Almost every hotel chain has their own bonus program. But many of the hotel booking platforms run their own program too. One big advantage of those is that you are not tied to certain hotel chain and you have a big selection and variety of different hotels.
Hotels.com Rewards is a very interesting option in this matter. Not only do a lot of hotels participate (over 100,000!) but also after every 10th night you will get a rewards night that is valued at the average price of the 10 hotel nights.
Hotels.com operates in various countries:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
From November 27, 2019 Hotels.com Rewards is charging a fee of €4 or $5 when booking a rewards night through their website. You can avoid this fee by booking the rewards night through their app. You can still do normal bookings through their website without an extra fee.
10 nights = 1 rewards night
For every booked night at participating hotels, you can receive a stamp. 10 stamps mean that you are eligible for a rewards night. The value of the rewards night is the average of the 10 hotel nights you have collected stamps with. Taxes and fees are to be paid extra but those are usually pretty low (unlike with flights!).
You can collect stamps with over 100,000 participating hotels. All big chains are part of this as well. When a hotel is participating, Hotels.com will display a small moon sign next to the hotel photo in their hotel search:
Unfortunately, you cannot use Hotels.com vouchers in connection with collecting stamps.
You can book certain properties at a Secret Price as a Hotels.com Rewards member. Hotels.com promises better rates than any other hotel booking platform and visibility only for Hotels.com Rewards members.
Of course, we had to check if this promise is held. To our surprise, those hotels that are marked with a Secret Price had a pretty decent discount:
This does not always seem to work but it is a nice benefit that can potentially save you a good amount of money.
Silver & Gold membership
Hotels.com Rewards also offers different member tiers. You will start as a Bronze member and can “sleep your way up to the top” (no pun intended!) up to either a Silver or Gold membership.
The promoted benefits of a Silver membership include:
- Silver Exclusives: You can get free breakfast, voucher codes, free airport pickups amongst other benefits. I have used these benefits in the past it isn’t just a theoretical benefit. It really works!
- Guaranteed free WiFi with VIP access properties
- Other benefits include: Priority customer support, price guarantee plus (never tried!), hassle free travel guarantee (Hotels.com helps minimizing change or cancellation fees)
The Gold membership benefits include all Silver membership benefits plus:
- Complimentary room upgrade with VIP access properties
- Early check-in and late check-out with VIP access properties (subject to avilability)
When doing a hotel search, you can find VIP access properties by looking out for the following VIP sign:
An example of decent Silver membership benefits could be:
You can reach a Silver membership with 10 stamps and a Gold membership with 30 stamps. One of the big benefits is that you can book rooms for any person. I have once booked a stay of 4 nights for 3 persons in 3 different rooms and automatically already had the Silver membership (plus the stamps!).
With hotel chain bonus programs, you are quite limited in terms of hotel choice. Especially if you are travelling worldwide, there may be cases where certain hotels are not present in the city of your choice (there are no Hiltons in Scandinavia for example!). With the Hotels.com Rewards program, you avoid this exact issue since over 100,000 hotels participate in the program. There’s lot of variety and a good range from low budget to 5-star properties.
Hotels.com Rewards is perfect for travellers who do not care as much about hotel chains and still want to get as many benefits as possible through their hotel nights.