There are quite a few ways to score a free hotel night voucher or a free night using hotel points and when you decided to cash in, you'll definitely want to savor every last minute. Free is free, free is awesome. What you may not realize is that with a little bit of booking ingenuity, some magic and little bit of luck, you turn a little bit of "free" into so much more that night, with free dinner, drinks and a room upgrade...

The Basic Trick...

The best way to maximize a free night voucher is to get more from it than you probably should be entitled to. The best way to get more? Club lounge access. With most vouchers you definitely won't get lounge access when you just redeem the free night on it's own, but if you book a paid stay in a room with club lounge access, and extend that stay with the voucher, chances are the hotel is going to let you stay in your room and reap the benefits.

What Difference Does A Club Lounge Room Make?

Most hotel club lounges offer complimentary breakfast, afternoon canapés, complimentary alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, peaceful sitting areas and spectacular views. The rooms that go along with club lounge access are generally newer, better, higher up and offer similarly upgraded views. In cities where food is expensive, it can absolutely be worth paying a reasonable extra bit of money to score club lounge access, since it can save you buying up to three meals a day (and cocktails). 

So How Do You Get It Done And Win?

Login online or call in to check availability for using your free hotel night voucher. With most hotel free night vouchers availability is generally excellent and shouldn't be hard to find. Once you confirm availability for using the voucher during your stay, book a room with club level access. Rooms with this access generally include all suites and any room that says "club". When you stay, it could theoretically backfire, but in almost every case, the hotel will allow you to simply keep your "upgraded" club level room and the benefits that come with it, even on your free night voucher night. Pretty cool.

What Happens If It Doesn't Work?

There's no risk here, it's just a great strategy. If it doesn't work you'll still stay at the hotel, you'll still get a free night, you just may not either get to keep your upgraded room, the club lounge access or both. You weren't entitled to it anyway, so if it doesn't pan out there's not much to be sorry about. In general, in my experience, it DOES pan out almost every time. Especially if you are a courteous guest. ENJOY.