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Stay 3 or 4 Nights, Get 1 Free: The Ultimate Guide To Getting a Hotel Night at No Extra Cost

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Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

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With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...
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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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While there’s no such thing as a free lunch, there is a way to stretch the value of your hard-earned points at thousands of hotels worldwide.

Several major hotel loyalty programs will offer the fifth night free (or even the fourth night free!), allowing you to save a sizable chunk of points when booking the correct amount of consecutive nights in a reservation. Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and IHG One Rewards offer consecutive night bonuses, but Wyndham Rewards and World of Hyatt don’t.

Whether you’ve got millions of hotel points at your disposal or want to maximize your rewards to their full potential, here’s how you can get access to a valuable free night hotel promotion for your next booking.

Marriott Bonvoy Fifth Night Free: How It Works

Officially known as “Stay for 5, Pay for 4,” this offer allows members to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points for 5 nights for the price of 4. To qualify for the discount, these award nights must be consecutive and made under 1 reservation.

All Marriott Bonvoy members are eligible to enjoy their fifth night free, which will be automatically applied when you’re logged into your loyalty account and searching for hotels directly through Marriott’s website. If you haven’t signed up for Marriott Bonvoy yet, you can do so for free and begin earning points on every eligible reservation.

This free night benefit only applies to standard redemptions. In other words, you must visit Marriott’s website and redeem your points for a hotel at the full rewards rate. Award nights booked through other methods, such as Cash + Points, upgrade awards, nightly upgrade awards, or any promotional benefits issued through a Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit card, are not eligible for this free night program.

Finally, award nights at Marriott hotels are dynamically priced. Therefore, the fifth-night-free discount will only apply to the cheapest hotel night rather than the “real” fifth-night price at booking. This seemingly minor caveat can impact the total number of points required at checkout.

How To Maximize Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 Program

Marriott Bonvoy is the largest hotel loyalty program in the world. However, it has gotten a bad rap over the years as it removed award charts, meaning that some of the most popular hotels can now charge upwards of a million points per night — yikes!

That said, there are several ways to maximize Marriott’s fifth-night-free program.

For starters, the fifth-night-free program is a particularly great benefit for award travelers who are hunkering down and need a longer stay, as every fifth night would be free. If you book 10 consecutive nights in a reservation, then you’d get 2 nights free, and so forth.

The exact math works out so that the “free” nights with the lowest point rates are deducted from the total cost — but how does this work in practice?

Use at Luxury Marriott Properties

Let’s take you halfway across the world to the Maldives. And we’re not just talking about any Maldives property — we’re going ultra-luxury with The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands.

Marriott charges roughly 132,000 points per night for a 1-Bedroom Ocean Pool Villa in early February 2025. Standard rates cost well over $2,000 per night, so this is not a bad redemption on its own.

But when you consider that you’ll get your fifth night free, the value becomes much more compelling. Rather than paying nearly 660,000 points for a 5-night stay, you’ll pay a cool 538,000 points thanks to this automatically applied benefit.

Ritz Carlton Maldives Fifth Night Free
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives can be booked for roughly 500,000 points during standard redemption dates. Image Credit: Marriott

While half a million points is certainly not a small chunk of change, considering that the actual cash price is nearly $18,000, you’re getting well over 3 cents per value.

Ritz Carlton Maldives Cash
Compared to paying $18,000, redeeming points is the obvious choice here. Image Credit: Marriott

That’s more than 4 times our latest estimations of Marriott Bonvoy points, which are usually designated a value of 0.7 cents for hotel redemptions. But you’ll find plenty of outsized value for ultra-luxurious hotels when booked in this manner.

Use at Marriott All-Inclusive Properties

Booking an all-inclusive resort has its perks — especially if you’re looking for a vacation where you can truly relax without planning every minute detail.

Fortunately, Marriott’s all-inclusive properties are included in this fifth-night-free benefit. This is a key strategy to consider if you’re looking to book nights at all-inclusive properties, which often charge high nightly rates considering the food and drink that’s part of the total price.

An example here would be the Royalton Punta Cana, an Autograph Collection All-Inclusive Resort & Casino. The nightly rate for fall 2024 costs around 68,000 points per night.

Royalton Punta Cana Points
All-inclusive deals present extraordinary redemption value, considering the food and drink included at the property. Image Credit: Marriott Bonvoy

By strategically booking 5 consecutive nights, the total points cost will run you 267,000 points, rather than coughing up nearly 340,000 points.

Stack With Marriott Free Night Certificates

Marriott issues 3 types of free night certificates redeemable for properties up to 35,000 points, 50,000 points, and 85,000 points per night. However, Marriott Bonvoy members can “top off” these certificates by 15,000 points per certificate, stretching the value for hotels that may require a lot of points.

However, Marriott’s free night certificates cannot be used as part of the fifth-night-free program. So, if you were looking to get 2 nights free from a 5-night stay with your free night certificate, you’re out of luck.

But if you were looking to stay 6 nights at a hotel, you can easily book award nights with the fifth night free and with an eligible free night reward to cover your 6 nights. In this fashion, you’re paying 4 nights for the price of 6.

Here are some of our favorite Marriott Bonvoy cards that offer the opportunity to get free night certificates:

Hot Tip:

Check out some of our favorite hotels to redeem a Marriott Bonvoy free night certificate!

Hilton Honors Fifth Night Free: How It Works

Hilton Honors offers a fifth-night-free benefit on award stays, which must be booked on consecutive nights.

There’s no limit to how many times a traveler can book various Hilton stays with this perk. However, the benefit for each reservation at a single property is capped at 20 consecutive nights. Hilton shares on its website that “After the 5th Night Free benefit, eligible members will be charged 0 points for the 5th night, 10th night, 15th night, and 20th night of the stay, as applicable.”¹

However, unlike Marriott Bonvoy’s program, the benefit is only available to elite status holders.

There are several levels of the Hilton Honors program. You can be a member (no status) or have Silver, Gold, or Diamond status. The fifth-night-free benefit on award nights is unlocked beginning at the Silver level, which is earned by staying 10+ nights at an eligible Hilton property in a calendar year.

However, earning Hilton Honors status may be easier than you think. Some travel cards come with automatic elite status just by holding the card:

*All information about these cards has been collected independently by Upgraded Points.

That said, while there is an extra parameter to get your fifth night free at Hilton, it shouldn’t be difficult given the many ways to earn Hilton status.

There’s some other fine print you should know — the fifth night free only applies to standard room reservations (more on this below) and stays that are fully booked with points. In other words, a Points + Cash booking would not be eligible for the fifth-night-free perk.

Hot Tip:

Hilton Honors Gold members also get access to 80% bonus points on stays and space-available room upgrades, among other key benefits, when visiting participating properties worldwide.

How To Maximize Hilton’s Fifth-Night-Free Program

Reminiscent of Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors’ points program is dynamically priced. The exact number of points you will need for a stay will vary wildly depending on when you’re traveling — and it’s not uncommon to see some of the most popular 5-star hotels requiring upwards of 400,000 points per night!

But there are still ways to be strategic about redeeming your Hilton Honors points for maximum value.

Look for Standard Rates

The key thing to know is that Hilton’s fifth-night-free benefit only applies to standard rates.

Although Hilton no longer offers an award chart, you’ll want to get familiar with standard rates, generally ranging from 5,000 points to 120,000 per night. Any more than that, and you’re venturing into Hilton’s premium rates — which wouldn’t qualify for a fifth night free.

Let’s take, for example, a crowd-favorite luxury hotel in Mexico: the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. Since this is a popular property, you’ll want to play around with dates, as Hilton often charges outsized nightly rates with points. We selected a random date in August 2024 and found that the hotel is charging 599,000 points per night — which is not a standard rate — as clearly denoted by the “Premium Room Rewards” tag.

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Premium Room Rewards
Some Hilton properties charge astronomical rates — if you look at the wrong travel dates. Image Credit: Hilton

However, if you’re flexible on dates, you can toggle your dates and click “Shop by Price” to find dates with the standard rate pricing.

Hilton Flexible Calendar
Use Hilton’s flexible point calendar to find standard redemption rates. Image Credit: Hilton

In this view, you can find the cheapest rates by adding the number of nights you’re looking for. To maximize the fifth-night-free benefit, you can search for 5 nights, showing plenty of dates with the 120,000-point nightly rate.

Hilton Standard Rate Flexible Travel
A standard redemption rate is 120,000 points for a 5-star hotel like the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal. Image Credit: Hilton

Once you adjust your dates, you can also confirm that this is indeed a “Standard Room Reward.”

Hilton Standard Room Rate
Note the “Standard Room Rewards” tag under the award pricing. Image Credit: Hilton

You can also maximize Hilton’s fifth-free night program by redeeming free night certificates, which also cover the standard rate at any hotel. This will allow you to get your sixth night free — an excellent value proposition if you are looking for a longer hotel stay.

Use at Luxury Properties and All-Inclusive Resorts

Again, similar to Marriott Bonvoy, your best use of this fifth-night-free benefit will be at expensive properties and all-inclusive resorts. Here’s a quick list of some aspirational properties that can provide extraordinary value when redeeming points to get your fifth night free:

You can expect the standard rates at all of the above properties to be well over 100,000 points per night, so having the fifth night free can help to soften the blow.

Don’t Have Enough Points? Consider Buying Them With a Deep Discount

To book 5 nights at any Hilton property, you’ll need well over 6 figures of Hilton Honors points to make that ideal redemption happen.

Fortunately, you can earn a sizable haul of Hilton points by opening a co-branded card or transferring your Amex Membership Rewards points at a favorable 1:2 ratio. In other words, 10,000 Amex points would become 20,000 Hilton points!

If you’re still lacking in points, Hilton often sells points at a 50% discount. This sale comes around several times per year, allowing targeted members to buy up to 320,000 points annually at a deeply discounted rate of 0.5 cents apiece.

Hot Tip:

Be sure to bookmark our monthly guide to buying points and miles for airline and hotel loyalty programs. You can often score a great deal if you have a particular redemption in mind!

IHG One Rewards Fourth Night Free: How It Works

Even better than Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy’s offerings, IHG One Rewards takes it a step further and offers a fourth-night-free benefit. In essence, travelers will get 4 nights for the price of 3, 8 nights for the price of 6, and so on — an amazing value proposition.

However, this perk is only available to cardholders of the following IHG credit cards. And, depending on which card you have, you’ll get upgraded to complimentary IHG One Rewards elite status, which offers a slew of benefits for travelers.

Cardholders can unlock this benefit when staying 4 (or more) consecutive nights during a redemption. Similar to other programs, the award nights must be booked at the standard room rate to qualify and won’t apply to any paid stays or Points & Cash bookings.

How To Maximize IHG One Rewards’ Fourth-Night-Free Program

For starters, you’ll want to make sure your IHG credit card is linked to your account so that the discount applies automatically.

Then, to start searching for hotels that are bookable with points, you’ll want to head directly to IHG’s website, where you will enter your desired city and travel dates. Under Rate Preference, select Reward Nights to see the available rates while redeeming IHG One Rewards points.

Book Hotels in Expensive Cities

A generous benefit of the IHG One Rewards program is that the fourth-night-free perk will be a true discount off the pricing of the fourth night in your reservation. Unlike Marriott Bonvoy, which discounts the lowest-priced night of the reservation, IHG will automatically take off the fourth-night rate at checkout.

If the standard room rate is available, you will see this discount applied automatically upon search as denoted by the slash-through points rate.

IHG Fourth Night Free
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to see the final price breakdown unless you have enough points to cover the total balance. Image Credit: IHG

However, you won’t be able to see the total points breakdown at checkout unless you have enough IHG One Rewards points in your account. However, IHG will take care of the fourth-night rate entirely at checkout.

As such, leveraging IHG’s benefit can be particularly useful for peak travel dates to save the maximum number of points possible. In total, the fourth-night-free benefit is more like a 25% percent savings on your entire reservation, which is quite valuable for shorter stays.

Get a Fifth Night Free With a Free Night Certificate

Those with the IHG Premier card or the IHG Premier Business card also receive a free night certificate every account anniversary year. The redemption value of these annual certificates is up to 40,000 points, but it’s also possible to top off the certificate with unlimited points.

While you can’t use the free night certificate as part of the fourth-night-free booking, you can book 2 separate reservations to get more of a “5 nights for the price of 3” reservation.

Wyndham Rewards: No Fourth- or Fifth-Night-Free Benefit

Wyndham has nearly 10,000 hotels worldwide, but some of its most popular properties are part of its all-inclusive portfolio in Mexico and the Caribbean. At these resorts, you can get an especially amazing deal if you can swing one of your nights free.

Unfortunately, Wyndham does not have a long-standing offer in place that allows travelers to get one of their nights for free. However, free hotel nights are simple and affordable to achieve via Wyndham Rewards — they’ll require 7,500, 15,000, or 30,000 points per night.

As you can expect, Wyndham’s top-tier hotels or all-inclusive resorts will require 30,000 points per night. Sure, you may not get your fourth or fifth night free, but the relatively low points rate can result in a terrific award redemption at properties such as the Wyndham Grand Cancun All Inclusive Resort & Villas.

Wyndham Cancun
You’ll get well over 2 cents per redemption value with Wyndham Rewards points. Image Credit: Wyndham

Last but not least, the hotel program offers plenty of discounts and promotions throughout the year to watch out for, including getting a free night or bonus points, which can help you save at Wyndham properties.

The following Wyndham Rewards cards can add value for a frequent traveler:

Hot Tip:

You don’t necessarily need to stay at Wyndham hotels to earn lots of points. In fact, you can earn Wyndham Rewards points by transferring Capital One miles or Citi ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio.

World of Hyatt: No Fourth- or Fifth-Night-Free Benefit

World of Hyatt does not provide a fourth- or fifth-night-free benefit for members.

Despite this, World of Hyatt remains a highly favored program among award travelers. It provides easy-to-understand and predictable rates clearly published in 2 award charts, broken down by standard hotels and all-inclusive resorts.

Even without a fourth- or fifth-night-free benefit, World of Hyatt’s loyalty program offers incredible value. In fact, it’s quite common to exceed our current valuations of Hyatt points, which are around 1.5 cents apiece.

We’ll give you a couple of examples to illustrate our point. Travelers can book a standard room at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, a highly-rated all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, for 30,000 points per night. For a 5-night reservation, you’re looking at 150,000 points total.

Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Award Booking
Your choice of a King or Double standard room at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. Image Credit: Hyatt

That’s a great redemption for travelers looking for a hands-off vacation, considering that the cash cost is roughly $3,100 at this Hyatt Ziva resort.

Hyatt Ziva Cash Cost
The cash cost for a 5-night stay this summer at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. Image Credit: Hyatt

That said, earning World of Hyatt points can be much more difficult compared to other hotel rewards programs. Some of our favorite cards that transfer to the World of Hyatt program at a 1:1 ratio include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Bilt World Elite Mastercard® Credit Card.

World of Hyatt also issues The World of Hyatt Credit Card and World of Hyatt Business Credit Card for ultra-loyalists of the program. These cards offer bonus points on everyday purchases and even incentives to earn Hyatt elite status.

Final Thoughts

Redeeming your points for hotel stays is just an example of how travelers can save hundreds of dollars every year. The cherry on top? Getting an additional free night for relatively low effort.

However, not all hotel programs offer a fourth- or fifth-night-free benefit — and the programs that do have several restrictive terms at redemption time. But if the perk fits in with your travel style — and you can tack on those free night certificates — you’ll find significant savings in your point stash by strategically booking longer stays at hotels.

The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful™ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, click here.
For rates and fees for The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card, click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the fifth-night-free elite benefit on reward stays?

All Marriott Bonvoy members and Hilton Honors elite status holders get their fifth consecutive reward night free. IHG One Rewards offers an even better perk with the fourth consecutive reward night free, but only if you have an eligible IHG co-branded credit card.

All rooms must be booked on points (not Points + Cash) and at the standard room rate.

Do Hilton Diamond members get the fifth night free?

Yes. In fact, all Hilton elite status members (Silver, Gold, and Diamond) get their fifth award night free on standard rooms at eligible Hilton hotels and resorts.

How many IHG points are needed for a free night?

IHG One Rewards hotel nights start at 5,000 points per night, but the price can vary depending on travel dates and demand.

Is Hyatt fifth night free?

No, World of Hyatt does not offer a free fifth night benefit for hotels booked with points.

Stella Shon's image

About Stella Shon

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in The New York Times, USA Today, and more.

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