How to Stay in a 5-Star Hotel for Less Than the Cost of a Motel

By Summer Hull. Last updated 11 April 2018. 0 comments

Many of the credit card offers that appear on the website are from credit card companies from which Wise Bread receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Any opinions expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, endorsed, or provided by the issuer.


Ocean-front resorts, ski-out rooms, four and five star hotels, suites, and included breakfasts may sound like hotel perks reserved for those shelling out big bucks on vacation, but the truth is that my family often stays in those hotels and with those perks without breaking the bank. We have stayed in four and five star hotels for less than the cost of a roadside motel. In fact, sometimes we don't pay any money at all for luxury accommodations.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but in the world of miles and points almost anything is not only possible, but relatively easy to attain even if your hotel point balances are currently sitting at zero. 

Free Nights With Hotel Co-Branded Credit Cards

The quickest way to get some free nights in luxury hotels in a hurry is to obtain a hotel co-branded credit card that comes with a lucrative sign-up bonus. Most hotel chains these days have a co-branded credit card that will give you not only bonus points or free nights via the sign-up bonus, but also they will allow you to earn hotel points by using the card for your everyday spending. Of course, be careful not to overspend and start racking up interest charges, as you will come out on the losing end of that proposition. (See also: Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Programs)

Easy Hotel Elite Status

In addition to racking up virtually free nights at luxury properties, getting hotel co-branded credit cards can give you instant hotel elite status levels that can help you score room upgrades, free breakfasts, free Internet, bonus points, and more.

Hotel elite status was historically for those who spend many nights per year in hotels, but thanks to the influx of co-branded credit cards you can get elite hotel status just by being a cardmember. Perks for these status upgrades include complimentary breakfast, lounge access, free internet, and more. These easy to get elite status levels can make your hotel stays a little more comfortable without increasing your cost. 

Hotel Deals and Discounts

While I think that leveraging hotel points to stay in amazing hotels is the most rewarding path to take, it is not the only way to get your family a luxury hotel stay for significantly less money than by paying the average daily rate.

Hotwire and Priceline can be used to get a room at a four star hotel for a fraction of the price, though you wont know the name of the exact hotel until after you have committed to the price. You can take a bit of the mystery out of the process by trying to decode the hotel you are bidding on thanks to websites like Better Bidding.

Hotel discount sites such as Travel Pony or Hotels Combined also can be good ways to search for the lowest price for any given hotel. I have personally booked a stay at a luxury Fairmont property for about half the going rate using Travel Pony and stacking some new customer and other coupon codes I found by searching online.

Best Rate Guarantees

Finally, a good way to save money on very nice hotel stays is to make good use of the Best Rate Guarantees that most hotel chains offer. Every chain is a bit different, but in general if you can find a lower rate for a specific room type than is being offered directly on the hotels website then you can not only have the chain match the lower rate, but get a discount on top of that. Those discounts can range from a 25% discount off the lowest price found when booking with Marriott or Club Carlson, to even an entire night free in the case of IHG Rewards or Choice Hotels!

Whether you get some free nights thanks to signing up for a co-branded hotel credit card or score a huge discount on your hotel stay by using a site like Priceline or Hotels Combined, there are lots of ways to get a room in a luxury hotel without anywhere close to the luxury prices!

Like this post? Pin it!


Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


/** Fix admin settings safe to ignore showing on unauthenticated user **/