A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about ways for people who purchase airfare to save some money in the process, but what about hotel stays? Whether you prefer cash back or miles, there are ways to save on your hotel. They’ll either help pay for your next hotel stay, plane ticket or even possibly have money refunded on your current hotel stay. Any of these options will be great to help you travel for less money!
If I am paying for a hotel room, I rarely book directly with the hotel because I feel I can earn more rewards booking on other sites. If you have status with a hotel chain, booking through one of these sites will most likely not earn you credits for the next status level or qualify you for your elite benefits. Something to keep in mind if status is something you value. I am more interested in saving money than having status. I’m sure most of you think the same way.
If you would like to earn miles on hotel bookings, a couple of website you should take a look at are Rocketmiles and Pointshound. These sites will earn you extra miles on your reservation.
They always seem to have a promotion going on where you will earn bonus miles on top of the miles you would earn through booking. Rocketmiles has 29 partners you can earn miles on.
You can switch your partner whenever you want and earn extra miles between different programs, if you choose. Usually, the more expensive the hotel, the more miles you will earn, but that is not always the case. The amount of points you’ll earn could vary, depending on the partner you choose. You should always choose the partner that works best you though.
My personal favorites from this list:
Here’s an example:
Staying in Boston for 2 night, you’d earn 10,000 Southwest miles.
What could those 10,000 Southwest miles get you?
From that one hotel booking you’d have miles to fly one way from Boston to Montego Bay, with miles left over! The price of that ticket is $186, so in paying for $568 for the room, you earn a $186 airline ticket with miles remaining. That’s pretty good if you were planning a trip to Boston.
Link to Rocketmiles, if you use code WALLERDUSTIN when you sign up, we both will earn 1,000 extra miles after your first booking.
Pointshound is very similar to Rocketmiles in that you earn extra miles with their partners. They have less partner options than Rocketmiles, but they have some interesting partners. You can earn Bitcoins on reservations, if you like earning Bitcoin.
You can see some overlap between a couple of the airline partners, so you should compare which program gives you more miles upon booking. From looking at a few dates, it seems Pointshound offers less miles when compared to Rocketmiles, but not always. Having multiple sites is a great way to make sure you earn the most on your hotel reservation!
My favorite Pointhound partners:
American Airlines (US Airwarys is the same airline now)
What if you prefer to earn reward cash toward your next hotel reservation, instead of airline miles?
Orbucks are cash rewards you can use when booking a hotel stay through Orbitz. You can earn Orbucks when reserving a hotel or booking a plane ticket, but you can only redeem for hotel stays. There is a difference when you book on their mobile app or on your computer. I would recommend booking on your computer. Why would I recommend earning 3% over 5%? When you book on Orbitz, you can use a portal and earn even more back!
Even though you would earn 3% in Orbucks, you will also earn 6% cash back, meaning you actually earn 9% back overall. Almost double what you would earn booking though the mobile app.
The more rooms you book through Orbitz, you will earn status as well. You will not earn stays/nights toward the hotels status program when booking though Orbitz. Occasionally Orbitz will have promotions where you can earn more Orbucks on certain reservations.
Some of the benefits as you move up the status chain don’t seem too impressive. With many of the hotels, you will receive free WiFi and possibly breakfast. The 2 perks that might be worth it are the 2 checked bags that you are reimbursed in Orbucks and the TSA precheck, which cost about $85. Outside of those 2 perks, I don’t see any real reason to be an Orbitz Platinum member.
This reward program is different than Orbitz, you do not earn cash back on your stays. The way Hotels.com program works, for every 10 nights you book through their site, you will earn 1 free night! There is one catch to the free night….
You can’t stay 10 nights at a super cheap Days Inn for 10 nights then book 1 night at an expensive Hyatt hotel. Your free night will be an average of the 10 nights you paid for. When you use your free night, if the room you book is more expensive than your voucher amount, it will just reduce the cost of the room by that much.
To make this even better, you can stack this with a shopping portal as well!
You could earn 7% cash back while you earn your free night. Hotels.com sends out some great coupon codes to your email, but there is usually an condition that if you use that coupon code it WILL NOT count toward your free night. That is something you must consider as well.
I happen to stumble across Tingo not too long ago and I’m intrigued by what are offering. If you book a room through Tingo, they will do the work for you and see if the price drops. If the price were to drop, they will REFUND you the difference. There aren’t many places that offer this, but in booking with Tingo, you will not earn extra money toward your next stay. You are hoping that the price falls and you receive a refund on the room. This could be hit or miss and I personally would rather earn the extra miles or rewards for a future stay.
Even though you might not earn rewards for a future stay, like the other programs, there are portals for Tingo as well to earn some cash back on your reservation.
You would earn 7% cash back. I am not sure if you earn 7% on the original booking price or the price you pay in the end. I would think it would be on the price you actually pay for the room.
I think if you are shopping online you should always check for a portal! If you want to book directly through the hotel, there is still a way for you to earn cash back on your reservation. I would look go to cashbackmonitor.com and type in the name of the hotel chain you are wanting to book with. This will show you all the extra miles or cash back you could earn booking with the hotel. If you have status with the hotel, this could make the most sense since you could receive perks that might outweigh the 3rd party benefits.
If you have co-branded credit cards, you would earn your extra points if you booked through the hotel themselves and paid with that particular credit card.
Credit Card Considerations:
When booking hotels, either through 3rd party sites or directly, these should be coded as travel. It would be best to use a card that would earn multiple points for travel, like the Citi Premier or Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you book directly with the hotel, you should consider using your co-branded credit card, if you have one or one of the cards that earn extra points on traveling. If you have a cash back credit card, that is good to use as well. For those who don’t have a rewards credit card, maximizing your shopping portals will help you earn extra money back on your hotel reservations.
There are many ways to save money when booking your hotel stays, either in miles for a future trip or cash back for a future stay. Always compare between sites because there could be price differences and the miles/cash back might not be enough to use that particular site.
There are some links in the article that I do receive some bonus if you were to use. If you use it, thank you very much, I really appreciate it.
Which is your preferred earnings when booking a hotel, miles or cash back? Which of these sites are you likely to use first?
***I am currently having a giveaway, I was a guest on Running with Miles and it was my 50th article. I am giving away 2 $10 Amazon Gift Cards. To enter, you must follow my blog then either follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite trip and what made it special. I will select 1 winner from Facebook and 1 from Twitter on 8/17***