Several hotel credit cards offer free annual night certificates as an anniversary bonus. By maximizing the free night benefit you will virtually be guaranteed to exceed the cost of the annual fee on your hotel credit card. Here are two hotel credit card’s free night certificate examples.
- Annual fee less than $100: Chase Hyatt Visa
- Premium hotel credit card: Hilton Honors Aspire Card
Chase Hyatt Visa
Free Night Certificate: 1 free night at any Hyatt category 1-4 hotel or resort.
The Chase Hyatt Visa has an annual hotel night certificate good for a category 1-4 property. The annual fee is $75 for the Hyatt Credit Card, but the with the cash value of most Hyatt nights costing at least $150, your essentially getting a room for 50% off assuming you don’t use any of the additional card benefits.
You won’t be able to redeem your free night at the high-end category 5-7 properties, but you will still find plenty of value in the category 1-4 portfolio where a reward night only costs up to 15,000 points. Other hotel loyalty programs easily charge 25,000 to 30,000 for their equivalent properties.
With so many ways to redeem your Hyatt anniversary night, the choices can be initially overwhelming but keep these tips in mind:
- Category 4 hotels are often in the heart of major metropolitans (aka walking distance to most attractions)
- Category 3 hotels are also in most major US and European destinations
- There are a few hidden gems in Category 2 like the Hyatt Regency Saipan that costs $340 per night!
While you can spend your free night on whichever property you want, focus on the categories 4-3-2 in the descending order. Within these three categories, consider these brands first for better overall quality:
- Park Hyatt
- Hyatt Regency
These three brands often come with more amenities than the other Hyatt brands, but as mentioned before, there are hidden gems in each category.
Additional Hyatt Visa Credit Card Benefits
There is more to like besides the free anniversary night:
- 40,000 point sign-up bonus worth up to 9 free Hyatt nights after completing minimum spend
- Automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status (10% elite bonus and 2 p.m. late checkout)
- 3x points on all Hyatt hotel and resort stays
- 2x points at restaurants, direct airline ticket purchases, and car rental agencies
- 1x point for all remaining purchases
Many other hotel programs offer free rewards nights for 5,000 points, but these properties are often in less-traveled areas or there’s a very small selection. That’s not the case with Hyatt as major U.S. cities have at least one category 1 option. There’s also a fair amount of international category 1 destinations too. Whether you fly overseas or stay in-country, you shouldn’t struggle squeezing 10 free nights from your free night certificate and the 45,000 point bonus.
Because Hyatt points are almost always worth 2.0 to 3.0 cents each per reward night, you can easily make the Hyatt Credit Card your primary rewards card for travel purchases to earn at least 2 points per $1 spent.
The one downside of the Hyatt Credit Card is that the Hyatt portfolio only consists of 750+ hotels and resorts. While most tourist destinations has a Hyatt location, they aren’t on every street corner like the Hilton, IHG, or Marriott portfolios that also offer free night certificates.
Hilton Honors Aspire Card
Free Night Certificate: One free night each year & second free night after spending $60,000 annually
The Hilton Honors Aspire takes the crown as the best premium hotel rewards credit card. Unlike the other hotel credit cards that make you wait until your first card anniversary to receive your free night, you get your first night on day 1. Your second Hilton night is award after spending $60,000 in a calendar year.
The only catch with the Hilton free night certificates is that they must be redeemed on the weekends.
With 4,900 locations in 100 countries–and most properties accepting the free night certificate– it’s easy to find a property to stay at over the weekend and save several hundred dollars in the process. Here are a few options to choose from to redeem your free weekend night:
- Conrad Bora Bora Nui ($955+ nightly rate)
- Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam ($700+ nightly rate)
- The London NYC ($450+ nightly rate)
The average nightly rate for all of these places exceeds the $450 annual fee, before you take the additional hotel credit card travel benefits into consideration.
When you use the benefits below, your annual benefit value is easily worth more than $1,000 each year:
- $250 air travel credit
- $250 Hilton Resort credit
- $100 Hilton on-property credit (2+ night stay required)
- Hilton Honors Diamond status (50% point redemption bonus, room upgrades, 48-hour room guarantee)
- Priority Pass Select membership
You will also earn up to 14x Hilton Honors points on all purchases:
- 14x points on all Hilton stays
- 7x points for direct airline purchases, rental car agencies, and U.S. restaurants
- 3x on all remaining purchases
If you spend $60,000 in a calendar year to earn the 2nd free night, you will also get at least 180,000 rewards points if you only earn the 3x base rate.
Rewards nights start at 5,000 points per night for Hilton reward nights and you get the 5th night free when you book a 5+ night reward stay. The 5th night free makes your Hilton points even more valuable.
Honorable Hilton Credit Card Mention
Maybe you can’t justify owning the $450 Hilton Honors Aspire but you can still spend at least $15,000 a year on a Hilton credit card. If that’s the case, you can apply for either:
- Hilton Honors Ascend
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
By spending $15,000 in annual credit card purchases, you will get one free weekend night. As a recurring bonus, you will get 10 free Priority Pass Select lounge passes each year. Neither hotel card offers a free night as an anniversary bonus and this is why it lost to the Hyatt Credit Card for the “mass consumer” category.
The Hyatt Credit Card and Hilton Honors Aspire give you one free night every year. With the generous purchase rewards and redemption options, you can find great value in the free night certificate and any award nights you redeem with points.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.