HOTEL CARDS

I list the cards in the order of my favorite below the videos!
Never forget usually once you get to your vacation, everything depends on your hotel/accommodation. This first video gives a good overview of Clearwater Beach, FL @Hilton.  This hotel was not as good as some in Europe we stayed at, but was great for my family and the surrounding area was pleasant and playful.  Certainly watch it to get a feel for what Hotel cards can give you and how my videos present a hotel experience. 
Our Free Hyatt room in Milan
Bathroom in the Hyatt, Milan
The Executive suite upgrade at the Hilton Curacao
Our Room upgrade at Waldorf in Rome, Italy
Our bathroom in Rome.
Get the "light blue" card first (Hilton HHonors), then you often get offered an upgrade to the "black" card (Hilton HHonors Surpass), which gives another bonus without a credit inquiry.  You see this offer when you log into your account after some time has passed. 
          Some of the perks of having credit cards even with an annual fee are the upgraded status, such as, the upgrade to Gold Status with the HiltonHonors Citibank Reserve Card.  This card has saved me literally hundreds of dollars, probably over $1,000 when staying in Europe in Hilton brand hotels for only 7 days.  Often, you receive free breakfast (although sometimes just continental), worth up to 38 Euros at times, and free internet, which can cost up to 27 euros in higher end Hiltons.  The room upgrades when available have been excellent from being at the Gold status level.  
BELOW IS A GREAT VIDEO OF HOW I DID A 5 STAR IN ROME FREE @Waldolf Astoria hotel.
          The accommodation are important, but so are the food options.  Therefore, whenever you can obtain an upgraded status just by owning a card, do it.  Hilton gold status is great!  You really only have to have one card and your spouse an enjoy the benefits, but be careful how you book it, so that the spouse with Gold Status is primary on the reservation.  However, I have even book rooms where I only stayed there and she was the account we used, but I was the guest and received the breakfast and internet for FREE.  Recently, however, to take another bonus and lose the headache of that, we both have gold status, myself through AMEX Hilton HHonors Surpass (which I like the 6pts for gas, supermarkets, and restuaants). 
          There is a good argument to get a hotel card from every chain that offers any upgrade for having that card in your wallet.  The US Bank Club Carlson gives Gold elite status or silver elite depending on which card you obtain and AMEX SPG gives Preferred Guest Plus, and the Chase Hyatt card gives Platinum, while Marriott gives Silver elite.  Granted the first tier is usually not worth much, with some of these cards.  However, a late check out and an free upgrade in your room is still nice!
Here's Hotel Credit Cards overviews...listed in my favorite order: