If you’re like me, having reliable wifi during hotel stays is very important and makes staying connected possible. Wifi can be costly at some hotels, but luckily one of the easiest ways of getting free wifi is by having a hotel’s elite status. Even better, for many hotels that don’t have free wifi for all guests many co-branded hotel credit cards give you free elite status.
What’s odd is that often you get free wifi at budget hotels, but have to pay for it at more luxury hotel brands. Yes, it may be slow at these budget hotels, but it often gets the job done and it’s free so your saving $10+. Even at top-tier properties you’re not guaranteed consistent lightning fast internet speeds.
Just like I covered the various ways to get free room upgrades and breakfast, I’ve put together a list of all the ways to get free wifi at most hotels. There is also a useful infographic over at Hotel Chatter that breaks down specific wifi costs for each hotel brand.
Hotel Brands that Offer Free Wifi
There are a handful of hotel brands that offer outright free internet for all guest or members (join for free) of its hotel loyalty programs. These hotels include: IHG Rewards, Club Carlson, Wyndham, Fairmont, Kimpton, Joie de Vivre, Omni, Ace Hotels, Loews, and Best Western. Along with these hotel brands many budget properties offer free basic wifi.
Free Wifi with Elite Status & Credit Card Membership
Often elite status may be required to get free wifi at these hotels, but in many cases a co-branded credit card gives you automatic elite status. I’ve compiled a list of what hotel elite status give you free wifi and how to get automatic elite status through various credit cards.
Free internet for Platinum Gold Passport members, which takes 15 nights or 5 stays. Platinum members will get standard in-room internet access and upgrades to premium service may be available for an additional fee. You can get automatic Platinum status with a Hyatt Credit Card or United MileagePlus Club credit card from Chase.
Gold members of Hilton HHonors get free internet access. To earn Gold status you have to stay 40 nights or a total of 20 stays or you can get automatic Gold status with a Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature, and the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express.
Gold members of Marriott Rewards or Ritz-Carlton Rewards get free internet. It takes 50 nights to earn Gold status for either program. You can get automatic Gold status with Ritz-Carlton for the first year with the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from Chase. Some United elites are also able to get Marriott Gold status through United’s RewardsPlus partnership.
Platinum members of Starwood Preferred Guest get free internet access and Gold status members can choose free internet as an option of the check-in benefits. To earn Platinum status it takes 50 nights or 25 stays and Gold status takes 25 nights or 10 stays. You can get automatic Gold status with a Platinum Card or Business Platinum Card from American Express, or if you spend $30,000 each year using the SPG American Express card. Lastly, regardless of your SPG status, Platinum and Diamond members with Delta can get free internet and additional benefits when they register for Crossover Rewards.
Silver members of Le Club Accorhotels get free internet, which takes 10 nights or 2,500 points to earn Gold status. However all guests get free internet access at Mercure, Ibis, and Pullman properties.
If you’re set on not coughing up the $10+ for internet you can often unplug the ethernet cable from the back of the phone or tv and plug it into your laptop. Viola! Free internet. This may be pushing it for some people, but the way I see it's that if there is no damage to the room, then I am free to unplug and plug things in and out of the room.
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