hotel deals http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12753/all en-US 8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000049917430_Large_0.jpg" alt="saving on travel accommodations online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The online accommodation landscape is changing quickly. New websites are popping up every day, each with a unique way to search for different types of lodging. But sometimes sites like Airbnb have hefty service charges, while booking engines like Expedia and Booking.com often take a 25% cut from the hotel, which is sometimes passed on to the guests. I've traveled for over six years and have stayed in over 400 different hotels, hostels, and apartments around the world, and I've found a few ways to get cheaper (or even free) accommodation online. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Try House Sitting</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig">idea of house sitting</a>, while gaining traction, is still very foreign to most people. When I tell people that I've house sat in beachfront villas on the Caribbean Sea and in casitas in the jungles of Costa Rica, they often expect that I knew the owners or that I've somehow solicited myself door-to-door.</p> <p>The fact is, finding beautiful homes to house sit all around the world is easier today than it's ever been, thanks to websites like <a href="http://www.trustedhousesitters.com/">TrustedHouseSitters.com</a>. This site has the largest collection of available house sitting jobs on the web and it's really easy to get started.</p> <p>All you have to do is sign-up for their yearly service ($8.25 per month) and you'll have access to thousands of potential house sitting gigs around the world. I've seen everything from mountain top bungalows in Fiji, to vineyards in France, and even castles in the UK. It seems too good to be true, but it's really not.</p> <p>To better your chances of landing that perfect job, create a profile with your picture and a brief write-up about yourself, get some reviews from other people you've house sat for in the past, and complete a police check (usually done at your local police station for a fee).</p> <p>Once you've created your profile, you'll receive an email in your inbox every couple of days with potential house sitting jobs. Then all you have to do is wait until there's one that suits your needs, send the owner a message, and hope to get chosen!</p> <p>If you are chosen, you typically do a quick Skype call and then a few weeks later, you'll be flying off to your temporary dream home... where you'll stay for free.</p> <p>Usually the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">listings include pet sitting</a>, so you'll have to take care of an animal during your stay, but sometimes there aren't any pets and you just get the house to yourself. The jobs typically don't pay, but we have had some experiences where the owners give us a small salary for staying.</p> <h2>2. Use Local Property Sites</h2> <p>When big companies like Expedia and Airbnb charge a fee to the hotel or apartment owners, that cost is usually passed on to you, the guest. To avoid this, you can sometimes find the name of the property owner on these sites, and then run a Google search to see if you can find the same property listed on a local website.</p> <p>Local websites generally have much lower fees, so you can potentially save 10%-15% off of the total cost of your accommodation. In Malta, for example, you can find many apartments online through large websites, but Malta also has a few locally run sites like <a href="http://shortletsmalta.com/">ShortLetsMalta.com</a>, where you can find the same properties much cheaper. In Guatemala, there's <a href="http://rentalsatitlan.com/">Atitlan Solutions</a>, and in pretty much every town or country, there's a local website that will have cheaper accommodations than the big search sites.</p> <h2>3. Contact the Owner Directly</h2> <p>This is a particularly good trick if you're looking for short let apartments around the world. The way to contact the owner directly is similar to finding local websites in the previous tip. You just have to go into Airbnb or Villas.com and find a place you like, then look at the owner profile and see if they list their name or the name of their property management company.</p> <p>Once you have that, you can run a Google search to see if you can find the owner directly online. Sometimes they have their own website for the property, and sometimes they don't. If they don't have a website, they probably won't show up in Google, but there's another tactic you can use.</p> <p>Head to Facebook and search their name and the destination where the property is located. For example: &quot;John Doe Puerto Vallarta.&quot;</p> <p>Facebook will show a list of people by the same name in or around that city. You can match the person's profile photo to their picture on the booking site, and then send them a direct Facebook message asking them about the property.</p> <h2>4. Check the Hotel Website</h2> <p>A lot of hotels don't like the fact that when they have 100 rooms occupied in their establishment, they're paying 25% of their total revenue to big booking sites.</p> <p>This is why many hotels offer financial incentives for booking directly on their websites. Once you find a hotel on a booking site, consider running a Google search with the hotel name and see if you can go directly to their site.</p> <p>Compare the prices between the booking engine and the direct website and you'll often find that you can save upwards of 15% by booking directly with the hotel.</p> <h2>5. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle</h2> <p>Once you contact the local rental agency, the apartment owner, or the hotel's website, you can bargain. With hotels, they may not have as much leeway to give you more of a discount, but you can send the owner an email and ask for a percentage off the room rate if you're staying more than a couple nights.</p> <p>Usually with rental agencies and apartment owners, there's a fair amount of negotiating space. You can save a lot of money, especially considering that you'll already be saving the fees from the big booking sites. I rented an apartment in Malta for two months and I ended up saving nearly 30% of the cost by contacting them directly and bargaining for the price. It really works!</p> <h2>6. Consider Couch Surfing</h2> <p>Saving money is great, but free lodging is even better. The term &quot;couch surfing&quot; is becoming more mainstream, but there's still a misunderstanding of what's involved.</p> <p>Many people hear it and think, <em>I don't want to sleep on someone's couch!</em></p> <p>But in reality, there are thousands of couch surfing opportunities where you have your own room, a queen-sized bed, and even your own bathroom. Couch surfing is now a universal term for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free">staying in someone's home for free</a>, not just crashing in someone's living room.</p> <p>The great thing about couch surfing is that you get a real local experience when traveling to a new destination. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture than by staying in a local's home?</p> <p>To start couch surfing, head to <a href="https://www.couchsurfing.com/">CouchSurfing.com</a> and sign-up for free. You can then browse through 400,000+ hosts around the world, and in no time at all, you can arrange to stay with somebody overseas. It's a great service.</p> <h2>7. Try Home Exchange</h2> <p>Another great way to get free accommodation is to do a home exchange. Made famous by the 2006 movie: <em>The Holiday</em>, home exchanges are a really cool concept. Head to <a href="http://www.lovehomeswap.com/">LoveHomeSwap.com</a>, sign up for $20 per month, and start swappin'!</p> <p>Of course, some downsides of this option are that you have to own a home, and you have to be willing to let a stranger stay in your home in exchange for getting to stay in theirs. But if it means you can fly to London and stay in the historical city for free... why not?</p> <h2>8. Check Out Volunteer Exchange</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://workaway.info/">WorkAway.info</a> and <a href="https://www.helpx.net/">HelpX</a> also offer travelers a great way to earn free accommodations all around the world, while helping out the local communities along the way. Basically it's an exchange. You sign up for a fee and then you have access to all of the volunteer opportunities on the website, and there thousands in over 135 countries.</p> <p>Browse through the listings, find a rewarding placement, and enjoy free accommodations (and sometimes food) in return for your services. Whether you decide to work on organic farms in South America, teach children in Asia, or help out at orphanages in Africa, your lodging will be earned, but the experience will be priceless.</p> <p><em>Have you tried any of these accommodation hacks? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20to%20Save%20on%20Accommodations%20Online.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-your-belongings-get-stolen-abroad">What to Do When Your Belongings Get Stolen Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-useful-items-hotels-usually-provide-for-free">14 Useful Items Hotels Usually Provide for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations hotel deals hotels save money travel hacks travel tips Mon, 23 May 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Nick Wharton 1714250 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hotel-laptop-484374965-small.jpg" alt="hotel couple" title="hotel couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, you can get low hotel rates by shopping around on several websites. But if you're the type of traveler who's willing to spend a bit more time for greater savings, there are other ways to get better deals. These three hotel booking methods take some time and effort, but you'll gain access to exclusive hotel rates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Flash Sales</h2> <p>As the name suggests, a flash sale has a time limit, so you'll have to make up your mind quickly. Depending on the deal, the flash sale may only last for a couple of hours, although some flash sale deals remain available for a few days.</p> <p>You can find flash sale hotel deals on several dedicated travel private sale websites.</p> <h3>Jetsetter</h3> <p><a href="http://www.jetsetter.com">Jetsetter</a>, for example, offers discounts of up to 40% off regular prices of hotels and tours. You can find a wide variety of properties here, from lofts in big cities to secluded villas. You have to become a member to access these deals, but membership is free.</p> <h3>Vacationist</h3> <p>Another popular travel flash sale website is <a href="https://www.vacationist.com/">Vacationist</a>, which partners with <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/">Travel + Leisure</a> to give you a detailed review of each hotel. Vacationist claims to offer savings of up to 60% off hotel stays. Again, you have to get a free membership to book these deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package?seealso">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Travel Package</a>)</p> <h3>Other Travel Flash Sites</h3> <p>Other travel flash sale websites to check out: <a href="http://www.voyage-prive.com/">Voyage Privé</a>, <a href="http://www.tripalertz.com/">Trip Alertz</a>, and <a href="http://www.tablethotels.com">Tablet Hotels</a>.</p> <p>Don't overlook general discount websites. Sometimes you can find hotel deals on websites like <a href="http://www.groupon.com/getaways">Groupon</a> and <a href="http://www.livingsocial.com/escapes">LivingSocial</a>.</p> <p>Before you book, pay attention to the fine print because there may be restrictions and surcharges that apply to flash sale reservations. For example, there may be black-out dates or extra fees for weekend stays. You may also have to pay higher penalties if you need to modify or cancel your hotel stay later.</p> <h2>Deals on &quot;Secret&quot; Hotels</h2> <p>A secret hotel deal is one where you're not told the name of the hotel until you've booked and made a payment. The hotels don't want to publicize these deals because these low rates could dilute their brands and make their other guests unhappy.</p> <p>Even though the booking website won't show you the hotel name, you're given its star rating, approximate location, and details about its amenities. From this information, you can often guess which hotel it is.</p> <h3>Secret Hotel Sites</h3> <p>Several websites offer secret hotel deals under different names. They are: <a href="http://www.hotwire.com/hotel/">Hotwire Hot-Rates</a>, <a href="http://www.priceline.com">Priceline Express Deals</a>, <a href="http://www.travelocity.com">Travelocity Top Secret Hotels</a> and <a href="http://www.lastminute.com/hotels/top-secret.html">Lastminute.com Top Secret Hotels</a>.</p> <p>To book a hotel, you start by entering your destination and travel dates. The search results will show you a few hotel options, which may include both secret hotel deals and regular hotel listings. You can simply book one secret hotel room based on the limited information provided, or you can probably find out the hotel name if you have some time to spare.</p> <h3>How to Identify a Secret Hotel</h3> <p>Begin by reading the hotel listing very carefully, looking for any distinctive feature that differentiates it from other hotels &mdash; a hot tub on the balcony, for example, or a fireplace inside the suite. It's okay if there's no such feature, but it will help you pinpoint which hotel it is more easily if there is.</p> <p>Then, copy a snippet of the hotel description and paste it into a search engine. If you're lucky, the search result should show you which hotel it is. Otherwise, sift through other hotel listings on the booking website that have the same star rating and location until you come across one with the same features as the secret hotel.</p> <h2>Price Bidding</h2> <p>With price bidding, you can potentially get really big savings, but you need to know how to use the system.</p> <p>Before you read any further, you should know that hotel bidding is probably not for you if you have very specific preferences. There are limited options and you get minimal information about the room. You won't be told the name of the hotel, and you won't be able to choose your bedding configuration. You also won't be able to request a non-smoking room, a room with a certain view, or multiple connecting rooms.</p> <h3>Where and How to Bid on a Room</h3> <p>Hotel price bidding is available on <a href="http://www.priceline.com">Priceline</a>, where it's called the &quot;Name Your Own Price&quot; feature.</p> <p>To start the bidding process, you specify the dates of your stay, the lowest hotel star rating you'd take, the area where you want to stay, and the price you're willing to pay. The website will find hotels that match your criteria. If there is a hotel that accepts your rate, you have a booking. Otherwise, you have to wait for 24 hours before submitting another bid.</p> <h3>Bidding Tricks</h3> <p>There are a few tricks you can use to make more than one bid per day. You can easily double the number of times you can bid by working with your partner or a friend. You can also bid the same price by adding more possible hotel areas if you're flexible about the neighborhood. If you have a strict budget, Priceline will let you bid the same price again if you drop your minimum star rating.</p> <p>There are more complex ways to improve your chances of getting hotel deals quickly on Priceline. If you need help with bidding strategies, visit <a href="http://www.biddingtraveler.com">Biddingtraveler</a> or <a href="http://www.betterbidding.com">Betterbidding</a>.</p> <p><em>Have you scored major deals on hotel rooms? How'd you do it? Please share in comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F3%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Hotel%20Deals.jpg&amp;description=3%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Hotel%20Deals" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/3%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Hotel%20Deals.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-hotel-hacks-from-professional-travelers">25 Hotel Hacks From Professional Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel hotel deals hotels room deals Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:00:05 +0000 Deia B 1148416 at http://www.wisebread.com The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_hotel_pool_000045554220.jpg" alt="Woman lounging at hotel pool with drink" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Using points to find free award nights at hotels is just as important as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">redeeming miles for airline travel</a>, since lodging expenses can represent a large portion of your vacation budget. Therefore, those who prefer to travel on rewards earned from their credit cards are sure to carry around at least one card co-branded with a hotel chain. Frugal travelers must seek out the best credit cards for awards at hotels.</p> <h2>What Makes a Good Hotel Credit Card</h2> <p>First, look beyond the name of the parent company, as most large hotel chains offer properties under many different brand names. For example, the Marriott hotels contain luxury brands such as the Ritz-Carlton, as well as budget properties like Fairfield Inn. Next, compare the number of points earned from credit card spending with the minimum amount required for a free night award. Finally, look at other features the credit card may offer such as a generous sign up bonus or the ability to transfer points to airline miles.</p> <h3>Best Credit Cards for Staying at Hotels</h3> <p>After considering their bonuses, point accrual, usability, and other factors, these are my favorite hotel cards currently available.</p> <h3>Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card</h3> <p>The Marriott Rewards&reg; Premier Credit Card offers cardholders 5 points for every $1 spent at any one of the 4,000 Marriott Hotels located around the world, which includes the luxurious Ritz-Carlton line of hotels as well. They'll also earn 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, car rental agencies, and on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline. They'll earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases. There's no limit to how many points cardholders can earn. In addition, cardholders will receive a free night stay at a category 1-5 location each year after their account anniversary. Get 15 Elite Credits guaranteeing Silver Elite Status or better, which includes free Wi-Fi, 20% bonus points, and 10% discount on regular rates for weekend night stays (at participating locations). Marriott points can be converted to partner airline miles. The transfer rate varies (5:1, 10:1.5, 10:1) but there is a way to get 1:1 conversion by using Marriott's Air + Hotel package redemption option. There are no foreign transaction fees on the card. <strong>This card has an annual fee of $85 that is waived the first year.</strong></p> <p><strong>Sign up offer:</strong> 50,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 within the first 3 months.</p> <h3>IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card</h3> <p>If you're a frequent visitor to hotels that include the Intercontinental, the Crowne Plaza, or the Holiday Inn, then the IHG&reg; Rewards Club Select Credit Card may be just the card for you. Cardholders can earn 5 points for each dollar spent on stays at any of the hotels under the Intercontinental Hotels Group brand. They can also earn 2 points for each dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, along with 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases.</p> <p>Cardholders will also receive a free night stay at any IHG hotel around the world each year of cardmembership. Additionally, cardholders will get to enjoy all of the benefits of the Platinum Elite status, which includes free internet, priority check-in, free upgrades, and 50% bonus points. IHG points can be converted to airline partner miles at a 5:1 ratio. There are no foreign transaction fees on the card. <strong>This card has an annual fee of $49 that is waived for the first year.</strong></p> <p><strong>Sign up offer:</strong> Earn 60,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.</p> <h3>Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express</h3> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/hilton-hhonors-card-from-american-express-102015.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express" alt="Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=39&amp;pid=10&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>The <a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=39&amp;pid=10&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xname" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express</a> offers 7 bonus points for each $1 spent at any participating hotel within the Hilton Portfolio, 5 bonus points for every $1 spent at U.S. supermarkets, at U.S. restaurants, and at U.S. gas stations, and 3 bonus points for every $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, you get to enjoy the benefits of the Hilton HHonors&trade; Silver status as long as you are a cardmember, which gets you 15% bonus points, 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more, late check-out, and more. You can also quickly upgrade yourself to Gold status after four stays within the first 90 days of account opening or after making $20,000 or more in purchases in a calendar year. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p>Hotels within the Hilton Portfolio include DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Contrad, and more. You can also transfer points to airline partners, at a 10:1 ratio for most airlines. <strong>There is no annual fee for this card.</strong></p> <p><strong>Sign-up offer</strong>: Earn 50,000 Hilton HHonors&trade; Bonus Points after you spend $750 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=39&amp;pid=10&amp;pp=3&amp;uv=xend" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Hilton HHonors&trade; Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <h3>Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card</h3> <p>The Club Carlson℠ Premier Rewards Visa Signature&reg; Card offers 10 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels, and 5 points per dollar spent on eligible purchases everywhere else. Additionally, get 40,000 bonus points each year when you renew. You'll also have Club Carlson℠ Gold Elite status once you use your card, which includes benefits like early check-in and late checkout, 35% bonus points, free upgrades, free internet, and more. Participating hotels include Country Inn &amp; Suites, Radisson, Park Plaza, and more. You can also choose to transfer your Club Carlson points to their airline partners at a 10 points to 1 mile rate. <strong>The card has an annual fee of $75.</strong></p> <p><strong>Sign up offer:</strong> 50,000 points after the first purchase plus 35,000 points after spending $2,500 within the first 90 days &mdash; worth up to 9 free award nights.</p> <h3>Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</h3> <p><img width="154" border="0" height="97" style="float:right;margin:0 5px 5px 10px;" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/starwood-preferred-guest-consumer-081115.png" /><a style="border:none;float:right;clear:right;margin: 0 5px 5px 10px;" target="_blank" title="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" alt="Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express" rel="nofollow" href=" http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=39&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xcardbutton"><img alt="" class="img-exempt img-button" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a>Although the Starwood line of properties may be well known for their high-end Westin and mid-range Sheratons, they also feature less expensive brands such as Four Points and Aloft. In fact, there are over 1,200 hotels &amp; resorts in nearly 100 countries under their program. With the <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=39&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend">Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express</a>, you can earn up to 5 Starpoints&reg; on purchases at participating SPG hotels. (That's 2 Starpoints for which you may be eligible as a Card Member, plus the 2 or 3 Starpoints for which you may be eligible as an SPG member.) Earn 1 Starpoint for each dollar of other eligible purchases. What makes this card popular among frequent travelers is the 1:1 ratio you can get when transferring points to partner airline miles. <strong>This card has an annual fee of $95 that is waived the first year.</strong></p> <p><strong>Sign up offer:</strong> Get 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms and conditions apply.</p> <p><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=39&amp;pid=14&amp;pp=5&amp;uv=xend"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Starwood Preferred Guest&reg; Credit Card from American Express today!</strong></a></p> <p>There is value in credit card rewards for hotels, but savvy cardholders must closely examine each card's terms in order to find the true deals.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide"><strong>Back to the Credit Card Guide</strong></a></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Best%2520Credit%2520Cards%2520for%2520Hotel%2520Deals%2520and%2520Rewards.jpg&amp;description=The%20Best%20Credit%20Cards%20for%20Hotel%20Deals%20and%20Rewards" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-do="buttonPin"><img alt="" src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img width="250" height="374" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Best%20Credit%20Cards%20for%20Hotel%20Deals%20and%20Rewards.jpg" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">This Might Be the Best Travel Rewards Program (No Matter What Airline You Fly)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">5 Best Cash Back Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel best credit cards credit card rewards hotel deals travel rewards Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:48:37 +0000 Jason Steele 797043 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Avoid Getting Fleeced at Hotels http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-fleeced-at-hotels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-getting-fleeced-at-hotels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2519040254_40196a68df_z.jpg" alt="shaved sheep" title="shaved sheep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As individual and corporate travelers watch their budgets more carefully, hotels are getting more creative in their quests to maintain profits. A thorough fleecing at your favorite hotel chain is enough to ruin an otherwise great trip and take your travel budget from black to red. Here are a some tips to make sure you get the most from your hotel stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-travel-accommodations" title="Save Money on Travel Accommodations">Save Money on Travel Accommodations</a>)</p> <h3>Nix the Room Safe Fee</h3> <p>If your hotel offers an in-room safe, you can be relatively sure there&rsquo;ll be a corresponding fee attached to it. It&rsquo;s typically just a buck or two, but if you haven&rsquo;t used the safe, it&rsquo;s a buck or two less you&rsquo;ll have for your own coffers. The fee can usually be voided, even if you wait to dispute it until check-out. But be preemptive; ask if there&rsquo;s a standard Room Safe Fee or Safe Usage Fee when you register and explicitly opt-out.</p> <h3>Avoid Mini-Bar Minefields</h3> <p>Surely the brainchild of an evil genius, mini-bars are the hotel industry&rsquo;s version of the grocery store check-out lane. Impulse rules the day. Get ready to be tempted by adult beverages, salty snacks and candy &mdash; all with an average markup of 300% over store prices. If the profit margin on this stuff doesn&rsquo;t ruin your appetite, your bill the next morning will. Tiptoe around the mini-bar minefield by eating regularly, staying hydrated, packing a few snacks of your own, and going to bed early.</p> <h3>Understand Internet and Parking Fees</h3> <p>This is where the true nickels and dimes come into play and hotels rejoice in customer ignorance. It&rsquo;s difficult to comparison shop on the price of a hotel room if there are fees you didn&rsquo;t anticipate. Begin to ask standard questions like, &ldquo;Is a high-speed Internet connection included in the room rate?&rdquo; and &ldquo;Do you charge extra for parking?&rdquo; These two simple questions can help you compare apples to apples and will expose sneaky little profit centers that hotels conveniently forget to mention until the bill is delivered.</p> <h3>Negotiate</h3> <p>Here&rsquo;s most important lesson I&rsquo;ve learned as a budget-conscious consumer: Within a broad range, individual prices are highly arbitrary. Hotels, like most businesses, have quite a bit of latitude in room pricing and landing at the cheaper end of the range just requires asking the right questions and exercising a bit of fortitude.</p> <p>Test the waters the next time you make a reservation over the phone; it feels less confrontational if you&rsquo;re new to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-your-own-hotel-deal" title="Negotiate Your Own Hotel Deal">negotiating</a>. Become familiar with key phrases like, &ldquo;Is that the best price you can offer?&rdquo; or &ldquo;I&rsquo;m on a very tight budget for this trip; do you have any special discounts I might be able to take advantage of?&rdquo; Hotels can offer a &ldquo;walk-out&rdquo; or &ldquo;walk-away&rdquo; rate if they feel like they may lose a customer on price alone. The walk-out price is the lowest price the hotel will let the room go for in order to prevent the customer from &mdash; you guessed it &mdash; walking out. I&rsquo;ve even heard of some bold customers ask directly, &ldquo;What&rsquo;s your walk-away price?&rdquo; Keep in mind, it&rsquo;s harder to negotiate rates during busy nights, peak travel holidays, or early in the day before the hotel can gauge its bookings. &nbsp;Remember, it never hurts to ask.</p> <h3>Pick Your Room Carefully</h3> <p>When it comes to hotel real estate, the familiar adage still applies: Location, location, location. The positioning of your room within the hotel can add to or detract from its value considerably. &nbsp;Try to exercise a bit of control over the room you're assigned &mdash; I typically try to avoid rooms that are near elevators or staircases, near the ice machine or vending machine, facing the parking lot, or near the main entrance. All of these spots tend to be noisy throughout the night for obvious reasons. Areas near the kitchen or lounge will see a lot activity early in the morning as folks fill up on their complimentary breakfasts. Remember, someone is getting the quietest room. Optimize your chances by knowing the difference between prime hotel real estate and the slums.</p> <h3>Check in Early, Check Out Late</h3> <p>Since I&rsquo;m not an early riser, I have a bit of different view of the purpose of a hotel. I like to get a solid night&rsquo;s rest and not be compelled to wake up early when the housekeeping staff come a-knocking. If a hotel&rsquo;s value lies in the sheer amount of hours you get to enjoy a little R&amp;R, optimize your time there by checking in early and checking out late. Hotel proprietors will typically let guests check in an hour or two early if there are clean rooms available. Likewise, with a polite call to the front desk in the morning, you can usually score a later check out time. It never hurts to ask and it just might keep you from that mad morning rush.</p> <p>As the economy continues to limp along and businesses begrudgingly adjust to tighter profit margins, their inventiveness will be matched only by their boldness. Vigilance in the new age of &ldquo;recessionomics&rdquo; means maximizing the dollars you must spend and closely guarding what&rsquo;s left. Safe travels...and watch out for the mini-bar!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-fleeced-at-hotels">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-worlds-11-craziest-frugal-hotels">The World&#039;s 11 Craziest Frugal Hotels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals">3 Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-hotel-rates-with-hotwire">Cheap Hotel Rates with Hotwire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-all-your-travel-the-ultimate-guide">Negotiate All Your Travel: The Ultimate Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cheap hotel hotel deals hotel savings negotiating Fri, 26 Nov 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 321631 at http://www.wisebread.com