Which Hotels Offer the 5th Award Night Free?

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Cindy, commented:

Does Marriott give the 5th night free for award stays like Starwood?
Marriott does give you the 5th night free on award stays!  And Marriott has fewer restrictions than Starwood when using the benefit.
Which Hotels Offer The 5th Award Night Free
Now That Starwood and Marriott Are Combining Their Programs, There Are Many More Options!

Thanks for reaching out, Cindy!

I’ll show you which hotels offer free nights during award stays.  And give you ideas of how to take advantage of the Marriott – Starwood merger.

Stay 5+ Consecutive Award Nights and Stretch Your Savings!

Link:   Which Hotels Give You Free Nights on Award and Paid Stays?

Link:   Marriott-Starwood Merger Details

Hotels with 5th night free award benefits are a great way to save points for longer award stays.  You can use fewer points to cover the cost of award stays lasting 5 night stays (or more!).  There are currently 3 hotel chains that give you the 5th award night free.  If you stay 5 nights, that’s like getting a 20% discount!

1.   Hilton

When you stay at least 5 consecutive award nights with Hilton, you’ll receive the 5th night free!  In other words, every 5th night of a single stay is free.  However, you must have elite status with Hilton.  You’ll get elite status if you have any Hilton credit card.

You can use this benefit an unlimited number of times, but you can’t get more than 4 free nights per stay.  So any award nights you book longer than 20 nights will not qualify for the 5th night free benefit.

2.   Starwood

Starwood also offers the 5th night free on award stays.  But it only applies to Category 3 through 7 hotels.

Again, you must book consecutive award nights to get the 5th night free.  And if you make a 10-night award reservation, you’ll get each 5th night free (for example, the 5th and 10th night).

You don’t need elite status with Starwood to take advantage of the 5th night free benefit.

3.   Marriott and Ritz-Carlton

You can book any available Standard Room for 5 consecutive award nights at Marriott or Ritz-Carlton hotels, and you’ll receive the 5th night free.  But the room must be available with points for all 5 nights, and all nights must cost the same amount of points.

Marriott has the fewest restrictions for using the 5th night free perk.  It can be used at any hotel category, and no status is required!

The Marriott-Starwood Merger Makes Starwood Points More Valuable

If you’re interested in stretching your Starwood points, the 5th night free is a welcome benefit.  But now that Marriott and Starwood have merged, you have the option of transferring your points between the programs for even more savings!

Starwood points transfer to Marriott at a ratio of 1:3 (1 Starwood point = 3 Marriott points).  Your points can go further by taking advantage of low-category Marriott hotels.

If you want to stay 10 nights at a category 1 hotel, you’d spend ~28,000 Starwood points (3,000 points for weekdays, 2,000 points for weekends).  But if you transfer the same amount of Starwood points to Marriott, you’ll be able to stay 13 nights, and still have points left over!

Plus, Marriott has lots more locations than Starwood, so you’ll have more opportunities to use your points.  This is an excellent deal for folks who want a longer stay at a low-tier Marriott hotel.

You can also get an instant status match if you have elite status in either program.  So you can enjoy your perks like free breakfast and late checkout with either hotel chain, even on award stays!

Bottom Line

Both Hilton, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood give you the 5th night free when you book with points.  But the programs have different rules.

This is an excellent way to extend your hotel stays to get Big Travel with Small Money!

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! :)

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