Insider Tips for Getting a Hotel Room Upgrade

There’s no art in the world of travel quite like getting an upgrade. Whether it’s on a flight or in a hotel, there’s no better feeling than getting more than what you paid for after pushing the right buttons of the staff that takes care of you.

As someone who spent a number of years working in the hotel industry, I am pretty familiar with the cards you need to play if you want to end up sleeping in a better hotel room than the one you booked. So, use these insider tips if you’re looking to score an upgrade!

Arrive Late

You may not have ever thought about this, but a large part of the upgrade game is based on hotel room availability. If you arrive early in the day, the hotel might not know if it will need better rooms later on in the day for new arrivals and reservations. If you arrive late, after the majority of the crowd, you’ll be more likely to find high-quality rooms and get a complimentary upgrade.

Sign Up for Loyalty Programs

Nearly all hotel chains, big and small, have some sort of loyalty program that is completely free and gives you points and the opportunity to receive perks for being a consistent customer. One of the perks of being a member of these programs is hotel staffs will often offer you a complimentary upgrade upon your arrival.

Book Directly Through the Hotel’s Website

You might not know this, but it’s harder to score a complimentary upgrade if you have booked your room through a third-party site like or Why? You’ll likely pay a lower rate, and these third-parties will take a cut of the money for the booking. If you book directly through the hotel, they’re more likely to give you a bump up on your stay due to the higher amount of money you will have directly paid them for your stay.