The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

9 Best Credit Cards for Las Vegas Vacations

Best Credit Cards For Las Vegas

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: January 16, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

You arrive at your hotel room that’s styled like a Tuscan villa. You check what’s currently playing and buy tickets for all seven Cirque du Soleil productions plus a performance by your favorite comedian, Carrot Top.

As you make dinner reservations at a five-star sushi restaurant, you’re grateful you researched the best credit cards for Las Vegas vacations because they can earn you top rewards on your travel, entertainment, and dining expenses.

It’s a sure bet that one of the following nine credit cards should fit the bill nicely and help you extract the most value from your stay in Sin City.

Travel | Spending | Hotels | FAQs | Ranking Methodology

Best Cards for Traveling to Las Vegas

Your journey to Las Vegas starts with your travel arrangements. The following three credit cards offer many perks to help make your travel more convenient, secure, and rewarding.

All three charge an annual fee but offer many free benefits and high rewards value in return.

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card credit card offers generous signup bonus points when you spend a set amount on purchases during the first three months after opening the account. You receive 2X points on your restaurant and travel purchases, plus 1x points on all other purchases.

Moreover, your points are worth 25% more when you redeem them at Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases that include airfare and hotels. The card also provides extensive free travel insurance and a relatively low annual fee.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is a great choice for those willing to pay a stiff annual fee. In return, you get premium travel and insurance perks.

You’ll receive 50% more in travel redemption at Chase Ultimate Rewards®, free access to airport lounges, and comprehensive insurance coverage, and an introductory bonus point windfall when you spend the required amount in the first three months.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers an impressive signup bonus of travel miles when you meet a purchase threshold during a set time frame after opening the account. You also get unlimited double miles on all purchases and a credit of up to $100 for TSA Preè or Global Entry fees.

You can transfer your miles to any of 10+ travel partners or redeem them for flights, hotels, cash, and more. The card waives the annual fee for the first year.

Best Cards for Spending in Las Vegas

No trip to Las Vegas would be complete without partaking of the fabulous dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities. These three cards all offer high cash back rewards, with or without an annual fee.

4. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

This card is currently not available.

Capital One® Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great choice for those who want to eat their way through Vegas, offering a nice cash back rate for all dining and entertainment purchases.

You can redeem cash back in any amount, and rewards don’t expire when the account remains open.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is just like its Savor sibling, sans the annual fee. You’ll still earn generous rewards for your dining and entertainment purchases, which makes it a favorable option for your Vegas vacation.

You’ll also get a promotional 0% APR after account opening, so you can finance your trip without interest if need be.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice! Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

The Citi® Double Cash Card lets you earn unlimited 2% cash back on purchases — 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay — with no annual fee, caps, or categories. You can redeem your cash back via statement credit, a check, or a deposit to a linked account.

If you prefer, you can convert your cash back rewards into ThankYou Points and use them for travel, shopping, gift cards, and more. Furthermore, you can transfer your points to any of the travel loyalty programs that partner with the Citi® Double Cash Card.

Best Cards for Hotel Stays in Las Vegas

Perhaps you’d like to stay in a hotel that replicates the Eiffel Tower, an Egyptian pyramid, or a medieval castle. Wherever you stay in Las Vegas, you’ll enjoy it more when you use your credit card rewards to foot the bill.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card gives you access to special deals thanks to its fabulous Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection that boasts premium Las Vegas properties including the Bellagio, Caesars Palace, and the Venetian.

You can earn a $300 travel reimbursement each year and a credit of up to $100 for TSA Pre√® or Global Entry fees. Your travel redemptions are worth an extra 50% through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and you can earn a boatload of bonus miles by spending the required amount in the first three months after opening the account.

8. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card is a virtual requirement for fans of this top-rated hotel chain. You have 29 Sin City properties from which to choose, including the Las Vegas Marriott, Marriott’s Grand Chateau, and the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa.

Marriott Bonvoy™ Boundless Card

  • 6X Points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy™ hotels, 2X points on all other purchases
  • Enjoy 1 free night each account anniversary, worth up to 35,000 points
  • $95 annual fee

If you earn Elite Status, you receive credits for 15 nights at a Bonvoy hotel. You also get extensive travel insurance benefits, Visa Signature Concierge Service, and free night award each year on your card anniversary.

9. World of Hyatt Card

The World of Hyatt Card is the must-have accessory for folks who frequent this top hotel chain. You receive automatic Elite Status when you obtain the card and opportunities to earn up to 50,000 bonus points when you spend the required amount on purchases during the first six months after opening the account.

World Of Hyatt Credit Card

  • 9X points for Hyatt stays, 2X points for transit, dining, flights, fitness and gym memberships, and 1X points on everything else
  • Free nights start at just 5,000 points
  • $95 annual fee

Staying at a Hyatt or partner hotel snags you 9X points, and you can earn 2X or 1x points on other purchases. Your card earns you top rewards at several Las Vegas hotels, including Hyatt Place, Luxor, MGM Grand, and The Mirage.

Can You Buy Chips at a Casino with a Credit Card?

Nevada state law prohibits casinos from selling chips paid for with a credit card. However, if you need more chips for the roulette wheel, poker table, or another gaming venue, your credit card won’t let you down — simply take a cash advance to purchase chips.

You can use an ATM in the casino — every Las Vegas casino has a copious number of ATMs (but oddly, no clocks). Of course, expect to pay a hefty fee for the privilege. Alternatively, present your credit card at the casino’s cashier cage and ask for a cash advance.

They will be delighted to accommodate you, right up to the card’s limit. Fees will apply here as well. All cash advances charge interest daily until repaid.

Photo of Cards and Poker Chips

Nevada law prohibits the purchase of poker chips with a credit card.

If you’ve tapped out your card’s limit, you can call the issuer and ask for a higher credit limit. If you’re lucky, they’ll turn you down — using a credit card to gamble can be, let’s face it, dangerous.

When you bring gambling cash to Vegas, you know exactly how much you’re prepared to lose (oh, yes, the odds are that you will lose). While a credit card can get you more cash, how will you feel if you end up losing far more than you had planned?

We make no moral judgments here. Lord knows your humble writer in his youth transgressed at Las Vegas casinos more than once. We only point out that a credit card can be used for purposes sacred and profane — the choice is yours.

When Will My Card Be Charged for Hotel Bookings?

There are three possibilities as to when your credit card will be charged:

  1. When you book the room
  2. Check-in
  3. Check-out

All three are possible, depending on the hotel chain, the individual property, and the method by which you book the room — either directly through the property or via a third-party booking agency.

Many travelers use websites like Expedia and Hotels.com to book all aspects of their trips, and some leave the details to a travel agent. Others like to book directly with the brand or property and have found that there is little difference in pricing between direct and indirect bookings.

Pre-charging your stay sometimes offers certain advantages, such as locking in a special rate or securing a reservation in a tight market. In some cases, a hotel may require advance payment of at least a deposit to hold the room. In another variation, the hotel may simply record your credit card number without charging it.

Photo of a Las Vegas Hotel

When your credit card is charged for a reservation depends on the hotel and method by which you booked the room.

A hotel may insist on a credit card guarantee, in which they do not pre-charge your card unless you fail to either cancel your reservation with enough advance warning or don’t show up for your stay. They then may charge you for one night or the projected cost of your entire stay.

On the plus side, when you pre-charge the hotel room, you receive any credit card rewards sooner. This may be important if you are in an introductory period of bonus rewards or 0% APR.

However, pre-charging may increase your credit utilization ratio (CUR) unless you pay the entire amount in the current billing cycle. A higher CUR can hurt your credit score.

Third-party booking websites may also require payment in advance, especially if they offer you a special discount. For example, Priceline often offers a low hotel rate that you must pay before it identifies the property.

When your credit card is pre-charged, make sure you understand the accompanying refund terms. The terms may range from easy cancellation up to the day of the reservation all the way to no refunds at all.

If you haven’t already submitted your credit card before check-in, virtually all hotels will run your card when you show up. They may simply record it for use when you check out, or they may run a charge as a deposit for your first night’s stay and/or incidental charges like room service.

You’ll be charged any unpaid balance at checkout. You may be given the opportunity to pay the balance with a different credit card, or even with cash.

When is the Cheapest Time to Go to Las Vegas?

According to USA Today, the three cheapest months to visit Las Vegas are January, August, and October.

January is the month with the lowest airfares, which can save you up to 15% on your flight. Naturally, the cost will vary with your departure point and the airline you use.

The paradox is that if you use frequent-flyer miles during January, you get less of a benefit than you would if you used them during a busy month when airfares are higher.

Photo of Las Vegas, Nevada

January, August, and October are the cheapest months to visit Las Vegas, according to USA Today.

While January may be the coldest month in Las Vegas, it by no means seems uncomfortable, especially if you depart from a northern city. Temperatures seldom drop below freezing and may hit the high 50s during the day. And casinos are always kept at a comfortable temperature year-round.

August in Las Vegas is ridiculously hot and may discourage visitors who want to spend time outdoors. We’re not sure why October is a slow travel month — perhaps folks are preparing for holiday travel elsewhere.

Naturally, the hotels in Las Vegas know the slack travel periods and adjust their rates accordingly. However, large conventions occur throughout the year and when they do, rooms may be scarce.

Special deals may not be readily available during these times. You can check the Las Vegas Tourism website for the schedule of conventions and trade shows.

Whichever month you choose to visit Las Vegas, you’ll probably pay less if you travel and stay midweek rather than on the weekends. Also, you may pay less by booking your trip about a month in advance.

Do I Need to Bring Cash to Las Vegas?

It’s hard to imagine where your credit card wouldn’t be accepted in Las Vegas, so, theoretically, you don’t need much cash when you visit. Many folks like paying for incidentals with cash, and, as discussed earlier, casinos won’t let you buy chips with a credit card.

However, there are plenty of banks and ATMs in Las Vegas, so you can always access cash via a debit or credit card. However, an ATM may hit you with a stiff fee — fees as high as $9.95 have been reported.

Bringing cash for gambling is eminently sensible. It lets you set the amount you’re willing to lose. But old Sin City has a way of separating gamblers from their money.

If you’re visiting for three days and lose all your gambling cash on Day One, will you be OK not gambling again on your trip? For many, the answer is no.

That’s when the credit and debit cards see the light of day, or more likely, the bright lights of the casino. If your willpower is less than steely, you can try a few tricks:

  • Prepay as much as possible before you visit and then travel with only cash and your debit or ATM card. This will limit your spending to the balance in your checking account (unless you have overdraft protection).
  • Bring a credit card with a low credit limit.
  • Temporarily disable cash advances on your credit card. American Express offers this service, as do some other issuers.
  • Have a travel companion hold your card for you during your trip with instructions not to give it to you for purposes of getting a cash advance (this can’t go wrong, can it?).
  • Do not bring checks from your home equity line of credit or your brokerage account.

One other reason you may need cash in Las Vegas is that scalpers demand it when you try to buy a ticket from one at a hot show. You may come across other all-cash transactions in Vegas.

Ranking Methodology

Our rankings of the best credit cards for Las Vegas are based on several factors, including the rate at which rewards are earned, travel insurance coverage, other travel perks and statement credits, annual fees, overall cardholder satisfaction, and other criteria relevant to this article. CardRates reviews undergo a thorough editorial integrity process to ensure that content is not compromised by advertiser influence.

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CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.