How to Upgrade to a Premium Room for Free



Tips for scoring premium room upgrades

It isn’t impossible to upgrade to a premium room without paying for it. You just need negotiation skills, emotional intelligence, and some degree of good luck.

Let’s look at some tips for upgrading at no cost to you:


  1. Be mindful of the travel seasons


Think about the time of year or even what day it is before you consider asking for an upgrade. For leisure hotels, the busiest and most booked times are going to be during high tourist seasons and during the weekends. For hotels that cater more to business travelers, weekdays tend to be busier times. If you book your room accordingly, there is more likelihood of premium availability for you to take advantage of.


  1. Plan your arrival time


If you arrive at a hotel late in the afternoon, between 3pm and 5pm, you will increase your chances of snagging an upgrade. It is during this time that reception has a better idea of room availability for the night and even the next few days.


  1. Become a member


It is a good idea to join the hotel loyalty program in order to reap the benefits. Programs like Starwood Preferred Guest or Hyatt Gold Passport often entitle you to room upgrades if you have attained a certain status.


  1. Casually announce your special occasion


If you are celebrating an anniversary or birthday or some other special occasion, by all means let the staff know. The trick is to be casual about it. Don’t blurt it out or announce it boldly. Instead, slip it into the conversation as naturally as possible. You are more likely to be rewarded with a premium upgrade if you seem genuine, rather than someone who is trying too hard.


  1. Don’t be shy


If you are a frequent guest of a particular hotel, take the time to leave a good impression with the receptionists and even the hotel manager. Learn their names and maybe try to elicit some personal information from them so that you can recall it on your next visit. The goal is to make the staff remember you. Your loyalty and good attitude can lead to perks for you, including a superior room at no extra cost.


  1. Leave a positive review


In today’s digital age, many businesses live and die by their online reviews. If you take the time to write a positive review of your hotel stay on a site like Trip Advisor, the staff will probably take notice. Spreading the good word to other potential customers is a valuable commodity and you may just be rewarded for your effort.


  1. Always be polite


Using good manners is always a good idea, but it can actually lead to benefits for you as a hotel guest. Greet staff with a smile when you check in and when you encounter them throughout your say. Use people’s names and make eye contact. Try to be that one guest who stands out in their minds for your pleasant demeanor or offhanded compliment. It might lead to good things for you.


  1. Give the new hotel a try


While being a loyal member to a hotel or chain is usually beneficial, it might not hurt to try out a new hotel once in awhile. Newer hotels are oftentimes desperate for business and may be willing to pass out perks for any guests who consider staying with them. You can, perhaps, be bolder in your request for an upgrade in a hotel with few guests that is trying to build a good reputation.


  1. Book your room early


The earlier you book a room at a hotel the more likely you are to get a benefit from it. If a hotel sees you as a loyal customer, rather than a fly by night one, they act accordingly. Booking in advance shows a hotel that you have a vested interest in staying at their venue.


  1. Take advantage of your credit card


Obviously your hotel-branded credit card comes with benefits. Did you know, though, that other credit cards may also work for an upgrade? If you are a holder of a Visa Signature card you have access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. This is a network of 800 or more luxury hotels around the world. If you book a room at one of these hotels using your Visa Signature card you will get an automatic room upgrade at check-in if available. The same can be true for American Express credit cards.
So, if you keep these tips and tricks in mind and stay at the right hotel, you may just be able to upgrade to that premium room for free.


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