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INSIDER SECRET: Even if you don’t plan on earning points or elite status with a hotel chain, make sure to register for the hotel’s loyalty program before you book. Members can score free Wi-Fi in most cases.
With our lives revolving around stable Wi-Fi, being able to connect while on the road is extremely important. Luckily, in the past few years most hotels have caught up with the times and offer free Wi-Fi.
When hotels first started offering free Wi-Fi, it was limited to mid- and top-tier elite frequent flyers. Now pretty much anyone, regardless of elite status, can have it at most major hotel chains — if they are enrolled in the hotel’s loyalty program.
Here’s how (and where) you can score free Wi-Fi during your next stay at a major hotel chain:
|Free Wi-Fi for All Guests||Free Wi-Fi With Membership in Loyalty Program (Free Sign-Up)||Free Wi-Fi for Elite Members|
|Accor Hotels||For all guests at Ibis, Ibis Budget, Ibis Styles and Novotel.||For all members at all Accor Hotel properties worldwide, including Fairmont properties.||Free premium Wi-Fi for Le Club Accor Platinum members.|
|Best Western||For all guests at Best Western hotels worldwide.|
|Choice Hotels||For all guests at any Choice Hotels property worldwide.|
|Club Carlson||For all guests at Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza, Radisson, Radisson Blu, and Radisson Red hotels.||For all members of the Club Carlson hotel rewards program.|
|Fairmont||For all members of the Le Club Accor, which has replaced Fairmont's program.|
|Hilton||For all guests at Hampton Inn, Home2, and Canopy hotels. For guest at select Hilton resorts and select properties with resort fees.||For all Hilton Honors members who book directly with Hilton||Free premium Wi-Fi for Hilton Diamond members.|
|Hyatt||For all members of the World of Hyatt program.||Free premium Wi-Fi for any World of Hyatt elite.|
|IHG||For all members of the IHG Rewards program including at Kimpton properties.|
|Kimpton||For all members through IHG Rewards.||Free premium Wi-Fi for Le Club Accor Platinum members.|
|Loews Hotels||Free for all guests.|
|Marriott||Free for guests at EDITION, Marriott Vacation Club, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites,|
TownePlace Suites and Moxy Hotels and some Element Hotels.
|For all members of the Marriott Bonvoy program.||Free premium Wi-Fi for all Bonvoy Gold, Platinum and Titanium elites.|
|Wyndham||Free for all guests at Baymont Inn & Suites, Days Inn, Hawthorn Suites, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Microtel, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, Tryp Hotels, Wingate, Wyndham, Wyndham Garden Hotels, and Wyndham Grand Hotels & Resorts. Excludes Caesar's Entertainment properties.||For all members of the Wyndham Rewards program. Excludes Caesar's Entertainment properties.|
There are a few hotel chains that can’t seem to shake the practice of charging for Wi-Fi, but most have recognized that it is not only of use to guests but also the hotel. Now, as long as you are a member of a hotels loyalty program, you will almost always be guaranteed free Wi-Fi.
There is one drawback to free Wi-Fi being made available to any member of a hotel’s loyalty program: With more guests connected, internet speeds will be slower. If you have elite status, you may be able to connect to premium or enhanced Wi-Fi for free. This benefit is usually reserved for higher-tier elites.
For example, at Marriott, you need to hit Bonvoy Gold elite status before you receive free enhanced Wi-Fi. At Hilton, you need to have Diamond elite status. Luckily, holding the right credit card makes earning elite status easier than you might think.
Both The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card offer complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold status. And the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express comes with automatic Hilton Diamond status. You can find our full reviews of each of these cards here.
On the outside chance that you find yourself without free Wi-Fi, there are ways to ensure you won’t have to pay. Hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott offer package rates that allow guests to book rooms with Wi-Fi provided free of charge. This is especially typical at resorts and vacation properties. If you are frugal (or stingy), almost every hotel offers free Wi-Fi in the lobby.
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