Travel

Hotels.com rewards dilemma (RFD experts HELP request)

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  • Sep 4th, 2019 8:06 pm
[OP]
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Hotels.com rewards dilemma (RFD experts HELP request)

OK, I'm w hotels.com and you know they have a deal where you book 10 nights and get 1 night free? I'm @7 nights and my average night is worth 83$. I will need to book 3 more nights and will probably need to spend 110$+ each (330$ total) in order to fulfill this requirement.

I'm 50/50 on whether I want to complete this task or not. On one hand, I'm already 7/10 done and almost there and don't want my past bookings to go to waste, but OTOH, I have to 'waste' 330$ to get that free 83$ or whatever that free night turns out to be. Seems a bit foolish? If I only had 2/10, I'd just forget it, but I'm kinda close.

WWYD, savvy RFDers?

EDIT: I have deadline on Sept 11 to at least book and stay 1 night in order to keep my 7 nights' credit for 1 more year, otherwise, it's all gone
Last edited by tranquility922 on Aug 30th, 2019 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Why do you need to "complete this task"?
Is hotels.com ending this program?

I have only one more night to go to get to 10 and I'm just going to book that night when I need to stay at a hotel.
[OP]
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krs wrote: Why do you need to "complete this task"?
Is hotels.com ending this program?

I have only one more night to go to get to 10 and I'm just going to book that night when I need to stay at a hotel.
Oops, should've been more clear, revising OP.
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IDK how often you travel (doesn't sound like much) but as long as you stay one night, you're good for another year I think.
I certainly wouldn't waste $300 on 3 nights, but $100 some time between now and September for an overnight trip somewhere? Why not.
krs wrote: Why do you need to "complete this task"?
Is hotels.com ending this program?
Your accumulated nights expire after a certain time.
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death_hawk wrote: IDK how often you travel (doesn't sound like much) but as long as you stay one night, you're good for another year I think.
I certainly wouldn't waste $300 on 3 nights, but $100 some time between now and September for an overnight trip somewhere? Why not.



Your accumulated nights expire after a certain time.
Yes, but eventually I still have to, so it's worth it in your opinion?
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tranquility922 wrote: Yes, but eventually I still have to, so it's worth it in your opinion?
How often do you travel? I mean... it's one night a year.
If you really don't travel that often, it's probably not worth it for you.

For me, I have 4 free nights on deck and 1 redeemed so I think it's 100% worth it if you travel enough.

If I were in your shoes, I'd take an overnight trip somewhere nearby just to get away or something.
But it's not a huge loss if they expire because it seems like you don't travel too much.
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One more reason I don’t bother with 3rd Party Resellers
...
I assume you cannot Buy Points to keep the Points / Nights / Stays you currently have accumulated active ?

If you know what you are doing as a Hotel Loyalty Program Member
In ANY Hotel Program, you can always negotiate the same or better deal than these 3rd Party Websites

AND get the multitude of perks that comes with Membership

Plus, if I do get into a situation where I need to save what I have already accumulated in a Program
After inactivity of 12, 18 or 24 months (some programs like Best Western ... points never expire)
It only costs me the going rate for 1,000 Points
Which in many programs is $ 10 US

Yup, never going back to 3rd Party Bookers
Just not worth my time

Lol, and if this was Hilton Honors
You’d have Silver Status at 4 Stays
And anything over that in the year, before reaching Gold Status
Wouldn’t be lost at all
It would just roll over to the next year
So ... 10 Stays in 2019 makes you Silver Status @ 4 (Status Until Dec 31, 2020)
And the leftover 3 count into next year ... meaning you only need 1 more in 2020 to hold onto Silver Status for the following year (until the end of Dec 2021)

NOTHING out there beats Hilton’s current Rewards Program
[OP]
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death_hawk wrote: How often do you travel? I mean... it's one night a year.
If you really don't travel that often, it's probably not worth it for you.

For me, I have 4 free nights on deck and 1 redeemed so I think it's 100% worth it if you travel enough.

If I were in your shoes, I'd take an overnight trip somewhere nearby just to get away or something.
But it's not a huge loss if they expire because it seems like you don't travel too much.
Yeah, think I'll bite the bullet and stay a night somewhere.

I used to rack up lots of free nights but this past 12 months pretty inactive or had places to stay.

@PointsHubby
I appreciate that but I usually don't find that the best deals belong to one hotel chain in the various destinations, so these resellers do have some value. Anecdotally, and ironically, I once called a chain directly re a stay period and they were more expensive than hotels.com, which was crazy.
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tranquility922 wrote: Yeah, think I'll bite the bullet and stay a night somewhere.

I used to rack up lots of free nights but this past 12 months pretty inactive or had places to stay.

@PointsHubby
I appreciate that but I usually don't find that the best deals belong to one hotel chain in the various destinations, so these resellers do have some value. Anecdotally, and ironically, I once called a chain directly re a stay period and they were more expensive than hotels.com, which was crazy.
See again...

I think it’s cuz folks just don’t how to play the game to their advantage.

We are in ALL the Loyalty Programs ... not just one

We stay with whoever gives us the best deal.

Just so happens that Hilton is the one to beat right now more often than not
(Although I just got an AMAZING deal last weekend with IHG ... 25% Off Regular Prices + Bonus Points
In addition to all my regular perks + points)

And I am sorry, but there’s no way the hotel won’t give you the same deal or better ...
You gotta call the front desk, and just plead your case.

We do it regularly.

And get this ... we’ve even found US Border Hotels willing to take Cdn money at par
That right there is a 33% Savings over advertised US rates.
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PointsHubby wrote: See again...

I think it’s cuz folks just don’t how to play the game to their advantage.

We are in ALL the Loyalty Programs ... not just one

We stay with whoever gives us the best deal.

Just so happens that Hilton is the one to beat right now more often than not
(Although I just got an AMAZING deal last weekend with IHG ... 25% Off Regular Prices + Bonus Points
In addition to all my regular perks + points)

And I am sorry, but there’s no way the hotel won’t give you the same deal or better ...
You gotta call the front desk, and just plead your case.

We do it regularly.

And get this ... we’ve even found US Border Hotels willing to take Cdn money at par
That right there is a 33% Savings over advertised US rates.
Hey, I'm not making it up, it was surprising, and I can't be bothered pleading, too much effort, but I did contact them and they couldn't do anything to match the website. Anyway, I'm sure you get good discounts but sometimes there are cheaper alternatives going w other chains.
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tranquility922 wrote: EDIT: I have deadline on Sept 11 to at least book and stay 1 night in order to keep my 7 nights' credit for 1 more year, otherwise, it's all gone
I didn't know the hotel night's credits expire.
How much notice did you get about your deadline?
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krs wrote: I didn't know the hotel night's credits expire.
How much notice did you get about your deadline?
I think around 2 months' thereabouts.
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PointsHubby wrote: I assume you cannot Buy Points to keep the Points / Nights / Stays you currently have accumulated active ?
Nope.
In ANY Hotel Program, you can always negotiate the same or better deal than these 3rd Party Websites
Generally speaking, sometimes, but it's not 100% true all the time.
Lol, and if this was Hilton Honors
You’d have Silver Status at 4 Stays
And anything over that in the year, before reaching Gold Status
Wouldn’t be lost at all
It would just roll over to the next year
So ... 10 Stays in 2019 makes you Silver Status @ 4 (Status Until Dec 31, 2020)
And the leftover 3 count into next year ... meaning you only need 1 more in 2020 to hold onto Silver Status for the following year (until the end of Dec 2021)

NOTHING out there beats Hilton’s current Rewards Program
That's all well and good if you ONLY stay at Hilton properties though.
But I personally pick my hotel based on location rather than brand.
I can't dispute the other perks you get with whatever brand's loyalty program, but you usually have to stay quite a few nights (far more than the average leisure traveler) to get the really good ones.

Oh and the above is for my leisure travel.
Business would be different for a number of reasons.
PointsHubby wrote: We are in ALL the Loyalty Programs ... not just one

We stay with whoever gives us the best deal.
I mean... I belong to most brand's loyalty programs too, but even if I did book direct I'd have a handful of stays spread across 8 different brands.
Some of them expire, while others don't, but even if they did have a free night based on spends, it'd take me years to accumulate enough at one brand.

As an example, I booked my last all inclusive via 3rd party (hotels.com)
They were actually cheaper than booking direct. Even if I did plead for a rate match, I'd still be 10% out because of the stay 10 get one free program.
Even if they did have that sort of program, my free night would be trapped in Mexico whereas my free night with hotels.com can be used anywhere in the world.
The downside is that now I have 2 nights worth $300 and $500 respectively so I gotta sit on it until I get a room that costs that much otherwise it's wasted.
But it's still doable if I for example go on vacation to a similarly priced AI next year.

Flights I would never book 3rd party.
Hotels I would 100% book with a 3rd party.
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death_hawk wrote: Nope.


Generally speaking, sometimes, but it's not 100% true all the time.


That's all well and good if you ONLY stay at Hilton properties though.
But I personally pick my hotel based on location rather than brand.
I can't dispute the other perks you get with whatever brand's loyalty program, but you usually have to stay quite a few nights (far more than the average leisure traveler) to get the really good ones.

Oh and the above is for my leisure travel.
Business would be different for a number of reasons.



I mean... I belong to most brand's loyalty programs too, but even if I did book direct I'd have a handful of stays spread across 8 different brands.
Some of them expire, while others don't, but even if they did have a free night based on spends, it'd take me years to accumulate enough at one brand.

As an example, I booked my last all inclusive via 3rd party (hotels.com)
They were actually cheaper than booking direct. Even if I did plead for a rate match, I'd still be 10% out because of the stay 10 get one free program.
Even if they did have that sort of program, my free night would be trapped in Mexico whereas my free night with hotels.com can be used anywhere in the world.
The downside is that now I have 2 nights worth $300 and $500 respectively so I gotta sit on it until I get a room that costs that much otherwise it's wasted.
But it's still doable if I for example go on vacation to a similarly priced AI next year.

Flights I would never book 3rd party.
Hotels I would 100% book with a 3rd party.
I hear you ...

But, some of your info is the “assumed” based on the Hotel Reward Programs of yesteryear ... not today

Like the idea that one has to spend tons of time accumulating points to see any reward / free night

Truth is most Programs now offer up things beyond just Hotel Nights. We’ve used our points for Hotel Stays, but also for Gas Cards, and Points = Cash on our next stay (Ie Earn this weekend & Use next weekend)

And if you manage your Loyalty Points, the Points don’t have to expire ... versus the situation @tranquility922 finds himself in ... or yourself trying to find a hotel that matches up with your Bonus Night Value (no refunds on differences) ... no combining lesser reward nights for more expensive stays ... or no more than one free night per stay ... and you still have to pay the taxes etc

Whereas, I get to use my points pretty much as I wish.

I am not alone in my findings ... lots of people in the Points world are telling others how great the branded Loyalty Programs truly are.

And the Pros & Cons of 3rd Party Sites

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/maximize ... m-rewards/

What I will give you, is if one is looking to collect points for accommodations that don’t have Loyalty Programs, or are in some far flung location... then ya something like Hotels.com has that advantage Stay 10 + Get 1 Free. BUT ONLY IF .. it truly can work for you (doesn’t sound like it’s working so great for you or @tranquility922 when it comes to actually cashing in on that promised reward)

Meanwhile ... I am earning & Redeeming like crazy
Using Points Earned to get even more nights or weekends away at reasonable prices
(remember .. I am a strategic shopper ... even more than I am a Points Hound)
Hilton has become my Optimum Program of the travel industry
It’s that crazy how many points & points value we are getting now

And Status Benefits start in most Brand Name Hotel Reward Programs at just 4 Stays / 10 Nights
Nights as self explanatory ... and perfect for the business traveller to get Status
Where ... Stays count from check in to check out at any one property
And the quickest way for a Leisure Traveller to get status

Status means you earn points even faster ... more points per $ 1 Spent
Blue = 10
Silver = 12
Gold = 18
Diamond = 20
PLUS any Bonus Promos be they a Quarterly Offer (Double Points, 2000 Bonus Points etc ) or a Limited Time Offer or Property / City Bonus

It all adds up really quickly
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@PointsHubby To be fair, the only reason I got myself into this situation is cuz I had almost a one yr hiatus from staying at hotels. Like @death_hawk said, for a regular traveler, it's a pc of cake to maintain this (and I did previously w no prbs at all and got many free nights).

The bottom line is we all like saving $ while staying at decent locations, but there are other factors like logistics and tedious things like my OP...imagine if I needed to keep track of pts if I was in all these other loyalty prgs? Personally, I don't like or want to be a member of every single hotel chain and hence be compelled to stay at their locations, that's why I like the flexibility of sites like hotels.com.
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I got a free hotel stay once with Hotel.com and then I gave up and book directly with the hotel or other website depending on which one get me better deal.

I'm not a frequent traveler and sometime I go to cruise and I don't need to stay in hotels if I flight out the same day.
So if I don't book any hotel room within a year of time, all that hotel.com stamps will expire. Therefore, I don't want limit myself using hotel.com and risk to lose all the stamps if I don't use them within a year, I simply give up using them.
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Orbitz.com is better. There's always 15percent codes floating around, I collect Orbucks to use on next booking and I get free upgrades and other perks for being a platinum member. Last year I was offered a free application for TSA Pre check and $50 credit towards activities.

Agoda is pretty good too - always 10 percent codes floating around and excellent customer service. One time I booked a nonrefundable hotel in error and they didn't hesitate to help me out. Another time a reservation booking went wrong, customer service called me personally and gave me a discount towards another booking.
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PointsHubby wrote: But, some of your info is the “assumed” based on the Hotel Reward Programs of yesteryear ... not today

Like the idea that one has to spend tons of time accumulating points to see any reward / free night

Truth is most Programs now offer up things beyond just Hotel Nights. We’ve used our points for Hotel Stays, but also for Gas Cards, and Points = Cash on our next stay (Ie Earn this weekend & Use next weekend)
Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing the points program.
The core of my argument is that you MUST stay at Hilton exclusively to get the most out of the benefits.
If this is you for whatever reason (you like the brand, corporate has an account, they're somehow conveniently located, whatever) then it's definitely better. Most brand direct loyalty programs are.

And if you manage your Loyalty Points, the Points don’t have to expire ... versus the situation @tranquility922 finds himself in ... or yourself trying to find a hotel that matches up with your Bonus Night Value (no refunds on differences) ... no combining lesser reward nights for more expensive stays ... or no more than one free night per stay ... and you still have to pay the taxes etc
For me personally, that's only 2 out of my 4 nights. Even at $300 that's not outrageous in Vancouver even for a junk hotel. My other 2 nights are in the $150 range which is perfectly in line with what I usually pick in terms of rate class. As long as I don't pull a @tranquility922 and don't travel for a year, those free nights will roll over. Even if they don't, I could pick the seediest model on the list (in my case for a random date in September) for $63 and be good for another year. Just as a comparison, the average night around Vancouver on the same date for a non seedy hotel is $250, so both my other free nights qualify and I just pay the difference.
I'm banking my $500/night for my next all inclusive.
it truly can work for you (doesn’t sound like it’s working so great for you or @tranquility922 when it comes to actually cashing in on that promised reward)
@tranquility922 maybe, but it's working great for me. The 2 most expensive nights were just accumulated like a month ago from when I was on vacation at an AI.
The other 2 I could have redeemed on my last trip, but I forgot to.
Hilton has become my Optimum Program of the travel industry
It’s that crazy how many points & points value we are getting now
What's your rough point to dollar value?
Like if you spend $200/room on average over 10 rooms, what are you actually getting back in terms of value?
And Status Benefits start in most Brand Name Hotel Reward Programs at just 4 Stays / 10 Nights
Nights as self explanatory ... and perfect for the business traveller to get Status
Where ... Stays count from check in to check out at any one property
And the quickest way for a Leisure Traveller to get status

Status means you earn points even faster ... more points per $ 1 Spent
Blue = 10
Silver = 12
Gold = 18
Diamond = 20
PLUS any Bonus Promos be they a Quarterly Offer (Double Points, 2000 Bonus Points etc ) or a Limited Time Offer or Property / City Bonus

It all adds up really quickly
I mean... if @tranquility922 can't hit 10 nights at any place, he's definitely not going to hit them at a Hilton.
Even my 50+ nights over 4 years barely qualifies. I definitely wouldn't qualify if I had to pick one brand.
I might hit the stay threshold, but even that'd be a stretch if I had to pick one property.

Not to mention too that I'd be giving up cold hard cash if for example another brand was cheaper than a Hilton brand.
I'd either have to pay extra to stay at the Hilton (even if their pricing couldn't be beat elsewhere) or give up precious nights/stays to save a bunch of bucks.

Here's an example for the same dates:
Hampton Inn by Hilton, a 2.5 star is $254.
A Four Points by Sheraton is a 3 star at $189.
Do I save $60 and not get credit or stay at much higher priced Hilton?
Both of these are YVR Airport hotels for the same date.
Oh and an actual Hilton is $354 for a 4 star.
I could literally stay AT the airport in the Fairmont for $328.
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tranquility922 wrote: I'm @7 nights and my average night is worth 83$. I will need to book 3 more nights and will probably need to spend 110$+ each (330$ total) in order to fulfill this requirement.
May be I am missing something, but why would there be a dollar minimum as to how much you spend on that night in order to keep the account? I thought all you need to do is stay one night before Sep 11. If you spend let's say $50 on that night, it just brings down the value of the free room night (assuming you end up staying for 2 more nights within the next year)
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krs wrote: I didn't know the hotel night's credits expire.
How much notice did you get about your deadline?
The expiration is within the terms of the offer. Not sure if they send you a notification. But it's easy to keep track. Any hotel stays would expire after 12 months if you have no activity e.g. using a free night or staying at a hotel. So after a stay, I make note that if I want to keep my previous hotels stay, I'd better stay at a hotel booked through hotels.com within 12 months, otherwise I forfeit the value of all my previous hotel stays.

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