Limited-Time Free Signup for Membership Site That Lets You Find Big Hotel Savings (Airfare, Cars, and Cruises Too)

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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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Like any prepaid rates not booked directly with the hotel chain, staus, elite benefits and points earning are very much a YMMV situation. You can ask, but more often than not, the answer is no.

  2. I enjoyed and tested out some dates and the site charges more than many OTAs and the hotels themselves.

    The “thought leader” must be getting a hefty commission from this site.

  3. >I enjoyed and tested out some dates and the site charges more than many OTAs and the hotels themselves.

    See if they’ll honor their BRG and report back?

  4. Club1Hotels Guarantees Savings with every hotel booking made a minimum 7 days prior to arrival up to $50.00! Simply send us the link of a better total cost for the same room type with the same cancellation policy and we will save you money every time…

    Simply email

  5. >Would it be possible to use this service and stack it with Citi Prestige 4th night free?

    No, because you have to book with either the Citi online portal or the Citi Prestige Concierge. You can’t, for example, tell the concierge to go book it for you on some other website that requires your membership details.

  6. I have used them several times and saved some $$$. There are a few glitches in their system though, like it does not like some browsers, or credit cards, and it can be difficult to cancel reservations. No trouble with the hotels I have booked though.

  7. Make money on the membership and not on booking?

    That’s nonsense. I took Gary up on this deal years ago and they have never required me to pay a membership fee.

  8. Still isn’t clear what the ‘model’ is. And if they guarantee and it isn’t true, no penalty occurs, so why wouldn’t they risk it? Th worst that can happen is the better rate would be honored.

  9. The model is simple. Acquire rooms at discounted rates from wholesalers and bed banks (“merchant model”) and mark them up. In cases where they can’t find a lower rate with a wholesaler, they just book directly with the hotel or through a GDS and earn a commission (“agency model”). The entire hotel industry works is based on the two models.

    The “membership fee” so-to-speak is gravy for them. Some people might pay it, although as people here have pointed out, there doesn’t really seem to be any point to is as you can easily get membership for free through blogs like this.

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