Hotel Cards With the Most Valuable Free Nights on Your Card Anniversary

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There are many cards that offer a fantastic sign-up bonus.  But some cards offer a great benefit that makes them worth keeping long-term:  free hotel nights on your card anniversary.

You’ll typically earn the free night after your account has been open for a year, so you’ll have to pay the card’s annual fee to get the benefit.

But these cards usually make the annual fee worthwhile because you can more than make up for the fee with the free card anniversary night.

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

It’s Worth Paying the Annual Fee on Certain Cards Because You Get a Free Night Potentially Worth Much More on Your Card Anniversary

I’ll share my favorite hotel cards that offer free anniversary nights or bonus nights for big spending!

Cards That Give You a Free Night Each Year

1.   Chase IHG

Link:   Chase IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

One of my favorite keeper cards, the Chase IHG card has a very reasonable annual fee of $49 (waived the first year), which includes a free night at any IHG hotel each year on your cardholder anniversary.

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

Emily on the Lower Deck of our Emerald Overwater Bungalow at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa

Emily and I have had some unforgettable experiences at IHG hotels, including our getaway at the historic Willard Hotel in Washington, DC.  And our amazing stay the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa.

With the Chase IHG card, you’ll earn 70,000 IHG points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.  (EXPIRED.)  

Plus an additional 5,000 IHG points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the same timeframe.

And because you can use the free anniversary night at any IHG hotel (even their most expensive locations), you can get a stay worth hundreds of dollars more than the annual fee!

Here’s how to get the most Big Travel from the Chase IHG card.  And ideas on where to use your anniversary night in the US, Europe, Caribbean & Mexico, on the Mediterranean Sea, and Asia & Australia.

And our readers have shared their favorite IHG hotels, too!

2.   Chase Hyatt

Link:   Chase Hyatt

The Chase Hyatt card is worth getting for the sign-up bonus of 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt hotel after meeting minimum spending requirements.  But it’s worth keeping for the free anniversary night!

You’ll get a free night in a category 1 to 4 Hyatt each year on your card anniversary.  And there are awesome values to be had at hotels in those categories.

A great option for skiers is the Hyatt Centric Park City in Utah.  Located in the Canyons village, the Hyatt Centric offers ski-in / ski-out access, along with two whirlpools, a heated outdoor pool, and ski storage.

Award nights at this category 4 hotel cost 15,000 Hyatt points per night.  Or use the free anniversary night from the Chase Hyatt card!

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

I checked a random date in January and standard rooms cost ~$527 (including a $25 per night resort fee).  You’ll have to plan in advance to find available award nights, but having a free night at this hotel is a steal for the price of the Hyatt card’s $75 annual fee (waived the first year).

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

We Had an Excellent Experience at the Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa

Another great category 4 option is the Park Hyatt Goa in India.  Emily and I had an awesome stay there on a trip to visit family.  Paid nights cost ~$160, so you’ll still come out ahead by paying the annual fee for the Hyatt card and getting a free night here.

3.   Chase Marriott Cards

Link:   Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Chase Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Card

The personal Marriott Rewards Premier card has an annual fee of $85.  And the Marriott Rewards Premier Business card (now with a higher signup bonus of 100,000 Marriott points!) has an annual fee of $99.  (EXPIRED.)

Both offer a free anniversary night in category 1 to 5 hotels.

You could use your free night at the category 5 Courtyard Sydney – North Ryde, located in a northern suburb of Sydney, Australia.  A standard room for a random night this summer is 234 Australian dollars (~$169).

If you’e headed to Canada, you could stay at the Courtyard Toronto Downtown.  Located in heart of Toronto, it’s is newly renovated and offers easy access to Toronto’s attractions.  Rooms start at ~$229 Canadian dollars (~$175).

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

Relax in the Cozy Lobby at the Courtyard Toronto Downtown

Free Anniversary Nights for Big Spenders

1.   Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

Link:   Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card doesn’t offer an anniversary night just for paying the annual fee, but it does offer a weekend night after spending $10,000 on the card each membership year.

Keep in mind, there are a few Hilton hotels where you can’t use the weekend night certificate, like certain all-inclusive, Hilton Grand, and Waldorf Astoria locations.

But the card can be worthwhile for big spenders, especially because there are other perks like complimentary Gold status, which gets you free breakfast at certain brands and can be a great money-saver.

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

Save Hundreds of Dollars at the Conrad Maldives When You Use Your Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Weekend Anniversary Night

Emily and I stayed at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and it was one of our best vacations ever!  Rates this fall start at ~$807 per night, so paying the $95 annual fee and meeting the annual spend could save you a lot of money if you’re planning to visit the Maldives.

2.   Chase Fairmont

Link:   Chase Fairmont Visa Signature Card

Fairmont is a smaller hotel brand with gorgeous locations worldwide.  The Fairmont Visa Signature Card offers a free night at any of their hotels when you spend $12,000 per anniversary year on your card.

Paid nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui start at ~$694, which would an excellent use of the free anniversary night, even with the $95 annual fee!

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

The Fairmont Kea Lani Is an All-Suite Hotel on the Ocean in Maui

3.   US Bank Club Carlson Cards

Link:   Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Link:   Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa Card

With the Club Carlson personal and business cards, you’ll earn a free night at any US Club Carlson hotel when you spend $10,000 in an anniversary year and renew your card.

That’s on top of the 40,000 anniversary Club Carlson points you’ll earn each year when you renew your card and pay the annual fee.  That’s more than enough for an award night in Club Carlson category 1 to 4 locations.

Hotel Cards With The Most Valuable Free Nights On Your Card Anniversary

Use an Anniversary Award Night at the Radisson Martinique on Broadway in New York City

These cards also come with complimentary Gold elite status, which gets you room upgrades (when available), late check-out, and points bonuses.

Bottom Line

Paying the annual fee on hotel cards which offer a free anniversary night can be a great money-saving strategy.  Especially if you’ll be staying at a hotel that costs more than the annual fee!

And big spenders can earn anniversary nights with certain cards.  But you’ll typically have to spend a lot ($10,000+) per cardholder year to qualify.

Even better, when you and a friend or partner both have the card, you can spend a whole weekend away by each booking the hotel on back-to-back nights.

Which cards do you keep for the free anniversary night perk?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

8 responses to “Hotel Cards With the Most Valuable Free Nights on Your Card Anniversary

  1. Can you use the Hyatt free night certificate for their all inclusive properties?

  2. Darius,

    I am just not able to wrap my head around keeping the Marriott and Personal. I don’t travel to Europe and I have all of the super great hotel cards. Give me two US Hotels as reason to keep. Also, I also thought it might be a good idea to get rid of them because when they merge with Starwood there may be another product. Thoughts??

  3. Sorry! Can’t seem to find a place to enter comments / questions on

    http://millionmilesecrets.com/contact-me/

    Wanted to thank you for a great blog and ask a question:

    Thanks to all your info and more spending than we really should be doing (yes, we pay cards off in full), we’ve opened loads of cards over the last months / year or 2 and met the spending for the initial bonuses. Now we have tens of thousands of points with:

    American
    Delta
    United
    Marriot
    Hilton
    IHG
    Starwood
    Wyndham

    And points with PNC and BoA for travel

    Problem is, we really don’t get out much : ) We had bonus awards with several cards that you can use to get gift cards and did that for those (Citi thank you, etc.).

    Any recommendation / options on what to do with all these points other than fly / stay overnight? At a reasonable value for each mile?

    And some have expiration. We had 50K frontier points from their credit card and did turn that into 5 flights, 1 day before the expiration date. But not going anywhere else for a while : ) And am I wrong to be offended that they pass on the taxes AND charge an award processing fee?

    Also, some of the American miles will be expiring at the end of June. You had an article at begining of May about a promotion that earns you 350 miles / bumps the expiration

    http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/05/05/earn-700-free-american-airlines-miles/

    but they say it takes 6 – 8 weeks to get the miles. I guess we just have to watch the account and be ready to buy a magazine or donate some miles to move the expiration?

  4. The Club Carlson free night needs to have an asterisk. I’ve found that the majority of their hotels will be unavailable if you try using the free night, although you can still book with points. Others have complained about this as well.

  5. The Free night comes with the strings that you have to use it within one year and not all the rooms/hotels shows availability even they are avail for booking w/ points. [Edited.]

  6. Kendall, yes you can use the hyatt free nights at a hyatt all inclusive. I am using both of mine at the hyatt ziva cabo this july. You just have to call the reservation line to book

  7. Kyle, thanks for the response. Incidentally I am actually using my two free nights from the Hyatt sign up bonus in Cabo in December! I was wondering about the annual night certificate you get after paying The annual fee. I thought I saw on Hyatt site or terms an conditions you couldn’t use the annual certificate at a Ziva or Zilara properties.

  8. Kendall, I second what Kyle said. My husband and I combined our free nights from our individual cards and successfully used them earlier this year at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. The all-inclusive properties are a wonderful use for these nights, and we had a great time. Enjoy your trip! 🙂

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