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Is Hotels.com "free night" better than rewards program?

Is Hotels.com "free night" better than rewards program?

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Old Sep 22, 18, 10:31 am
  #166  
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
In Moscow recently, I booked 2 rooms for 2 nights in the same hotel, one using the German version of hotels.com, the other using the English version (because of a Book 2 Nights get an Extra Free Nights Credit promotion). All night credits turned up promptly and the stay was a good one. The first cost EUR120, the second cost GBP135. At check out, I was issued with 2 credit card receipts, one for RUB 7.392,00, the other for RUB 9.240,00. These are worth EUR94.65 (instead of EUR120) and GBP105.02 (instead of GBP135), but my cards were charged with the EUR120 and GBP135 amounts. So is this the difference between what the hotel charges and the profit that hotels.com makes?
1) You should always check multiple booking channels including the hotel's own website if possible. Like vandykes44 says sometimes hotels.com is cheaper than the hotel's own website, but then again sometimes it isn't, even after subtracting cashback and the 9.09% for hotels.com rewards.

If you can be bothered to make a phone call or email (± know the relevant language) you can often negotiate a significantly lower price, due to my next point.


2) I believe hotels.com takes a commission of 15-20% from subscribing hotels', which is how they fund their voucher program and cashback plus all the "secret discounts" they like to spam us with.

This commission is probably similar for booking.com/expedia etc and it may even be that high for booking "direct" with a hotel chain (this funds your points and benefits) as opposed to actually booking direct with the hotel.


3) There seem to be several options for hotels to be paid when they join up with hotels.com. Firstly most hotels have refundable and non-refundable rates.

For non-refundable rates, sometimes you pay hotels.com and sometimes they just forward your card details to the hotel, which charges you directly. If you pay hotels.com then Amex is always accepted even if the hotel doesn't, since I assume hotels.com just pays the hotel by bank transfer periodically. The latter is rare, only seen it twice, couldn't use Amex since the hotels didn't take it, and furthermore couldn't use hotels.com reward nights - I take this to mean these hotels don't have an agreement to be paid in bulk by hotels.com.

For refundable rates, you can of course pay the hotel on check-out, but most of the time there is also the option to pay hotels.com at the time of booking. Doing this has currency advantages as in the next point. Though again, sometimes you can only pay the hotel directly when you actually turn up.



4) I hope you either have EUR and GBP cards or your card has no currency conversion fees, because there is no need to pay in euros with the German site nor in pounds with the UK site.

Hotels.com doesn't scam you on currency exchange and they are able to charge cards in any of the currencies they list at the top, at a rate which is close enough to the rate that you'd get with a 0% forex fee visa/mc/amex.

When I search on hotels.com, once I have a short-list I always change the currency to the hotel's local one, in order to compare with the hotel's own website. But when it comes to paying hotels.com I often change it to a third currency and pay using a card in that currency (or multi-currency cards like Revolut) which fixes the exchange rate (hopefully to my advantage), and avoids DCC or any other fees.


So which payment option was the case for your stay? Did you pay hotels.com or the hotel? What currency is shown for the original transaction on your card statement? Did you really get a credit card receipt for your card? If so the transactions should have shown up in rubles on your card and been converted to the card currency by your card issuer - yet the ruble hasn't dropped by 27% against EUR or GBP so it seems very odd.
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Old Sep 23, 18, 3:30 pm
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The payment option was a non refundable rate, so I could use one of those extra night's credit vouchers. So I paid hotels.com online at the time of the booking. The bookings show up in Euros exactly as booked on my statement. I really did get a credit card receipt from reception, can't remember if it was directly for my card (because I don't have the receipts here at the moment) but I imagine so because I had to show my card at check in presumably as a guarantee. A bit mysterious in a way, but I was charged exactly what I booked and I was happy with the price, as well as the hotel itself.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
This is a very interesting discussion and increasingly relevant at the moment, with the inexorable accelerando of hotel points devaluations. I still think hotels.com stands out as a beacon of simplicity in the way its program is to be used and for that reason I think it's unlikely to suffer a devaluation. For the moment.
A great point I always consider when making a hotel booking.


Originally Posted by vandykes44 View Post
I want to give a big thumbs up to Hotels.com. My husband and I just spent 2 weeks in Slovenia and Croatia and we used many of my free nights to book fabulous places there. When I travel oversees, I always want to stay in wonderful, quaint, clean places that are not chain hotels. We stayed at great places that averaged 80-100 per night thru Hotels.com. It was so easy to use my free nights and the places were so great.

I have to say that Hotels.com has great customer service as well. They answer the phone promptly and are happy to help you. Recently, I wanted to change the date of a hotel reservation on our vacation and, even though it was past the date they allowed you to make changes to the reservation, they called the hotel (in Europe) and negotiated a change without any additional cost to me even though the room price was supposed to be higher. They were awesome!

I also find that Hotels.com sometimes has better pricing than if I try to book a hotel on their own website. So I always try to use Hotels.com whenever I can.

Anyways, I'm a real fan of Hotels.com and will continue to use them as much as possible.


A longtime user here and I am currently on my 39th-Hotels.com-stay this year alone.
Chiming in and absolutely have to agree - totally LOVE Hotels.com - cannot praise them enough !
I am always buying Hotels.com gift cards at a discount (in the US) - sometimes double/triple dipping - and with checkout through TopCashback for another (usually) 4% CB the hotel-of-my-choice nightly rate simply cannot be beaten.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 3:08 pm
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You know, I had to choose a hotel "blind" in Moscow during the World Cup last Summer. There were few options left and none of the Lonely Planet recommendations were available and my preferred chains had no rooms left for points or money. I took a chance on a hotel offered by hotels.com, a guesthouse with incredible taste that turned out to be excellent and was only EUR55! So I tend to trust hotels.com in a similar way to Lonely Planet (I think LP gets hotel recommendations pretty well spot on).
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:24 am
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Do you have to be the person who stays in the room for it to qualify for the 10 stays/free night? I travel often for work, but i also book travel for 12+ people. I currently use Expedia because i get all the points no matter who stays.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 11:40 am
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As long as you book through your account you can book for other people and the rooms will qualify. You don't have to be present. Use the Capital One Venture card which gives 10 points per dollar for hotels.com. You must use the special link hotels.com/venture.
Hotels.com is owned by Expedia.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 5:12 pm
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Definitely managed to book for other people and receive credit, even on simultaneous nights (i.e. booking more than one room in different names for the same night). That is one headache less to deal with in this whole hotel loyalty thing.
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Old Nov 29, 18, 2:46 pm
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Thumbs up Again .... a great customer service experience

Pfewwww .... that's the reason I mostly book through Hotels.com - their customer service is so great !
Had a booking for a week from today, but being in a different time zone I got mixed up with the cancellation time, which is 16 hrs ahead.
No problem whatsoever and within 2 minutes I had a fully refunded cancellation !
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Old Nov 30, 18, 3:41 pm
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I think they can, within reason, bend a lot of rules. They know that travelers make mistakes and that time zones can confuse people. Their customer service has also been excellent on the few occasions I have needed it. Do you have status as such with hotels.com, or are you just a normal hotels.com customer? I have Silver status, which I think helps a little.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 8:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Concerto View Post
Do you have status as such with hotels.com, or are you just a normal hotels.com customer? I have Silver status, which I think helps a little.
Yes, Gold status
I do not chase status any longer with the major hotels chains. It is simply not worth it.
And although Agoda is sometimes the winner in price, I love the freedom Hotels.com provides me and I can book (and cancel) as I please without any consideration for chain-status. In addition, I often stay in locations where there are no chain-hotels available. (i.e. Lausanne springs to mind ).
There was an awesome deal here in the US last week where I was lucky enough to be around to notice and bought for thousands of $$$ in Hotels.com gift cards with > 20% off. They make the use of Gift cards so easy and customer friendly and these will be used for stays that have yet to be booked next year.
And as a bonus I still have 5 free nights left at this point in time, nights that still will come in handy !
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Old Dec 2, 18, 2:27 pm
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Finally a hotel that tells you what you are going to get!
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Old Dec 2, 18, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post


Finally a hotel that tells you what you are going to get!
Are you perhaps confused with Hyatt ?
Since I get the above perks only when I check in with my status at the Hyatt Vendôme, Paris ?
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Old Dec 2, 18, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Travelomania View Post
Are you perhaps confused with Hyatt ?
Since I get the above perks only when I check in with my status at the Hyatt Vendôme, Paris ?
i didn't realize that they started listing all the gold amenities. This makes booking much easier and exciting. A lot of properties with Marriott Gold / Hyatt Discoverist, Explorist level benefits.



















Tokyo Marriott


Seoul Marriott


Best Western Sydney


Vegas (!!!!)
.

Last edited by samwise6222; Dec 2, 18 at 4:41 pm
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Old Yesterday, 6:17 pm
  #179  
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There are $50 hotels.com GCs available for $40 (and $100 ones for $85) from newegg and other sources right now.

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.c...egg-gyft-ppdg/

15-20% off BEFORE the hotels.com free night rebate is pretty strong. I find it pretty hard to milk loyalty programs to the 30%+ effective rebate point.
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Old Yesterday, 10:14 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
There are $50 hotels.com GCs available for $40 (and $100 ones for $85) from newegg and other sources right now.

https://frequentmiler.boardingarea.c...egg-gyft-ppdg/

15-20% off BEFORE the hotels.com free night rebate is pretty strong. I find it pretty hard to milk loyalty programs to the 30%+ effective rebate point.
Yea, I picked up 3 $50 ones from newegg.com. Apparently, you can do it again after 48 hours so that'll fall on the last day of the deal if I do it again.
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