9 Hotel Credit Cards That Offer Free Night Certificates

Here’s how you can get rewarded for your loyalty — just use one of these hotel credit cards that offer free nights.
Last updated Jun 3, 2021 | By Ben Walker
Hotel Credit Cards That Offer Free Night Certificates

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If you love to travel, you can easily level up your next trip by using a hotel credit card. These cards typically offer a wide range of travel benefits and you can earn bonus rewards from some of the most popular hotel chains in the world. This includes Hilton, IHG, Marriott, Radisson, and Hyatt.

Even better, many hotel cards provide cardholders with exclusive perks you won’t find on any other type of rewards card. If you’ve ever wondered how to stay at hotels for free, the answer lies with hotel credit cards that offer bonus free nights.

Here are the best hotel credit cards that offer free nights:

In this article

What is a free night certificate?

Hotel credit cards will often award cardholders with a free night certificate once they’ve met certain requirements. The way you can be awarded a free night certificate depends on the credit card.

Certain credit cards offer a free night certificate once you’ve had the card for a year and then each year thereafter. This would amount to receiving a free hotel stay each year on your card’s anniversary date. With this method, cardholders rarely have to do anything other than pay the card’s annual fee, so it’s an easy way to accrue free hotel nights every year.

Other cards may have certain spending requirements (in addition to an annual fee) before you can get your free hotel night. You would need to spend the specified amount to receive a free hotel night.

Terms and conditions can vary by the hotel loyalty program, but you’ll often see restrictions on the type of hotel you can stay when you use a free night certificate. Because higher-tier hotels usually cost more for stays, you can expect most free night certificates to apply at low- to mid-tier hotels.

However, not every free night certificate functions the same way. Take the Hilton Free Weekend Night Reward, for example. Other than a specific list of excluded hotels, you can use this free night certificate to stay at any Hilton hotel that has availability. Award nights like this make it that much more important to research all your credit card options and make sure you pick the one most valuable to you.

To learn more about the best offers available from hotel credit cards, we’ll dive into the specific details next.

Hotel credit cards that offer free night certificates

Card name Welcome bonus Free night details Annual fee
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months New cardmembers earn a free weekend night at a Hilton property as well as one every year after renewal.  Cardmembers can earn an additional free night after spending $60,000 annually. $450 (See rates and fees)
Terms apply
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months Earn a free weekend night reward after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. $95 (waived first year) (See rates and fees)
Terms apply
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months) Earn one free night after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year and a second after spending an additional $45,000 in the same calendar year. $95 (See rates and fees)
Terms apply
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Earn 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months Earn a free night after each account anniversary year. $89
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Earn 3 free nights (valued at up to 50,000 points per night) after qualifying purchases (plus, earn 10X points on eligible purchases in select categories in the first 6 months or until you reach $2,500 in purchases) Earn a free night after each account anniversary year (for a stay worth 35,000 points or below). $95
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months (plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months) Earn a free night after each account anniversary year (for a stay worth 50,000 points or below). $450 (See rates and fees)
Terms apply
Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, and earn up to $150 in statement credits on eligible purchases made within the first 3 months Earn a free night after each account anniversary year. Earn an additional free night after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. $125 (See rates and fees)
Terms apply
Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days Receive 40,000 renewal points each year upon card renewal (worth up to four free nights). Earn up to three more free nights on account anniversary, one for every $10,000 (up to $30,000) spent on purchases in a given year. $75
The World of Hyatt Credit Card Earn up to 60,000 points: 30,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, plus an additional 30,000 points by earning 2 bonus points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 bonus point, up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months Earn a free night after each account anniversary year. $95

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

With the Hilton Honors Aspire, you receive a free weekend night reward soon after opening the card and each year after renewal. In addition, you can earn another free night after you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. In total, you can get up to two free nights a year at a vast majority of more than 6,100 Hilton properties worldwide.

If you’re a fan of Hilton properties and luxury travel perks, this could be the right card for you. Earning Hilton Honors bonus points on all your purchases makes it easy to rack up rewards for award nights, plus you receive complimentary Hilton Honors Diamond status. Diamond status is the highest tier in the Hilton Honors loyalty program and includes perks such as executive lounge access, premium Wi-Fi, and 100% bonus points on stays.

With the bonus points, you earn a whopping 34 points for every $1 spent on most Hilton hotel stays. That’s 14X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio from your Aspire card, 10X base points as a Hilton Honors member, and 10X bonus points for Diamond status.

Fabulous Rewards for Hilton Fans

Intro Offer

150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Annual Fee

$450

Rewards Rate

up to 14X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 14X points on eligible Hilton purchases
  • $250 in annual Hilton Resort credits
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • High annual fee
  • Best for frequent Hilton travelers
Card Details
  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 14X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio, 7X points on qualifying travel purchases made directly with airlines/select car rental companies or Amextravel.com, 7X points at U.S. restaurants, and 3X points on all other purchases
  • Terms apply

Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express

The Hilton Honors Surpass offers a free weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. This is much less than the $60,000 of spending required on the Hilton Honors Aspire, but the Surpass also doesn’t offer you a free anniversary night each year. However, the lower $95 (waived first year) annual fee makes the Hilton Honors Surpass a lot more affordable than the Aspire.

If you like the Hilton brand and want to avoid a high annual fee, the Hilton Honors Surpass could be a good fit for you. You can earn Hilton points and receive great benefits, including 10 free visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges (enrollment required) and complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status. Gold status members receive free continental breakfast, space-available room upgrades, and 80% bonus points on stays.

Your total points haul for most Hilton stays would be 30 points per $1 spent. You earn 12X points on eligible purchases within the Hilton portfolio with your Surpass card, 10X base points as a Hilton Honors member, and 8X bonus points for Gold status.

Robust Welcome Offer

Intro Offer

130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 12X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 12X points at participating Hilton hotels and resorts
  • Free weekend night reward stay after spending $15,000 in a calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • $95 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No intro APR
  • No free anniversary night
Card Details
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 12X points when spending directly with an eligible Hilton hotel or resort; 6X points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3X points on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

You can earn up to two Free Weekend Night Rewards per year with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card. You will earn the first free night after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year and a second after spending an additional $45,000 in the same calendar year.

If you’re a business traveler, the Hilton Honors Business Card can provide you with plenty of value. Certain business expenses earn bonus points and you get 10 free visits to Priority Pass Select airport lounges (enrollment required). Also, if you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year. You automatically receive complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status.

The same as the Hilton Honors Surpass, you’ll earn 30 points per $1 spent on most Hilton stays. You earn 12X points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton when using your Hilton Honors Business Card, 10X base points as a Hilton Honors member, and 8X bonus points for Gold status.

A Slew of Valuable Business Perks

Intro Offer

Up to 180,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

Up to 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Plus, earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible Hilton purchases
  • Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months (plus, earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months)
  • 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points on eligible purchases made directly with Hilton, 6X on select business and travel purchases, and 3X on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Receive a free reward night after each account anniversary year with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card. This anniversary night is valid at IHG hotels around the world that have a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less.

If you’re loyal to the IHG brand, you might consider using the IHG Rewards Club Premier to book a hotel room at more than 5,800 properties worldwide. Apart from earning valuable IHG points, cardholders also enjoy complimentary Platinum Elite status in the IHG Rewards Club program. As a Platinum Elite member, you receive every fourth night free when you redeem points for any stay of four or more nights. You also save 20% on points you purchase with your IHG Rewards Club Premier card.

Earn an Annual Free Night

Intro Offer

150,000 points

Annual Fee

$89

Rewards Rate

Up to 25X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Sign-up bonus: 150,000 points
  • Up to 25X points at IHG hotels
  • 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • Free night every year
  • Fourth reward night free

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule
Card Details
  • Earn 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 25X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels and resorts; 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; and 1X points on other purchases

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Enjoy a free night award after each account anniversary with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card. This free night starts after your first year as a cardholder and is valid at any Marriott property with a point redemption level of 35,000 points or below.

For Marriott fans, the Bonvoy Boundless provides an ideal opportunity for earning points for more award nights. Cardholders also automatically receive Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. Silver Elite members receive priority late checkout, 10% bonus points on stays, and free Wi-Fi.

With the points bonus, you earn 10% more points on top of the 10 base points per $1 spent on eligible Marriott purchases. So for a $300 stay, you could earn a total of 5,100 points. That’s 3,000 (300 x 10 = 3,000) base points, 300 points (3,000 x .10 = 300) from the 10% bonus, and 1,800 points from your Marriott Bonvoy Boundless (17X points on hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status)).

A Great Card for Travel Rewards Beginners

Intro Offer

3 free nights

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 17X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases
  • Up to 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • One free night each year
  • No foreign transaction fee

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • No introductory APR
Card Details
  • Earn 3 free nights (valued at up to 50,000 points per night) after qualifying purchases (plus, earn 10X points on eligible purchases in select categories in the first 6 months or until you reach $2,500 in purchases)
  • 17X points at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy (when coupled with your complimentary Marriott Bonvoy membership and Silver Elite status) and 2X points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

Similar to the Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card also offers a free night award every year after your account anniversary. One huge difference, though, is that you can use the free night award from this card for any Marriott property that has a point redemption level of 50,000 points or below (whereas the Boundless restricts you to 35,000 points and below).

If you want to earn award nights at Marriott hotels and also receive luxury perks, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant could be an ideal candidate for you. It comes with Priority Pass Select membership, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit (up to $100), and a $300 Marriott Bonvoy annual statement credit (enrollment required for select benefits). In addition, you receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, which offers enhanced room upgrades and 25% bonus points on stays.

With 25% more points, you can earn a lot more at most Marriott hotels. For a $300 stay, you can earn a total of 5,500 points. It’s 3,000 (300 x 10 = 3,000) base points, 750 points (3,000 x .25 = 750) from the 25% bonus, and 1,800 points from your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (6X points on hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program).

Luxury Hotel Benefits

Intro Offer

75,000 Marriott Bonvoy Bonus Points

Annual Fee

$450

Rewards Rate

up to 6X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months
  • Earn up to $200 in statement credits on purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first six months
  • 6X points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $450 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months (plus, earn up to $200 in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months)
  • 6X points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

With the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card, receive a free award night every year after your account anniversary. You can also earn an additional free night if you spend $60,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year. Both of these award nights can be used for one night each at any Marriott property that has a point redemption level of 35,000 points or below.

Business travelers who like to stay at Marriott properties can use the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card for its valuable benefits and earning potential. Cardholders receive complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Elite status, 15 Elite Night Credits, and access to the Marriott Bonvoy Air+Car transfer program.

Generous welcome offer

Intro Offer

75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points

Annual Fee

$125

Rewards Rate

up to 6X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 75,000 bonus point welcome offer + $150 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4X points at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations
  • Free Night Award every year
  • $125 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, and earn up to $150 in statement credits on eligible purchases made within the first 3 months
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; 4X points on U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. providers; and 2X points on all other eligible purchases
  • Terms apply

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

Each year you renew your Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card, you’ll receive 40,000 Radisson points. Because Radisson award nights start off at 9,000 points, that’s enough points for four award nights each year. In addition, you can earn up to three free nights each year for every $10,000 you spend (up to $30,000) with your card.

With more than 1,100 worldwide properties, Radisson has locations in many popular travel destinations. With the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card, travelers and fans of Radisson properties can earn quicker award nights and take advantage of useful card perks. With the automatic Radisson Rewards Gold status, cardholders can receive complimentary room upgrades, in-room welcome gifts, and an additional 25 points per $1 spent on hotel stays.

If you qualify for the Radisson Rewards Premier Visa, you can immediately earn up to 35 points per $1 spent on Radisson stays. For a $300 stay, that’s 7,500 points from your Gold status (300 x 25 = 7,500) and 3,000 points from your card (10X points on participating Radisson hotels), for a total of 10,500 points.

Automatic Gold status

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

Radisson Rewards Premier Visa Signature Card

Intro Offer

100,000 points

Annual Fee

$75

Rewards Rate

up to 10X points per dollar

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Earn bonus points at eligible Radisson hotels
  • 40,000 bonus points each year you renew
  • Automatic Gold status

Drawbacks

  • Has an annual fee and foreign transaction fees
  • Fewer hotel choices than other major brands
Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
  • 10X points at eligible Radisson hotels and 5X points on everything else

The World of Hyatt Credit Card

The World of Hyatt Credit Card allows you to receive one free night every year after your cardmember anniversary. This free night can be used at any Category 1 through 4 Hyatt hotel around the world. Hyatt hotel categories range from Category 1 to Category 8, with Category 8 being the highest. Category 4 hotel award nights typically start at 15,000 points per night. You can earn another free night at any Category 1 through 4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.

As the only Hyatt credit card available, the World of Hyatt Credit Card has no other Hyatt-branded cards to compete against. Fortunately, this card by itself provides heaps of value for Hyatt loyalists. Because Hyatt award nights start at just 5,000 points, it’s fairly straightforward to quickly earn points toward award nights within the World of Hyatt loyalty program. Travel insurance coverage and no foreign transaction fees are added cardmember bonuses.

Big bonus points on Hyatt stays

Intro Offer

30,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 9X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Up to 60,000 point sign-up bonus
  • Up to 9X points per $1 spent on Hyatt stays
  • 1 free night every year
  • Automatic elite status

Drawbacks

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks some perks of costlier hotel cards
  • No intro 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers
Card Details
  • Earn up to 60,000 points: 30,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, plus an additional 30,000 points by earning 2 bonus points per $1 spent on purchases that earn 1 bonus point, up to $15,000 spent in the first 6 months
  • 9X points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels; 2X points per $1 spent on eligible travel, dining, and health purchases; and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else

Bottom line

As you can see, there are many different hotel credit cards available that come with free nights. It should be easy to pick a card that earns you hotel points for your favorite hotel brand. The best hotel credit cards, though, will also earn you bonus points on stays and other travel expenses. They’ll also offer perks like complimentary room upgrades or travel credits.

If you’re looking for a card that has more well-rounded rewards or the option to transfer points to travel partners, then consider a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s one of the best travel credit cards available and earns lucrative Chase Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase.

Finally, keep in mind that you don’t have to pick just one of the best travel credit cards out there — sometimes having multiple cards can earn you the most in travel rewards and benefits.

New, Higher Sign Up Bonus - Worth $1250 Toward Travel

Intro Offer

100,000 points

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 5X points

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Best offer ever! 100,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 10% anniversary point bonus each year
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • Premium travel protection benefits

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee
  • Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases

Author Details

Ben Walker Ben Walker is a credit cards and travel writer at FinanceBuzz who loves helping others achieve their travel goals through financially-sound decisions. For nearly a decade, he has been using credit card points and miles for the sole purpose of traveling the world. Ben has been featured in The Washington Post, MSN, Debt.com, and Finder.com.