Journey with Jo

Follow me as I blog about my various journeys across the globe, making budget travel look luxurious!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How I Stayed at a 4.5 STAR HOTEL for $62

Yes, you read the headline correctly. So how, you may ask, was I able to pull this off. The answer is quite simple, and I'll do it with one word: REWARDS.
Feeling luxurious in my complimentary robe during my stay
at the Kimpton Grey Hotel in Chicago.
That's right, rewards. And as the name insinuates, it's something you get for your service or effort. Through Hotels.com I was able to snag this steal of a deal.

The thing that I love about Hotels.com Rewards loyalty program is that it is absolutely f-r-e-e, and who doesn't love those four letters? So how does this work? It's super simple.

Just book and stay 10 nights at eligible hotels via Hotels.com, you'll get 1 night free to redeem at another. 


Hotels
.com works out the average value of all the 10 nights you've collected and gives it back to you as a free night. So if the average price of the last 10 stays was $85, you'll get $85 to use for a future stay. If your hotel is $85 or less per night, you wouldn't have to come out of pocket. And if it's more than $85, rest assured that price would be subtracted from what the cost per night is at that hotel.
My stay at the Kimpton was originally $118.44. 
The average of my 10 ten previous stays was $72.94, 
so that was subtracted, leaving me with a small tab to pay.
Another reason why I frequent the site is because being a member of their loyalty program makes it super easy to shop around for the best places to stay and the best prices. Unlike other loyalty programs, in which you must stay at the company's property (or an affiliate), Hotels.com gives you the option to stay at any hotel that has availability. This includes places ranging from Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn Express to the Marriott and Hilton.

When looking for a place to stay just look for the purple and white moon symbol that says "Collect nights" and you'll be on your way to obtaining a free night stay for the future. Almost every hotel on the website has this symbol, although you may see a few that don't have the sign, meaning if you stay there it wouldn't count towards your free nights stay.

The moon symbol, which indicates you can earn a free night.
To the right in green, shows the cancellation policy/pay now or later option.
Many of the hotels listed also give you the option of paying for your stay immediately or at the hotel. So if you really want to lock in a place, but don't have the immediate funds to do so, you can still lock it down. To be totally transparent, I use this option about 70% of the time I use Hotels.com. I love it, because it gives me time to get my coins in order, so that when the time comes to check in, I can easily pay then.


Pay now or at the hotel
I also use this option when booking a hotel that I'm staying in with friends/family and we're splitting the costs. By paying later that also gives others the time to get their money right, and then you can just take your funds from (via cash or a money app) them when you all get together. 

I've been using Hotels.com since 2011 and it has never failed me yet. They frequent my inbox (a setting you can alter) with deals of the day and secret prices that aren't available to non-members. There is also an option to save certain places, so you can go back and follow up. 


Additionally, if through your searches, a cheaper rate for the same dates/types of rooms after you've already booked, you can submit their online Best Rate Guarantee form, and the difference will be refunded to you. And finally, when the unexpectedness of life happens and plans have to change you can cancel without penalty, so long as it's within the free cancellation period. Some of these are usually by the night or full day before checkout.


So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Hotels.com and sign up for a free member account. I promise, it will be beneficial!! Once you've signed up, drop a comment below. Any questions? Leave them below as well. Looking forward to hearing from you all!

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