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Old 02-28-2016, 12:09 PM   #21
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On a road trip, one of us is usually on the iPad in the afternoon getting rates for rooms at possible stops, and thereby pick our overnight destination. But we don't usually commit until we arrive - i.e. don't bother making a reservation over the phone.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:04 PM   #22
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We are suckers for IHG Pointbreaks rooms. *5,000* points for a room. Completed filling out 94 card entries for a recent IHG promotion which netted us 50,500 points and a $50 Mastercard gift card; which covered the postage and envelopes and cards. Did take the two of us about 3 hours to fill out all the cards and address the envelopes.

The Pointbreaks rooms are often in odd locations, but that works for us. Silver City NM had the best Mimbres pottery collection in the world. El Centro Ca will get us into the El Centro area for the 8:30AM bus tour of the Salton Sea restoration and energy initiative.
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:21 PM   #23
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We belong to the Accor Hoteks group club. Not for the points because they expire well before we have enough to use. It costs nothing to join.

But quite often Accor will run specials in four/five star hotels. Last year we prepaid for a 4/5 star in Bangkok. We had to prepay for three nights -$82 CAD per night including a fabulous buffer breakfast. Their IBIS specials in Europe are often very good. We have taken advantage of them several times.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:30 PM   #24
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Based on Gone4Good's feedback on this thread, I decided to try out hotels.com to see how I liked their rewards program. We finished a trip to Asia last week which I booked on hotels.com. The trip was for 8 nights, but we book two rooms so we had a total of 16 nights (we're a family of four). This earned us one free night.

Over the weekend I booked our hotels rooms for Europe this summer. I was able to use the one free night for one of our bookings and it was easy to redeem. The hard part is trying to get the per night hotel room cost that you are booking to be close to the average of the 10 that you previously booked. For example, our average was around $120/night and the hotel that I booked cost $110. I lost out on a potential $10. But that's only a concern if you're trying to maximize. For me, close enough. Scratch that. I just read their rules and "You can redeem your free night for a night of greater value and pay the difference." I'll have to remember that next time.

For Paris, I was going to use Chase Sapphire points. This is where I hit an issue, which made me wonder how valuable Chase Sapphire points are compared to the hotels.com rewards program.

I went to the Ultimate Rewards website to find a hotel in Paris. Their website isn't that great, but I eventually narrowed it down to a place that I liked. It came out to 11,906 points per night. Two rooms, five nights, a total of 119,060 points or $1,190.60. The problem is that when I tried to book it, the website came back saying the hotel was unavailable. I played around with this for a while, but it was gone (it's back today however). I realize inventories change, but it took me a while to find a location/hotel that I liked and I didn't want to go through the search process again and I didn't want to wait and hope that it might show up again. So I spent some time comparing how much it would cost if I booked it through hotels.com

On hotels.com the same booking costs $1,272.60. That's $82 more than using points. If I book the hotel using the Chase Sapphire CC I get two points for each of those dollars spent, which if I redeem as cash is $25.45. Now it's only $56.55 more. Plus, I get a free booking on hotels.com worth $115.69. So if my analysis here is correct, I'm ahead about $60 by booking the hotel through hotels.com instead of using my Sapphire points. Easy choice. I booked the hotel on hotels.com.

Looks to me like hotels.com is a winner. Mucho thanks to Gone4Good for pointing this out, otherwise I wouldn't have given it a shot. It's already saved me over $100 and after this summer I'll have another few hundred dollars worth of nights to redeem.

Now I need to figure out how I'm going to use the Sapphire points. I'll probably leave them for now and look to transfer them to an airline loyalty program when booking flights. Any other ideas?
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:15 PM   #25
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For a night or two in the US or in a popular area, we'll use hotwire. Betterbidding.com will often be right about the hotel you'll get.

For longer stays or if we want to be in a specific location, we scout out on tripadvisor and then try getting a better price on other sites including the hotel site.

Of late, we've found good deals through AARP.

Tripadvisor will route you through one of a number of sites (hotels.com, priceline, etc.), so check which site they're sending you to and if they have a good reputation.

If we are sure of the date, we'll prepay if that is an option.

We've also been using airbnb a lot if the stay is for 3+ days and part of a longer trip. We always opt for the full apartment.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:19 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by kiki View Post
...
For Paris, I was going to use Chase Sapphire points. This is where I hit an issue, which made me wonder how valuable Chase Sapphire points are compared to the hotels.com rewards program.
I wonder too. I have always been able to find a lower price room elsewhere - even after taking their 25% bonus points into account. With car rentals, they're not even close!

I was able to find an airfare once that matched what I got at the airline's site and that was worth it with the 25% bonus.

Transferring the points to airlines/hotels may make more sense.
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:23 AM   #27
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Looks to me like hotels.com is a winner. Mucho thanks to Gone4Good for pointing this out, otherwise I wouldn't have given it a shot. It's already saved me over $100 and after this summer I'll have another few hundred dollars worth of nights to redeem.
You're very welcome!
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:27 AM   #28
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I wonder too. I have always been able to find a lower price room elsewhere - even after taking their 25% bonus points into account. With car rentals, they're not even close!

Transferring the points to airlines/hotels may make more sense.
Yes, those points are worth far more as airline miles. I typically redeem my Chase Sapphire points for economy class tickets for about 2 cents each and business class at 4 cents each by transferring them directly to the airline when needed. I'd never part with them for 1.25 cents each through the portal.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:34 PM   #29
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[*] Hotels.com is always our last stop because they have the very best rewards program - equal to 10% off the best published internet price. If Hotels.com has a room in the hotel we want to stay we'll book with them every single time. If we've found a better price somewhere else, we ask Hotels to match it and they do. After 10 nightly stays, we get a coupon to use equal to the average nightly rate of our last 10 nights to use on a future reservation.


Thanks from here, also. I have felt good about using Priceline and Hotwire. On road trips, we book while on the road, about an hour or two out from that night's stop. However, your tip sounds promising so I just set up an account with hotels.com. I look forward to trying it.
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:00 PM   #30
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I've been using Agoda.com to book hotels on my trips to Southeast Asia.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:03 PM   #31
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We use betterbidding.com to help us with Hotiwire and with Priceline bids. We also use bidding.com to assist with Priceline bids.

We have used wotif.com for Australian(with good success) and SE Asia along with Agoda.

We usually check with late rooms.com, booking.com, and hotels.com.

We have had some very good offers from our Accor hotel membership.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:27 PM   #32
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I've used Expedia numerous times for my rooms and got great deals on their member special rates. I'm a member of Carlson Club and they give me points even when I book through Expedia. I also get my points with Expedia as well (double bang with points).
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:18 PM   #33
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Count me as another who will check out hotels.com.


The worst decisions are made when angry or impatient.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:29 PM   #34
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I have used expedia for many years, and tried booking.com, kayak, etc. My experience is that it does not help very much by using trivago, kayak, etc, listing websites because the same hotel may be listed in different places with different prices and conditions. For example, a hotel listed at expedia for $95 a night, but at booking.com for $90 a night. You have to read the fine print to find that you can cancel the reservation at expedia and cannot do that at booking.com. I have found that expedia is in general good enough to beat all others in the same conditions at least in 95% cases.
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Old 04-25-2016, 09:43 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by kiki View Post
Based on Gone4Good's feedback on this thread, I decided to try out hotels.com to see how I liked their rewards program. We finished a trip to Asia last week which I booked on hotels.com. The trip was for 8 nights, but we book two rooms so we had a total of 16 nights (we're a family of four). This earned us one free night.

Over the weekend I booked our hotels rooms for Europe this summer. I was able to use the one free night for one of our bookings and it was easy to redeem. The hard part is trying to get the per night hotel room cost that you are booking to be close to the average of the 10 that you previously booked. For example, our average was around $120/night and the hotel that I booked cost $110. I lost out on a potential $10. But that's only a concern if you're trying to maximize. For me, close enough. Scratch that. I just read their rules and "You can redeem your free night for a night of greater value and pay the difference." I'll have to remember that next time.

For Paris, I was going to use Chase Sapphire points. This is where I hit an issue, which made me wonder how valuable Chase Sapphire points are compared to the hotels.com rewards program.

I went to the Ultimate Rewards website to find a hotel in Paris. Their website isn't that great, but I eventually narrowed it down to a place that I liked. It came out to 11,906 points per night. Two rooms, five nights, a total of 119,060 points or $1,190.60. The problem is that when I tried to book it, the website came back saying the hotel was unavailable. I played around with this for a while, but it was gone (it's back today however). I realize inventories change, but it took me a while to find a location/hotel that I liked and I didn't want to go through the search process again and I didn't want to wait and hope that it might show up again. So I spent some time comparing how much it would cost if I booked it through hotels.com

On hotels.com the same booking costs $1,272.60. That's $82 more than using points. If I book the hotel using the Chase Sapphire CC I get two points for each of those dollars spent, which if I redeem as cash is $25.45. Now it's only $56.55 more. Plus, I get a free booking on hotels.com worth $115.69. So if my analysis here is correct, I'm ahead about $60 by booking the hotel through hotels.com instead of using my Sapphire points. Easy choice. I booked the hotel on hotels.com.

Looks to me like hotels.com is a winner. Mucho thanks to Gone4Good for pointing this out, otherwise I wouldn't have given it a shot. It's already saved me over $100 and after this summer I'll have another few hundred dollars worth of nights to redeem.

Now I need to figure out how I'm going to use the Sapphire points. I'll probably leave them for now and look to transfer them to an airline loyalty program when booking flights. Any other ideas?

You can transfer your Sapphire points to IHG and use them in Paris. Depending on how many points you have you could do points and cash as well on the IHG site. For future hotels you could also transfer your points to Hyatt where you can get some great hotels for as low as 5,000 points.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:17 AM   #36
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After negotiating the price via the websites, I always call the hotel to ensure that my room is neither a connecting room nor one abutting the elevator for noise control. Either I book the room itself on the respective hotel app, or the front desk person usually will.

Rich
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Old 04-25-2016, 12:24 PM   #37
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You can transfer your Sapphire points to IHG and use them in Paris. Depending on how many points you have you could do points and cash as well on the IHG site. For future hotels you could also transfer your points to Hyatt where you can get some great hotels for as low as 5,000 points.

I need to look at IHG. Over a year ago I signed up for Marriott rewards and I haven't been impressed. I originally thought I would transfer Sapphire points to them, but the points they want per night is too high. I'll probably cancel their credit card this year. IHG might be a good alternative.
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Old 04-25-2016, 04:11 PM   #38
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I use Booking a lot. Trying AirBnB for the first time in Sept. Another great option is IHG will let you have a $70 room lots of places for 5000 points.
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Old 04-26-2016, 01:13 AM   #39
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Count me as another who will check out hotels.com.

.
Well, I checked out Hotels.com and found that their prices are about 10% higher than Booking.com. So, one must call to get a price match otherwise the 'free' night is not so free.

Also, I noticed that the hotel I am staying at is NOT eligible for the free night deal. No problem this time since I am not using a free night. But, I wonder how many hotels are exceptions to the free night program.
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Old 04-27-2016, 12:09 AM   #40
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After negotiating the price via the websites, I always call the hotel to ensure that my room is neither a connecting room nor one abutting the elevator for noise control. Either I book the room itself on the respective hotel app, or the front desk person usually will.
Rich
We just returned from FL and ended up in 2 different hotels and each had adjoining rooms, and our door was not locked in the second one.
Not something I had considered previously.

Besides a booking site, folks might also want to check out Bed Bug Registry—Check Apartments and Hotels Across North America prior to actually booking a room.
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