Best Hotel Credit Cards With Free Anniversary Nights in 2022

The best hotel credit cards have one outstanding benefit that gives cardholders the incentive to renew year after year: Free night certificates and/or bonus points that are worth more than the annual fee.

It’s basic math — nobody likes annual fees, but if you know you’ll save more money than you’re paying in fees, a hotel credit card is a no-brainer.

Read more: I haven’t paid for a hotel room in 10 years — here’s how I stay for free

I’ve got several hotel credit cards that I continually renew because I’ve historically saved more than double the annual fees. If you stay in hotels even a few times per year anyway, consider building your hotel credit card portfolio. You might be shocked at the value an inexpensive card can net.

Let’s take a look at all the credit cards that come with either annual free night certificates or bonus points simply for renewing your card each year. These are the ones you can currently apply for — cards that offer these benefits but have been discontinued are not listed.

Which credit cards offer annual bonus hotel points/free nights?

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card


Regular APR


15.74% to 24.74% variable APR on purchases


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.74% to 24.74% variable APR on purchases


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • The information related to the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.
  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership
  • 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
  • 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your card at U.S. restaurants
  • 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers by far the most valuable free night certificate of any credit card, referred to as Weekend Night Rewards. After each cardmember anniversary, you’ll earn one night at nearly any Hilton hotel on the planet (see exclusions here) — including hotels that cost 150,000 points per night. 

Insider values Hilton points at 0.5 cents each, on average. That means you could potentially get up to $750 in value from this certificate — or significantly more, depending on where you stay. For example, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island costs 120,000 points per night, but regularly retails for $2,000 per night. This is an excellent use of a weekend night reward.

Read more: 5 luxury resorts where you can get great value from the Amex Hilton Aspire free night certificate — plus use up to $250 in credits

Weekend Night Rewards are normally valid only from Friday to Sunday. But any certificates you earn in 2021 or 2022 can be redeemed any day of the week, giving you significantly more flexibility.

You’ve also got the opportunity to earn an additional Weekend Night Reward after spending $60,000 on your card in a calendar year.

This card charges a $450 annual fee (See Review). But as you can see, you can easily offset that fee with this Weekend Night Reward alone.

The card also comes with:

We consider this to be one of the


best credit cards

on the market.

Read more: Amex Hilton Aspire review

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Annual free night reward for hotels that cost up to 35,000 points can be worth more than annual fee

Cons

  • The only lucrative bonus category is participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • Upgrading to Gold status requires spending $35,000 on the card in an account year,

Read Our Review
Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

More Information

  • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.
  • New Benefit! Earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.
  • New Benefit! Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card is a $95 annual fee card that comes with an annual free night certificate worth 35,000 points after your cardmember anniversary. Insider estimates Marriott points to be worth 0.7 cents each, meaning this certificate is worth up to $245, on average.

You can reserve more than 7,000 Marriott hotels around the world with this certificate. But you’ll soon be able to combine up to 15,000 points with this certificate to reserve hotels costs up to 50,000 points per night.

Read more: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card review

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card also comes with:

  • 3 free nights (each worth up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year (helpful for reaching elite status faster)
  • Automatic Marriott Silver elite status

If you can use this annual free night certificate each year, you’ll almost certainly get more value from the card than you’re paying for the annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99%


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99%


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Comes with a free night reward every year after your card renewal month
  • Earns 4x points on several bonus spending categories, including U.S. purchases for shipping and U.S. restaurants

Cons

  • The complimentary Silver elite status isn’t very valuable
  • Not the best option for earning rewards on non-bonus category purchases

Read Our Review
Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

More Information

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 of eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 5/18/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy(TM) program.
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping. 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status with your Card. Plus, earn Gold Elite status after making $35,000 in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Terms apply

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card comes with a free night award after your card renewal month identical to the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: 35,000 points, which Insider estimates to be worth up to $245. However, this card comes with a slightly higher $125 annual fee (See Rates).

Still, you should have no trouble offsetting that price tag by redeeming your certificate. After all, finding a hotel room for $125 is, unfortunately, becoming more and more difficult.

This card also affords you the opportunity to earn a second 35,000-point free night award after you spend $60,000 on purchases in a calendar year.

Again, you’ll soon be able to add up to 15,000 points to these certificates to reserve Marriott hotels that charge 50,000 points per night or less.

Read more: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card review

The Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card also offers:

  • 100,000 bonus points after using your card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership (offer ends 5/18/22)
  • 15 elite night credits (can be stacked with the 15 elite night credits you receive from a Marriott personal card)
  • Automatic Marriott Silver elite status

This card is a great tool for anyone who qualifies for a small-business card and frequents Marriott hotels.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99% Variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 24.99% Variable APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
  • Enjoy up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases on the Card at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program.
  • Earn 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program. 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines. 2 points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy unlimited airport lounge visits when you enroll in Priority Pass™ Select membership.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $450 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is Marriott’s premium credit card, with an annual fee of $450 (See Rates). For that price, you’ll get an improved free night award worth up to 50,000 points every year after your Card renewal month.

Insider estimates Marriott points to be worth 0.7 cents, making this certificate worth up to about $350. That said, it’s certainly possible to get significantly more value depending on where you stay — and you’ve got 7,900+ qualifying Marriott hotels to choose from.

For example, you could book a standard guest room during off-peak dates at the ION Adventure Hotel, Nesjavellir, a Member of Design Hotels in Iceland, which is difficult to book for under $400.

Ion Adventure Hotel

ION Adventure Hotel costs 50,000 Marriott points per night on off-peak dates, and it’s a great base camp for a Northern Lights expedition.

Booking.com


Marriott will soon allow you to tack on an extra 15,000 points to this certificate, as well. That means you’ll be able to reserve rooms costing 65,000 points or less per night.

Read more: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card review

The card also comes with:

  • Earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • Up to $300 annual statement credit for spending with Marriott (room rate, spa, food, etc.)
  • 15 elite night credits per calendar year (helpful to achieve elite status)
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership**
  • Automatic Marriott Gold elite status

This card is well worth the annual fee if you stay at Marriott even a couple of times each year. I’ve got it myself and have no intention of canceling it.

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card comes with a free night certificate for any Hyatt Category 1-4 hotel after each account anniversary. You can also earn a second free night certificate after spending $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.

Insider estimates Hyatt points to be worth 1.5 cents each, on average. Category 4 hotels can cost up to 18,000 points per night during peak season, making this certificate worth up to around $270.

Hyatt hotels aren’t nearly as prolific as hotel chains such as Marriott and Hilton. If you’re not traveling to a big city or a touristy area, there may not be a Hyatt hotel nearby. If you can make use of it, however, it’ll easily offset the card’s $95 annual fee.

Read more: World of Hyatt Credit Card review

This card also offers:

  • 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning with 2 points per dollar spent on purchases that normally earn 1 point, up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening
  • World of Hyatt Discoverist elite status
  • Five elite night credits each calendar year
  • Two elite night credits for every $5,000 in purchases

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 3 or more nights
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card comes with a $99 annual fee. You’ll receive a free night worth up to 40,000 points after you pay this fee each year.

Insider estimates IHG points value to be 0.7 cents each, making this bonus worth up to $280, on average.

IHG doesn’t have award categories, and each hotel’s award price can change dramatically. However, this certificate can be used at thousands of hotels worldwide, making it an exceptionally valuable benefit for a card with such a low annual fee. You can even combine it with as many IHG points as you like to reserve any IHG hotel.

Read more: IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card review

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card also offers:

  • 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • IHG Platinum elite status
  • Diamond elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year with the card
  • Fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a stay of three or more nights
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit
  • 20% discount when you purchase points with your card
  • 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year
  • Up to $50 in United TravelBank Cash each calendar year

If you’re an avid IHG customer, this card will pay off big.

IHG® Rewards Premier Business Mastercard®


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 3 or more nights
  • Earn up to 26 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
  • Earn 5 points per $1 spent on purchases on travel, gas stations, select advertising, and restaurants. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck® or NEXUS Statement Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
  • IHG Rewards bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

The IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card comes with a $99 annual fee. You’ll receive a free night worth up to 40,000 points after you pay this fee each year. Again, Insider estimates IHG points value to be 0.7 cents each, making this bonus worth up to $280, on average.

This 40,000-point certificate can be combined with your IHG points stash to increase the number of hotels with which you can use it. For example, if you wanted to reserve a night at a five-star hotel for 90,000 points, you’d pay 50,000 points + your annual free night certificate.

Plus, you can earn an additional certificate worth 40,000 points each calendar year you make $60,000 in purchases.

Read more: IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card review

The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card also offers:

  • 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Automatic IHG Platinum Elite status
  • Diamond elite status after spending $40,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year with the card
  • 10,000 bonus points and a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 on purchases and making one additional purchase each calendar year
  • Fourth reward night free when you redeem points for a stay of three or more nights
  • Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS application fee credit
  • Up to $50 in United TravelBank Cash each calendar year

Wyndham Rewards® Earner Plus Card


Regular APR


15.74%, 19.99% or 24.99%


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.74%, 19.99% or 24.99%


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Complimentary Platinum elite status
  • Strong points earning on Wyndham stays and gas stations
  • Annual bonus of 7,500 points for your cardmember anniversary
  • 10% points discount for booking gofree Wyndham award stays

More Information

  • The information related to the Wyndham Rewards® Earner Plus Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
  • Earn 4 points per dollar on eligible dining and grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart)
  • Earn 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases made at Hotels by Wyndham
  • Earn 6 points per dollar on gas purchases
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases


Intro APR


0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months

The Wyndham Rewards® Earner Plus Card comes with a very reasonable $75 annual fee, but also comes with a bonus of 7,500 points each cardmember anniversary. That’s not a “free night certificate,” per se, but it’s enough for a free night at many Wyndham hotels.

Insider estimates Wyndham points to be worth 0.8 cents each, making this bonus worth around $60. Wyndham isn’t known for upscale hotels (you’re probably familiar with its brands like Days Inn, Hawthorne Suites, Howard Johnson, Ramada, etc.).

Read more: Wyndham Rewards Earner Plus credit card review

The Wyndham Rewards® Earner Plus Card comes with:

  • 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Automatic Wyndham Platinum elite status (good for benefits like bonus points, early check-in, and the ability to select a preferred room)
  • Cardmember booking discount on paid stays
  • 10% discount on Go free awards

Wyndham Rewards® Earner Business Card


Regular APR


15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99%, 19.99% or 24.99%


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Strong points earning on Wyndham stays and gas stations
  • Complimentary Diamond elite status — the highest level in Wyndham Rewards
  • Annual bonus of 15,000 points for your cardmember anniversary
  • 5x points on select business purchases
  • 10% points discount for booking gofree Wyndham award stays

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Other hotel credit cards have more competitive sign-up bonuses

More Information

  • The information related to the Wyndham Rewards® Earner Business Card has been collected by Business Insider and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
  • Earn 5 points per dollar on eligible marketing, advertising, and utilities purchases
  • Earn 8 points per dollar on eligible purchases made at Hotels by Wyndham
  • Earn 8 points per dollar on gas purchases
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

The Wyndham Rewards® Earner Business Card is a $95 annual fee card that comes with 15,000 bonus points after each account anniversary. Again, Insider estimates Wyndham points value to be 0.8 cents each, making this bounty worth around $120.

However, a great use of Wyndham points is by redeeming them for stays at Vacasa rentals. Rates start at 15,000 points per bedroom, so this annual bonus could save you hundreds for a night in a villa or cabin.

Read more: How to earn, redeem, and maximize Wyndham points

The Wyndham Rewards® Earner Business Card comes with:

  • 45,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Automatic Diamond elite status (comes with benefits like late checkout, early check-in, and suite upgrades when available)
  • Cardmember booking discount on paid stays
  • 10% discount on Go free awards

This is the best card Wyndham offers.

Don’t forget cards with travel credits you can use toward hotel stays

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99% – 22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Excellent welcome bonus, earning, and benefits
  • Automatic elite status for yourself and up to five company employees
  • Up to $100 in Hyatt credits each year and a 10% points rebate on redemptions when you meet spending requirements

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Card doesn’t offer an annual free night like similar hotel cards do
  • Points rebate requires $50,000 in spending in a calendar year

Read Our Review
Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

More Information

  • 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $7,500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt – 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent in your top three spend categories each quarter through 12/31/22, then your top two categories each quarter.
  • 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on fitness club and gym memberships
  • 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits — spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and earn $50 statement credits up to two times each anniversary year.
  • 5 Tier-Qualifying night credits toward status and Milestone rewards for every $10,000 you spend in a calendar year.
  • World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open. Plus, Discoverist status to up to five employees

The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card doesn’t offer an annual free night, but it does come with up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits per year. You can put that towards your stay — and even get a free night if you’re lucky enough find a sub-$100 room rate.

Read more: World of Hyatt Business Credit Card review

This card comes with a $199 annual fee, but it also offers:

  • 75,000 bonus points after you spend $7,500 within the first three months of account opening
  • Automatic Hyatt Discoverist elite status (benefits like waived resort fees on award nights, preferred room upgrades, late checkout, etc.)
  • Gift Discoverist status to up to five company employees
  • Five Tier-Qualifying night credits toward status and Milestone rewards for every $10,000 you spend in a calendar year
  • 10% redemption rebate after you spend $50,000 in a calendar year

The Platinum Card® from American Express


Regular APR


See Pay Over Time APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


See Pay Over Time APR


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
  • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber

Cons

  • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
  • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards

Read Our Review
Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

More Information

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a $200 hotel credit each calendar year to be used through either Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or The Hotel Collection (two-night minimum stay).

Access to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts is a big selling points of the Amex Platinum. You’ll get elite-like benefits such as room upgrade when available, free breakfast for two, and a property credit unique to your hotel (often a $100 credit for food, beverage, spa, etc.).

You’ll almost certainly have trouble keeping your bill below $200 when booking through these portals, so this credit isn’t exactly an annual “free” night.

Read more: My plan to maximize the Amex Platinum card’s new $200 hotel credit for a nearly free luxury stay

The Amex Platinum charges a $695 annual fee (See Rates) — but it’s also stuffed with valuable benefits like:

Read our Amex Platinum Card review for more reasons why this card is worth the annual fee. 

Citi Premier® Card


Regular APR


16.24% – 24.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


16.24% – 24.24% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 60,000 Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

The Citi Premier® Card has emerged as one of the best rewards generators in the credit card game. For a $95 annual fee card, its bonus is high (60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening) and its earning rates are incredible (3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar on air travel, gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels).

This card also comes with an annual $100 credit for a single hotel stay that costs $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) booked through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. This is certainly not a “free” stay each year, but it can amount to a free night if you’re booking five nights at a $100 hotel.

Read more: Citi Premier credit card review

The Citi Premier® Card is otherwise not a good option for your travel purchases. It’s got no travel protection whatsoever.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card


Regular APR


15.99%-22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent


Regular APR


15.99%-22.99% Variable


Recommended Credit Score


Good to Excellent

More Information

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is widely considered to be the best beginner points credit card. It comes with a palatable $95 annual fee, more than half of which can be offset by the card’s annual $50 credit for hotels booked through the Chase Travel Portal. Again, this likely won’t be enough for a totally free night, but it’s a heavy discount.

Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also comes with:

  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening
  • 10% anniversary point bonus (based on the dollar amount you’ve spent)
  • Primary car rental insurance
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance

If you’re interested in credit card travel insurance, the Sapphire Preferred will give you the biggest bang for your annual fee.

Honorable mentions

There are a few other credit cards that come with general annual travel credits that you can use for a free hotel stay if you so desire. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do you use a free night certificate?

With most hotel chains (like IHG, Hyatt, and Marriott) you can redeem your certificate online at checkout. Here’s an example of Marriott’s reservation page. Before you pay, you can choose whether you want to redeem points or a free night certificate.

If you’re staying at a hotel with an award price significantly lower than your free night award is worth, it’s better to pay with points. The hotel below costs 35,000 points, and my certificate covers hotels costing up to 35,000 points — so it’s a good use.

Checkout page for the Sheraton Grand Dubai — demonstration for how to use free night certificates.

You can choose at checkout whether to redeem points or a qualifying certificate.

Marriott


Hilton will not allow you to redeem a Weekend Night Reward online. You’ll have to call them at 800-446-6677 and relay your desired hotel and dates to the customer service representative.

Can you use free night certificates at any time?

While most hotel free night certificates can be used any time, Hilton issues Weekend Night Certificates that are only valid for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. However, any certificates issued in 2021 or 2022 can be used any day of the week.

Can you use free night certificates in tandem with a 5th night free?

Hilton and Marriott offer a benefit that provides you with a fifth night free when you book five consecutive award nights. For example, a five-night stay at a hotel that costs 50,000 points per night would cost just 200,000 points. IHG offers a similar perk for its co-branded cardholders, but you’ll get a fourth reward night when booking three or more nights with points.

Unfortunately, free night certificates don’t count as an award night in this context. You’ll have to use actual hotel points to qualify for these fourth or fifth-night free perks (though there is anecdotal evidence of Hilton customers managing to find phone agents that can attach a weekend night reward to a fifth-night free booking).

Do free night certificates expire?

Free night certificates usually expire within a year of the issue date. There have been many exceptions lately, with hotels pausing expiration due to a stagnant travel industry in the wake of coronavirus restrictions.

Even if your certificate does expire, that may not be the end of the road. I recently had a Hyatt free night certificate expire, and Hyatt was gracious enough to credit my account with 10,000 Hyatt points. If it turns out you can’t use your certificate, perhaps you’ll at least get some points out of it.

Read more: I haven’t stayed in a hotel in over a year — here’s how I’m using all the credit card points and free night certificates I’ve saved up

Do anniversary points expire?

Points are far more flexible than free night certificates — though the annual payout is often less valuable.

Points will not expire a year from the issue date. They still can expire if your account is inactive for a specific period of time. Check the hotel loyalty program’s terms for the specifics. Expiration will usually occur after 1.5 or two years.

Read more: How to keep points and miles from expiring

How do I earn an annual free night certificate?

With the above cards, the only step is to pay the annual fee. Your free night certificate should be available to you within a few weeks. Some hotel cards, like the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
and the The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offer free night certificates each year, but to unlock them you must spend a significant amount of money on your card.

Some of the cards above also offer additional free nights on top of the automatic certificates you’ll receive after account renewal, but they’re only awarded after big spending requirements.

Featured credit cards from our partners

Regular APR

15.99%-22.99% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Regular APR

15.99% – 22.99% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74% Variable APR

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Olive

Next Post

Los Angeles bans travel to Texas over anti-trans policies

Sat Apr 9 , 2022
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to suspend formal vacation to Texas about its the latest controversial policies focusing on transgender youth. In their motion, board members said that the Lone Star State’s decision to examine certain gender-affirming health-related care for trans youth as baby abuse “flies […]