Chip Lupo, Credit Card Writer
The best ways to get a free night at a hotel are to join a hotel loyalty program and apply for a hotel credit card. One of the best credit cards for getting a free hotel room is the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card because it offers a reward-night certificate after every account anniversary. The card also comes with a generous introductory bonus of 140,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and gives 3 - 10 points per $1 spent on purchases.
Best Credit Cards for Free Hotel Nights
While using a hotel credit card is the easiest way to score free nights at a hotel, there are several things you should keep in mind to maximize your hotel rewards.
How to Get a Free Night at a Hotel
Join a hotel loyalty program.
If you stay at the same hotel chain often, you should consider joining their loyalty program. Members of these programs earn points every time they stay at an eligible location, as long as they book their room directly with the hotel chain. Keep in mind that reservations made through third-party websites don't usually count toward your earnings.
Take advantage of best-rate guarantees.
Some hotel chains have a "best-rate guarantee" program, which means that if you book your stay directly through the hotel and then find a lower rate available, you might be eligible for price matching. You will likely also receive compensation in the form of a discount or rewards points, which can go toward paying for your next booking.
Use travel booking websites.
Many travel booking websites, such as Expedia and Hotels.com, have their own loyalty programs and offer rewards for every reservation made through their website. Because they work with multiple hotel brands, travel websites like these are a good option for people who are not committed to a particular hotel chain.
Pick the right hotel credit card.
All of the major hotel chains have co-branded cards, and many of them offer initial bonuses worth one or more free nights. Hotel credit cards also offer rewards on all purchases, which means every dollar you spend will get you closer to a free stay.
Along with rewards-earning potential, some hotel cards come with additional perks, such as travel insurance and free room upgrades. So it's worth investing some time to find the best hotel card for you.
Use frequent flyer miles.
If you have a co-branded airline card or are part of a frequent flyer program, some airlines will allow you to redeem miles for hotel reservations at their partner locations. However, keep in mind that the value of your miles depends on when and where you book your stay.
Use any travel rewards credit card.
There are plenty of travel credit cards you can use to save on hotel stays. And unlike co-branded hotel cards, rewards from non-branded travel cards are not tied to a specific hotel chain. Still, redemption methods and values vary by issuer, so figure out the best rewards program for your needs before settling on a credit card.
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