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How To Stay At Hotels For Free In 2024

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Wondering how to stay at hotels for free? I have stayed in many hotel rooms for free over the years by using many of these same strategies below. Finding ways to get free hotel stays is a great way to travel on a budget or simply just save money on hotels. This can allow you…

Wondering how to stay at hotels for free? I have stayed in many hotel rooms for free over the years by using many of these same strategies below.

Finding ways to get free hotel stays is a great way to travel on a budget or simply just save money on hotels. This can allow you to go on more vacations and use your money for other things in life.

Whether it’s a fancy resort or a specific hotel brand, the trick is to know where to find these opportunities and make the most of them.

Key Takeaways

  • Loyalty programs are a direct path to earning free hotel stays. This is because they tend to give a free night after a certain number of paid stays. You accumulate points for each stay that you can redeem for free nights.
  • Credit card points can be used for free hotel stays. Many credit cards partner with hotel brands to give sign-up bonuses. By meeting the minimum spending requirements, you can earn points for free hotel stays. These points can be substantial, so choose a card aligned with your preferred hotel chain.
  • Earning gift cards from rewards platforms can be a way to make money to put toward free hotel stays.

Best Ways To Get Free Hotel Stays

Below are ways to get free hotel stays.

How To Stay At Hotels For Free

Take surveys for free hotel stays

You can get free gift cards by answering paid online surveys, and you can use these gift cards to help you get a free hotel stay.

So, this would work like this – you could get free gift cards to places like Hotels.com, Marriott Hotels, Holiday Inn, or even a Visa gift card (that you can use anywhere) as a reward for answering online surveys. You then collect gift cards until you reach the amount that you need to book the hotel that you want.

To get started, you’ll want to find a survey site that you trust. Some of my favorites are:

I recommend signing up for all of them so that you can get the most surveys possible to answer, which will then pay you with more gift cards.

There are also other apps that you can use as well to get free gift cards, such as Fetch Rewards and Ibotta.

I get free gift cards all the time, and recently, I logged into several of the accounts that I am signed up for and turned in my points. This led to me getting $275 in free gift cards. I personally like to wait until I have a lot of gift cards that I can redeem all at once.

Now, this would take a decent amount of time. You won’t get a free hotel stay in one day. But if you keep doing surveys, your gift cards will add up.

Recommended reading: 16 Real Ways To Earn Free Gift Cards (Amazon, Target, Visa)

how to stay at hotels for free influencer

How to get free hotel stays as an influencer or blogger

As a blogger and social media influencer, I have received many hotel stays for free over the years. From luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean to RV campgrounds and more, I have partnered with many different types of accommodations over the years.

And, I know of many other people who have received free hotel rooms through this as well.

Getting free hotel stays as an influencer means partnering with hotels and showing them why you’re valuable to their brand.

This may include sharing your hotel stay on your blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, or somewhere else that you have followers and readers.

Here’s a quick guide on how to stay at hotels for free as a social media influencer or blogger:

  • Assess what you can offer. Hotels are looking for exposure and new customers, so your reach and engagement rates are important. How many people will see what you share about their hotel?
  • Customize your content to align with the hotel’s image and key messages.
  • Contact hotels professionally, usually through their marketing or PR department, and highlight how your content will benefit their visibility and attract potential customers. This is typically done through email.
  • Be clear about expectations – what you will provide and what you expect in return. Set deliverables, such as a number of posts, stories, or a video.

You can learn how to start a blog by taking my free How To Start A Blog Course. You can join over 80,000 people who have already taken the course. In this free course, I show you how to create a blog, from the technical side to earning your first income and attracting readers.

Travel credit card rewards

If you want to learn how to stay at hotels for free, this is one of the top ways.

I have earned several free hotel stays over the years by using the rewards points I have earned from my credit cards toward my hotel room. I’ve been using rewards credit cards for years, and they are pretty much all that I use now. It helps me save money on travel, earn cash back, and more. 

A rewards credit card lets you earn points, miles, or cash back that you can use for almost free travel. These cards usually give you points that you can use for things like airline miles, booking hotels, gift cards, or cash back. You earn these rewards just by using your credit card for everyday purchases like groceries, gas, and shopping. But remember, it’s important to pay off your full balance each month to make sure the rewards are worth it and avoid paying extra for interest charges.

Here’s a quick summary to help you understand how rewards credit cards work:

  1. Choose a credit card with rewards that interest you, like points, cash back, or travel rewards.
  2. The card may require you to spend a certain amount, for example, $3,000 in the first 90 days, to get a sign-up bonus. Some don’t have any minimum requirement, and you can simply earn points for your purchases.
  3. Use these points for rewards like cash back, hotel stays, airfare, or other options.

You can learn more about my favorite cards at Best Rewards Credit Cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are the best!), Chase Sapphire Reserve, Marriott Bonvoy Boundless, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card, and others.

I also recommend reading How To Take A 10 Day Trip To Hawaii For $22.40 – Flights & Accommodations Included.

Note: Credit card rewards and even the best travel credit cards are not worth it if you go into debt. Remember to pay off your monthly bill in time (and the full amount) before interest charges accrue. Also, many of the good rewards credit cards have an annual fee each year on your card anniversary, so take that into account as well. So, you should always be careful!

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Sign up for hotel loyalty programs

Hotel rewards programs are your way to get free stays and room upgrades. When you join these programs, you can earn points for a free night’s stay, and as you climb the levels, you can get additional benefits such as getting your resort fees waived.

Programs like Marriott Hotels, IHG Rewards Club, and Hilton Honors are free to join and sometimes give you a free night after a certain number of stays or points earned.

Some examples of hotel rewards programs include:

  • Marriott Bonvoy – Combines former Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest programs.
  • IHG Rewards Club – Allows you to earn points for stays which can be used for free nights.
  • Hilton Honors – Provides exclusive member deals and guarantees the lowest rates when booking directly.

Many travel booking sites also have rewards programs, such as Expedia even. These programs give valuable benefits like this to get you to book through them as much as possible so that they can make more money.

You can earn points in several ways beyond just booking hotel rooms:

  • Stay at hotels – Every night you stay earns you more points, with the amount varying by hotel and the rate you book.
  • Promotions – Look out for and register for periodic promotions that have bonus points.
  • Partnerships – Earn points through partners, for instance, by booking car rentals or flights with associated airlines.

Your accumulated points can be redeemed for free hotel nights, among other rewards. The number of points needed for a free night certificate varies by hotel brand, location, and the room’s price.

Find mystery shopping jobs at hotels

Mystery shop companies sometimes need secret shoppers to evaluate a hotel for them. I have seen these types of jobs pop up several times, and I have personally done a few as well.

These are typically just one or two-night stays in your local area, but it can make for a fun and free staycation.

This can be a great way to vacation on a budget.

how to get a free hotel room for a week

Become a travel agent if you’re traveling with a group

If you often travel with groups, becoming a travel agent can be a smart choice. As a travel agent, you get industry discounts and may earn commissions on your bookings. To become one, you need accreditation, usually from a trusted program that teaches you important industry knowledge.

Here’s how you can benefit:

  • Access to discounts – As a travel agent, you can unlock special rates not available to the public. When traveling with a group, this can translate into significant savings.
  • Earn commissions – Booking for multiple people means the potential for earning commissions from hotels increases. This can sometimes offset the cost of your own accommodation.

Though this role comes with perks, it also means handling travel details professionally and responsibly for others. It’s not just about getting free stays; it’s also about making sure that your group has great travel experiences.

Work at a hotel

Working at a hotel can be a way to get free accommodation. As an employee, you can usually get discounts or even stay for free, depending on your job and the hotel’s policy.

This may include jobs such as working the front desk, being in management, and more.

Policies vary, so it’s important to know what’s available to you and to ask about the hotel’s policy on employee stays. For example, some hotels have a set number of free nights as part of the employment package. Plus, discounts on rooms can sometimes extend to family and friends.

Attend a timeshare presentation

Going to a timeshare presentation can lead to complimentary hotel stays.

These can sometimes be brutal, though, so if you think that you may end up buying a timeshare that you don’t need – then DO NOT DO THIS! Timeshares can be quite expensive and they are lifelong with annual costs.

But, if you think you can withstand the temptation, plenty of people sign up for these in order to get a free hotel stay all the time.

Here’s how this works:

  • Usually, your attendance at a 90-minute to 2-hour sales pitch is required.
  • Be prepared for high-pressure sales tactics, but remember you’re under no obligation to buy.
  • Incentives can range from free hotel stays, discounted travel, or even gift cards.
  • Make sure you understand the terms and conditions attached to the free stay.
  • If interested, consider the timeshare offer carefully. If not, politely decline and redeem your free stay or other perks.

Hotel promotions and deals

You can stretch your travel budget by taking advantage of different hotel promotions and deals to get the best room rates. Whether you travel often or are planning a one-time trip, there are several strategies you can use to get free hotel stays.

When you sign up for newsletters from your favorite hotel chains, you’ll receive emails on new promotions and deals (such as for seasonal sales on room rates) directly to your inbox. Some hotels might even offer a reward night, room upgrades, or welcome points just for joining at check-in.

Scan your grocery receipts for free hotel gift cards

Using grocery receipt scanning apps can be an easy way to earn free hotel stay rewards.

As you do your regular grocery shopping at grocery stores, these apps turn your grocery receipts into points, which can be exchanged for gift cards that can be used at different hotels.

Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Download receipt scanning apps – Look for apps like Fetch Rewards (this is my favorite and the one that I use for every single one of my grocery receipts) that are known to offer hotel gift cards as a redemption option.
  2. Scan your receipts – Every time you shop, take a second to scan your receipts using the app.
  3. Earn points – Get points with every scanned receipt.
  4. Redeem for hotel gift cards – Once you’ve earned enough points, browse the app’s reward section for hotel gift card options. Select your preferred hotel chain and redeem your points. With Fetch Rewards, you can get gift cards to places such as Airbnb, Hotels.com, Visa, and more.

While it will take some time to earn enough points, it can be a way to save some money on a hotel reservation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions about how to stay at hotels for free.

Is it possible to get a free night at a hotel?

Yes, you may be able to get a free night at a hotel through loyalty programs, which reward you with points for free night awards that can be redeemed for free nights. Additionally, some programs may give a free night after a certain number of paid stays or as a sign-up bonus.

How to get a hotel room for free?

You may get a free hotel room through loyalty programs, credit card rewards, by earning free hotel gift cards, and more.

How can I earn free hotel stays through surveys?

You can earn points by joining market research and filling out surveys on specific websites. These points might be traded for hotel rewards points, allowing you to book hotel stays for free.

Are there contests or sweepstakes that offer chances to win a stay at a hotel?

Yes, contests and sweepstakes run by hotels, travel bloggers, or travel websites tend to have hotel stays as prizes. You can start by possibly searching related hashtags on social media, such as #giveaway.

How can I travel luxury for free?

Traveling in luxury for free can be done by maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and rewards, leveraging elite status with hotel loyalty programs for upgrades, and possibly collaborating with luxury hotels as an influencer if you have a strong online following.

How to get a free hotel room by complaining?

If you honestly had a bad stay at a hotel, you may be able to talk to management. Sometimes, they will give you a free hotel stay to make up for the bad review. But, you should never lie about a stay just to get a free room, as you can cost someone their job.

How To Stay at Hotels for Free – Summary

I hope you enjoyed this article on how to stay at hotels for free.

There are many ways to get free hotel stays, as you learned above.

Joining hotel loyalty programs at major hotel chains is a simple way to get free night rewards. These programs give you points for staying often, and you can use these points for free hotel nights.

Travel credit cards and hotel credit cards also give rewards that can be used for hotel stays.

If you’re an influencer or booking for a group, this may result in you getting a hotel stay for free. Other ways, like joining hotel promotions, being a mystery shopper, or attending timeshare presentations, can also get you free or cheaper stays at different places.

I have personally done many of the ways listed above to get free hotel stays at places in many states and countries. The stays have been great and have allowed me to save so much money over the years!

Have you ever stayed at a hotel for free?

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