How to get free breakfast at hotels
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Hotels that offer free breakfast can make travel considerably more convenient and affordable. Not only is it nice to wake up in your hotel and get a quick bite before you depart, but not paying for breakfast can easily help you save $40 or more for a family of four.
Some hotels with free breakfast offer this benefit as part of their nightly rate, or as an add-on option you can choose when you book your stay. However, everyone who travels knows that free hotel breakfasts are not created equal. While some brands include a basic continental breakfast with baked goods and juice, others might go as far as offering a hot breakfast menu or even a breakfast buffet with hot items like waffles, omelets, biscuits and gravy.
Any free breakfast is better than no breakfast, but what you’ll actually receive can vary quite a bit. Here’s what you need to know about how to get free breakfast during your next hotel stay.
Which hotels offer free breakfast?
If you are traveling around the U.S. and want to score free breakfast for most mornings of your trip, it can help to focus on booking specific brands of hotels. Here are some of the top hotel brands that include a free breakfast benefit at most of their locations:
Almost all Best Western properties offer complimentary breakfast to their guests. This includes Best Western, Best Western Plus and Best Western Premier hotel options. Like with other hotel brands, however, not all locations participate.
Choice Hotels properties tend to include free breakfast in their nightly rate, and you can typically expect this free meal when you stay in the following hotels:
- Comfort Inn
- Comfort Suites
- Econo Lodge
- Quality Inn
- Sleep Inn
While not all locations participate, various Hilton brand properties offer free breakfast. These include:
- Embassy Suites
- Home2 Suites
- Homewood Suites
If you’re a World of Hyatt member and book your hotel stay directly through the Hyatt website, you can get free breakfast at Hyatt Place hotels. If you have Globalist elite status, you can get Club lounge access or a complimentary daily breakfast (for up to two adults and two children) at participating hotel locations.
Additionally, note that select hotel locations may offer free breakfast; be sure to check the specific hotel’s website for more information as benefits can change.
Regardless of how you book your room, the following IHG hotel brands typically offer free breakfast with each nightly stay:
- Holiday Inn Express
- Staybridge Suites
Also, be aware that kids ages 11 and under eat free with paid adults at Holiday Inn properties in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other select locations. This includes breakfast, as well as lunch or dinner.
And if you’re a Diamond Elite member of IHG One Rewards, your welcome amenity at check-in will include a free breakfast at select locations.
Marriott boasts having more than 2,500 hotels that offer free breakfast in the U.S. alone. Brands that typically offer free breakfast for all guests include:
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- Residence Inn
- SpringHill Suites
- TownePlace Suites
Country Inn & Suites offers free breakfast for all of its guests. Free breakfast with other brands can vary and may depend on the room you book, so make sure to check for this benefit when you compare your options.
Wyndham includes an array of family-friendly hotel brands that offer free breakfast. Properties with free hotel breakfast typically include:
- Baymont by Wyndham
- Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
- La Quinta by Wyndham
- Days Inn by Wyndham (free breakfast item)
- Howard Johnson by Wyndham (free breakfast item)
- Microtel by Wyndham
- Super 8 by Wyndham (free breakfast item)
- Wingate by Wyndham
Other ways to get free hotel breakfast
The easiest way to score free breakfast is to book a stay with a hotel that provides this meal to all of its guests. However, there are other ways to get free hotel breakfast, as we’ll outline below.
Earn elite status with a hotel brand
If you travel often enough to be able to reach elite status with your favorite hotel brand, it’s possible you’ll secure free breakfast or executive lounge access with breakfast and snacks each time you stay. This can depend a lot on the type of elite status you have, as well as the specific hotel brands you stay with the most.
If you have World of Hyatt Globalist status, for example, you’ll get club access or free breakfast in locations where this benefit is available. Additionally, Hilton Honors offers Gold and Diamond members the choice between a free continental breakfast or a daily food and beverage credit (varies by brand and region).
With the Marriott Bonvoy program, you’ll get lounge access with a complimentary breakfast once you’re a Platinum Elite member or higher. Platinum members and higher may also be able to pick free breakfast as a welcome amenity, although this benefit can vary by hotel brand.
Pick up the right hotel credit card
While most hotel credit cards do not provide automatic elite status that can afford you a free breakfast benefit, there’s one notable exception — the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card*. This card comes with automatic Hilton Diamond status, which qualifies you for executive lounge access and a free breakfast at participating properties.
Utilize a portal that includes free breakfast
Finally, check whether you have the option to book your hotel stay through a portal that offers free breakfast and other benefits. If you have The Platinum Card® from American Express, for example, you could book your hotel stay through the Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts program, which includes daily breakfast for two people, a room upgrade based on availability, free Wi-Fi and more.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, on the other hand, you can check out the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection from Chase. Properties in this portal offer guests daily breakfast for two, a special benefit (worth up to $100) that’s unique to each property, free Wi-Fi, a room upgrade based on availability and more.
Just be sure that you compare pricing in these portals with pricing elsewhere online (including directly with hotel websites) to make sure you’re not overpaying for added benefits, like the potential for an upgrade and free breakfast. Luxury travel portals affiliated with credit cards can offer competitive rates when compared to what you would pay to book direct, but not always. If your goal is getting truly “free” breakfast, then you should run the numbers and compare.
The bottom line
Getting a free breakfast can make travel much more convenient, and the benefits only increase when you’re traveling with family in tow. Before you book your next vacation, look for ways to score free breakfast and other perks that make travel both more comfortable and affordable. Some benefits come automatically when you pick up a top hotel credit card, but you may be able to access others just by shopping around.
*All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.