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

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

Old Aug 16, 2020, 1:33 pm
  #241  
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Everyone's value is different.
I get better value from Hotel.com not because of the free night but also many places that I need to visit are outside the footprint of the majors. I ended up with points in a few different programs that never got me anywhere.

Some people value a free flight to Detriot, Cleveland or Mississipi. Many others do not.
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Old Oct 4, 2020, 8:57 pm
  #242  
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Hotels.com Is Easier

Easier to use Hotels.com since they have all the different brands under one roof. Even if you could get the same level of rewards elsewhere (difficult), they just cover more ground.
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Old Oct 6, 2020, 12:35 am
  #243  
 
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Originally Posted by worldwarzzz
Easier to use Hotels.com since they have all the different brands under one roof. Even if you could get the same level of rewards elsewhere (difficult), they just cover more ground.
Not to mention that when there has been a problem, they usually correct it quickly and fairly. Once I booked a "resort" in the Thai countryside that turned out to be a dump, with a major algae issue in the pool so it didn't look anything like the pictures, etc, and the FD wouldn't do anything, so we just left after about an hour, so they refunded 100% and gave us the stay credit. I generally use hotels.com for my stays in the Thai countryside, so my free night is usually like US$30 but still works as none of the other programs have anything out there. Some other sites have the same properties, i.e. EX which owns hotels.com, some on PL, bu t not as good a rewards deal.
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Old Oct 8, 2020, 10:21 pm
  #244  
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Originally Posted by rbAA
Not to mention that when there has been a problem, they usually correct it quickly and fairly. Once I booked a "resort" in the Thai countryside that turned out to be a dump, with a major algae issue in the pool so it didn't look anything like the pictures, etc, and the FD wouldn't do anything, so we just left after about an hour, so they refunded 100% and gave us the stay credit. I generally use hotels.com for my stays in the Thai countryside, so my free night is usually like US$30 but still works as none of the other programs have anything out there. Some other sites have the same properties, i.e. EX which owns hotels.com, some on PL, bu t not as good a rewards deal.
And their cobrand credit card through Wells Fargo is, well, mildly interesting if not world-shattering: Visa Signature with standard benefits like rental car CDW, no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, Hotels.com Silver status for a year, cell phone protection, it basically boils down to a 2.2% cashback card in hotels.com nights + a $125 sign up bonus for $1000 in spend. You can basically keep it in your sock drawer and spend $500 on it and keep your hotels.com nights alive for a year (the night will post as a $110 night).
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Old Oct 11, 2020, 6:36 pm
  #245  
 
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Originally Posted by miike
its the best thing there is if you double it up with the Capital One Venture 10x points program!
But isn't that only for a limited time only? Or is it a permanent feature?
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Old Oct 11, 2020, 7:07 pm
  #246  
 
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Originally Posted by PointsPanda
But isn't that only for a limited time only? Or is it a permanent feature?
That ended Apr 1, 2020.
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Old Oct 12, 2020, 7:02 pm
  #247  
 
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I have been thinking of switching to hotels.com
i book a lot of cheap rooms for people that work at my company. Mostly Wyndham and Choice.
main reason I go through these programs is being able to cancel or extend reservations easily.
Are the hotels.com reservations easy to modify?
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Old Oct 12, 2020, 7:31 pm
  #248  
 
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Originally Posted by stallion114
I have been thinking of switching to hotels.com
i book a lot of cheap rooms for people that work at my company. Mostly Wyndham and Choice.
main reason I go through these programs is being able to cancel or extend reservations easily.
Are the hotels.com reservations easy to modify?
It depends. Like a lot of hotels when you book direct, most Hotels.com bookings give you a choice of either booking a non-refundable for a cheap(er) rate or a refundable for a higher rate. I used to always book non-refundable because our plans didn't usually change, but with Covid, that went out the window. Even though we got all our money back from bookings we made in May and Sept this year, I went ahead and paid extra for the cancellable rates for next year.

So, to answer your question without being so wordy...if you want no hassle when modifying or cancelling, book the changeable rate with Hotels.com.
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Old Jan 20, 2021, 11:46 am
  #249  
 
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Did hotels.com change something about their rewards program? I booked a 2 night stay in Mexico and the booking states I'll only get 1 stamp?
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Old Jun 10, 2021, 11:39 am
  #250  
 
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Very true also Hotels.com is pretty good for flexibility assuming you dont travel often as well since youre able to scan for the best deals and you wont be missing out on status anyways
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Old Aug 23, 2021, 10:33 am
  #251  
 
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Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in here...

As I'm sure most of you know, Hotels.com, Orbitz, VRBO, and Travelocity (which I believe has ceased to exist as its own brand) are all part of Expedia, but each has different rewards. In summary:

Hotels.com is simplest and potentially most valuable:
- Free night after 10 paid, so effectively 10% back ... But also the most restrictive:
- Reward expiration after only 12 months- Need a full 10 nights' worth to be able to redeem, and can only redeem for base rate (not taxes and fees), so high potential for breakage
- Some properties only participate in earning but not redemptions
- Can only be earned/redeemed at hotels

Expedia is less valuable:
- 2 points per dollar spent on desktop or 4 points via the app, and 140 points can be redeemed for $1 off (0.7 cents per point), so potentially up to 2.8% back ...
But more versatile:
- 18 month expiration- Can use for partial redemptions, reducing the probability of loss due to expiration
- Can be earned and redeemed for hotels, rental cars, activities, etc. (basically anything Expedia offers except flights, as these have different earnings and redemptions as far as I can tell - I don't have experience here as I don't use third parties for booking flights due to IRROPs logistics)

I'm not familiar enough with Orbitz to make such a comparison but I hear it's more valuable for hotels and less valuable for everything else.

My strategy moving forward will be to concentrate on Hyatt where it's available (I have status with them and also collect Chase points, for which Hyatt is one of the most valuable partners), and use Expedia wherever Hyatt isn't an option (I find myself taking trips I wouldn't have taken otherwise to prevent Hotels.com reward expiration, so I'd ultimately get more value out of Expedia despite its theoretical lower return).

Last edited by strickerj; Aug 23, 2021 at 10:33 am Reason: Fix formatting
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Old Aug 24, 2021, 2:32 am
  #252  
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I had been very easily getting c 10+% rebates (good toward Hotel.com nights) on my Hotels.com' expenditures, but then they tightened up in some way and the rebate became a bit more marginal. For some trips, they are much better than what I'd see from any of the major hotel loyalty programs and way better than what I'd get elsewhere.

But Hotels.com's expiration policy can be annoyingly brutal for some if not paying attention to expiration stuff. I know someone who lost 4+ free nights worth $350+ merely because they were two days late to make a booking to keep alive the earned free nights.
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Old Mar 28, 2023, 9:05 am
  #253  
 
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Thumbs down AUCH !

Just now reading about this huge devaluation: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/hotel...-to-2-one-key/
Guess I will have to use my last $2000 in Hotels.com gift cards plus free nights and move on.
So unfortunate !
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Old Mar 28, 2023, 9:30 am
  #254  
 
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Originally Posted by Travelomania
Just now reading about this huge devaluation: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/hotel...-to-2-one-key/
Guess I will have to use my last $2000 in Hotels.com gift cards plus free nights and move on.
So unfortunate !
ouch indeed!
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Old Mar 28, 2023, 1:30 pm
  #255  
 
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The only incentive to use Hotels.com now would be if you're able to find discounted gift cards which occasionally happen. But the rewards program is essentially dead for me, would prefer to just book directly through a hotel's site and have peace of mind knowing that no funny business will occur.
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