Advertiser Disclosure

5 Hotel Loyalty Programs That Offer Free Nights

Nov. 5, 2019
Loyalty Programs, Travel, Travel Credit Cards
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Hotel credit cards offer more than just points and useful card benefits — some can help make your travel experience memorable by extending your trip with a free night on your card account’s anniversary date. If you’re thinking of joining a new loyalty program and are looking for the best hotel credit card for free nights, here are the five best options:

1. Marriott Bonvoy

The product of a merger between three hotel rewards programs — Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest — Marriott Bonvoy offers an annual free night award to some Marriott Bonvoy credit card users. After every card anniversary date, you’ll receive an anniversary free night award. Marriott-branded cards that offer provide this anniversary benefit include the following:

» Learn more: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless review: New name, same premier perks

The free night award is valid for a one-night hotel stay, plus taxes. However, it doesn’t cover applicable resort fees.

2. IHG Rewards Club

IHG operates more than 5,000 hotels in over 100 countries, making IHG Rewards Club a strong contender when it comes to hotel loyalty programs with a wide reach. Travelers who are interested in finding the best hotel credit card for free nights can consider the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

As a cardholder, you’ll receive a free night award after every cardmember anniversary. The anniversary free night can be used toward a standard room at an IHG property valued at up to 40,000 points.

Plan your travels ahead of time since this anniversary benefit must be redeemed and used within 12 months of receiving it.

» Learn more: IHG Hotel Card review: Free mights on a silver platter

3. World of Hyatt

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card offers Hyatt enthusiasts a couple of free-night opportunities around card anniversaries.

Each year after your cardmember anniversary, you’ll receive a complimentary night stay for a standard room at a category 1-4 Hyatt property. This benefit is not redeemable at Miraval, Hyatt Zilara or Hyatt Ziva resorts.

Cardholders can also earn a second free night after spending at least $15,000 each anniversary year. If you qualify for this card benefit, you can expect to see this additional free night in your account within two to three weeks.

» Learn more: World of Hyatt Card review: Lavish benefits, reasonable cost

4. Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors Aspire cardholders earn a free weekend night every year. The free weekend night can be applied towards a standard room on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night.

You’ll receive an email with the redemption code eight to 14 weeks after your card’s anniversary date. The free night expires one year after it’s issued.

5. Hotels.com Rewards

Not all travelers want to be tied down to a specific hotel loyalty program. If you prefer the flexibility of applying rewards to any hotel that can offer the best deal, the Hotels.com Rewards program is an option.

As a member, you’ll earn one free night for every 10 nights you book through Hotels.com. Every one-night booking counts toward the 10 total bookings — the 10 nights don’t need to be booked consecutively to earn the complimentary night.

To assess the value of your free night, Hotels.com averages the price of the 10 nights you’ve booked. An advantage of Hotel.com Rewards is that you can apply multiple free reward nights to the same multi-day booking.

Whether you go through a specific hotel rewards program or apply for the best hotel credit card for free nights, your hotel loyalty can help lower the cost of future hotel stays.

All information about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet . The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card, the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card are no longer available through NerdWallet.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
Find the best hotel credit card for you
Why you should consider switching loyalty to Hotels.com
Travel loyalty program reviews

About the author