Best way to book a hotel in a points program you don't use

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by servo, Sep 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I'm looking to book a stay on the Las Vegas Strip next March, and after looking at the reviews and trying to find an IHG or other major hotel brand hotel on the strip, for the price, location and reviews, we decided on booking the Aria - City Center. I joined M-life for the heck of it, but earning points with them just doesn't really add any value to me. What is the best strategy for booking a hotel like this, so that I can maximize a return for the booking? My idea was Ebates - > Hotels.com - > Welcome Rewards, and just use WR for all my non-legacy hotel points stays. Is there a better method to get the price down even more? I thought about the Priceline trick, but I think Vegas is where that method ends up getting foiled (region and hotel # of stars) unless you are more flexible with where you'd stay.
     
  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    if you can stay @ the Cosmo that is part of Marriott ...

    though personally I love the Westin. Far enough from the hustle bustle, yet close enough to it.
     
  3. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    The Westin was my choice, but the wife wanted to be right on the strip, so I got outvoted 1-1. :rolleyes:

    Cosmo is out of my range. I would have gone with Venetian if I was going for that price point.
     
  4. lili
    Original Member

    lili Gold Member

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    Read the reviews here (or on TOBB) on the Westin and be glad your wife prevailed.
     
    HaveMilesWillTravel likes this.
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    It is only 1 block away... but okay I get it.

    I stayed there for 3 nights and had 0 problems. Not sure what the fuss is about
     
  6. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    There are guides out there that reveal the hidden Hotwire hotels with some degree of certainty. Don't have time to find them right now, but it may save you some money. Also, just to clarify, you passed over the Palazzo and Venetian, which are IHG hotel partners? Just making sure.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    My wife agrees with OP's wife. She was there once for a conference (didn't even stay there as we have family in Vegas) and came back very surprised that that was a Westin.

    Personally, if I cannot stay with family/friends, I stay at the Doubletree. Good rates, away from the hussle, friendly staff, Hilton points. I realize that's not going to fly with the OP's wife either, but my wife loves it.

    To get back to the OP's question -- doesn't hotels.com have some sort of rewards program for rooms booked through them? (something like book ten times, get one free)
     
  8. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Exactly. Both are out of my maximum range of $200/night. We would absolutely stay there on points or our free night vouchers from the PC Visa cards, but I just found http://www.visasignaturehotels.com and it looks like you get pretty nice benefits at the Aria for $189, including:

    Base Benefits:
    - The best available rate
    - Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, when available
    - Complimentary continental breakfast daily
    - 3pm check-out, when available
    - VIP guest status
    - One $25 food or beverage credit per stay
    - Free in-room Internet or valet parking (up to $50 USD value)

    Restrictions:
    - This rate plan is for select Visa Premium Card holders
    - Cardholder must reserve and pay for the room using a qualifying credit card. Qualifying Visa premium cards include Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cards and select Visa Gold and Visa Platinum cards
    - A daily resort fee of $25.00 is included in the reservation subtotal. The 12% room and resort fee tax will be charged at the property.

    The only thing I'm not giddy about is the daily $25 resort fee. I don't know what VIP guest status means either, but the free internet, $25 food or bev credit and upgrade is nice for that price.
     
  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Most LV hotels have that stupid resort fee...
     
  10. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Yes, they do - Welcome Rewards. However, it appears my above post for Visa Signature beats the Hotels.com rate easily.
     
  11. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    With non-program hotels, I usually go through either hotels.com (4 pts/$ on UR Mall!) or some added value portal like visasignature/kiwicollection. If you don't care about the extra benefits and only care about price, Hotels.com also has a BRG that you can take advantage of. I've also been itching to try the Vegas.com BRG that is supposed to be very generous.

    Edit: Also, don't forget about the LHR collection open to sapphire preferred holders (explorelhrcollection.com). Looks like Aria is on that and gives an additional spa benefit as well.
     
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  12. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Is it only for CSP holders? I haven't yet acquired that one, but I do have the IHG/PC Visa, which seemed to work to gain me access to the rates. You're right, it seems the benefits through the Chase site are a little better than the VS site, but then again, but it appears you're paying for the additional benefits in the rate. The VS site was $189/night, LHR appears to be $239, but is somewhat wonky in that it doesn't easily allow a search for 2013 dates (looking early March) in the initial availability check. Once you log in, you can do a more general date search, and that allows beyond Dec 2012. That's basically an extra $150 for the spa passes and doesn't include free internet.

    I'm not ALL about price, but more value to price paid. I really don't want to spend over $200/base a night on a domestic stay unless it's a truly unique occasion, but I will be willing to pay right around that if the benefits are strong, like with the Visa Signature. Right now, I'm finding nothing that beats the value for the price outside of the VS site at Aria.
     
  13. misterbwong

    misterbwong Silver Member

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    You're right that it wouldn't be worth the higher rate for just the spa passes. If they have a BRG like visa signature does, that might be an option to get the best of both worlds.

    It looks like this program is open to UA Explorer cards as well (according to this thread). It might be open to other cards too.
     

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