The pros and cons of using Hotels.com

Amazon has another Hotels.com lightning deal today, where you can get a $50 Hotels.com gift card for $40.

Amazon has had this deal frequently recently, but is it worth it?

There are good and bad things about using Hotels.com.

Here are some pros and cons:

Pros

  • Gift cards.

The frequent sales on its gift cards from Amazon and elsewhere make it possible to get an almost endless supply of Hotels.com credit at a discount.

You can combine the balance on your hoard of Hotels.com gift cards by going here.

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-4-27-46-pm

Also, if you have gift cards from other stores, you can trade those in for Hotels.com email gift cards:

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-4-59-25-pm

  • Filtering.

Hotels.com has search filters that allow you to find hotels almost anywhere to your exact specifications.

Want a pet-friendly hotel, 3-stars or above, with free parking and Wi-Fi, in a specific neighborhood of Seattle, that costs between $190 and $200?

Hotels.com can show you all your options that meet those specifications.

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-4-36-59-pm

  • Simple rewards.

Keeping track of what points you’ve earned with each of the 8 hotel chains you’ve stayed at isn’t worth the hassle for many people.

With Hotels.com, they give you a free night for every 10 nights you stay.

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-4-40-25-pm

It doesn’t matter where you stay, because your reward night value is equal to the average price you paid for your 10 nights.

As you can see, I’m not exactly a big spender when using Hotels.com.

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-4-46-36-pm

Cons

  • No earning points.

People who like earning points, well, they like earning points.

You won’t earn any Hilton/Hyatt/IHG/SPG/Marriott points for your hotel stay if you booked it through Hotels.com.

  • No elite benefits.

If you book through Hotels.com or another 3rd-party site, most hotel chains won’t honor any elite status benefits you have with them.

This means you may have to say goodbye to those free suite upgrades, welcome gifts, free wi-fi, free breakfasts or late check outs.

Hotels.com offers some status tiers, but the benefits are pitiful.

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-5-04-45-pm

  • You must pay when booking if you want to use your Hotels.com gift card.

Some hotels allow you to cancel bookings made on Hotels.com, but many do not.

If you want to pay with your gift card, you may be locked in to that reservation with no flexibility.

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-5-10-43-pm

  • Price.

I compared a few specific chain hotels on Hotels.com with the price listed on the chain’s website, and in each case I found the same price on both sites.

Still, hotel chains sometimes try to lure customers to book directly by offering exclusive lower prices, so it’s always best to check multiple booking sources.

Here’s the Grand Hyatt Seattle on Hotels.com:

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-5-36-17-pm

And here it is for the same date on Hyatt’s site:

screen-shot-2016-12-30-at-5-36-52-pm

Please let me know if I missed any big pros or cons.

I posted yesterday about a recent promo that Uber ran with Hotels.com, and it seemed like a bit of a bait & switch.

Have a good New Year’s weekend!

2 thoughts on “The pros and cons of using Hotels.com

  1. Pingback: Was that Uber/Hotels.com promo a bait & switch? | easyjourneys

  2. Pingback: The anatomy of paying $150 for a $240 hotel using Hotels.com & Ebates | easyjourneys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s