Short Answer: Most hotels managed by large corporations allow customers to cancel their reservation until a certain point — usually at least 24 to 72 hours in advance — before charging a cancellation fee. Fees can be equal to the cost of one or two nights’ stay, and possibly more during peak travel times. For more information on the cancellation policy for Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham hotel chains, see below.
Hotel Cancellation Policy by Chain
Most major hotel chains will allow you to cancel a reservation at no cost until a certain point before the reservation date. Common cancellation notice times are around 24 to 72 hours — possibly longer during peak travel times — after which you will be charged a cancellation fee that is typically at least the price of one nights’ stay. Keep in mind that if you booked your reservation through a third-party website, such as Expedia or Hotels.com, you may need to cancel through the third party’s website or customer service center.
Hilton Cancellation Policy
Note: Hilton Hotels & Resorts has a companywide cancellation policy, but some of its hotels have their own cancellation policies based on location and hours of operation. Be sure to check your reservation details for cancellation terms at your particular hotel.
- Required notice time: Varies by location; some locations may need up to 72 hours’ notice. The exact notice time will be noted in your reservation.
- Cancellation fee: Varies by hotel and reservation
- How to cancel a reservation: Call the hotel directly or Hilton Reservations and Customer Care at (800) 445-8667. You can also cancel through your Hilton Honors account or by finding your reservation on the Hilton website.
- Other conditions: When you cancel a reservation, you’ll be issued a cancellation number; keep a record of this in case you need to dispute any charges or fees.
- If you booked a room using Hilton Honors rewards points, this might affect when and how you can cancel your reservation. For more information on the Hilton Honors rewards program, see our related article.
Hyatt Cancellation Policy
- Required notice time: At most Hyatt hotels, you must cancel your reservation at least 48 hours in advance to avoid paying a cancellation fee.
- Cancellation fee: Varies by the hotel based on market prices and the confirmed rate of your reservation. Fees are explained at the time of your reservation and in any confirmation documents.
- How to cancel a reservation: You can cancel your reservation online using your full name and either your reservation confirmation number or the credit card number on file. If you can’t cancel online, you can call the hotel directly or contact Hyatt customer service.
- Other conditions: Travelers who are World of Hyatt Explorist, Globalist, or Lifetime Globalist members are allowed to cancel most reservations 24 hours in advance without being charged a fee.
IHG Cancellation Policy
- Required notice time: Most IHG hotels require at least 24 hours’ notice to cancel a reservation without a fee, but this policy varies by location.
- For example, some Kimpton Hotels require at least 72 hours’ notice, while Holiday Inn reservations booked with a flexible rate can be canceled up to 4 p.m. the day before your stay with no fee.
- Cancellation fee: Varies by the hotel; some charge one nights’ stay plus taxes, others base the fee on the rate at which you booked the room. Fees will be established in your reservation.
- How to cancel a reservation: You can cancel on the IHG website under the “Manage Your Reservations” page or you can call the hotel directly.
- Other conditions: Your reservation confirmation should outline the cancellation policy for the hotel. For more information, you can call one of IHG’s Worldwide Reservation Offices.
Marriott Cancellation Policy
- Required notice time: You must cancel at least 48 hours prior to your reservation.
- Cancellation fee: Varies by the hotel, initial reservation cost, and any local events going on at the time of your reservation; typically equal to the cost of one night’s stay.
- How to cancel a reservation: You can cancel your reservation by calling the hotel directly or by logging in to your Marriott account online.
- Other conditions: If you made the reservation with a Friends & Family Discount, this may affect when and how you can cancel. To learn more about using the Starwood-Marriott Friends & Family Discount, see our article.
Wyndham Cancellation Policy
Note: The Wyndham Hotel Group owns Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, as well as other brands like Baymont Inn & Suites, Ramada, La Quinta, and Travelodge. Individual Wyndham hotels and resorts may have their own cancellation policies, according to the company’s website.
- Required notice time: Varies by brand. Wyndham Resorts often require more advanced notification than the company’s other hotels. The cancellation notice time for resorts is typically seven to 14 days, and most non-resort Wyndham locations allow cancellations around one to three days before the reservation.
- Cancellation fee: Varies by the hotel, reservation rate, and time of year; fees range from one night’s stay (non-resorts) to the entire cost of your reservation (resorts or peak travel times). Exact terms will be noted in your reservation details.
- How to cancel a reservation: You can contact the hotel directly or cancel online reservations on the hotel’s website.
- Other conditions: For December reservations, the cancellation policy is very strict, requiring that you cancel 45 days in advance or risk paying the entire cost of your reservation.
How to Find Hotels With Free Cancellation
Since most reservations are made online, in order to manage room availability, very few hotels are willing to offer free cancellation up until the point of the reservation. You can occasionally find independent hotels or hotels in less popular destinations that offer free cancellation, but most hotel chains require at least 24 hours’ notice in order to avoid cancellation fees.
If you make a reservation through third-party sites such as Expedia or Trivago, you can search for reservations that offer free cancellation. However, you’ll want to pay attention to the fine print. Even on these sites, cancellation is often only free up to a certain date — meaning the hotel can charge you fees if you cancel too late. And, in some cases, “free cancellation” may mean that the third-party website does not charge separate cancellation fees, but the hotel still can.
You can usually avoid cancellation fees if you cancel your hotel reservation before the deadline noted in your reservation. This window varies depending on the hotel and when you are traveling, though 24 to 72 hours’ notice is common. For resorts or reservations made during peak travel times, you may need to cancel several weeks in advance to avoid fees. You can cancel most reservations online or by calling the hotel directly. If you made your reservation through a third-party website, you can usually cancel through that website as well.