How to get and redeem Free Nights Certificates in different brands hotels

This is a free night summary, mainly focusing on how to get and redeem free night with the different hotel brands. If there is a mistake, please help correct me.

1. Introduction

The two tables listed below are pretty comprehensive.

Sign-up Bonus Free Night Comparison Table:

Credit CardAnnual feeNumber of Nights for Sign-up BonusSpending requirementCategory restriction
Chase IHG$49 (waived the first year)N/A (Giving points!)$1000 / $2000N/A
Chase Hyatt$752 nights$2000All
Chase Marriott$85N/A (Giving points!)$3000N/A
Citi Hilton Reserve$952 nights$2500All (Weekends only)
Amex SPG$95 (waived the first year)2 nights$30001-5
Chase Ritz-Carlton$4502 nights$40001-4
Chase Fairmont$95 (waived the first year)2 nights$3000All
Barclaycard Wyndham (with annual fee)$75 (waived the first year)N/A (Giving points!)$2000N/A
Club Carlson Premier Rewards$75N/A (Giving points!)$2500N/A

Annual Free Night Comparison Table:

Credit CardAnnual FeeAnnual Free NightSpending requirement to earn annual free nightCategory restriction
Chase IHG$49Yes$0All
Chase Hyatt$75Yes$01-4
Chase Marriott$85Yes$01-5
Citi Hilton Reserve$95Yes$10000All (Weekends only)
Amex SPG$95NoN/AN/A
Chase Ritz-Carlton$450NoN/AN/A
Chase Fairmont$95Yes$12000All
Barclaycard Wyndham (with annual fee)$75 ($69)No (6k points)N/AN/A
Club Carlson Premier Rewards$75Yes$10000All (US only)

Note: Chase Fairmont Credit Card listed below is discontinued

2. IHG

2.1. Ways to earn

(1) Chase IHG gives you an annual IHG Free Night without any category restrictions from the second year after the $49 annual fee is paid. Using the annual free night in a high-category InterContinental Hotel is simply fantastic. This card is not affected by 5/24 rule.

(2) IHG Promotions sometimes offer tasks to earn a Free Night.

2.2. Ways to redeem

Log into this link with your IHG account info, you will enter a page listed below. Then you can make reservations by clicking BOOK FREE NIGHT button.

If you log into the IHG main page, choosing Free Night Status under My account will redirect you to the page above as well.

3. Hyatt

3.1. Ways to earn

(1) Chase Hyatt sign-up bonus is two Free Nights without category restriction and the current spending requirement is $2000 in 3 months.

(2) Chase Hyatt gives an Annual Free Night redeemable in a category 1-4 Hyatt property starting from the second year after $75 annual fee is paid.

(3) World of Hyatt members that pay an eligible rate and stay at 5 different Hyatt brands earn a Free night award in a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort (valid for one year from issuance).

(4) World of Hyatt members that stay 30 qualifying nights or earn 50,000 Base Points in a calendar year (Explorist status) earn a Free night award in a Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort (valid for 120 days from issuance).

(5) World of Hyatt members that stay 60 qualifying nights or earn 100,000 Base Points in a calendar year (Globalist status) earn a Free night award in a Category 1-7 Hyatt hotel or resort (valid for 120 days from issuance).

(3)(4)(5) refer to the More ways to be rewarded in this page.

How much is a Hyatt Free Night worth? Please refer to Top 20 Expensive Hyatt Hotels In The World ── Best Places To Use Your Free Night Certificates.

3.2. Ways to redeem

A while ago I heard that you could not directly redeem the Free Night online through Hyatt website and a phone call was needed. However, I don’t know when this feature was added back.

I am not going to repeat how to search a hotel in Hyatt website. Once you select a particular hotel with dates, the page would be similar as the picture below. Simply click Show Hyatt Gold Passport Points & Awards and options for Points and Free Nights will be displayed. For Anniversary Free Night, if you get error when confirming reservation after filling out the booking information, most likely the category of the hotel you selected is not 1~4. You can double check if that’s the case. If you are sure it is valid, you can contact customer service.

If booking multiple nights with free night awards, you often need to book one night at a time to have them combined. Also; certain properties, such as the Ziva/Zilara, can only be booked by phone.

Q: How to check whether Hyatt Free Night is earned and when it will expire?

After logging into the Hyatt website main page, click on your name at the upper right corner and then select My Account. Click ACCOUNT ACTIVITY at the bottom of the page and select MY AWARDS to see specific expiration date of FREE NIGHT.

4. Marriott

4.1. Ways to earn

(1) Chase Marriott gives a Free Night redeemable at Category 1~5 Marriott properties starting from the second year after the $85 annual fee is paid.

(2) Chase Marriott Business gives a Free Night redeemable at Category 1~5 Marriott properties starting from the second year after the $99 annual fee is paid.

(3) New Marriott Members that finish two paid stays and could earn a Free Night redeemable at Category 1~5 (Promotion expired, look out for new ones).

(4) Marriott Travel Packages give a Free Night certificate for 7 consecutive nights, see more in A Complete Guide to the Marriott Travel Packages.

A Marriott Category 5 hotel requires 25k Marriott points when redeeming with points, and the Marriott point is valued about 0.7 cents/point, so it’s free night value can be estimated at $175.

4.2. Ways to redeem (Including Marriott Travel Packages and Ritz-Carlton)

Ritz-Carlton and Marriott share the same website, the ways to redeem is exactly the same. So we are not making any distinctions, listed below is an example for Ritz-Carlton.

Make your own search on Marriott’s official website, select a hotel where you want to stay.

If you have unused free night e-certificate(s) which meets the requirement of your searching, it will be displayed in Your Selection page. Confirm that you select Attach the e-certificates(s), go to the next step. (Note: although the final summary shows the total points, as long as you select to use the e-certificate, no points will be taken)

Q: How to redeem Free Nights gained through Marriott Travel Packages?

After redeeming Marriott Travel Packages you will get a certificate as shown below. Note you will always get errors with booking if following the way above. The correct way use it is to call customer service, phone number: 800-321-7396, 888-236-2427. Refer to A Complete Guide to the Marriott Travel Packages for detailed introduction on Marriott Travel Packages.

5. Hilton

5.1. Ways to earn

(1) Citi Hilton Reserve sign-up bonus is two Weekend Free Nights and spending requirement is $2500 in 4 months

(2) AmEx Hilton Surpass gives one Weekend Free Night in the first anniversary.

(3) Last year, some Amex Hilton card holders got a targeted offer – earn one Weekend Free Night after spending $1000.

Hilton has a lot of high category hotels, if there’s a suitable travel plan, the value of a Free Night can easily reach $300+.

5.2. Ways to redeem

You must call for reservations, phone number is 1-800-446-6677. Please tell customer service your Reward Certificate Id (After earning you will get an email which includes the Reward Certificate Id).

Note that Hotel’s Free Night can only be used on weekends (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). Some properties disallow the redemption of Free Nights.  Here’s the exclusion list: Weekend Night Certificate Exclusions.

In addition, Points Activity in website / APP will display similar records as the following graph to indicate that you have earned Free Nights.

6. SPG

6.1. Ways to earn

(1) AmEx SPG has a Sign-up bonus offer of two Free Nights redeemable at Category 1~5 properties. The spending requirement is $3000 in 3 months  (We strongly recommended you do not apply for the Free Nights offer because the points offer is far more beneficial and flexible for most people).

(2) Sometimes there are targeted promotions to earn Free Nights.

(3) After completing 50 nights you can choose a series of additional benefits, one of which is one Free Night certificate redeemable at Category 1~5 properties.

6.2. Ways to redeem

SPG Free Night certificates will appear in My Earned Rewards section but can not be redeemed online through SPG’s website. A phone call is required for reservation. You can check whether the hotel you want to stay at could be booked with points, if so, you can use Free Night certificate as well. Call 888-625-4988 for customer service for your Free Night booking.

7. Ritz-Carlton

7.1. Ways to earn

Chase Ritz-Carlton sign-up bonus is 2 Free Nights (Tier 1~4) after spending $4000 in 3 months.

Ritz-Carlton hotels are all luxury hotels, if there’s a suitable travel plan, one Free Night can easily be worth $300+ .

7.2. Ways to redeem

It’s the same as Marriott. Check details in 4. Marriott – 2. Ways to redeem.

8. Fairmont

8.1. Ways to earn

Chase Fairmont (Discontinued) Sign-up bonus is two Free Nights after spending $3000 in 3 months. Fairmont hotels are all luxury hotels, the estimated value of one Free Night is $300+.

8.2. Ways to redeem

You can only book through phone calls, Toll free: 1-888-495-6509,  International Reservations: + 506 877 6877, International Customer Service: + 506 870 4549. See detailed information (e.g. blackout dates) in Fairmont Visa Signature® Card Certificates – 2017 Limited Access Dates.

After logging, you are able to see in My Certificates whether Free Nights are earned:

9. Wyndham

9.1. Ways to earn

Note that the following two ways do not directly earn Free Nights, but earn enough points to redeem Free Nights!

(1) Barclaycard Wyndham with annual fee Sign-up bonus is 45k points. 15,000 Wyndham points can be redeemed for any hotel in Wyndham! Thus the highest card reward is equivalent to three Free Nights.

(2) Barclaycard Wyndham no annual fee Sign-up bonus is 18k which is equivalent to one Free Night.

9.2. Ways to redeem

Because it is not a real Free Night certificate, simply use the normal booking process, remember to choose Wyndham Rewards Points so you can redeem with points.

10. Club Carlson

10.1. Ways to earn

Club Carlson Premier Rewards gives an annual Free Night redeemable in US if you spend over $10,000 each year (based on the date you open card).

10.2. Ways to redeem

At the bottom of Find a hotel page in Club Carlson official website, you could see More Search Options. Click it and fill your FN code as E-Cert code in the new page. Then simply following the normal booking process is good.

Actually though a normal booking process, if you are able to use the FN, the website will remind you as below:

11. Attention

  • Free Night generally expires after one year, it is recommended to have a rough travel plan in place before you apply.
  • Note that the expiration date of Free Night may refer to the date of stay rather than the date that you book, such as with Hyatt.
  • You can try to contact customer service to request an extension should your Free Night almost expire. I have heard of some successful DPs. If it cannot be extended, in some cases customer service may give points as compensation.

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