This is the first of a series of posts that will focus on what cards offer the best bonuses for different types of travel. Since there is a lot of crossover when using awards, I will limit it to the top 2-3 cards in each category. In the series I will cover the best credit card signup offers for:

Hotel stays in Europe

Hotels stays in the US

Hotels stays in Latin America

Hotels stays in Asia

Domestic economy flights

Domestic business/first class flights

International economy flights

International business/first class flights

Maximum number of free nights

Aspirational hotel stays

There are often many lucrative credit card offers available that could net you a handful of free nights at luxury hotels or round trip tickets. When looking at which credit card offers to signup for you need to consider how you want to use those rewards and where you plan on traveling to on your next couple of trips (don’t worry, with a little planning there will be plenty of time to earn more miles and points for your next trip). The fact is, that some bonus offers will be much more valuable to you just based on how to you plan to use them, so this post is aimed to boil it down to the top couple cards that will net you the most value for certain award redemptions.

Here are our top picks of credit card offers for that will get you the maximize value and quality of free hotel stays in Europe:

The US Bank Club Carlson Visa is an amazing card because of the 85,000 Club Carlson points you will get after spending $2,500 in the first three months. With the card you will have the exclusive benefit to redeem hotels stays of 2 or more nights at half off with what they call Bonus Award Nights. Basically when you stay 2 or more nights at the same property you will get the last night free.

Most of the valuable Club Carlson top-tier properties are located in Europe and many of the Radisson Blu hotels can run $300-400 per night. This makes it easy to find a hotel to spend your points at and I have found award availability to be very open when booking nights. Cardmembers will also get automatic Gold status which gives you room upgrades upon availability at check-in.

Some of the best uses for 85,000 Club Carlson points:

The May Fair, London

Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel, Paris

Radisson Blu Bosphorus Hotel, Istanbul

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens

Park Inn Krakow, Poland

The Chase Hyatt Visa will give you 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt property and since Europe holds many amazing Hyatt properties you can easily get $1,000 in free hotel stays with this offer alone. Take for example, the lowest nightly rate at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme in July is $817.29 USD. The nice thing about this card offer is that you get two free night certificates credited to your account rather than a set number of points. The two free nights are usually deposited into your Hyatt Gold Passport account within two weeks of meeting the spend requirement and you can use them anytime after that.

To maximize the most value, I recommend using these free night certificates at the most expensive Hyatt properties that you find useful. Remember that the free night credits expire after one year of being deposited into your account, so make sure to use them within a year!

When you want to use your free nights the availability will be the same as normal award nights, but you will need to call Gold Passport to book them. You can check availability of standard award rooms on Hyatt.com, but be aware that you will need to have enough points in your account to book the reservation you are looking at. This is a quirk to Hyatt’s online award booking system. So if you just opened a Gold Passport account and received the 2 free Hyatt nights and don’t have any points in your account, you will have to check for availability by calling the Gold Passport line at (800) 228-3360. Even with these quirks the card offer is more than worth it if you redeem at a top-tier property in Europe that normally runs over $700 per night!

Some of the best uses for the 2 free nights:

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme

Park Hyatt Istanbul

Park Hyatt Milan

Park Hyatt Zurich