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

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

Old Mar 2, 2018, 5:18 pm
  #121  
 
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A free night seems to be better for me. I think I save more money and I use the free nights more than the rewards program. I think it's all about what fits for you. It's not about saving money but it's about what you use more of.
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Old Apr 22, 2018, 5:29 pm
  #122  
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Raise.com regularly allows you to get hotels.com gift cards at ~15% off when you add the portal discount + special 24 hour discount code they use. The 24 hour discount code usually limited to a discount for up to $200 value in cards, but since you can combine hotels.com virtual gift cards to your heart's content, this effectively means you're bulking up at $200 a time (my last $200 in hotels.com funny money cost me $167.70).

So you're looking at (in effect) around 15% off their rates (which should be pretty close to publicly available rates) PLUS 10% rebated in free nights, AND any portal bonuses you get. This is fairly powerful as a discount, and it applies to a truly WIDE number of hotels; you're not locked into any one chain. You lose upgrades and hotel chain status, but for a lot of places I stay at outside the US, breakfast's included, and I find executive lounges to be relatively uninteresting as opposed to going out for a meal.

Occasionally I can use Hilton MVP + their promos + Hilton Honors Gold to ~equal this (and Hilton works well enough in the USA to make this viable, so I will likely keep doing this), but I am thinking this is the other strategy I'll use... Starriott/Hyatt/Accor low-ish status aren't worth chasing much for.
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Old Apr 22, 2018, 8:50 pm
  #123  
 
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I'm only seeing 7% discount thru Raise. I prefer the eBay route as I always get 10% off, plus 2% from eBates and another 2% for using the PayPal MC. Combine that with another 2% eBates rebate on Hotels.com bookings, plus the 10% (1 free nt after 10 nights,) and if I don't need elite benefits (recently used Hotels.com for a HIX LHR T5 stay, plus I did get stay credit,) it comes out better than the IHG points (basically for that stay would have come to 1880 total, worth about $10.34 at the current points purchase promo rate.) So, the end result is US$113 all in, less the discounts comes to a net cost of $86 after the value added to the free night, for a total savings of $27or apx 24% off.
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Old Apr 22, 2018, 11:00 pm
  #124  
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Originally Posted by rbAA
I'm only seeing 7% discount thru Raise.
As I said:

Raise.com regularly allows you to get hotels.com gift cards at ~15% off when you add the portal discount + special 24 hour discount code they use
Here's an example.

Raise

Use code SPECIAL to save 10% (up to $20) sitewide. To redeem, sign in and apply code in the promo box at checkout. On the Raise app, promo code will be applied once the order is submitted. Cannot be combined with any additional offers. Limit one-time use within date of promotion. One redemption per household. Offer expires 04/20/18 11:59 PM CST. This offer is subject to our Rewards Terms and Conditions.
Note that this particular sitewide deal is expired. I've seen these levels of discounts regularly come across the transom, though.

In addition, Raise.com will deliver digitally (no physical card), nearly instantaneously. It looks like SVM delivers physical cards when ordered through eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Hotels-...item467a942deb

Also the T&Cs for the eBay deal say there's a limit of 3 cards per household. AFAIK, Raise.com isn't imposing a limit on hotels.com digital gift card purchases.

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Apr 22, 2018 at 11:09 pm
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Old Apr 23, 2018, 10:43 pm
  #125  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward
As I said:



Here's an example.

Raise



Note that this particular sitewide deal is expired. I've seen these levels of discounts regularly come across the transom, though.

In addition, Raise.com will deliver digitally (no physical card), nearly instantaneously. It looks like SVM delivers physical cards when ordered through eBay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/100-Hotels-...item467a942deb

Also the T&Cs for the eBay deal say there's a limit of 3 cards per household. AFAIK, Raise.com isn't imposing a limit on hotels.com digital gift card purchases.
OK, so I'll keep a lookout for Raise's discounts in the future. And SVM does ship a physical GC but never a problem getting them quickly. And, 3 $100 GC's is usually all I need until they get used up, though my younger son is getting married in Aug and I'm covering his honeymoon airfare and hotels for 10 days in Italy. I may need some more for that, but pretty well set for now.
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Old Apr 24, 2018, 9:05 pm
  #126  
 
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Originally Posted by rbAA
I'm only seeing 7% discount thru Raise. I prefer the eBay route as I always get 10% off, plus 2% from eBates and another 2% for using the PayPal MC. Combine that with another 2% eBates rebate on Hotels.com bookings, plus the 10% (1 free nt after 10 nights,) and if I don't need elite benefits (recently used Hotels.com for a HIX LHR T5 stay, plus I did get stay credit,) it comes out better than the IHG points (basically for that stay would have come to 1880 total, worth about $10.34 at the current points purchase promo rate.) So, the end result is US$113 all in, less the discounts comes to a net cost of $86 after the value added to the free night, for a total savings of $27or apx 24% off.
eBates tracks on GCs? Do you have similar experiences with other portals?
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Old Apr 25, 2018, 6:03 pm
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by Reaching
eBates tracks on GCs? Do you have similar experiences with other portals?
On eBay it did.
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Old May 19, 2018, 5:19 pm
  #128  
 
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Wow, I've just discovered the third level dipping (first rewards - miles and points, second credit card rewards/bonus after spend, and now gift card discounts).

So the giftcards will be considered cash on hotels.com? So it will still allow 10% rewards after 10th night, also are the purchases considered as credit card spend when you are going for signup bonuses?

p.s. nm, looks like the giftcard purchase/payment doesn't qualify for free night.

Last edited by vincewy; May 21, 2018 at 10:40 pm
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Old May 29, 2018, 9:37 pm
  #129  
 
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I realize this thread isn't very busy. Now that there is the extra 10 points/$ for Venture,VentureOne cards it makes the discount basically 20%. Just booked 2 hotels in Croatia and the bookings are the cheapest of any of the other sites....non-chain hotels.
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Old May 30, 2018, 4:06 am
  #130  
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Originally Posted by fredc84
I realize this thread isn't very busy. Now that there is the extra 10 points/$ for Venture,VentureOne cards it makes the discount basically 20%. Just booked 2 hotels in Croatia and the bookings are the cheapest of any of the other sites....non-chain hotels.
I think one shouldn't consider CC points or, once again, you'll do a comparison which isn't apples-to-apples. You're talking about a specific CC. I could list other cards which yield 10x points for a specific chain hotel programme.
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Old May 30, 2018, 6:28 am
  #131  
 
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Originally Posted by 1flyer
I think one shouldn't consider CC points or, once again, you'll do a comparison which isn't apples-to-apples. You're talking about a specific CC. I could list other cards which yield 10x points for a specific chain hotel programme.
Yes, a specific CC with a specific deal with hotels.com, the subject of this thread.
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Old May 30, 2018, 7:19 am
  #132  
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Originally Posted by fredc84
Yes, a specific CC with a specific deal with hotels.com, the subject of this thread.
In my understanding, the subject of this thread is the question whether hotels.com is better than other rewards programs. If hotels.com is better, I should get the CC which allows me to collect extra points there, if instead, say, IHG is better, I should get a Chase CC which gives 10x points for IHG stays.

I think your point with the CC just convolutes the issue at hand.
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Old May 30, 2018, 7:45 am
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by 1flyer
In my understanding, the subject of this thread is the question whether hotels.com is better than other rewards programs. If hotels.com is better, I should get the CC which allows me to collect extra points there, if instead, say, IHG is better, I should get a Chase CC which gives 10x points for IHG stays.

I think your point with the CC just convolutes the issue at hand.
How does a specific bonus for a card convolute the issue any more than than a specific bonus from a cash back website, which has been talked about here extensively?
Originally Posted by fredc84
...Croatia and the bookings are the cheapest of any of the other sites....non-chain hotels.
Plus, you obviously didn't read my entire original post...I said for non-chain hotels...there are no IHG's (or other chain hotels) in Sibenik, Croatia.
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Last edited by fredc84; May 30, 2018 at 7:52 am
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Old May 30, 2018, 8:34 am
  #134  
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Originally Posted by vincewy
Wow, I've just discovered the third level dipping (first rewards - miles and points, second credit card rewards/bonus after spend, and now gift card discounts).

So the giftcards will be considered cash on hotels.com? So it will still allow 10% rewards after 10th night, also are the purchases considered as credit card spend when you are going for signup bonuses?

p.s. nm, looks like the giftcard purchase/payment doesn't qualify for free night.
clarification:
So you will not get the credit towards the free night if you pay for your stay with Hotels.com giftcards?
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Old May 30, 2018, 9:31 am
  #135  
 
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Originally Posted by tentseller
clarification:
So you will not get the credit towards the free night if you pay for your stay with Hotels.com giftcards?
Correct, this is what I have heard and been told. In addition, there's frequent incidents of ecards getting hacked with $$ getting drained out before you get to use them, given the risk involved I would just find portals that gives additional discounts on top of Secret Price and still gives you credit nights toward free night.

Another option is Capital One Venture Rewards credit cards for additional 10 points for each dollar spent, but this is only going until 2020.
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