7 Best Credit Cards for Complimentary Breakfast at Hotels [2021]

Hotel breakfast spread

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When you’re traveling around the world, one of the biggest costs is food. And if you’re a value-focused traveler, you would probably find tremendous value in complimentary breakfast at the hotels you’re staying at.

Sure, some limited-service hotel brands (particularly extended stay and lower-end properties) give free breakfast to all their guests, but if you’re looking to enjoy complimentary breakfast at a full-service hotel, you’ll probably need top-tier elite status or a hotel credit card.

If you have the right credit card, you can not only accelerate the rewards you earn, but also enjoy lovely elite status benefits that go far beyond complimentary breakfast.

In this guide, we’ll show you our favorite credit cards to get for complimentary breakfast at hotels.

What To Look for in a Credit Card for Complimentary Breakfast at Hotels

In general, the best credit cards for complimentary breakfast will confer this benefit with as little effort as possible.

Ideally, you get free breakfast just by holding the card and activating your elite status.

There are certainly a few credit cards that offer this, while other credit cards require a higher elite status to get free breakfast, which can be achieved through high credit card spending.

Regardless of the specifics, the best credit cards for complimentary breakfast at hotels are simply those that offer the perk just by holding the card.

Simple enough, right? Let’s get into our favorite personal credit cards for complimentary breakfast at hotels.

The 5 Best Personal Credit Cards for Complimentary Breakfast at Hotels

Waldorf Astoria Orlando breakfast pastries
Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members can access 2 complimentary continental breakfasts per morning at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

1. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card is our #1 favorite card for complimentary breakfast, simply because it happens to offer the best luxury travel perks of any card out there. And if you’re looking for the best travel and lifestyle perks, this is the best card by far.

Earning with the Amex Platinum card is pretty straightforward:

  • 5x points per $1 spent on flights purchased directly with the airline or at Amex Travel and prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel
  • 1x points per $1 everywhere else

While there aren’t a lot of bonus-earning categories, bear with us because you’ll also get a ton of other travel perks!

With the Amex Platinum card, you are entitled to access the American Express Global Lounge Collection, offering the best lounge access in the world at Airspace Lounges, Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta the same day), Escape Lounges, International American Express Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, and Priority Pass lounges (upon enrollment).

You’ll also get access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts and The Hotel Collection, a $200 airline fee credit, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, rental car elite status (AvisHertz, and National), access to the Amex International Airline Program, and complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status.

It doesn’t end there — you’ll get up to $200 prepaid hotel credit, up to $240 digital entertainment credit, up to $200 in Uber Cash, up to $300 in Equinox credits, $179 in CLEAR credits, and up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits! Enrollment may be required for select benefits, so make sure you’ve explored your American Express account to ensure you’re getting the most out of your card.

This card offers best-in-class travel coverage, thanks to the trip interruption and cancellation insurance, trip delay insurance, secondary car rental insurance, lost/stolen/damaged/delayed baggage, and emergency evacuation coverage.

And when you’re making purchases, enjoy the purchase protection, extended warranty, zero fraud liability, and even cell phone protection!

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

There are a few ways to access complimentary breakfast with the Amex Platinum card.

The first way is to activate your Hilton Gold status, which entitles you to complimentary continental breakfast. In practice, most Hilton hotels (especially outside the U.S.) offer a full breakfast.

The second way is to use your Amex Platinum card to book an Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts stay which includes complimentary breakfast as one of the benefits, as well as early check-in, late checkout, room upgrades, and more.

The third way is to use your Amex Platinum card to book a stay at The Hotel Collection which offers a $100 property credit that can be applied towards breakfast.

2. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Aspire card is American Express’s ultra-premium Hilton credit card, and it’s been a hit since it was released!

If you find yourself being loyal to Hilton, this card is the best choice for you. It’s the only credit card that confers top-tier Hilton Honors Diamond Elite status, which excites in a few ways.

Before we talk about that, though, let’s talk about the other features of the card.

You’ll juice up your Hilton stays a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal. Then, earn up to 14x Hilton Honors points:

  • 14x Hilton Honors points on eligible purchases at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton portfolio
  • 7x Hilton Honors points on flights booked directly with airlines or Amex Travel, car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases

This credit card also offers a $250 airline incidental fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit, and a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership.

The strong travel benefits include secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, baggage insurance, premium roadside assistance, travel accident insurance, and more.

You can also make use of the purchase protection, return protection, extended warranty, and no foreign transaction fees.

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

The most intuitive way to access complimentary breakfast is to use your Hilton Honors Diamond status when you’re booking a stay at a Hilton property.

With Diamond status, you’re entitled to complimentary continental breakfast, as well as suite upgrades, executive lounge access, and additional points-earning bonuses.

But as we mentioned above, your complimentary continental breakfast is almost always a full breakfast at international properties outside the U.S.

3. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

The Hilton Surpass card is Hilton’s premium consumer credit card, and it offers plenty of benefits and value with a low price tag.

Earn up to 12x Hilton points per $1 spent:

  • 12x Hilton Honors points on eligible purchases at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton portfolio
  • 6x Hilton Honors points on dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
  • 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases

With this card, you get complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, a free weekend night reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, 10 free Priority Pass lounge visits, and the ability to get Hilton Honors Diamond status after spending $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.

The Hilton Surpass card comes with secondary rental car insurance and fraud protection.

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

If you know you’re staying at Hilton properties and are looking for a “good enough” elite status to get free breakfast, then this is an awesome card for you.

You’ll keep your annual fees low while having an elite status tier high enough to get a complimentary breakfast at Hilton.

Sure, you won’t get Diamond benefits like suite upgrades and executive lounge access, but you’ll also save a bundle of money in fees.

4. The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt card is one of the best hotel credit cards available, mostly because it earns points from an award-winning loyalty program.

Issued by Chase, the World of Hyatt card allows you to earn up to 9x points for Hyatt stays:

  • Up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays — 4 bonus points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and 5 base points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting, and on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1 Bonus Point per $1 on all other purchases

This credit card also gets you 1 free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort, plus an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 within a calendar year.

In addition, get 5 tier qualifying night credits towards elite status after account opening and after every year. You’ll get World of Hyatt Discoverist status, plus the ability to earn 2 elite night credits for every $5,000 you spend on the credit card.

When you hold this credit card, you can make use of the trip interruption and cancellation insurance coverage, trip delay insurance, lost luggage and baggage delay coverage, secondary rental car insurance, and travel accident coverage.

The card also comes with standard benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability, and no foreign transaction fees.

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

The World of Hyatt card doesn’t confer complimentary breakfast by itself, but there are a few ways to access complimentary breakfast.

First of all, you can spend your way to World of Hyatt Globalist status. This is because you get 5 tier qualifying nights by having the card open, as well as the ability to get 2 more tier qualifying nights for every $5,000 spent.

Hot Tip: The World of Hyatt Business credit card offers 5 tier qualifying nights for every $10,000 spent, which can get you to Globalist status even faster. 

Normally, Globalist status requires 60 tier qualifying nights, but in 2021, Hyatt is reducing the requirements by 50% for all elite tiers, which means Globalist requires just 30 tier qualifying nights.

When you have Globalist status, you get Club Lounge access or complimentary full breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children without a Club Lounge. 

Another way to access complimentary breakfast is to book qualifying stays at Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) properties, whereby you can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast for 2 (usually a full breakfast), early check-in, late checkout, room upgrades, and free Wi-Fi.

5. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

The last personal credit card on our list is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. As one of the best ultra-premium credit cards in the world, this card offers great benefits, awesome rewards, and plenty of travel perks.

You’ll also earn up to 10x points per $1 spent:

  • 10x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on Lyft purchases through March 2022
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining purchases
  • 1x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on all other purchases

You’ll also find an easy-to-use $300 travel credit every cardmember anniversary year, and through December 31, 2021, your travel credit can be used for gas station and grocery store purchases.

Other travel benefits include a Priority Pass Select membership, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, a DoorDash DashPass subscription and $60 statement credit, a $120 Peloton Digital and All Access Membership credit through December 31, 2021, a Lyft Pink membership (Lyft Pink includes a Grubhub+/Seamless+ membership), rental car elite status with Avis and National, and access to the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a well-rounded card, thanks to the best travel insurance offering of any credit card, including primary rental car coverage, trip cancellation and interruption, baggage delay, lost luggage, roadside assistance, and more.

Lastly, you’ll get extended warranty, purchase protection, and zero fraud liability.

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

Even though the Chase Sapphire Reserve card doesn’t confer any hotel elite status, bookings made through the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection offer elite-like benefits:

  • Daily breakfast for 2 people
  • Room upgrade, subject to availability
  • Early check-in, subject to availability
  • Late checkout, subject to availability
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • A unique property amenity (lunch or dinner for 2, airport transfers, etc.)

While this draws comparisons to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, the portfolio of eligible hotels is slightly different. Also, the benefits might vary on a case-by-case basis.

The 2 Best Business Credit Cards for Complimentary Breakfast at Hotels

C. Baldwin Curio Collection Hilton Hotel in Houston Texas Grab Go Breakfast
Hilton elites are given a $15 credit to use at the Good 2 Go coffee shop at C. Baldwin, Curio Collection by Hilton in Houston. Image Credit: Chris Hassan

If you travel frequently for work or business, you probably wouldn’t complain if you got free breakfast during your hotel stays, right?

That’s why we’ve built this next section of the best business credit cards for complimentary breakfast!

1. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express is basically in a league of its own by offering an ultra-premium business card: the Amex Business Platinum card.

This card earns 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels booked at Amex Travel.

And you’ll enjoy a unique perk where you can earn 1.5x points on eligible purchases in key business categories, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, up to $2 million in purchases per calendar year.

You’ll enjoy the same lounge access perks with the American Express Global Lounge Collection as you would with the Amex Platinum card.

Also, the travel benefits include a $200 airline fee credit every calendar year, as well as access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status upon enrollment, up to $400 in statement credits for Dell purchases in the U.S. (via 2 $200 credits semi-annually), a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and a 35% rebate when using Pay With Points on airfare.

The Amex Business Platinum card boasts purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, a suite of travel insurance coverage, and return protection.

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

To enjoy complimentary breakfast with the Amex Business Platinum card, you can:

  • Activate your Hilton Honors Gold elite status and book a stay at Hilton properties
  • Book a stay at Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
  • Book a stay at The Hotel Collection and apply your $100 property credit towards breakfast

Hilton Gold status includes complimentary continental breakfast, though it’s usually a full breakfast at properties outside the U.S.

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts includes complimentary breakfast on all bookings, as well as late checkout, early check-in, and property credits.

The Hotel Collection offers a $100 property credit and a room upgrade (subject to availability), and you can use the property credit towards breakfast!

2. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

The Hilton Business Amex card is a terrific choice for a hotel business credit card. That’s because the welcome bonus is enormous, and the perks are generous. 

You’ll earn up to 12x Hilton points per $1 spent:

  • Earn 12x at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio
  • Earn 6x on select business and travel purchases. These include:
    • U.S. restaurants
    • Airfare booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel
    • Car rentals booked directly with select car rental companies
    • Gasoline purchased at U.S. gas stations
    • U.S. shipping purchases
    • Monthly wireless telephone services from U.S. service providers
  • Earn 3x Hilton Honors points on all other purchases

Isn’t this list of bonus categories impressive?

It gets better because this card offers you 10 complimentary Priority Pass visits upon enrollment, a free weekend night reward after $15,000 is spent on eligible purchases in a calendar year, a second free weekend night reward after $60,000 is spent on eligible purchases in a calendar year, complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, and complimentary Diamond status after spending $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year.

You’ll even get free employee cards, a baggage insurance plan, secondary rental car insurance, and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

How To Access Complimentary Breakfast

Since this card gets you Hilton Honors Gold status, you can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast on most Hilton stays.

The terms outline that the breakfast is continental, but if you’re staying outside the U.S., you’ll usually get a full breakfast.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the club of credit cards that offer complimentary breakfast is quite exclusive.

There’s only a handful of credit cards offering elite status high enough to access free breakfast without any extra hurdles.

Remember, if you get a hotel-specific credit card, you can only enjoy complimentary breakfast at that hotel chain.

On the flip side, you can use a card like the Amex Platinum card to get complimentary breakfast on Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings, regardless of which hotel brand you’re staying at.

Lastly, if you are capable of making large purchases on your credit card, you might be able to spend your way to a hotel elite status tier that confers free breakfast.


The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

How do I get free breakfast at a hotel?

You can get free breakfast at a hotel in a few ways:

  1. Purchasing a hotel rate that includes breakfast
  2. Staying at a hotel that offers free breakfast to all guests
  3. Using hotel elite status to get free breakfast
  4. Booking your hotel stay through a website like Fine Hotels & Resorts

Does Marriott give free breakfast?

Marriott only offers free breakfast at limited-service properties like Fairfield Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, and SpringHill Suites.

You can get free breakfast at most of its full-service brands by having at least Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status.

What is a complimentary breakfast?

A complimentary breakfast is a breakfast that is provided for free to guests. This is ordinarily done at hotels and resorts, but it’s rare at high-end luxury hotels.

Does the Hyatt have complimentary breakfast?

Hyatt offers complimentary breakfast without elite status requirements to Hyatt Place and Hyatt House guests, as long as you book using your World of Hyatt account.

What is the best credit card for complimentary breakfast at a hotel?

The best credit cards for complimentary breakfast at hotels are the Amex Platinum card, Hilton Aspire card, Hilton Surpass card, World of Hyatt card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

If you frequently stay in hotels for business, the best business cards for complimentary breakfast are the Amex Business Platinum card and Hilton Business Amex card. 

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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