Top tips to get a free hotel upgrade:
- Join a hotel rewards program
- Travel during the ‘shoulder’ or off season
- Request upgrades during shorter stays
- Share what you’re celebrating (like a birthday, anniversary)
- Don’t book the cheapest room to begin with
- Check-in later in the day (rather than being early)
1. Join a hotel loyalty program
While price is the ultimate deciding factor for many in finding the perfect hotel, brand loyalty is important. If you stay with the same chain on a regular basis and are a member of their rewards program, the better the chances you have of getting the red carpet rolled out for you when checking in. Signing up for, and using, hotel loyalty rewards programs will always be the easiest way to get a free hotel upgrade.What’s the best Hotels Rewards Program for you?
2. Stay during the off season
Hotel prices change for many reasons – one of the biggest ones is demand during popular tourist months. If you stay in the ‘off season’ or ‘shoulder season’, hotels are more likely to put you into a higher priced room or offer perks when they’ve got a lot of empty rooms. Off seasons are different depending on where you’re looking to visit, so make sure to look up the popular tourist months to make sure to avoid them!
3. Book a shorter stay
If you’re staying for a week at a hotel, then you’re less likely to get an upgrade. What reason do they have to give you freebies if you’re already there for a while? You’ve got a much better shot at getting that nicer hotel room if you’re staying for one or two nights.
4. Say it’s your birthday! Or honeymoon, anniversary…
Ever said it was your birthday at a restaurant just to get a free dessert? Everyone does it every once in a while! Hotel concierges tend to give extra perks to guests checking in if they’re celebrating something. And it doesn’t have to be a birthday – it can be your anniversary, bachelor party, family reunion or another special occasion.
5. Book a room in the ‘money middle’
While we’re all searching for the cheapest hotel rates, we need to resist booking at the lowest possible price. Hotel managers aren’t likely to give someone that locked in the cheapest room in the house an upgrade to the penthouse suite. Look for a room with a rate right in the middle and you’ll have a better chance at getting a free hotel upgrade to that coveted suite.
6. Check in later in the day
We all want to start our vacations as soon as possible. And that typically means getting the hotel about an hour before you’re supposed to check in. Try arriving in the evening because the front desk will have some cancellations or no-shows that frees up rooms. There’s even a chance the resort oversold your room category, and they’ll have no choice but to give you a free hotel upgrade to that ocean-side view.