One of the most popular questions people ask me is how to get their hotels for less. Let’s begin with things you can do to get an automatic discount!
my top methods for booking hotels for less:
- Use your AAA or AARP memberships for hotel discounts. Who said AAA is just for when your car breaks down? AAA generally saves you about 10% on your room and sometimes gives you more flexibility on cancellation policies, as well. You may be thinking, “I’m not 55 so I can’t get AARP…” Here’s a tip: ANYONE can join AARP. They have a great discount program with travel/restaurant discount benefits that more than pays for the annual fee! (As of this writing, it’s a steal at only $16/year!)
- Book through hotel sites directly. If you are looking to stay at a larger brand hotel (like Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton) they often have deals or discounts available on their website. Many give you a discount just for being a member of their loyalty programs (free to join!) They will also price match if you find the same room cheaper somewhere else. So, why book directly with them? When you are part of their loyalty program, each night you stay increases your rewards points with them and gets you closer to a free room and extra added benefits, too. And that leads me to the next point!
“Your points add up in a hurry and before you know it, you will have successfully scored your first free hotel night!”
- Use loyalty rewards programs to stay for free! Let’s be honest. The hotel industry is highly competitive. Larger hotel chains like Marriott, Hyatt, IHG and Hilton want you to stay with them and them alone. They make it pretty easy to earn free nights. There are many ways to earn points and status at hotel chains using different travel hacking methods. A few examples are staying a certain number of nights, getting one of their branded credit cards and shopping through their portals.
- Use Ebates for extra cash back! If you are booking online, several of the hotel chains are partners with Ebates. It is still considered a direct booking with the hotel and you can get anywhere from 1.5%-6% or more back for your stay…they even run specials for double cash back every once in awhile! Everyone loves cash back, right? If you aren’t already signed up with Ebates, you can use this link to get a $10 back when you spend $25 sign up bonus!
“Add the Ebates button so that when you visit a site they are partnered with, it will immediately alert you so that you never miss getting your cash back!”
Pretty cool, right?!
- Buy discounted gift cards through one of the many sites out there. I usually use a site called Raise.com or Giftcards.com but any gift card site that you like works. I like these two because Ebates gives me another 1% back on top of what I’m already saving on the discounted gift cards!
“Gift cards are considered cash payment so you will still accrue points using them to pay your bill. Yay you!”
- Call the hotel directly. This last tip is huge and one that I use all of the time. If you are travelling mid week (non-peak) and need a last minute hotel room booking, give the hotel you want to stay with a direct phone call. Choose the option to speak with the front desk and ask for a deal. I’ve saved up to $75 on my room for the night by simply calling! Plus, since you are booking directly with the hotel, you still receive all of your extra benefits and points for your stay!
I know these tips will help you score your hotels for less in 2019 and beyond and even earn FREE nights! If you want more detailed info on which booking sites to use, check out my Best Hotel Booking Sites for 2019 post!