Related: American Express Gold card
There are numerous ways to score a room upgrade or a flight without having to pay for the upgrade. Follow my advice below and you should be able to get more bang for your buck and travel in more style for the same price.
Here are our 12 best travel tricks to get a hotel room or flight upgrade.
Book With A Specialist Agent For Extra Freebies
Book any luxury hotel or premium flight through our luxury travel concierge to get free hotel upgrades, free breakfasts, special benefits and flight deals at no extra cost.
Book In Low Season
This works for both flights and hotels. Book at peak times and you will be paying top dollar and will not get any benefits as the hotel and flight will be full. Book in lower season and you can pick up a room at a lower price. An example is the South Of France which is still glorious in May, June and September but often less than half of the peak season price.
Book On Weekends
If you are booking into a city like London, New York or Brussels, you are much more likely to get a cheaper room, fantastic deal and that crucial free upgrade if you book to stay during a weekend. The majority of city hotels are catering for business travellers who book during the week so there tends to be plenty of free rooms at the weekends.
Book On Weeknights
The reverse is true for resort destinations and places where people take short breaks. Take the Royal Riviera near Nice airport. This hotel can sell out for the weekend as Londoners fly down for a weekend break. During the week out of season, the vibe is calmer, you may have the pool to yourself and you are in with a better chance of a complimentary upgrade.
It’s Your Birthday!
Let the hotel know if it is your birthday, anniversary, or any other sort of special occasion. Drop them an email beforehand and you will increase your chance of snagging a better room.
Win A Stay In Our Travel Auction
Bag a great room at a great hotel at a fraction of the rack rate in our luxury travel auctions. This is one of the best places to pick up a travel bargain, an upgraded room or even a suite! You can also join our auction club mailing list at the bottom of our auction pages to be kept up to date with the latest auction bargains… Don’t miss out.
Become A Regular
This is almost guaranteed to work, particularly if you travel in the lower season when rooms are available. Let the hotel know that it is your second or third or tenth visit and if they have the availability, they will treat you well!
Earn Status Via The Hotel Loyalty Program
Most hotel chains offer benefits for loyal customers. Joining a hotel’s loyalty program, such as Starwood Preferred Guest or World of Hyatt, may entitle you to a room upgrade, depending on your status.
Let the Hotel Know That You Have Left A Great Review
Leave a super guest review on the likes of Trip Advisor, let the hotel know, then when you return you are more likely to get upgraded, as the hotel knows that the photos you take and experience you enjoy will be shared with others.
Grow Your Social Media
If a hotel knows that you have 100,000 followers on Instagram much like our own luxury travel Instagram channel, they are much more likely to upgrade you as there is value in them giving you a great room. The chances are that you will feature it on your feed!
Visit Brand New Hotels
Guests that book at new properties that want to grow a dedicated fan base, those hotels may be more willing to offer upgrades to get people talking about their property and to get some repeat business in the future.
Use your credit card to get a complimentary room upgrade
A hotel-branded or flight-branded credit card will usually have some sort of built-in upgrade benefit. If you are US based, you can also fly to Hawaii, Europe or further for free by taking out this excellent (free) credit card. Read more in our easy guide.
In the US AND the UK, American Express Rewards convert directly to airline miles. The FREE Amex Gold Card is an incredible deal with a huge free bonus of 22,000 Membership Rewards. You can apply for the US card right here. For the UK card, you will need to drop me an email for a link to get extra referral bonus points.
Other UK cards worth considering include the BA Premium Plus American Express Card, which has a bonus of 26,000 Avios (drop me an email for a referral to get bonus points) when you spend 3,000 GBP in your first three months of card membership. The cost is 195 GBP per anum but if you take advantage of the signup bonus and the 2-for-1 certificate you more than cover the cost of the card. I spend exactly 10k GBP on this card to spark a 2-4-1 voucher plus I get 1.5 Avios per 1 GBP spent.
Reviews within this content are solely the opinion of the author and have not been sponsored, influenced, or reviewed by American Express.