ritz cancun
Image courtesy of Ritz-Carlton

Is there a more frustrating realization, than waking up and realizing that the extortionate rate you paid doesn’t even include breakfast? Of course there is, but you get the point. Forking out for hotels, hoping to have a cozy stay, only to find out that you’ll have to pay for that scrumptious buffet is maddening. But fear not – there are a few easy ways to secure a free breakfast, far before arrival.

a pool with a glass wall and a house with a view of the oceanVirtuouso & Luxury Privileges

Whoever told you travel agents are a thing of the past doesn’t travel. Travel agents have access to benefits, prices and privileges which no one else does. Agents with access to Virtuouso, Luxury Privileges and other platforms can secure late check out, breakfast and often upgrades – for the same price as any other room. When in doubt, ask a pro. Here’s one we recommend.

Pro Rate

Hotels are competitive, so they constantly run promotions. By searching available rates in detail, it’s not at all uncommon to find complimentary breakfast, or a $100 per day food and beverage credit for the same price as a room without. Look for special seasonal promotions or benefits for staying more than just a night.

a group of tables on a beachElite Status / Fast Track

Attaining Ritz, Starwood and Marriott Platinum is a lot easier than you think. If you’ve already earned elite status, or are interested in taking a fast track opportunity, you can secure breakfast for the year, just for being you. For those who travel frequently, this is an easy and efficient way of maximizing benefits.

Speciality Site

Every hotel booking site wants commission for helping you book a stay. To win over customers, many sites, especially luxury booking sites – will offer breakfast as an “exclusive” benefit for booking through them. Everyone wins, and occasionally – rates are lower than anywhere else.

a table with a view of a city and a riverVisa Signature Hotels

Most Visa cards full under the “Signature” category. If your card says “Signature” somewhere on the front or back, you can take advantage of Visa’s hotel booking platform. Visa offers excellent hotel benefits for their cardmembers, and as you might suspect – breakfast is included. Be sure to see if any free night offers exist, for multiple night stays.

Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

Amex Platinum cardholders can enjoy serious perks through the “FHR” program. Most stays include a $100 per day food credit, free breakfast, early check in, late check out and a room upgrade. These Amex rates are often as low as any other rate – giving you a whole lot of reason to compare.

a room with a table and chairsMastercard World Hotels

Mastercard is no exception. Most Mastercard’s are World or World Elite. IF your card says this anywhere, you can take advantage of Mastercard’s lucrative platform. Just like their credit card competitors, you can expect free breakfast – and sometimes free nights for longer stays.

Hotel Credit Card

Hilton, Club Carlson and Ritz Carlton each offer credit cards which secure free breakfast during stays. If you stay frequently with just one chain, this is an easy way to grab eggs, coffee and granola for the foreseeable future. Unlimited free breakfast in a 60 second application, you bet!

What’s your best tip to grab free hotel breakfast?

Featured image courtesy of the Ritz Carlton Cancun

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Which Hilton and Club Carlson cards give you free breakfast? I have several Hiltons and the Carlson and do not get free breakfast with them. The lower end Carlson hotels give breakfast to everyone but the mid to high end ones don’t.

  2. It’s frustrating that a lot of offers are US-resident only – like the VISA Signature site linked above, and those of us stuck in the UK (or Europe) get a really raw deal by comparison. Same situation for air mile reward credit cards, the UK choice is really limited vs the USA.

    It is what it is I guess, but would be interested to know why the disparity?

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