For the infrequent traveler, hotel loyalty programs may not make sense because it may take 20+ nights before one can accumulate enough points to redeem a free night. Sometimes getting the best rate is the most important. That is the driving factor for casual travelers who book via third party sites like Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia, etc. Not to say there is anything wrong with uses those sites, but the main point I hope this blog teaches you is to get a return on everything you do! That’s where Hotels.com comes in.
Hotels.com welcomerewards™ is, in my opinion, the best rewards program for travelers who spend less than 20 nights a year in hotels. Here it is straight from the site:
Just accumulate 10 nights, even at different hotels, and get a night free.
- No points to collect.
- No blackout dates.
- No restrictions.
It really is as simple as it sounds. Stay 10 nights at any hotel booked through Hotels.com; receive a credit for 1 free night, valued at the average cost of the 10 nights. Here are a few things you should know about using hotels.com:
- Credits will expire 12 months after last activity.
- You will not earn stay or night credit for hotel loyalty program
- You will receive points or miles from the hotel loyalty program (depending how you have your earning preferences set up)*
*You are pre-paying the room rate. Always book the refundable rate unless you are absolutely sure of your travel plans. You will settle your folio at checkout and receive points for all charges that occurred during your stay (room service, wi-fi, etc), but again, your room rate is pre-paid directly to hotels.com, NOT the hotel you are staying at.
My suggestion is if you are not focusing on accruing points in one chain, switch the earning preference of your hotel program to the airline frequent flyer program of your choice. This way, you won’t accrue a few hundred points per hotel chain just to have them eventually expire. You will credit them as miles to the airline that you are presumably earning more miles with.
Here are a few screenshots of how to change earning preferences on Marriott:
As always, evaluate the options so you can make the best decision for your particular situation. After plenty of leisure hotel stays, I strongly believe that welcomerewards™ is the best hotel program out there for me. I have about 10-20 hotel nights per year so staying loyal to one chain won’t earn me many rewards. If you share similar travel habits, definitely consider welcomerewards™.
Also, if you are interested in a great Buy One, Get One deal and have already stayed at 3 hotels in 2011, check out this post about Hotels.com’s Great Unloyaling Promotion.
Since this blog is all about #hustle, here is a way to double dip if you hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card:
- Log into the Ultimate Rewards Mall here.
- Click here, read the terms & conditions, and click “Start Shopping”.
- Reserve your room with your Chase Sapphire Preferred card (remember to read the cancellation policy).
- Upon successful stay, receive 4x UR points on your next statement.