Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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.
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
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.
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!
2. Chase Hyatt
Link: Chase Hyatt
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!
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).
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
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).
Free Anniversary Nights for Big Spenders
1. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
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.
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
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!
3. US Bank Club Carlson Cards
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.
These cards also come with complimentary Gold elite status, which gets you room upgrades (when available), late check-out, and points bonuses.
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?