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Late checkout privileges are some of the most valuable, but least appreciated perks, you can get from a hotel. Those who want to leave their destination in the afternoon or evening usually have to pack up and put their bags in storage in the morning on the last day of their stay. But if you have a late checkout, you can continue to use your room as needed throughout the day before you depart. And if you know how to work the system, you can get late checkouts nearly every time you stay at a hotel—here's how. 

1. Join a Hotel Loyalty Program

Certain hotels offer special perks to members of their loyalty programs, including late checkout. You may need to rack up points or stay a certain amount of nights in a year to qualify, but it can be worth it if you like to stay at specific hotels or resorts.

I’ve used late checkout privileges in other Hyatt hotels to enjoy the pool or go for a workout, while still having the chance to relax and take a shower in the afternoon. 

Browse through credit cards aimed at travelers to find one that offers hotel perks.

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Hyatt Globalist Status

A 4 p.m. late checkout is a benefit of the World of Hyatt program for guests who have attained top-tier Globalist status. Having earned Globalist status for several years, this is one of the benefits I appreciate the most.

For example, I frequently enjoy staying at the Hyatt Place in Keystone, Colorado, when I go skiing, and by 3 p.m., I’m usually ready to call it a day. But on the last day of my stay, I still have an hour to use my room to change out of my ski clothes and take a shower before checking out. That’s a lot more convenient than changing in a restroom, followed by going out to eat and driving home all sweaty.

You can earn Globalist status in several ways:

  • Staying 60 nights per year
  • Earning 100,000 base points a calendar year
  • Holding 20 qualifying meetings or events in a calendar year

You earn one night stay credit for each night spent at a Hyatt property. All nights, including award stays are eligible, so long as you book it through Hyatt at a qualifying rate.

But even if you can’t reach Globalist status, the World of Hyatt credit card automatically offers you entry level Discoverist status, which features a 2 p.m. late checkout. 

Marriott Bonvoy Program

The Marriott Bonvoy program offers Silver elites unspecified late checkouts, while Gold elites receive 2 p.m. late checkouts. Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador elites receive 4 p.m. checkouts. You receive Gold elite status from The Platinum Card® from American Express, and the Marriott Bonvoy cards from American Express and Chase offer at least Silver status. 

Wyndham Rewards and Choice Privileges elite members with elite status also receive late checkouts.

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2. Use the Right Booking Platform

If you book your hotel rooms through a premium booking platform, late checkouts are often included.

For example, Platinum Card® from American Express cardholders can get a guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout when they book through Fine Hotels and Resorts. Likewise, those who book with the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection can receive late checkouts, upon request, when available.

Also, the Mastercard Luxury Hotels and Resorts program features early check-ins and late checkouts. 

3. Ask the Hotel Staff Politely

When you know a late checkout will be important to you, you can always request it directly with the hotel.

Here are some tips on how to ask a hotel for late checkout:

  • Contact the hotel in advance before you make a reservation. You might have luck if you contact the hotel before you book the reservation to see if they'll allow it. Sometimes it doesn't hurt to ask.
  • Use the direct hotel number and ask for a manager. Instead of contacting the corporate reservations number, reach out directly to the hotel and ask for a manager. Tell them you’re interested in making a reservation but need a late checkout. Depending on their expected occupancy, a smart manager will agree to your request to win your business. 
  • Book during off-seasons. You can always request a late checkout at the property, but you’ll have more luck with these requests during periods of low occupancy when the hotel knows it won’t need every room for the next day.
  • Negotiate the perk. If you’ve experienced a service failure during your stay, you can request a late checkout as a way to make it up to you. If the hotel won’t offer that, you can see if it would be willing to sell you the following night at a greatly reduced rate, with the understanding you need a late checkout during the previous day. When negotiating, always speak with a manager who has the authority to grant your request. 
  • Explain your situation. If you didn’t work out a late checkout before booking, you can contact the hotel in advance to make the request. Ask to speak with a manager, be nice and explain why a late checkout is important to you. If the manager agrees, ask for their name and request they document it in their reservations system. 
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Bottom Line

When you receive a late checkout, it can feel like getting a little extra part of your hotel stay for free. By using all of these tricks, you can have the chance to overstay your reservation without overstaying your welcome. 

FAQ

  • Yes, most hotels can accommodate guests who arrive after their check-in time. If you know you'll be late, you should call the hotel to let them know ahead of time so they can hold your room or make other arrangements for your arrival.

  • While some hotels may charge anywhere from $20 to the cost of another night’s stay for a late checkout, many hotels offer it as a service to qualifying guests at no extra charge. Hotels might even offer it as a standard service for customers enrolled in their elite rewards program.

    Hotels commonly honor late checkout for a variety of reasons, such as travel delays or cancellations, special occasions, late check-in, extended business meetings, late tours or other activities, inclement weather, illness or the purchase and use of in-house services.

  • Standard checkout is usually 11 a.m. Late checkout is usually 2 p.m. since the standard check-in time for arriving guests is 3 p.m. However, qualifying guests, such as those enrolled in the hotel’s elite rewards programs, may have late checkout times up to 4 p.m. as a perk. Some hotels also allow late checkouts for a fee, ranging from $20 to the cost of another night’s stay.

  • Hotels may let you check in and check out at any time, but it could come at a cost. Night checkout rules depend on the hotel and which night it is. If you’re checking out during the night you paid for at check-in, you may be able to do so free of charge.

    However, if you’re asking for a late checkout the night following your stay, you will likely need to pay an extra night. Even hotels that offer free late checkout to qualifying customers won’t likely extend it into the night unless the circumstances are pretty unique.

  • Hotel chains such as Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, IHG and Wyndham offer early check-in and late checkout. However, the service may not be available to everyone. It’s typically only available to those enrolled in a hotel’s elite rewards program. Nonmembers may be able to access the services to a lesser degree by notifying the hotel ahead of time and providing a genuine reason for requesting the service.

  • Most hotels offer 2 p.m. as their late checkout time, with some offering checkout as late as 6 p.m.

JS

Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist who specializes in covering credit cards, award travel and other areas of personal finance. As one of the nation’s leading experts in the credit card industry, Jason’s work has been featured at mainstream outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and Business Insider.