Good afternoon everyone. Last month, I was reading an article by Nick at Frequent Miler called Almost #Bonvoyed: a cautionary tale on free night certs. In that post, Nick shared that after cancelling a Marriott stay booked with a free night certificate, the free night certificate did not automatically redeposit into his Marriott account. He had to track down the cancelled reservation and call Marriott to get the free night certificate redeposited into his Marriott account. Bonvoy! Toward the end of the article, Nick stated, “You shouldn’t need a spreadsheet to track the history of your Marriott free night certs — but the reality is that you do need to stay organized with them.”
That’s when the idea hit me, I should create a spreadsheet to track my Marriott category 1-5 free night certificates… as well as my Hilton free weekend night certificates, Hyatt category 1-4 free night certificates, IHG 40k free night certificates, and Radisson Rewards anniversary points. Here is my Hotel Free Night Certificate Tracker, maybe it will help you stay organized too.
This spreadsheet is still a work in progress, but as of today, this is how it looks.
- In the upper left corner, I have my outstanding free night certificates along with the date the free night certificates posted to my account and the dates that they expire. I sorted this list by the expiration date, so I know which free night certificates I need to book sooner rather than later.
- In the upper right corner, I have details regarding the hotel credit card, including the annual fee, and the date the annual fee posted.
- On the bottom half, I have the free night certificates that I have already redeemed this year and the expected dates the free night certificates will post, along with the credit card annual fees, and the expected annual fee post date.
On the right side, I have a section where you can track future hotel reservations. I actually don’t have any hotels booked for my free night certificates, so I just made up info, but this is how I would use this section.
- Date booked is not very important, but can be important if you need to search your email for the hotel reservation.
- Stay date is very important and needs to be before the expiration date of the free night certificate (some hotel programs do not enforce the expiration date or can extend the expiration date, but that is the exception, not the rule).
- Location is the hotel name.
- Confirmation number is the hotel reservation number.
- Points is how much the hotel would cost if you used points instead of a free night certificate.
- Price is the cheapest cash price on the date you booked the hotel reservation (can be useful if you want to calculate Cents Per Point or see if you booked a hotel room for more than your credit card annual fee)
If you have any ideas for ways to make this spreadsheet better or easier to use, please leave a comment below. Thank you for your feedback and have a great day!