Don’t Let Your Hotel Card’s Free Anniversary Night Go to Waste!

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Don’t Let Your Hotel Card’s Free Anniversary Night Go to Waste!

Million Mile SecretsDon’t Let Your Hotel Card’s Free Anniversary Night Go to Waste!Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

Million Mile Secrets reader, W, commented:

Is there an expiration date for the free weekend anniversary night you get with the limited-time AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass offer?

The free weekend night you earn with the current Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express offer must be redeemed for stays within 12 months after the date it’s issued.

This expiration policy is similar for other hotel cards with a free anniversary night, like the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card and Chase Hyatt.

So to make the most of the free night benefit, it’s important to book a stay before it expires.  Otherwise, you’ll miss out on an opportunity to save money!

Hotel Card Free Night Expiration
You Have 12 Months to Redeem the AMEX Hilton Surpass Free Weekend Night for a Stay at Hotels Like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

I’ll share some tips for using your card’s free anniversary night!

Free Hotel Night on Your Card Anniversary

Link:   American Express Hilton Honors Surpass 

Link:   My Review of the Limited-Time AMEX Hilton Surpass Offer

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

There are a few cards that offer a free hotel night on your card anniversary, including:

Hotel Card Free Night Expiration
I Keep the Chase IHG Card in My Wallet Because the Annual Free Night Can Get You a Room at ANY IHG Hotel, Like the InterContinental Paris Le Grand

And recently, AMEX added a free night perk to the limited-time offer for the AMEX Hilton Surpass card.

In addition to the best-ever sign-up bonus, folks who apply for the AMEX Hilton Surpass card by May 31, 2017, will get a free weekend night certificate after the first anniversary date of card approval.

Note:   The free weekend night is NOT available for existing cardholders.  And remember AMEX only allows folks to earn the sign-up bonus for each card once per lifetime.

Unlike the Chase hotel cards which offer a free night every anniversary, the free weekend night certificate with the AMEX Hilton Surpass card is only available after your first cardmember anniversary.

With these hotel cards, the value of the free anniversary night can easily offset the card’s annual fee.  So I recommend keeping these cards open.  Because paying the annual fee can save you money on a hotel stay!

Hotel Card Free Night Expiration

Link:   How to Book Hotels for Others Using Your Points

The terms & conditions for using the free anniversary night is similar for most hotel cards.

You’ll typically earn the free night after your account has been open for a year.  This means you’ll have to pay the card’s annual fee to get the benefit.  Other terms include:

  • Valid for 1 night in a standard room
  • Must be redeemed for a stay within 12 months of issuance
Hotel Card Free Night Expiration
Mark Your Calendar!  You’ll Have 12 Months to Redeem Your Free Hotel Anniversary Night From the Date It’s Issued

Each card has slightly different rules for redeeming your anniversary night.  For example, you can use the free anniversary night with the Chase Hyatt card at any Category 1 to 4 Hyatt hotel.  And you can use it whenever an award room is open.

But the free night certificate with the AMEX Hilton Surpass card is only valid for weekend days.  And there’s a list of excluded hotels you can’t book.

Keep in mind, with certain hotel cards, it’s possible to redeem the free night beyond the expiration date.

For example, team member Keith has the Chase IHG card.  His free anniversary night expires in May 2017.  But he was able to book a free night for an upcoming stay in September 2017 at the InterContinental Wellington in New Zealand.

Hotel Card Free Night Expiration
With the Chase IHG Card, It’s Possible to Book a Stay Beyond the Expiration Date of the Free Night

The free night perk with all eligible hotel cards is use it or lose it.  So if you don’t think you’ll make use of your free anniversary night before the expiration, consider booking a stay for friends or family.

Bottom Line

The limited-time AMEX Hilton Surpass offer includes a free weekend night certificate after your first cardmember anniversary.

But you must redeem the certificate for stays within 12 months after the date it’s issued.  This is a similar rule for other hotel cards with free anniversary nights like the Chase IHG and Chase Marriott.

Hotel cards with a free anniversary night typically make paying the annual fee a no-brainer.  Because you can more than make up for the fee with the value of an award night.

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 36,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I earned the Hyatt cert and cancelled without owing the fee. About a 4 week window to do this.

Thanks for sharing this tip!

Does IHG issue an actually paper copy of the one night award stay?

Or- is it delivered electronically into your account?


Patrick O'Hearn

it’s paper, and if you misplace it, it’s s problem. I’ve complained to them noting that Hyatt and Marriott operate in the current century– paperless. i think they bet on a % of awardees who lose it or fail to bring it to the hotel st check in.

Hi Patrick – you can redeem the free night certificate electronically from your IHG account. Here’s a post with a screenshot of the page:

You’ll see the free night certificate when you log-in to your IHG account online. Here’s a post with more details:


Dont forget, if you know a friend/family that has the Amex Hilton Surpass, your friend can refer you and they get 25,000 points!! Great way to use the new pooling of points! Just thought I’d post a quick reminder for people, since you missed doing that. :o)

When does pooling start?

Must you stay before the expiry date of the free night or simply book before the expiry date?

For the IHG card you only have to make a reservation before it expires. It can be used after the expiration date.

Based on the terms & conditions, you must stay before the expiration date.