How to Stay at Any Hotel in the World… for Free
Before I show you how to get a free night stay at almost any hotel in the world, here’s what not to do…
Don’t: Email a hotel manager telling them you’re a blogger, social media influencer, or any type of wannabe star and ask for a free room in exchange for exposure.
This may have worked a few years ago, but a lot of hotels have had enough dealing with these D-list celebrities. Some luxury hotels going as far as banning them altogether.
Here’s an email from a hotel owner in Dublin in response to a request from a 22-year old Instagram “influencer”:
Dear Social Influencer (I know your name but apparently it’s not important to use names),
Thank you for your email looking for free accommodation in return for exposure. It takes a lot of balls to send an email like that, if not much self-respect and dignity.
If I let you stay here in return for a feature in a video, who is going to pay the staff who look after you? Who is going to pay the housekeepers who clean your room?
The waiters who serve you breakfast? The receptionist who checks you in? Who is going to pay for the light and heat you use during your stay?
Maybe I should tell my staff they will be featured in your video in lieu of receiving payment for work carried out while you’re in residence?
P.S. The answer is no.
A bit rough, but comical all the same.
Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s get down to brass tacks. Here are five ways to stay at just about any hotel in the world for free this year…
1. Type “(Hotel Chain Name) Credit Card” into Google
Pretty much every major mid-upper level hotel chain around the world now offers credit cards with enough points for at least one free night every year.
So long as you meet the minimum spending requirements or pay the renewal fee, you’ll get a free night. Not to mention you’ll be earning points throughout the year that can go toward multiple free nights.
Hotel credit cards are a great way to turn your everyday spending into cheap travel accommodation. Just make sure you read the fine print to know what is required to get the perks you desire. A few chains that offer credit cards with annual freebies: Marriott, Hyatt, IHG, SPG and Hilton are worth checking out. Here’s a good resource explaining your different options.
2. Hate Points? That’s O.K.
If complicated points programs turn you off, don’t worry because you can still enjoy free accommodations.
Hotels.com and other third-party booking sites offer incentives when you book through them instead of booking directly through a hotel’s website.
Right now, Hotels.com has an offer where for every 10 nights you book, you’ll get one free night worth the average cost of the 10 nights you booked. The best part about this deal is it covers any hotel you find on Hotels.com, no blackout dates or other stipulations.
3. SLH Refer a Friend
What fun is traveling if you don’t get to tell your friends about it?
Another way to earn yourself a free night stay is by referring friends and family. Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) is a boutique chain of hotels around the world that offers a loyalty program where you can refer a friend, and if they book one night worth at least $200, you receive a free night at any SLH Hotel worldwide.
SLH has hotels all around the world, you could stay at the Viceroy in New York, Claris in Barcelona, or Scarlet in the U.K. to name a few. And the best part, you can do this multiple times!
4. Wanting to Travel to Europe, Africa, or the Middle East? Now’s the Time to Do It
If you’ve always wanted to visit Cape Town or Dubai, now’s the time to go.
Starwood Hotels (SPG) has an offer with Mastercard that gets you two free nights on any booking of four nights or more. Or, you can simply get one free night, if you book two nights.
You could be staying at the Westin in Cape Town for free so long as you have a Mastercard or know someone who does and wants to travel with you. If you’re planning on traveling to Africa, the Middle East, or Europe in the near future, this is one of the best deals you’ll find.
5. Earn up to $40 for Every Friend that Tries Airbnb
I know Airbnb is not necessarily a “hotel” per say. However, you can find some pretty nice digs at a fraction of the cost of a commercial hotel chain.
But what about free?
Airbnb is still relatively new to a lot people, so in order to get more people using the service they’re offering some sweet referral bonuses. If you recommend Airbnb to a friend or family member and they sign up and complete a stay, you’ll get between $25-40 per person.
Have both your in-laws and a friend stay at an Airbnb during their next visit and you’ve just made $120 in credit, which can be put toward a free night stay at any Airbnb of your choosing.
Sign up on the Airbnb website and go to “earn credit” for more information about the offer. There are plenty of ways you can save on travel.
These are just a few you can take advantage of this summer, enjoy!
To a richer life,
Editor, Rich Life Roadmap