When you see pictures of friends and family travelling to places like Hawaii, and the FOMO (fear of missing out) kicks in, you may wish you could afford to take such amazing vacations. Maybe you actually could afford it — but you just don’t realize it yet.
You may not have to spend thousands of dollars on travel each year. You could find ways to stay at hotels for free (or almost free).
If you’re looking for the perfect long stay accommodation to suit your specific needs, then L’barza Apartments in the best position to assist.
Use Credit Cards
You’ve probably heard your senile great-grandma mumble something to the effect of “There’s no such thing as free lunch.” You may have then sub-consciously taken that random old-person musing and concluded that there’s also no such thing as a free hotel stay.
Well, I’m here to say that you and your grandma are 100% wrong!
Not only is there such a thing as free lunch (so long as you don’t mind breaking into your parent’s home and stealing food from their fridge) but there is also such a thing as a free hotel stay.
Don’t believe me?
Then buckle in and keep reading. Below are proven tips on how to get free hotel rooms that you can try today!
Share Your Feedback
Hotels are only as good as their reputation. Because of that, they want you to have a good experience, and if you don’t, they want to make things right.
What that means is that by sharing grievances you’ve had during previous stays at a hotel, you could score yourself complimentary “make-good” nights.
To do this, I recommend reaching out to the hotel in question’s customer service team. Tell them about your gripe in a professional manner and let them know that you were “very excited to stay with them, have advocated for their establishment in the past, and feel like your recent stay really betrayed your trust”.
That could be enough to get you a free night.
Make sure you don’t explicitly ask for anything when giving feedback to a hotel. Doing so may tip your hand that you’re only going through the trouble of voicing your opinion because of what you might get and may lead to your message being ignored.
If you give feedback and are not satisfied with the hotel’s response (or don’t get one), leave a scathing yet honest review on Trip Advisor. Trip Advisor is the most important review platform for most hotels, so leaving negative comments, there will get your complaint attention.
Not All Feedback Has to Be Negative!
Leaving negative feedback to get free stuff is a go-to for how to get free hotel rooms method. But did you know that positive feedback could score you a free hotel stay too? If you have nothing negative to stay about the place you want to get free nights at, consider emailing customer service and telling them how much you love them!
Tell them that you’ve told all your family and friends to stay at their establishment, what qualities you like most about them, and that you can’t wait to go back.
You taking the time to shower a hotel with praise could net you rewards for your loyalty!
Whether you are staying with us for one night or a longer period, your health and well-being is our priority and L’barza Services Apartments is ready to help with any questions.
Use Credit Cards
I know. there’s nothing original about mentioning credit cards in a “how to get free hotel rooms” “how to get free flights” “how to get free anything” post.
Still, it needs to be mentioned, or I could get my blogger license pulled. Credit cards can score you free hotel stays.
They do this in a few ways:
Many credit cards affiliated with hotel chains offer free nights just for signing up for them. Sometimes you’ll be required to spend a certain amount of money within the first three months of your card opening to cash in on those perks.
For a limited time, you can earn $200.00 to use for a hotel stay or anything else by signing up for and using the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. The card is free to get, carries no annual fees, and Chase offers what I view as the most powerful rewards currency on the planet!
Certain credit cards (usual ones with annual fees) will give you a free hotel stay every year on the anniversary of your account opening. That means you get to plan yourself a sure-fire mini-break from your nagging husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/dog/ mother once a year!
Definitely, something to look forward to.
Most credit cards will offer you “rewards currency” on every purchase you make with them. Rake in enough points/miles/cashback and you’ve got yourself a free hotel stay.
Hotel credit cards
The most sure-fire method for getting free hotel stays is to utilize credit card rewards.
You can get free nights via credit cards by earning points or by earning free night certificates. Many cards will give you free night certificates each year just for paying your annual fee like the new IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.
Other credit cards that offer you annual free night certificates are the World of Hyatt credit card, the Marriott Rewards credit card, and the Hilton Aspire. These free nights might be capped to certain categories, like the Marriott free nights at 35,000 points but you can still get great value with these hotels.
The Hyatt and Marriott cards come with lower annual fees, but the Aspire will get you a free weekend night that can be used at any Hilton property.
Pretty much every major mid-upper level hotel chain around the world now offers credit cards with enough points for at least one free night every year.
So long as you meet the minimum spending requirements or pay the renewal fee, you’ll get a free night. Not to mention you’ll be earning points throughout the year that can go toward multiple free nights.
Hotel credit cards are a great way to turn your everyday spending into cheap travel accommodation. Just make sure you read the fine print to know what is required to get the perks you desire. A few chains that offer credit cards with annual freebies: Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, SPG and Hilton are worth checking out. Here’s a good resource explaining your different options.
Utilize OTAs (online travel agencies) / Cash Back Cards
OTAs (online travel agencies) are great ways to earn free hotel nights. You can go with a program like Expedia and earn rewards or programs like Hotels.com that give you the 10th night free based on the average cost of your prior nine stays.
You can also go with sites like BonWi.com. You’ll be able to earn cashback in high amounts that will have you earning free nights in a hurry! For example, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Dallas and received 40% back on my stay. That’s unheard of.
Cashback cards are great because they provide so much flexibility. If you aren’t familiar with cashback cards, they are just what they sound like. Every time you spend on your card, you earn cashback. The cool thing is that you can spend this money on anything you like.
These cards don’t directly net you free hotel nights like the hotel-centric cards above. But you can always count any cash back you earn as vacation money that you can spend on hotels. Many cashback cards are available to consumers with average credit, unlike some of the hotel cards listed above, which are usually for those with excellent credit.
Cashback cards are also nice in that they tend to favour everyday purchases versus hotel purchases. If you aren’t already staying in hotels often (because you need to save up points for free stays, of course!), earning points on hotel and travel cards can be tough. But cashback cards give you points for the spending you do every day–like groceries, gas, and restaurant purchases.
Leverage Booking Site Reward Programs
Booking sites like hotels.com, agoda.com, and others offer loyalty programs that give you free nights at hotels they work with. Cashing in on these programs is simple. Usually, you just have to book X amount of nights through the platform, and you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary hotel stay.
If complicated points programs turn you off, don’t worry because you can still enjoy free accommodations.
Hotels.com and other third-party booking sites offer incentives when you book through them instead of booking directly through a hotel’s website.
Right now, Hotels.com has an offer where for every 10 nights you book, and you’ll get one free night worth the average cost of the 10 nights you booked. The best part about this deal is it covers any hotel you find on Hotels.com, no blackout dates or other stipulations.
If you travel frequently, consider making most of your booking on a single site with a great loyalty program (so long as their prices are competitive).
Doing so could score you awesome free hotel stays down the road!
Many of the major credit card issuers have travel portals where you can use your points to book hotel stays without having to pay cash.
One of the best travel portals is the Chase Travel Portal which allows you to redeem points at a rate of 1.5 cents per point if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
That rate is better than just about any travel portal out there. You won’t always get your elite benefits honoured when booking through these portals, but I have had them accepted in the past.
This is something I’ve never personally done, so I won’t pretend to be an expert.
But you can often find special promotions going on that allow you to receive free travel perks by sitting through a timeshare presentation. You need to be very careful that you know what you’re getting yourself into when attending these, but they can lead to free hotel nights.
Be an “influencer”
This is probably the hardest to accomplish. You can start to build an online presence as a travel blogger, vlogger, etc. Once you can demonstrate that you have a certain reach online (and quality content to go along with that), you can reach out to hotels about receiving comped stays.
Typically, you’ll need to be somewhat established in the field to be considered an “influencer” (yes, I don’t care for the term either). You’ll need to have followers, features, awards, or some type of notable element to your brand, so the hotel knows they’re not wasting their time. Also, this method works best on newer hotel properties that can use the additional exposure upon opening.
Contests & Sweepstakes
A lot of hotel chains run contests and sweepstakes from time to time to try and get you to do things for them. These things may include following them on a social media platform, giving them your email address or leaving them a review on a particular site.
Whatever it is, doing what they ask could score you a free hotel stay. I’m not a huge fan of contests and sweepstakes mostly because the chances of you winning are slim. Consequently, you’ll mostly end up wasting your time here.
If what a hotel is asking you to do isn’t that time consuming though, it could be worth rolling the dice.
Work for a Hotel
Most hotel chains give their employees discounts on hotel stays within their chain. If you’re looking for a side gig, you might see if local hotels have part-time jobs that come with some perks like these. It’s not for everyone, but if you really love to travel, your side gig could both fund your travel and give you discounts on places to stay when you do it.
If you really want to travel, land a job with Marriott and stay for 25 years. Then you can join the hotel’s Quarter Century Club, which comes with free weekend hotel stays for life.
Refer a Friend
What fun is travelling if you don’t get to tell your friends about it?
Another way to earn yourself a free night stay is by referring friends and family. Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) is a boutique chain of hotels around the world that offers a loyalty program where you can refer a friend, and if they book one night worth at least $200, you receive a free night at any SLH Hotel worldwide.
SLH has hotels all around the world, and you could stay at the Viceroy in New York, Claris in Barcelona or Scarlet in the U.K. to name a few. And the best part, you can do this multiple times!
Earn up to $40 for Every Friend that Tries Airbnb
I know Airbnb is not necessarily a “hotel” per se. However, you can find some pretty nice digs at a fraction of the cost of a commercial hotel chain.
But what about free?
Airbnb is still relatively new to a lot of people, so in order to get more people using the service, they’re offering some sweet referral bonuses. If you recommend Airbnb to a friend or family member and they sign up and complete a stay, you’ll get between $25-40 per person.
Have both your in-laws and a friend stay at an Airbnb during their next visit, and you’ve just made $120 in credit, which can be put toward a free night stay at any Airbnb of your choosing.
Sign up on the Airbnb website and go to “earn credit” for more information about the offer. There are plenty of ways you can save on travel.
Bottom Line – Be Smart
Of course, earning rewards points doesn’t mean anything if you’re overspending and paying a lot of interest. You’ll also want to pay attention to the annual fees for each credit card you use. Look carefully to ensure that you’re well out-earning that annual fee. If you’re not using the card enough to out-earn the fee, kick it to the curb.
Most importantly, be sure you’re spending within your budget and paying off your cards in full each month. Otherwise, you’ll have trouble saving up for travel, even if you are amassing tons of rewards points. Travel safely and spend wisely. Your next trip awaits!