Learn how to get free hotel rooms by using these simple tips and workarounds that make travel a lot cheaper. We show 8 ways to get free stays in this guide!
How to Get Free Hotel Rooms With 8 Easy Tricks
With the price of just about everything steadily rising, everyone’s wondering how to get free hotel rooms. It’s not a fruitless pursuit – turns out, there are several ways to get free hotel stays without doing anything illegal.
Eight, in fact.
Learn how to get free hotel rooms with these 8 little-known tips and tricks that’ll make your next vacation cheaper and so much more rewarding!
1. Turn a Bad Stay Into a Free Stay
Some hotels are still serious about providing guests with a satisfactory experience. If you have a bad experience at Hilton Hotels & Resorts, for example, they’ll offer a Be My Guest certificate that’s good for a free night in a standard room at a Hilton property.
These hotel-issued vouchers are usually offered to remedy a bad experience, but can also be given away as part of a raffle or giveaway (be sure to sign up for Hilton emails to get notified of these events).
Sometimes, Hilton will offer points instead of a voucher or certificate – for example, one LoyaltyLobby reader received 70,000 Hilton Honors Points in lieu of a Be My Guest certificate.
The upside of points over a free night certificate? Hilton Honors Points don’t expire and you don’t have a physical piece of paper to keep up with.
The moral of the story is: Don’t be shy about letting hotel management know when your hotel experience falls flat, no matter what hotel brand it is. They’ll likely offer you a free night’s stay to make up for it!
2. Be Savvy With Hotel Rewards Programs
Nearly every hotel chain has a rewards program to encourage guests to become repeat customers. If you’re savvy and travel often, you can rack up hotel rewards points to earn free hotel rooms, airline miles, room upgrades, room discounts, and more.
Not all hotel rewards programs are created equal, however, and some will allow you to earn points more easily so you can get to those sweet free nights sooner.
Some of the most robust hotel rewards programs to help you earn free night stays are:
- Hilton Honors: Earn 10 pts. per dollar at Hilton hotels or w/cobranded Amex cards, 1,500 pt. welcome bonus, 5th night free and room upgrades w/Elite status, free food + drink credits
- Wyndham Rewards: Earn 10 pts. per dollar or 1,000 points at Wyndham hotels or w/cobranded Barclays cards, free or discounted stays, transfer Capital One airline miles 1:1, book free Vacasa rental properties with points
- IHG One: Earn 10 pts. per dollar at IHG hotels or w/cobranded credit cards, 4th night free, book free Six Senses resort stays, and free breakfast, lounge access, and suite upgrades with Diamond Elite status
- Choice Privileges: Earn 10 pts. per dollar or w/cobranded credit card, transfer Amex rewards + Capital One miles 1:1, free hotel stays, reserved parking benefits, and late checkout
- Marriott Bonvoy: Earn 2.5-10 pts. per dollar at Marriott hotels or w/Chase + Amex cobranded cards, get 5th night free, room upgrades, bonus points for Elite members, transfer points 3:1 for airline miles
Many hotel rewards programs offer generous welcome points bonuses that can get you closer to a free night before you even step foot in the room! Do a quick search for your hotel’s current welcome bonus offers to see what you can earn before you sign up and book.
3. Ask About a Free Night With Consecutive Stays
This deal is usually wrapped into a hotel’s rewards program, but if you’re not a rewards program member where you’re staying (though you really should be!), it’s worth asking about getting a night free with a 3-5 night stay.
Some hotels, like Four Seasons, automatically offer the 4th night free and free breakfast at some locations when you book a 3-night stay online.
In most cases, though, you’ll need to call the hotel and speak to the general manager to try this method to get a free hotel room instead of booking online.
Just let them know you’re planning on booking 3 or 4 nights (or more) at the hotel soon and ask if they can offer the 4th or 5th night free with your stay.
You might be told you’ll need to join the hotel rewards program to get the 4th or 5th night free benefit (like IHG One, Hilton Honors, and Marriott Bonvoy offer), but you might end up talking to someone willing to cut you the deal without being a member.
It’s always worth a try!
4. Get Free Nights With a Hotel Branded Credit Card
Hotel branded credit cards let you earn points toward a free hotel stay by making your usual purchases – groceries, gas, shopping, bills, travel, and more.
Hotels partner with credit card brands to offer these cards that make earning rewards points and airline miles easy and convenient. This method works best when you’re loyal to a particular hotel brand so you can consistently rack up and use points.
You can earn points multipliers (like 20X points when you stay at one of the hotel’s properties around the world or 5X on groceries), free nights on your card anniversary annually, and 50K+ bonus points for hitting expenditure goals in the first 3-6 months.
Even if there’s an annual fee (and many hotel credit cards don’t charge one), the annual free night on your card anniversary often makes up for it.
Some of the best hotel branded credit cards to earn a free hotel stay include:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card, American Express Surpass Card, and American Express Aspire Card
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Chase Card, Bold Chase Card, Bevy American Express Card, and Brilliant American Express Card
- IHG One Rewards Premier Chase Card, Traveler Chase Card, and Premier Business Chase Card
- Choice Privileges Mastercard and Choice Privileges Select Mastercard
5. Watch Hotel Promotions Like a Hawk
Hotels regularly do promotions and offer discounts to drum up business throughout the year. While you’ll find more promotions during the off-peak season, it’s not uncommon to get offers for free nights and deep discounts during the high season.
You might see offers to get a 4th or 5th night free with your stay, last-minute deals, room discounts from 10%-50% off, free room upgrades, extra amenities and perks, bonus rewards points, info on discounts you didn’t know about (like military, teacher, or first responder discounts), and more.
You might be notified of special offers that may include a free night stay when you book through a hotel’s website or app directly.
To stay in the loop for future promotions and free night offers, make sure to:
- Follow your favorite hotel brands on all social media channels you use
- Sign up for newsletters and promotion emails with your favorite hotels
- Sign up for travel aggregator site emails (Booking.com, Expedia, etc.)
6. Hold Hotels to Best Rate Guarantees
Many hotels offer best rate or lowest price guarantees – an agreement that says they’re offering the best possible rate on a hotel room, and if you manage to find the same type of room at a cheaper price for the same dates, they’ll give you a free night stay and other perks.
- Choice Hotels Lowest Price Guarantee matches the lower price and gives US and Canada residents a $50 Reward Card that can be used for a free night; International residents get a free hotel room if a better rate is found. Terms and conditions apply.
- World of Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee matches the lower price and offers 5,000 rewards points (you only need 3,500 to book a free night in the off-season) or 20% off the room if a better rate is found. Terms and conditions apply.
- Marriott Best Rate Guarantee matches the lower price and offers 5,000 rewards points (you can book some properties in the off-season for 5,000 points) or 25% off the room if a better rate is found. Terms and conditions apply.
- Best Western Low Rate Guarantee matches the lower price and offers a $100 gift card (enough for a free night in some locations) if a better rate is found published online. Terms and conditions apply.
Just search for hotel rooms on sites like Booking.com, Expedia, etc. and compare the rates you see with rates on the hotel’s direct booking website.
If you come across a lower advertised rate on one of the travel aggregator sites, take screenshots book a refundable/cancellable room on the hotel’s website with the higher rate. Make sure it’s refundable!
Next, use the hotel’s website Best Rate Guarantee claim form and submit your documentation and information within 24 hours. As long as the requirements are met, you’ll get the lower rate plus a free night, points, or other perks offered!
7. Sit Through a Timeshare Presentation
Marriott Vacation Club, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, Club Wyndham, and Hyatt Residence Club are all examples of timeshare vacation clubs that offer incredible deals on multi-night stays equivalent to 2+ free nights at resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals around the world.
You’ll see timeshare deals for crazy-cheap. We just found 4 days/3 nights in Destin for $249 plus a $200 prepaid gift card that effectively makes your visit $49 plus tax through Club Wyndham. How in the world could this be?
Well, you have to sit through a 2-hour timeshare presentation where you’ll be encouraged – ahem, pressured – to purchase a timeshare at one of the vacation club’s resorts or properties.
Oh, and there are a few requirements you’ll have to meet to be eligible for timeshare vacation deals:
- If you’re married, your spouse has to share your address and come to the presentation with you
- Couples need to be employed and make $50,000 combined income annually
- Singles need to be 30+ and make $45,000 annual income
- Show a good credit history with no current mortgage refinancing
You can’t skip the meeting or you’ll be charged full price for your discounted vacation. But if you can stick to your guns, set a timer to mark the 2-hour agreement, and meet the criteria, you’ll earn the equivalent of a few free nights at a great hotel or resort.
8. Leverage Your Social Following
Influencers can earn free nights at hotels around the world by leveraging their social media following, email lists, and publication partners.
You’ll need a sizable social media following, email list, or well-known publication partners to make this method work, but it’s a great way to earn a free hotel stay in exchange for a little content.
Back when I wrote a newspaper column, I reached out to a charming Bavarian-style inn about arranging a weekend stay for my husband and I to celebrate our 3rd anniversary.
I mentioned that I’d love to do a write-up on the inn for my next newspaper column, and I was happily surprised to get an offer for a free 2-night stay in return.
The inn was super cozy, our suite had a balcony with a hot tub overlooking the river, and it was an incredible experience that left us only paying for gas, meals, and attractions.
But it’s not just mom-and-pop inns and hotels that will collaborate with you. Marriott, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Hotel Indigo are all examples of hotel brands that have collaborated with social media influencers by offering free hotel stays in exchange for reviews and content.
So if you’ve got a big list of people that subscribe to your content, make use of it and get a free night or two at a hotel somewhere special!
Things to Consider
Now that you know how to get free hotel rooms, what else should you keep in mind to keep earning free nights in the future? Here are some things to keep in mind.
- Stick with one hotel brand for rewards. While it’s tempting to sign up for as many hotel rewards programs as possible, sticking to the hotel brand you prefer most will be better in the long run. You won’t be dividing your earned points between different rewards programs, and most hotel companies have multiple brands you can choose from so there’s always a qualified location wherever you go.
- Don’t miss welcome bonus points. Most hotel rewards programs will start you off with a sizable welcome bonus in the form of thousands of points you get just for signing up! If you sign up and earn welcome points (usually somewhere between 3,000-10,000, but can be more), your very first stay could land you enough points for a free night’s stay. Easy!
- Get a hotel branded credit card. Not only will you be able to earn multiplied points (usually 2X-10X) on normal purchases, you’ll earn even more points when you use the card to book a stay at one of the hotel’s locations. Use your card for groceries, gas, shopping trips, and more to continually stack up points you can use to earn free nights.
- Check your junk folder. When you sign up for emails and newsletters from hotels and travel aggregator sites, they sometimes get sorted into junk mail and don’t end up being seen. That means awesome deals can go unnoticed! So check your junk folder and move hotel deal-related emails to your inbox so you’ll see them in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wondering how to get free hotel rooms usually leads to other questions. Take a look at the FAQs on the topic to get answers!
How to get a free one night hotel stay?
You can get a free one night hotel stay by cashing in hotel rewards or credit card rewards points, booking 3-4 consecutive nights to get the 4th or 5th night free, telling the GM about a poor hotel experience, or jumping on hotel free night promos.
Other methods to get a free one night stay include finding a lower rate and using the Best Rate Guarantee offered by a hotel, going to a timeshare presentation, or collaborating with a hotel as an influencer for a complimentary stay.
How can I finesse my hotel room for free?
Finessing or smooth-talking your way into a hotel room for free isn’t easy. Ask for a free night with 3-4 paid nights. A genuine complaint to the general manager about major problems with a paid hotel stay can result in a free night.
You can sit through a timeshare sales presentation if you think you can withstand the high-pressure tactics to earn free nights, too.
How many followers do you need to get free hotel stays?
In general, you’ll want 10,000+ followers to have a chance at earning a free hotel stay in exchange for posting influencer content on your profiles.
The more followers you have, the better your chances will be at earning a free - and not just discounted - stay.
What is a hotel voucher?
A hotel voucher is like a gift certificate to specific hotels and usually has a value limit, covering rooms up to a certain amount. Hotel vouchers can be used to redeem 1 or more nights at a hotel.
Hotel vouchers may be issued by travel agencies as part of a bundle travel deal, by charitable organizations in cold and hot weather for homeless individuals who are unable to stay at a shelter, or to rectify a poor experience at a hotel.
How to buy a hotel voucher?
You can buy hotel vouchers and gift cards online through travel agencies and booking sites, at the front desk of the hotel you’re interested in booking, and at select retailers who sell gift cards.
For emergency hotel vouchers, search “emergency hotel voucher” with your state’s name for resources online.
So, Ready to Get Free Hotel Rooms?
From earning free nights in exchange for poor hotel experiences to leveraging your social media following for complimentary stays in cool hotels around the world, there’s always a way to get a free hotel room.
You just have to be willing to do a little research to earn them!
It’s always smart to sign up for hotel rewards programs or use hotel branded credit cards. These are generally the most reliable ways to earn free hotel stays.
But don’t count out the other methods and tricks – asking the GM for your 4th or 5th night free, keeping up with hotel promos, researching the lowest advertised rates to earn free nights with Best Rate Guarantees, and signing up for timeshare presentations in exchange for luxurious multi-day stays for the price of 1-2 nights.
Your travel experiences are about to get a lot more rewarding and less expensive when you apply these tips and tricks to your next vacation planning session!