$500 per night.
Hilton Credit Cards
The next card Maria should consider is the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card. With this card, you’ll earn 2 weekend nights (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) at almost any Hilton hotel when you spend $2,500 on purchases within the 1st 4 months of opening your account. Perhaps the best use of weekend night certificates would be at the Hilton Paris Opera, a category 9 hotel only a short walk from the Park Hyatt Paris.
That takes care of 4 of the 5 nights for Maria’s trip. For the 5th night, it might be wise to accumulate Hilton points with the American Express Hilton HHonors Card. Currently, this card is offering 70,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months. Signing up for this card would accomplish 2 things:
- Maria could use those Hilton points to stay a 3rd night at the Hilton Paris Opera, which costs 50,000-80,000 points per night. Then, she’d only have switch hotels one time her entire trip.
- If Maria could meet the spending requirements, she could technically churn all 3 cards together because each belongs to a different bank: Chase, Citi, and American Express.
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