Best strategy for buying hotel stays

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by servo, Aug 16, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I'm not sure if this is a question specific to my situation or if a more theoretical question. So, I've read about hotels.com and their welcome rewards program, as I have booked with them previously, but never signed up. I'm a Platinum IHG/PC member, and need to gain probably another 40,000-60,000 points or so for my goal.

    I also need probably another 80,000 AAdvantage miles for the same goal.

    So, I'm wondering what the best way to book these hotels are? Bloggers seem to focus on how to redeem miles already earned, and not how to maximize earnings to get to redemption time outside of credit card churning. I do understand that it's a marathon and not a race, but there still has to be some best practices for maximizing everything you want. Here are some of my questions:

    1) (though I think I know the answer) Can I earn hotels.com nights and/or hotel points or airline miles, or is the hotels.com rate a non-eligible rate for most, if not all hotels for points/miles? Seems like it would be a good way to double up.

    2) Could I double up by using ebates or another cash rewards site that sends you to the actual hotel portal to book the room?

    3) If all of the above is negative, are there any double up opportunities of any kind?

    4) I'm trying to get AA miles over everything, and they don't seem to have a great mileage program for hotels. Are there alternatives? Can I get BA avios and convert those into AA miles somehow? For example, my goal is 200k AA miles. If I have 150k AA miles and 50k Avios, does that translate the same way?
     
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  2. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    Personally, I usually do not book through 3rd party sites for hotels since most hotel programs have very liberal best rate guarantees and you do not get any point or status benefits booking through a third party.

    1. You will not get any points/miles for stays through third parties. Some hotel chains honor status, but not all.
    2. Yes. You might even be able to triple up with the purchase of some gift cards from staples or some other place.
    3. Another double dip that I've done is going through Chase UR portal to Hotels.com with my Sapphire. This gives 4pts (UR portal) + 2pts (Sapphire) + Hotels.com WR.
    4. You won't be able to convert them but you can look into breaking up your trip into one-ways. Both AA and Avios allow these and you might have some flexibility there.
     
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  3. nacho

    nacho Silver Member

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    I hardly book through any 3rd party sites for my hotel stays because of elite status/points etc. I'm very suspicious of the hotels.com reward scheme, because if it's true that they will give you 1 free nights after 10 nights booked though them, then one can book 10 cheap vegas night and then get 1 free night at an e.g. Intercontinental hotel somewhere.

    However cash back through third party sites are generally high - I have seen a 10% cash back for booking through 3rd party sites. So of course it's cheaper if you don't care about status etc.
     
  4. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    You really need to look at stacking promotions and cash back sites. Right now, IHG is giving a $75 gift card for a 2 night stay over a weekend. This stacks with cash back sites (some at 15%). Add in some PC promos and cheap PC weekend mattress runs (search by price in your home city) and you have the making of a mattress run.

    For AA miles, you should look into the current 16,000 point deal at Wyndham. Each stay will get you 6,400 miles when you transfer the points (make sure to earn points, not miles). You need to have been targeted, but you can ask to have the e-mail sent to you.
     
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  5. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Can you explain further? I need to take the Wyndham Rewards points and then convert to AA miles to get the bonus? I have a stay with Days Inn - Chicago next weekend, and would love to get the ball rolling on this!

    EDIT - I see that it's a targeted deal only at certain hotels. Still sounds like a cheap way to buy miles. Thanks!
     
  6. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    So, I called Wyndham and they said that if I didn't get the email, then they couldn't send it to me. I guess I'm SOL. :(
     
  7. SC Flier
    Original Member

    SC Flier Gold Member

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    You have to read the fine print for the hotels.com program:
    When you book and stay ten (10) nights at a Hotels.com Welcome Rewards™ property, you’ll earn one (1) free night at a Hotels.com Welcome Rewards™ property. The maximum value of the free night is the average daily rate of your ten (10) nights stay. *free night does not include taxes and fees. You may pay the difference if you choose a room that costs more.​

    Book 10 cheap vegas nights, get credit worth 1 cheap vegas night (not including taxes).
     
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  8. nacho

    nacho Silver Member

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    Thanks for the info! I kind of thinking that it's the case - but when you see the TV commercial they told you stay 10 nights get 1 free night.

    That's another reason why I don't use 3rd party sites.
     
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