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

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

Old Sep 10, 2017, 10:27 am
  #106  
 
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I've been using hotels.com since I moved to Thailand, as my GF is from Surin and her daughter goes to the university in Ubon. Neither place has an IHG/SPG/MR/etc chain hotel, so it works well for us when we visit, and we've gotten some free nights (OK, it was only about $23 as the places in Surin and Ubon are cheap.)

Also, we're on a two week Italian trip and the Florence and Venice properties for the major brands are astromically priced. So, we're in a nice (small) room in a villa on the river in Florence for 3 nts at US$118 per nt, upgraded to a river view with a small terrace. And, in Venice later this week, another pensione near Accademia, a bit more expensive. But overall, about a US$76 rebate and decent prices on some pleasant places.
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Old Sep 16, 2017, 4:48 am
  #107  
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Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego
We were using Bookings.com, and now have migrated back to Hotels.com, for no particular reason. It seemed that availability was similar through both sites. The 10% back at Hotels.com is handy, and has saved us a few hundred dollars that would have been spent otherwise. Since it's tallying up automatically, we've found it very easy to use. If it were points, they'd simply be absorbed into my points coffers, and be of less value to me than the cash back. That said, isn't it possible to double dip by using a portal? And then triple or quadruple dip by using the Chase Sapphire Reserve for both the travel credit, if you have any left, and the triple points offered as a card benefit for travel?
I'm rather often using topcashback.com (or something like it) to point me to hotels.com, and then I use the CSR card for the reservation to collect toward the "free night after 10 nights" in the Hotels.com program. It works out very nicely for me.

For a large number of my more expensive lodging bookings with rates in the $500+/night range, the above mentioned kind of path seems to be the best way for reducing my net expenses for travel accommodation and yet maintain a certain standard/certainty of what I'm going to get.

Booking.com is owned by Priceline. Hotels.com is owned by Expedia. These two companies seem to be eating up whatever they can in the travel booking world, and the industry consolidation is (as sort of expected by me) not really leading to uniformly better outcomes for consumers.
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Old Sep 16, 2017, 9:51 am
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
I'm rather often using topcashback.com (or something like it) to point me to hotels.com, and then I use the CSR card for the reservation to collect toward the "free night after 10 nights" in the Hotels.com program. It works out very nicely for me.
I do the same but I purchase Hotels.com gift cards at a discount through Raise using the AA Shopping Portal. So far it appears I get the portal points for using Raise, the TopCashBack rebate, and the Hotels.com nightly credit.

The only issue is that Raise caps their lifetime earning to 1,000 points. But the Hotels.com GC's are regularly 7% to 10% off which still makes it very valuable.
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Old Sep 16, 2017, 3:52 pm
  #109  
 
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I have stayed 9 nights out of the 10 necessary to get another Hotels.com freebie. After I get it, I think I'll opt out of Hotels.com Rewards to take advantage of 10--15% off coupons of Hotels.com &or orbitz.com PLUS the 9% TCB vs. only 5% for Hotels.com Rewards members!
UPDATE: TCB no longer pays on hotels.com when a coupon is used. So it's the coupon discount now (better IMO) vs. +2% TCB usually + a possible 10% back in a future free room. If you don't have a coupon, it's 8% TCB vs. 2% TCB + 10% possible future freebie.

Last edited by Brendan; Dec 16, 2019 at 12:04 pm Reason: Update!
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Old Oct 2, 2017, 5:51 am
  #110  
 
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I have used hotels.com, priceline, agoda, venure, and booking.com. Of course recently some of these have consolidated, so you are sometimes dealing with the same company, though depending on the region, some will be better than others. For example, usually agoda is better in Asia, but booking.com or venere is better in Europe (and venere used to be much better in France).

Wasn't aware that hotels.com 10 stays for a free one is only a year now. I probably won't book enough stays to qualify for that either. Agoda gives me dollar points, so I have used them to sometimes apply small discounts.
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Old Oct 3, 2017, 12:48 pm
  #111  
 
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KS, the rule is that your stay credits (and earned freebies ! ) will be lost if are inactive for a year (no stays.) So one stay every 11 months will keep you active, but if they are all one-nighters, it will take you 8--9 years to earn a free night.

Maximum of one year between Stay #1 & Stay #2 , NOT between Night #1 & Night #1 0!
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Old Oct 6, 2017, 11:22 am
  #112  
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Originally Posted by kasmersensei
I have used hotels.com, priceline, agoda, venure, and booking.com. Of course recently some of these have consolidated, so you are sometimes dealing with the same company, though depending on the region, some will be better than others. For example, usually agoda is better in Asia, but booking.com or venere is better in Europe (and venere used to be much better in France).
I hadn't heard of Venere, so I just went to look. Alas, it is now Hotels.com.
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Old Oct 15, 2017, 5:55 am
  #113  
 
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deleted

Last edited by SvenAge; Oct 25, 2017 at 6:28 pm Reason: deleted
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Old Oct 15, 2017, 6:26 am
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by Brendan
I have stayed 9 nights out of the 10 necessary to get another Hotels.com freebie. After I get it, I think I'll opt out of Hotels.com Rewards to take advantage of 10--15% off coupons of Hotels.com &or orbitz.com PLUS the 9% TCB vs. only 5% for Hotels.com Rewards members!
I wish I'd paid more attention to this before I booked 25 nights on hotels.com a couple of days ago! Mind you, the coupons I get emailed from hotels.com are usually 8%, sometimes 10%, maybe once 12% I think. Are coupons for >10% common?
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Old Oct 15, 2017, 6:53 am
  #115  
 
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The TCB terms state that they do not give out cashback for gift card redemptions. Do you actually get TCB to track?

Originally Posted by rc408
I do the same but I purchase Hotels.com gift cards at a discount through Raise using the AA Shopping Portal. So far it appears I get the portal points for using Raise, the TopCashBack rebate, and the Hotels.com nightly credit.

The only issue is that Raise caps their lifetime earning to 1,000 points. But the Hotels.com GC's are regularly 7% to 10% off which still makes it very valuable.
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Old Oct 15, 2017, 12:37 pm
  #116  
 
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Louie-M, the 15% coupons are/ were from orbitz.com, not hotels.com. Also, the bad thing about using a hotels.com coupon is that you can't also earn Hotels.com Rewards on that stay --pick one or the other. However, one CAN earn Hotels.com Rewards on a Your Secret Price booking ! In fact, I booked a hotel this Sep. for a special event in August 2018 on hotels.com because the 10% discount at Your Secret Price + Rewards + 6 to 8% TCB via topcashback.co.uk clickthru to the Irish version of hotels.com = a way-better bargain than my above plan to switch !

And I'll let somebody else handle the issue of discounts when buying GCs.

Last edited by Brendan; Dec 16, 2019 at 12:06 pm
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Old Oct 16, 2017, 5:04 pm
  #117  
 
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I've had very poor luck with going thru TCB as well as MyPoints since many shopping portals claim they can't track clicks thru a VPN, and may not like the fact that I live out the US-MyPoints especially and I've lost over 10k in pts because of it. And, their CS is poor and non-responsive.

I'm getting less from eBates but at least I never have any problems with either postings or payments.

So, happy with the 19% discount: 10% regular Hotels.com reward for the 10 nights+2% eBates+7% discount on the GC.

The double stay credit deals seem to still generate credits, so I'll have two of those this time, so the 10% off (about $80,) after only 8 stays.

So, beware of using the offered coupons for cash off. My 3 nt stay at Slive in Surin had an $8+ off coupon without the T&C's showing up, but lost out on the three nts credit (worth about $11.50 and would have put me over 10 nts,) as well as the other 2% from eBates (4% if don't take hotels.com rewards vs 2% if you do.)

Last edited by rbAA; Jan 15, 2018 at 7:40 pm
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Old Feb 8, 2018, 11:30 pm
  #118  
 
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I booked a dozen of hotel stays for my uncle for his upcoming US trip. All are prepaid and we used my card for the payment and naturally his info in the booking itself.

Now that I look into the CC statement I see that some stays are charged by Hotels.com and some by hotel itself. As the hotels now see my CC info I'm a bit worried that will the hotel request to see the CC used for payment? Anyone have experience on this?

Never faced issues in the past with OTA prepaid bookings done for someone else, but this just scared me a bit and quite a weird setup to let the hotel charge me.
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Old Feb 9, 2018, 2:30 pm
  #119  
 
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Furry, this could work out to your uncle's advantage! If some of the hotels that charged you directly are chain hotels, he might be able to earn points & stay credit if their IT system doesn't notice/ realize that it was booked on hotels.com
!
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Old Feb 9, 2018, 7:12 pm
  #120  
 
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I havent come across ever needing to show the payment card at checkin
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