May 6, 2017

Hotels.com Rewards Program: Stay 10 Nights, Get 1 Free Night. Is It Good Deal?

In light of the fact that I have finally accrued 10 nights on Hotels.com, I want to write something about its rewards program.



Stay 10 Nights & Get 1 Free Night
First, let me start out by saying that, Hotels.com's rewards program isn't my favorite hotel's rewards program because you have to stay 10 nights in order to earn one free night for another future stay. The way the program works is that after you stay 10 nights, you'll earn one free night. That one free night basically is just an average of the total amount that you spent on the room's rate before tax for all the past 10 night stays. Mathematically, it's a savings of 10% each time. But you can't see that savings until you complete 10 night stays and use that one free night. So the redemption process isn't instant and that's why I don't like it. 

I prefer Orbitz, another hotels booking site, because every booking you receive Orbucks (Orbitz rewards program) right away to use for another booking and they always have this 15% off coupon that I frequently use. The 15% savings plus Orbucks, that's a good deal. Make sure to check out my article on How to Save On Hotel's Booking With Orbitz.

Talking of percentage coupon, Hotels.com does have coupon as welll. However, the way it works is that if you use coupon, you can't earn nights towards your 10 nights requirement. So if you must book with Hotels.com, it makes sense to use coupon only if it is at least 10% high as not to lose your savings. The rewards night also has expiration date if your last activity is more than a year ago. In my instance, I had 9 reward nights but it was going to expire in May because my last booking was May 2016. If I stopped booking with Hotels.com, I would lose all those 9 reward nights in May 2017. That's why I decided to book hotel in McCall Idaho through Hotels.com and checked out the Ice Carnival there. I could not find that particular McCall hotel on Orbitz anyway. 

In Summary
Overall, the only reason I book hotels through travel agents websites such as Orbitz or Hotels.com is because I cannot find chain hotels such as IHG, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott etc. or they are too expensive. I value stays through those hotels and earn points through them much better than non-chain ones. Because of how restrictive of coupons usage on Hotels.com and how long it takes to accrue nights in order to save money, I nowadays go to Orbitz instead due to the regular 15% off coupon and earning instant Orbucks. If I can find hotels on Hotels.com, there's a 99% chance I'll find that same hotel on Orbitz as well. Do note that chain hotels that are found on those sites do not qualify for earning points and most of them you can't use coupons for it. That's why I only book chain hotels directly and leave non chain ones to Orbitz. 

Thanks to the ice carnival I got to accrue my 10th night and got to see the Ice Carnival in McCall Idaho for the first time!


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