Top Hotel Credit Cards Offering Free Nights (2021)

Filed Under: Credit Cards
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Hotel credit cards are among the most underrated out there. Understandably a lot of people get cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review) to maximize the rewards they’re earning for their spending, and that’s a great idea. These cards offer valuable bonus categories, no foreign transaction fees, great travel coverage, and more.

But I think supplementing one of those cards with a hotel credit card can make a lot of sense. That’s because hotel credit cards largely offer some incredible perks that more than justify the annual fee, including free hotel status and even some free night certificates.

In this post I wanted to specifically look at which credit cards offer free nights as part of their rewards structure.

These free nights come in different forms:

  • Some free nights are offered for spending a certain amount on the card
  • Some free nights are offered as an annual benefit just for having a card, with no spending required

Hotel Credit Cards With Free Nights For April 2021

Below I’m listing all the hotel credit cards that offer free nights as one of the benefits. In many cases, these free nights can more than justify the annual fee, and it can be worth having the cards just for these free night certificates. Note that in some cases we’ve seen restrictions temporarily removed from these free night certificates due to coronavirus, but the below list will reflect the standard terms.

Here are the latest hotel credit cards best for free nights available today:

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)
Free night certificateThis card offers a weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year; this covers properties retailing for up to 120,000 points per night, and you can find a list of excluded properties here

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Annual fee: $95 (Rates & Fees)
Free night certificate: This card offers a weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year, plus a second weekend night reward after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year; this covers properties retailing for up to 120,000 points per night, and you can find a list of excluded properties here

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Annual fee: $450
Free night certificateThis card offers a free weekend night reward shortly after you get the card, and an anniversary free weekend night reward every year upon your account renewal with no spend requirement, plus an additional weekend night reward after you spend $60,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year; this covers properties retailing for up to 120,000 points per night, and you can find a list of excluded properties here


Redeem your weekend night reward at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Annual fee: $89
Free night certificateThis card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night; this covers over 4,900 of IHG’s 5,300+ hotels


Redeem your anniversary free night certificate at the InterContinental Bangkok

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Annual fee: $125 (Rates & Fees)
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any hotel retailing for up to 35,000 Marriott points per night; this covers about 6,300 of Marriott’s 6,500+ hotels, and you can find the cost of each hotel here

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase

Annual fee: $95
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any hotel retailing for up to 35,000 Marriott points per night; this covers about 6,300 of Marriott’s 6,500+ hotels, and you can find the cost of each hotel here

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Annual fee: $450 (Rates & Fees)
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any hotel retailing for up to 50,000 Marriott points per night; this will cover a vast majority of Marriott hotels, and you can find the cost of each hotel here


Redeem your certificate at the St. Regis Doha

Radisson Rewards Premier Signature Visa Card

Annual fee: $75
Free night certificate: This card offers free night certificates for each $10,000 spent per cardmember year, up to three free certificates per year; you’re restricted to redeeming these at Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, or Country Inn & Suites by Radisson hotel located in the US


Redeem your free nights at the Radisson Blu Chicago

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Annual fee: $95
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property, plus a second free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in an account anniversary year with similar terms; a majority of Hyatt properties are Category 1-4, and you can find a full listing of hotels by category here


Redeem your anniversary free night certificate at the Park Hyatt Saigon

Cards With Free Nights (Closed To New Applicants)

The above are the cards offering free nights that new members can still apply for. Below are some cards offering free nights that are no longer open to new applicants. This is because over time credit card issuers change their card portfolios, which is why these cards are no longer open to new cardmembers.

Here are the hotel credit cards that are no longer open to new applicants that are best for free nights:

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Annual fee: $49
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any IHG hotel retailing for up to 40,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night; this covers over 4,900 of IHG’s 5,300+ hotels, and you can find a list of excluded properties here

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Annual fee: $95
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any hotel retailing for up to 35,000 Marriott points per night; this covers about 6,300 of Marriott’s 6,500+ hotels, and you can find the cost of each hotel here

Marriott Bonvoy Business Credit Card

Annual fee: $125
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any hotel retailing for up to 35,000 Marriott points per night; this covers about 6,300 of Marriott’s 6,500+ hotels, and you can find the cost of each hotel here

The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card

Annual fee: $450
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at any hotel retailing for up to 50,000 Marriott points per night; this covers a vast majority of Marriott hotels, and you can find the cost of each hotel here

The Hyatt Credit Card (Converted to the World of Hyatt Card in January 2021)

Annual fee: $75
Free night certificate: This card offers an anniversary free night certificate every year, valid at a Category 1-4 Hyatt property; a majority of Hyatt properties are Category 1-4, and you can find a full listing of hotels by category here

 Hotel Credit Card Free Night Summary

There are potentially lots of great benefits to hotel credit cards, including big welcome bonuses, easy opportunities to earn hotel status, generous rewards structures for spending, and more.

The best part is that with the exception of Hyatt’s two credit cards, the other issuers let you have multiple credit cards, meaning you can potentially earn more than one free night certificate per year.

In the case of just about all of the above cards, I’d say the free night certificates more than justify the annual fees.

What’s your favorite hotel credit card free night certificate?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (Rates & Fees), Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (Rates & Fees), and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees).

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Comments
  1. Good to note cards like the Marriott one that offer a 35K cert are mostly worthless in big cities or desirable locations due to peak pricing (i.e., checked out a random Chicago fall weekend, and all the good Cat 5s in town are pricing at 40K).

    Different from the Hyatt card cert which will cover the future peak night surcharge.

  2. @UA-NYC totally agree that the Marriott cards are pretty worthless certs now. pretty only good for roadside Marriotts due to the peak/non-peak pricing. I have trouble planning out how to use at roadside Marriotts. constant devaluations and tricks have diminished Marriott over last 20 years. Easier to simply pay cash and go to best hotels on location where you are vacationing than be locked into Marriott and it benefits including certs. Will drop the cards this year not worth the trouble or even the 30 Marriott night credits for having two cards anymore.

  3. Would like to see Chase issue a premium World of Hyatt Infinite Visa card offering:
    — $495 annual fee
    — Annual free night certificate valid at any Category 1-7 Hyatt property
    — A second free night (Cat 1-7) certificate when you spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year
    — Complimentary Explorist status
    — 10 qualifying nights for holding this card (stackable with regular WOH Visa offering 5 qualifying nights)

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