hotel upgrade

How Can You Get Free Hotel Upgrades?

Looking for ways to get hotel upgrades for free? This article is all you need to read.

When you travel after you book your hotel or accommodations, especially budget accommodations, you may be wondering how you can score a complimentary upgrade.

A hotel room upgrade is any change from a standard or basic room to a suite or a room with a better view or amenities. For example, if you want a room with a lake, mountain, or ocean view, you might pay quite a bit more each night compared to a room without a view. You can, in some cases, book the basic room and get the view or the amenities.

Other types of upgrades can include a move into a bigger room or moving from a lower floor to a higher floor. Corner rooms tend to be an upgrade from a room in the middle of the hall, as is a room with a king bed instead of a queen bed.

Travel upgrades are always nice to have but hard to come by unless you know some insider tricks, including the following.

Best Ways To Get Free Hotel Upgrades

Ask Directly

One of the best ways to get a hotel upgrade is also the simplest—just ask. If you’re staying at the hotel for a special occasion like an anniversary or birthday, call the hotel before your stay and talk to someone directly. There’s no guarantee, but if you’re nice and respectful, you may end up getting what you want.

If you have a special occasion and let the hotel know, even if you can’t get a room upgrade, they might go out of their way to do something else for you, like leaving a complimentary bottle of wine or champagne. You never know, and it can’t hurt to ask.

You can also have a better chance when you ask directly if you’re staying at a hotel on a slower day.

Hotels sell rooms at rates that are based on their occupancy. So avoid travelling during peak seasons.

During a busy time, there may be more rules about giving upgrades because the goal is to maximize revenue. This might not be the case during a slower time, and the employees may have more leeway.

Along with asking over the phone before your stay, you can give it a try when you’re at the front desk too.

If you call the hotel directly, they might be able to let you in on special offers, too, so that could be a way to upgrade, even if you have to pay a little more.

Timing It Right

We touched on this a bit above, but timing can be a big one when it comes to potentially scoring an upgrade.

If you’re travelling during off-peak times or the off-season for a particular location, you’re already in a better position to upgrade your room for free.

Join Loyalty Programs

Major hotel chains have their own loyalty programs, somewhat like airline programs. You should join them before you book a hotel. These hotel programs will offer different status tiers, and you earn more points or rewards the more nights you stay with the chain.

You usually have to reach a mid-elite status before you can get free upgrades, but it may take less time than you think.

There are also some credit cards that give you automatic elite status and free upgrades when you sign up.

Stay at a Newer Hotel

If a hotel is new, then it might not be as popular among visitors yet. That could mean that it has more unfilled rooms, and they could be willing to offer you a complimentary upgrade as a result.

Don’t Book the Cheapest Room

The goal of trying to get a free upgrade is to save money but still get a great room. However, you’re less likely to get a free upgrade if you book the very cheapest room. It can be better to book a mid-range room and then see if you can go up from there.

If you paid only for the cheapest room onsite, the chances are slim you’re then going to get the best.

Read More: Budget Travel Tips

Check-In As Late As You Can

If you wait to check in, there can be benefits. Staff will know later in the day or more towards the evening which rooms are available. Once most of the guests are checked in, you could have a better chance of scoring another room.

Finally, if you book a shorter stay of a night or two, you’re also more likely to get an upgrade. It’s tougher if you’re there for longer. If you stay for a night or two, there’s no advantage for the hotel not to upgrade you if it’s an option.

That’s all in this blog on top tips to find free hotel upgrades. If you have anything to add to the list, please leave a comment below!

Categories Miscellaneous


I am Dev, and I've been travelling full-time since 2016. I was a journalism student & started my corporate career as a documentary film-maker in England, before moving to India & becoming a full-time nomad. 25+countries. 50+ Brand Partnerships. And the adventure continues...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *