The pros and cons of using

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

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

There are good and bad things about using

Here are some pros and cons:


  • Gift cards.

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

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


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


  • Filtering. 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? can show you all your options that meet those specifications.


  • 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, they give you a free night for every 10 nights you stay.


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



  • 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

  • No elite benefits.

If you book through 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. offers some status tiers, but the benefits are pitiful.


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

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

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


  • Price.

I compared a few specific chain hotels on 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


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


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

I posted yesterday about a recent promo that Uber ran with, 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

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

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

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