I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.
For several years hotel chains have worked to get customers to ‘book direct’ rather than through third party agents because it lowers their distribution costs. They’ve imposed contracts that limit the ability of their properties to offer discounts, and they’ve advertised to convince you that booking directly through them gives you the lowest price, but that’s often not true.
- Hotels want to earn the most money they can which sometimes means giving discounts to some guests that they hope aren’t available to other guests willing to pay more.
- So you may find lower rates through brick and morter travel agencies focused on specific ethnic markets, or through online travel sites geared outside a hotel’s home country.
There are restrictions in place to try to prevent those rates from ‘leaking’ availability to the general public. However many sites do access wholesale rates, and are in control of how much commission they take versus lower prices to the customer.
One method of offering these is through a membership site like Club1 Hotels that hotel chains aren’t going to be willing to match their own rates against via a Best Rate Guarantee.
Now that the global pandemic has decimated hotel occupancy, properties are doing everything they can to cut costs and look for business – and that includes cutting more deals with third party distributors.
Club1 has long offered readers of this blog free memberships. Membership lets them offer rates through their wholesalers that can’t be advertised to the ‘public’. That didn’t always beat direct prices, but frequently enough did. It’s worth signing up while the free membership offer runs and keeping it in your arsenal to check pricing. I have a reader that’s saved a ton (thousands) on Hyatt all-inclusives.
Club1’s Managing Member Calin Paunescu tells me they’ve now been able to negotiate direct rates to offer to users of their site that guarantee savings every time.
With now over 476,000 direct contracts these savings will average easily 40% and up to 70%. These properties are located all over the world in the 3, 4 and 5-Star categories and include branded and independent properties.
Our direct contracts now include secondary markets as well as the top [Central Business District] and Resort markets. When we relied solely on wholesalers, bed banks and [Destination Management Companies] for inventory it was a hit or miss, with our direct contracts it is a win every time! Our direct contracts also include both refundable and non-refundable rates.
Here’s savings I was able to find:
- Grand Hotel Palatino Rome $25/night
- Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina Dubai $46/night
- Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos $38/night
- The Plaza New York $127/night
- Hilton Toronto $99/night
- Monarch Beach Resort Dana Point $567/night
They’re a steal for the Conrad Maldives:
Of course booking through third parties may not earn points, receive elite credit, or program benefits – so the savings needs to justify that loss. Since Club1 really wants you to see that they’ll deliver you savings big enough to justify that.
They believe they’ll beat any other price, and they guarantee that.
Members receive Guaranteed Savings on every hotel booking made 5-days prior to arrival or cruise booking made 60-days prior to sailing.
If you find a better rate for the same hotel, room and rate type (refundable or non-refundable), we want to beat that rate by:
$10 per night guaranteed savings at 3-star hotels up to $20
$15 per night guaranteed savings at 4-star hotels up to $45
$20 per night guaranteed savings at 5-star hotels up to $60 up to $100 on reservations $900 or more
Access to wholesale rates and a best rate guarantee makes it worth poking around this week for potential big hotel savings.
You don’t even need to be ready to travel now, just sign up to have this in your bag of tricks as you start to search and compare.