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Quick Points: Get your fourth or fifth night free on award stays

Jan. 14, 2022
5 min read
Moxy South Beach
Quick Points: Get your fourth or fifth night free on award stays
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Redeeming points for free hotel stays is a great way to save money on your travels. But what's even better is maximizing your redemptions so that you get an award night for no points at all.

It sounds too good to be true, but it's not. Several of the major hotel chains provide opportunities to pick up the fourth or fifth night free on award stays. You just have to know how to book them.

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Getting a free night on longer award stays

There are three major hotel programs that offer a free night on longer award stays:

In the simplest terms, when you redeem your points for four or five consecutive nights at one hotel, you'll get a free night.

The terms of the benefit vary from one program to the next. However, as a general rule of thumb, in order to get the free night, you must stay at one hotel the entire time and you have to pay entirely with points — you do not get this benefit when redeeming free night certificates or points-and-cash awards. On the bright side, the discount is automatic so there's no need to involve an agent or deal with rebates.

Marriott Bonvoy

With Marriott Bonvoy, you'll get a fifth night free for every four consecutive nights you book with points. The benefit is available to all members and applies to all Bonvoy properties. Even better, the benefit applies to every fifth night, with no limit to the number of free nights.

(Screenshot courtesy of marriott.com)

The discount is automatically applied online when you book an award stay of at least five nights. Just note that if some nights of your stay price differently than others, Marriott will comp the least expensive night instead of the actual fifth night. Likewise, if you book an upgraded room, the fifth-night-free perk will only apply to the standard award rate so you'll still need to pay extra or use a Suite Night Award (SNAs) for the higher-category room on all nights of your stay.

Related: Do fifth night free awards apply to suites or only to standard rooms?

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Hilton Honors

Hilton's fifth-night free benefit works much like Marriott's but is slightly more restrictive. You'll enjoy every fifth night free when redeeming points, on up to a 20-night stay. The catch is that this benefit is only available to Hilton Honors elite members.

Luckily, it's very easy to get Hilton status. You can achieve entry-level Silver status by merely holding the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express Card (See Rates & Fees). You can unlock higher tiers of status with Hilton's other cobranded credit cards, as well as The Platinum Card® from American Express (enrollment required).

(Screenshot courtesy of hilton.com)

Again, the discount is automatically applied online, but you must log in to your account before searching to see the lower rates. Also, the perk is limited to standard rooms.

Related: 8 ways to maximize Hilton Honors redemptions

IHG Rewards

IHG's free night benefit is the most generous but also the most exclusive. With IHG, you'll get a free night for every three consecutive nights you book — not five. However, this benefit is only available to those with the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card and the IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card. So, even if you have IHG Rewards elite status, you won't necessarily have access to this perk.

(Screenshot courtesy of ihg.com)

You can use the fourth-night reward on an unlimited number of stays annually. You'll see the discount applied automatically online so long as you're signed in to the account linked to your card.

Related: The incredibly easy way of redeeming IHG’s 4th-night reward

Bottom line

If you're booking a three or four-night award stay with Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors or IHG Rewards Club, there's no reason not to add an extra night. This perk allows you to extend your vacation or guarantee early check-in or late checkout for no additional points. Plus, you'll get one more night toward qualifying for elite status.

For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors Amex Card, click here

Featured image by Moxy South Beach (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
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Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees