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If you have a question that I might be able to help out with, shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll be happy to give it a shot! I may even answer it here, just as I am this question that came in. I love talking points and travel, so the more the merrier!
Hi do you know any hotel rewards/points programs for really cheap hotels that have weekly rates?
I usually stay at extended stay or something like that because I can get a week for the same as a 2 or 3 night expensive hotel. But I would really like to get a cheap weekly hotel for free using your techniques.
While I must admit that I am not the expert at extended stay hotels, I do have a few ideas for you. First, I would check with some of the hotels you frequent and see if they have any type of frequent stayer programs you could join. A quick google search of the extended stay hotels I have heard of didn’t turn up much in the way of reward programs, but you could always ask.
If it turns out that the ones you stay at do not have a frequent stayer program there are still other ways to maximize points and spend minimal dollars for your extended stays. Here a a few ideas:
1. When you pay for your stays, make sure you are paying using a credit card that earns you points. I use a Chase Rewards card that doesn’t seem to be available anymore that earns 2 points for every hotel dollar you charge. I know the Chase Sapphire offers 2x points on hotels booked through their Ultimate Rewards portal and I know AMEX Platinum and AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Cards do the same thing. Both of those come with sign-up bonuses as well, though not guaranteed to be as high as the current Sapphire bonus.
Regardless of which card you choose, keep your eyes peeled for offers that will get you 2x hotel points. I know that the Continental Presidential Plus card gives 2x miles for hotels, but the $395 annual fee makes it not worth it unless you were also in the market for President’s Club access at airports. If you can’t find a card that gives you 2x points at hotels, make sure you are at least using a card that earns one point per dollar you are charging.
2. Use a credit card sign-up bonus to help pay for your stays. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card currently offers 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points for signing up and spending $3000 on the card in the first 3 months. The annual fee is also waived for the first year. I wrote more about the Chase Sapphire a few times including a review after one month of use in this post.
50,000 points converts into $625 travel dollars to spend if you book through their Ultimate Rewards portal. A quick search in their portal for Austin, Texas turned up several extended stay options that you could book using the sign-up bonus points. That should be a quick and easy way to get some stays for free! You can also redeem their points for many other things including gift cards, paying yourself back for purchases, or to transfer into hotel and airline programs.
American Express also has a similar feature where you can use points to book hotels through their portal. They also give you a 25% increase in point value if using to book travel through their portal. For example, 10,000 points becomes $125 worth of travel dollars instead of just $100 towards gift cards or paying yourself back for other purchases.
3. Check Hotwire and Priceline to make sure you are getting the best possible rate for your cities/dates. You may be able to get an even nicer hotel for the same price. I like to use the Better Bidding website to try to decode/narrow down which hotels I might be bidding on when I use this method.
If anyone else has tips for this reader, please feel free to comment here! Especially if you know of a good low-fee credit card that gives 2x points on hotels! Thanks again for writing in and hope some of these tips are helpful!