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Hotel chain Best Price Guarantees are for the most part Best Price Gimmicks, there are so many holes and exclusions that it serves to say that the chain has the best price without having to have the best price.
However you don’t earn points, stay credits, and you’re not supposed to receive elite recognition if you don’t “book direct.” Still if the price is good enough you can buy your won breakfast or even just book the room you’d like to stay in straight away, and still pocket a savings.
Online Travel Agencies Frequently Beat Hotel Website Pricing
Sean O’Neill at Skift covers a new study that finds that “small online travel agencies” have better rates than the major chains are offering on their own website “24 percent of the time” while for independent hotels that increases to 41%.
- Hotels sell discount inventory to third party agencies
- Hotels get bundled with airfare (or cars) as part of packages, then they’re allowed to be sold off cheap
- But the discount inventory is often re-sold and smaller companies will accept less of a market
Hotel best rate guarantees don’t cover packages. They don’t cover membership sites. They frequently require terms and room descriptions be identical.
And some chains then simply reject seemingly valid claims outright, though Hilton made a big step forward in allowing you to request a price match before making a reservation. There’s nothing worse than making a prepaid booking, applying for a best rate guarantee, and having it rejected — and getting stuck paying the chain more money.
Membership Sites Can Sell Rooms Cheaper
I’ve written a few times about Club1 Hotels which is a membership site (and so excluded from chain best rate guarantees). That lets them sell rooms at a discount, offering lower rates to consumers instead of taking a bigger booking commission. In the past they’ve reported that they make money on membership fees rather than individual bookings.
Their membership has been priced at $675 for a year, but they’re giving away one year memberships that provide access to discounts. It’s worth signing up just to check out pricing.
And you want to sign up right away since the free offers, which have come around in the past, don’t last.
Here are a couple of examples of savings from the site:
Club1 Hotels promises their own best rate guarantee as long as you’re booking at least 7 days in advance:
- $10 per night guaranteed savings at 3-star hotels up to $20
- $20 per night guaranteed savings at 4-star hotels up to $40
- $25 per night guaranteed savings at 5-star hotels up to $50
And right now they’re offering folks who sign up booking credits good for up to 10% off, on top of savings they may offer:
- $50 credit on bookings of $500 or more
- $100 credit on bookings of $1,000 or more
- $200 credit on bookings of $2,000 or more
- $500 credit on bookings of $5,000 or more
Andaz Papagayo, Cost Rica
Always Compare Pricing to Get the Best Deal – on Cruises and Homesharing, Too
I’ve made a couple of hotel bookings through the site in the past year. I’ve found some great rates, savings on higher end properties of more than $100 per night. It’s not always as high as the examples they offer, but definitely worth keeping in the arsenal.
In addition to hotels they offer flights (I’ve found business class savings here before, along the lines of American Express premium cabin airfare deals. They have rental cars and also cruises, too.
What’s more they’ve also started offering deals on homesharing, too.
As a Member of Club 1 Hotels, you have unlocked access to exclusive member rates up to 60% off private homes, apartments and vacation rentals around the world. We already have over 15,000 units in more than 125 great locations and we will be offering over 100,000 units by mid-January and 250,000 units by mid-March! Travel with comfort and confidence, at true wholesale rates.
Definitely take them up on the offer of free membership signup (no credit card required) so that you can check their pricing over the coming year to make sure you’re getting the best deal on hotels.