Guestpost by Kyle Kroeger
Free hotel stays! Did you know you can get free hotel rooms during your travel? Learn more about this in our comprehensive guide.
It surely sounds like a pipe dream for someone who hasn’t gotten this chance. But, the fact is that spending a night or two in a hotel for free is pretty possible. And many travelers are taking advantage of it.
The only trick here is knowing how and where to get these opportunities. They are certainly not out there just for everyone to grab.
If you are a frequent traveler or you’re traveling on a tight budget, I have some great tips for you. Using these tips, you can continue with your travel without worrying too much about the hotel’s room cost for a few nights.
So, how can you achieve this? What are the best ways to get free hotel rooms without breaking a sweat?
Let’s find out!
Top Genuine Ways to Get Free Hotel Rooms
Usually, there are more than enough ways to get a free hotel room. But, choosing the best ones for you is the tricky part. So, here is a list of our best picks.
1. Earn a Bonus from Your New Travel Credit Card
When you first apply for a travel credit card, most of them will reward you with welcome bonus points. These points, in most cases, can be redeemed for free accommodation in specified hotels.
However, there is a catch. You must first meet your new card’s minimum spending requirements. For instance, you might only be eligible for the welcome bonus after hitting a certain monthly spending threshold.
Most of these cards reward you with points every time you spend money on your credit card. Whether you are shopping, traveling, or dining, the card gives you some points. When you accumulate enough points, you can always redeem them for a free hotel room during your travel.
One thing you should always be keen on is checking the card’s annual fee. You should ensure that the rewards you get from the card are more than the annual fees paid.
Generally, there are two categories of credit cards that offer travel rewards; cards offered by banks and those offered by hotels
So while choosing, ensure that you pick the one that favors your needs.
Bank Issued Travel Credit Cards
These types of cards earn you points whenever you spend money on the card. This includes your daily spending such as buying groceries, dining, online shopping, etc. Every purchase here earns you some redeemable points.
Some good examples of bank-issued credit cards include:
● Capital One Venture Miles Rewards Card
When it comes to travel rewards credit cards, this one from Capital One Venture is among the best. The card charges a $0 annual fee for the first year and $95 for subsequent years. And, its APR ranges from 20.99% to 49%.
With this card, you earn 2x miles for every dollar spent on your purchase. Even better, if your spending hits $3,000 in the first three months of issue, you receive a bonus of 50,000 miles.
Here, each mile is worth a cent, meaning 50,000 miles equals $500. Now, that’s not a bad deal.
You should also note that any booking you make through Hotels.com or venture earns you 10x miles. So, the deal gets even better.
● Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card is a popular rewards credit card that also charges $0 in the initial year and $95 for subsequent ones. And as for the annual percentage rate, the card charges between 24.49% and 49%.
With this card, you get a welcome bonus of 50,000 points if you spend at least $4,000 within the first three months. Also, for every dollar spent on travel and dining, you get 2x points. But for any other purchase, you receive a point for every dollar.
Interestingly, if you redeem these points for airfare, hotels, cruises, or car rentals via Chase Ultimate Rewards, your prize gets higher. The points will be worth 25% more.
Hotel Issued Rewards Credit Cards
Hotels also offer reward cards for their loyal customers. The cards can earn you free hotel rooms and several other perks.
An excellent hotel card you can try out is the Marriot Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card.
With this card, you only need to spend $5,000 within the first three months to get your welcome bonus. If you manage to do so, you receive a whopping 100,000 free points. Even better, after your card’s first anniversary, you’ll be getting a free night in the hotel for each year that follows.
This card earns you 2 points every time you spend a dollar on normal purchases. However, every time you spend money at Marriot hotels, the card earns you 6 points per dollar.
The annual card fee is $95, and the APR ranges from 24.49% to 49%. But for a cash advance, the APR is usually 26.49%.
[Jonathan: For us in Europe, airline cards might be the best option, I have used the Norwegian card which offered 1% in airline points on every purchase]
2. Joining Hotel Rewards Programs
Joining a hotel rewards program is another incredible way to earn a free hotel room. Generally, many hotels offer reward points when you spend money there. These programs are meant to attract more new customers and return visits.
Luckily, you won’t have to search for long. A lot of big and small hotels are doing this. And, it’s all a matter of knowing what you want or where you wish to spend your free nights.
Here is a list of great hotel programs you can register to achieve your free hotel rooms dream.
● Radisson Rewards
With over 1,100 hotel properties globally, the Radisson Rewards program has become one of the best. This is because you can redeem your points for a free night’s stay almost anywhere in the world.
Every dollar you spend on accommodation in any of its hotels earns you 35 points when you join the program. And, you’ll also earn more points when you dine there.
You can later redeem these points for a free room at any of its hotels globally. But, each free hotel stay requires you to accumulate at least 9,000 points.
● Marriot Hotel Rewards
Marriot Brand Hotels has over 4,700 hotel properties in more than 92 countries globally. Now, this one gives you a lot of choices. You have more than enough destinations to travel to and enjoy a free night’s stay in the hotel.
This rewards program earns you between 5 and 10 points every time you spend a dollar at Marriot hotels. Also, you earn the same points when you spend money at select Ritz-Carlton locations globally.
And that’s not all. Even referring a friend to this program earns you 50,000 points.
These points are redeemable for free hotel stays and other services in the hotel. However, the number of points required to redeem a free night’s stay will depend on the hotel category.
3. Request Your Employer for Free Accommodation
Sometimes getting a free hotel room stay is as easy as asking your employer. That’s right! Although I know many people would dread this, it’s a great option.
For instance, when traveling for a business trip, a reimbursement for the money you spend on accommodation is in order. The employer should at least cover your accommodation and dining costs during the trip.
Therefore, before you spend your own money on this, ensure that you know what travel perks your employer offers. This should be fully disclosed during your employment process.
4. Become an Influencer
It’s no secret that influencers get numerous freebies just because of their status. Companies, including hotels, want to be associated with people of influence. And for this, they offer various freebies to the influencers for promotional purposes.
So, if you wish to also enjoy some of these free goodies, becoming an influencer yourself isn’t a bad idea.
And there are several easy ways of becoming an influencer. All you need is something to offer people that makes them want to follow you. These might include:
- Becoming a TikToker
- Starting a YouTube Channel
- Starting a blog
- Joining Instagram
- Opening a Facebook page
With good content, all these options give you a chance to become an influencer. From here, you can start getting those freebies, including free hotel rooms.
But, you should note that this will take time and hard work. Also, you must have the best strategy to get people to love your content and follow you in masses.
[Jonathan: My friend Isabel, is an expert at this, check out her interview on the podcast!]
5. Become a Mystery Shopper
Who is a mystery shopper?
Well, this is a person that gets paid to pretend to be a regular customer or shopper. The aim is to offer feedback on the experience at a certain entity, let’s say, a hotel.
Mystery shopping is usually used by market research firms looking to gather some information about the said entity.
They might be looking for information about the quality of service, regulatory compliance, job performance, etc. Also, they might be seeking to gather competition information.
As a mystery shopper, you’ll be given some tasks to complete, after which you get paid. Your honest feedback will earn you various freebies, such as a free hotel room. And, it’s a fun thing to do.
Some reliable mystery shopping companies you can join include:
This one works with various businesses such as hotels, casinos, resorts, etc. But to be eligible, you need to be 18 years and above, have reliable internet access, and a convenient mode of transport.
Also, you should be able to complete the task and fill out the feedback forms
● Shoppers Confidential
With Shoppers Confidential, you get paid to become a mystery shopper and receive free stuff. Some of the free stuff might be hotel room stays, trips, foodstuff, etc.
The requirements here are quite simple; be fluent in English, be able to complete the tasks, and have a PayPal account.
● Coyle Hospitality
Mostly, Coyle Hospitality works with travel-related businesses. These include hotels, cruises, spas, restaurants, etc.
After completing the assigned tasks, you are legible for complimentary tickets and other travel freebies. Free hotel rooms can be among these freebies.
The best part of this is that you also get paid for the tasks. That’s besides getting those freebies.
6. Travel Site Rewards Programs
Various travel booking sites also have rewards programs to attract travelers. This means, when you book a tour or a hotel with them, you earn points. You can redeem these points for free products or services.
Some will also reward you with freebies instead of points. For instance, discounted airfare or free hotel stays.
Examples of such sites include:
With this travel booking site, you earn points for any booking transaction you conduct on the site. Whether you book a flight, hotel, or tour, you earn points. Also, when you refer a friend to the site, you also get rewarded.
When you book hotels through Expedia, you get several benefits. These will include hotel price guarantees, members-only prices, etc.
You also earn points, which you can redeem for more free stuff like hotel stays, discounted airfares, and other travel experiences.
[Jonathan: Got myself a few free hotel night stay thanks to Hotels.com as well]
About the Author
Kyle Kroeger is the owner of ViaTraveler.com. ViaTravelers is a destination travel blog providing the best tips, hacks, and itineraries to help you explore the world. Follow us on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.
I would like to thank Kyle once again for his cool tips on how to get free hotel night stays! I used some of these tips myself and if like me you like to travel, you will enjoy those free stays even more!
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