Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotel Deals
Reload this Page >

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

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

Old Sep 23, 2019, 3:25 pm
  #211  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,013
Yes, somewhat similar experience. Tried to cancel a non-ref hotel (2 weeks before arrival....but cxl deadline had just passed).
Was told "Hotel will not allow it".

The reservation is still "active" in my account.

Of course, I was aware of the CXL deadline, etc. So, cannot really complain.


Originally Posted by broadwayboy
I am a Gold member. In the past I was able to cancel non-refundable reservations without issue. I've just tried to shorten a 2 night stay into 1 of a non-ref reservation and was told not possible. Agent told me the hotel won't let it. In the past, I've been told the same, but hotels dot com will pick up the tab so was able to cancel without penalty.

So Gold status is pretty much worthless then?

Anyone has similar experience lately?
ft4lyf is offline  
Old Sep 25, 2019, 12:33 pm
  #212  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EDI
Programs: FB Plat, BA Bronze, Hotels.com
Posts: 400
Programme changes arriving in the UK:

"From 27/11/2019, there’ll be a redemption fee of 4 for every reward night1 redeemed; however no redemption fee will apply if reward nights are redeemed using the Hotels.com app.

We’re making this change to cover some of the costs of running the programme, so more than 43 million Hotels.com Rewards members can continue to benefit from the programme.

So, every time you collect 10 nights, you’ll get 1 reward night. You pay the redemption fee, as well as the usual taxes and fees. Also, remember, you won't have to pay a redemption fee when you redeem on the Hotels.com app."
The doomed is offline  
Old Nov 9, 2019, 8:43 am
  #213  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,188
Pros for hotel.com free night-- you are not tied up to one single hotel reward program.

Pros for hotel reward program-- you get many perks for being an elite member in addition to the point redemption free night. These perks include room upgrades, customer service phone agents (which can be of great help in many situations), dedicated counter for checkin/checkout, top elites members have access to hotel lounge with free food, free drink.
Mama is offline  
Old Nov 13, 2019, 5:46 pm
  #214  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: Oceanic Airlines Gold Elite
Posts: 20,371
Originally Posted by Mama
Pros for hotel.com free night-- you are not tied up to one single hotel reward program.

Pros for hotel reward program-- you get many perks for being an elite member in addition to the point redemption free night. These perks include room upgrades, customer service phone agents (which can be of great help in many situations), dedicated counter for checkin/checkout, top elites members have access to hotel lounge with free food, free drink.
The second para should be "cons", and it's nothing I don't know: I've held status in Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, SPG and Marriott over the years. Hotels.com has assisted me over the phone (given me comp nights when a hotel wouldn't cancel or move a reservation).

There's an important "pro" you're not adding: not only are you not tied up to one single hotel reward program, you have a very wide portfolio of hotels to work with- far wider than any single loyalty program.

To give an example, my next two overseas trips involve time in Sri Lanka and Tokyo. If I wanted to pick between Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt, I'd have two hotels in Sri Lanka to choose from, and about 20 or so hotels in Tokyo... but I have many, MANY choices on hotels.com for both places, far more than if I just limited myself to the "US hotel ghetto", at any number of price points, service levels, locations.

I'm not denying the utility of hotel loyalty programs if they work for you, but in many cases they're golden handcuffs (and sometimes not even very good ones at that).
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Nov 14, 2019, 3:01 pm
  #215  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward
I'm not denying the utility of hotel loyalty programs if they work for you, but in many cases they're golden handcuffs (and sometimes not even very good ones at that).
The loyalty programs aren't golden handcuffs. Neither is hotels.com.

The problem is when you default to the same way of booking every time.

Don't use Marriott 90+% of the time. You're missing out on awesome opportunities with Hilton, Wyndham, hotelscombined, and even expedia.

Don't use hotels.com 90+% of the time. You're missing out on awesome opportunities with Marriott, IHG, orbitz, Radisson, etc.

Just see where the cost-benefit ratio is best. And sometimes, that can mean to throw one or three nights to a chain to make a higher-level elite status. Other times, it doesn't.

I'm saying: Keep an open mind. Neither hotels.com nor some other OTA nor a chain is best in the vast majority of cases. You gotta stay flexible.
FlyerTalker324193 is offline  
Old Nov 15, 2019, 12:43 pm
  #216  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: Oceanic Airlines Gold Elite
Posts: 20,371
Originally Posted by 8mh
The problem is when you default to the same way of booking every time.


Where in my post did I say I did that?

And sometimes, that can mean to throw one or three nights to a chain to make a higher-level elite status.
Sure, but "I have the shiny card" often makes people bias their thinking to default to "ooh, I have the shiny card, I should use it"- aka sunk cost fallacy. As you say, it should just be a cost-benefit analysis.
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2019, 2:35 am
  #217  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K, MM *G for life, BAEC Gold
Posts: 10,220
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward


As you say, it should just be a cost-benefit analysis.
Absolutely agree that it should simply be a cost benefit analysis, but the problem is that, in order to make that analysis work, you need to have a clear idea of how much and where you will be staying in the coming year. For example, I will probably spend 70 + nights in hotels in 2020. I have two sets of dates only at the moment, covering 13 nights. As it happens, 6 of those nights are not in any program, not even Hotels.com. So I'm working with variables which simply can't even be estimated until after I've already invested.

For me Hotels.com works because a) they have a far wider range of properties and b) I don't want to spend every night in identikit rooms. Or perhaps, because I dislike identikit rooms, Hotels.com works. I have no doubt that, if I found that, for me, a Hilton was the summit of good taste, then I'd justify being loyal to Hilton.
eponymous_coward likes this.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Nov 19, 2019, 1:41 pm
  #218  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: Oceanic Airlines Gold Elite
Posts: 20,371
Originally Posted by lhrsfo
For me Hotels.com works because a) they have a far wider range of properties and b) I don't want to spend every night in identikit rooms. Or perhaps, because I dislike identikit rooms, Hotels.com works. I have no doubt that, if I found that, for me, a Hilton was the summit of good taste, then I'd justify being loyal to Hilton.
"Hilton" as a chain has a lot of variation, from Waldorf-Astoria/Conrad level luxury to limited-service properties like Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites/Tru. A lot of the appeal seems to be "grinding" at Hampton Inns/HGI/HS you can find pretty much anywhere in the US and then burning the points at W-A/Conrad.

I'm not as opposed to identikit rooms myself (I am happy to burn points at Hampton Inn if it saves money, and they are not always identikit, but quite often, all I want is a clean room, bed and a shower, even if it's idenitikit- I can find drinks and dinner somewhere, and I find most hotel breakfast is overrated), but your point a is pretty much why I gravitate to hotels.com, with exceptions when it's actually working in my favor.
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Nov 22, 2019, 12:43 am
  #219  
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Posts: 9
its the best thing there is if you double it up with the Capital One Venture 10x points program!
miike is offline  
Old Nov 26, 2019, 9:17 am
  #220  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: WAS
Programs: Virtuoso TA, UA 1MM, Hilton Diamond, Marriott LT Platinum
Posts: 445
Any Gold members here experienced the 'free upgrade' perk? How often does it work?
ChateauMargaux is offline  
Old Nov 30, 2019, 7:10 pm
  #221  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,404
Originally Posted by 8mh
The loyalty programs aren't golden handcuffs. Neither is hotels.com.

The problem is when you default to the same way of booking every time.

Don't use Marriott 90+% of the time. You're missing out on awesome opportunities with Hilton, Wyndham, hotelscombined, and even expedia.

Don't use hotels.com 90+% of the time. You're missing out on awesome opportunities with Marriott, IHG, orbitz, Radisson, etc.

Just see where the cost-benefit ratio is best. And sometimes, that can mean to throw one or three nights to a chain to make a higher-level elite status. Other times, it doesn't.

I'm saying: Keep an open mind. Neither hotels.com nor some other OTA nor a chain is best in the vast majority of cases. You gotta stay flexible.
Yeah, I don't really understand hotel booking "loyalty." If you travel a lot, and live in the USA, get as many hotel-affiliated credit cards as you can (hopefully, with little or no fee) to earn you status. After getting the sign-up bonus, keep the cards that are good for ginning up points, provide worthwhile annual free nights and worthwhile status with the chain. If you can, gin up easy points for personal travel with other credit cards (using the many Staples deals, or supermarket Visa/MC deals). Then shop around to see what you best hotel award redemption is. This can "pay for" a lot of travel. When you do have to buy a room, buy deeply discounted hotels.com gift cards (20% off is pretty easy to get) and see if there are any worthwhile hotels (good location, quality and price) that take the hotels.com gift card, and add a hotels.com discount code (usually about 10%). to the booking. If none of these strategies work, do a kayak search and check airbnb and booking.com
iahphx is offline  
Old Dec 14, 2019, 11:07 am
  #222  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: PDX|AKL|AMS|GVA|AGP|CPT - or somewhere in between
Programs: DL DM; 2MM
Posts: 2,417
Never mind - found it.

Last edited by Travelomania; Dec 14, 2019 at 11:28 am Reason: incorrect info
Travelomania is offline  
Old Dec 14, 2019, 4:08 pm
  #223  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 5,847
Trying to merge gift cards has become super annoying now. Have to call in, verify name, initial load amount, and where you got the card. If you purchased the card on a 3rd party site like Raise or Ebay, you may or may not know what the initial load amount was.

Strange stuff from Hotels.
Sandeep1 is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2019, 8:50 pm
  #224  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,404
Originally Posted by Sandeep1
Trying to merge gift cards has become super annoying now. Have to call in, verify name, initial load amount, and where you got the card. If you purchased the card on a 3rd party site like Raise or Ebay, you may or may not know what the initial load amount was.

Strange stuff from Hotels.
Right -- the take down of the online merge tool is bizarre and annoying. Not sure of their strategy. Is it to discourage folks from using multiple gift cards per order? I can't think of another reason.
iahphx is offline  
Old Dec 15, 2019, 9:02 pm
  #225  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 5,847
Originally Posted by iahphx
Right -- the take down of the online merge tool is bizarre and annoying. Not sure of their strategy. Is it to discourage folks from using multiple gift cards per order? I can't think of another reason.
Best guess is its their attempt to crack down on GC fraud.
eponymous_coward likes this.
Sandeep1 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.