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Hotel credit cards aren't the most flexible when it comes to your rewards. If you want any kind of value, you have to use your points to book free hotel stays. And even then, some hotel programs give you as low as half a cent per point in value.

But I still have co-branded credit cards with almost every major hotel brand for one reason: anniversary nights.

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How I Get Several Free Hotel Nights Every Year

If you aren't loyal to any one hotel brand, you might wonder if you should consider getting a hotel credit card. But in my experience, these are among the only travel rewards credit cards that make up for their annual fees every year without you needing to do anything.

Many hotel cards offer a free anniversary night when you renew your card membership. While some require you spend a certain amount during the year to qualify for the award stay, most don't.

So all I have to do is pay the annual fee each year and the free night certificate or bonus points are deposited directly into my loyalty program account.

Should You Get a Hotel Credit Card for the Free Anniversary Night?

Of all the credit card benefits I've used over the years, free anniversary nights are my favorite. They don't require a lot of work and, in most instances, they're automatic. But they work for me only because I travel enough that I'd be paying for all those hotel stays anyway.

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If you don't travel much, getting one hotel credit card with a free annual stay may be worth it. But avoid going overboard, especially if you think you'll end up allowing your free nights to go unused. You can also check you're getting the absolute best deals on your trips with Travelocity Promo Codes and status-based discounts. also offers loyalty programs that can help you save more. promo codes can help you earn points and miles for your next trip. 

If you're interested in comparing the terms, benefits and sign-up bonuses of popular cards in the Slickdeals community, visit our credit card hub to learn more. Also, if you're new to credit card rewards and not sure if being a cardholder is right for you, our beginner's guide to credit cards will help you decide if being a cardholder is right for you.


Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.