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How to Use Rewards to Earn a Free Hotel Stay

Have you overlooked the Rewards Program in favor of redeeming hotel points for free nights?

If you’re on a quest for hotel status and the benefits that come with it, you’ve probably been diligent about booking directly with that hotel brand as a member of their loyalty program.

Or maybe, you’re not a miles and points nut at all! But you feel like the points you earn with other online booking websites never seem to get you anything.

So in this guide, let’s take a closer look at the Rewards Program and how it can help you earn a free hotel stay no matter what your approach is to get the best deals and rewards on your hotel bookings.

How to Use Rewards to Earn a Free Hotel Stay

How to Use Rewards to Earn a Free Hotel Stay is one of the most well-known websites for booking hotels, big and small, as well as for every travel budget. They have hundreds of thousands of properties listed all over the world. I can always find accommodations listed no matter where I’m going. 🙂 Rewards 101

The beauty of the Rewards Program is how clear and easy it is.

For every 10 nights you stay with, you earn 1 free night. These 10 nights don’t have to be all at the same time or for a single trip.

It’s an absolute cinch for anyone looking for a free night at a hotel! rewards

No need to break into a sweat thinking about hotel loyalty, award charts, or finding available award nights as with individual hotel loyalty programs.

And, if you are a miles and points enthusiast, you can make the most of ALL your hotel stays, especially when you find yourself in a destination with no loyalty program hotels.

The money you spend can bring at least a 10% return. More on this later.

You can even accumulate more than 1 free night by continuing to book with

When you’re ready, you can redeem any number of those free nights whether it’s for a 1-night stay in NYC to see a Broadway show, a few nights in Rome, or an entire week in Thailand.

Booking and Earning with the

Hotel Room

First and foremost, if you haven’t created an account yet, sign up on

It’s quick and free. Then, whenever you need to search for a hotel, log in first to be sure you’re getting credit for the booking.

Then, search normally by entering your destination, dates, and number of rooms/travelers. With each completed stay, you’ll see your nights accumulate until you’ve earned a reward night.

The value of your free reward night is the average price for the 10 nights you stayed to earn the reward. So, if your stays averaged $150 a night, your free night has a value of $150.

This average doesn’t include any taxes or fees. Likewise, when redeeming a free night with, you’re still responsible for any taxes or hotel-related fees.

If you’d like to stay at a higher-priced hotel than the value of your earned reward night, simply apply the value and pay the difference. Tips for Success

  • You can combine more than one free night to redeem for a longer stay.
    • But, you can’t use multiple free night rewards to cover 1 night at an expensive hotel.
  • Taking advantage of a promo code or a similar promotion won’t earn nights that accumulate towards a free night.
    • But, you do earn nights toward a reward night when paying with a gift card.
  • Don’t redeem your free night for less than its value!
    • You don’t get reimbursed the difference.

Do Rewards Expire?

Yes! free nights expire if your account has no activity for 12 months. The same goes for the number of nights you’ve accumulated towards a free night.

Close Up Of Hand Holding Stopwatch

So, if you’ve stayed 6 nights towards the 10 nights needed to earn 1 free night but then have 12 months of no activity in your account, you’d lose those 6 nights.

This expiration date is easily reset by booking a hotel stay or even by using a free night.

The “membership activity” section at the bottom of your account can help you see when you last booked or stayed so you can prevent any free night rewards or progress towards one from expiring.

The Right Rewards Strategy for You

Whether you’re someone just looking for an easy-to-use rewards program and good deals or a miles and points enthusiast looking to maximize hotel loyalty benefits, can make a lot of sense.

All travelers have ways to get back even more value from their bookings.

Stacking for the Win!

First and foremost, pay for your booking with a credit card that earns a bonus on travel purchases. These include travel rewards credit cards like:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Ink Business Preferred
  • Citi Premier

Shopping portals and gift card promotions are another great way to save and get a return on your money. I use portals for every possible purchase I can to make the money I’m spending work harder for me!

Everyone can (and should!) earn cashback rewards from sites like Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and TopCashback. Earn rates for fluctuate but 3-4% cashback is fairly standard.

Sometimes sites like these will offer a higher cashback payout if you forgo earning night credits with the Rewards program. Avoid this if earning a free night is your goal. Ebates

If you have a Rakuten Amex Membership Rewards account, you’d earn flexible Amex points that can be transferred to any of the Amex airline partners.

And because you can use gift cards as a payment method in shopping portals and on itself, take advantage of discounted gift cards.

Sites like Raise and CardCash sell them. Even merchants like supermarkets or office supply stores have gift card sales. Savings on these deals can range between 5-15% off the value of the gift card.

If you have an American Express credit card, keep an eye out for Amex offers with gift card promotions.

And remember, buying a gift card with a credit card still earns you whatever rewards the card offers for purchases at that merchant, be it double cashback or 5x the Chase Ultimate Rewards points at office supply stores like with the business credit card, the Ink Business Cash card.

Hotel Loyalty Programs + Rewards = More Free Nights

Lastly, if hotel points and hotel loyalty programs are your main focus, you’ll want to be strategic about using

Absolutely maximize your hotel rewards credit cards to earn points, award nights, status, and benefits. The value of the upgrades, perks and free nights cannot be ignored.

But, when you’re in a destination where there are no loyalty program hotels, don’t miss the opportunity to accumulate rewards with

The money you’re spending on independent boutique hotels adds up and can earn you free nights on top of those earned with your hotel rewards credit cards.

Bottom Line

No matter what type of traveler you are or how you go about finding the best deals for your hotel stays, and its global offering of properties makes a great strategic partner!

The straightforward rewards program has great appeal.

The popular brand comes with numerous ways to stack value with shopping portals.

And, hotel loyalty program members cannot deny its ability to bridge the rewards-earning gap, particularly in destinations with only independently run accommodations.

Have you joined the Rewards program?

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2 thoughts on “How to Use Rewards to Earn a Free Hotel Stay”

  1. AND.. If you have any problem with the hotel, even after you’ve checked out, is great at contacting the hotel on your behalf!

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