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I have a work trip to Chicago coming up soon and so I needed to book a hotel room for the night. I have loved all of my stays at the Park Hyatt Chicago, but I can’t justify the points or cost for that hotel on this short trip. So, I turned my search to other Hyatts in the area since I want to use my Diamond perks, and need to earn another stay credit toward re-qualifying for elite status. I found some fair rates at the The Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile and decided to go with that property due to cost, location, and the fact that they recently underwent a pretty massive $25 million dollar renovation.
The rate for the night when I first booked was $159.20 + taxes and fees. That seemed fair for a night in downtown Chicago, but of course I always want to do better and keep more money (or points) in my pocket. As the trip got closer I would go back to Hyatt.com periodically and check the rates again. Earlier this week I saw the property available for the same night I needed for $139.30. I quickly checked the cancellation rules on my reservation and confirmed I could still cancel without a penalty. I made a new reservation at the lower rate and cancelled the old one. I was pretty excited about saving $20 for just a few minutes of research. Fast forward a couple of more days and the same room at the same hotel was now available for $104.30, so I repeated the same process and have now saved $55 from the original booking.
I will keep checking, but would be shocked if the room price dropped below $100 per night. If I didn’t want to do the work monitoring the rate myself, I could book with tingo.com and they will automatically check and refund the difference to your credit card if they see the price for your room has dropped. I don’t personally use tingo mainly because I want to ensure that I get hotel points and status credit for my stays and that can’t be guaranteed via most third parties. They also don’t offer discounts like AAA, AARP, etc, so you may be able to get a better price elsewhere. However. I do like the auto-rebooking component that tingo offers as some people don’t have the time or patience to keep rechecking rates.
I’m good with the old-fashioned way of regularly checking the rates myself, so as a trip approaches I make sure to spend a little time checking to see if the price has dropped. In this case it had, and my 5 minutes I probably devoted to these checks in total resulted in $55 saved.
This is by no means a new or “secret” type of trick, but it is one that is tried and true and deserves a reminder every now and again. Re-checking the price can also help on stays that were originally so expensive the best option was to use points, but the price may have dropped to a level where using cash and earning points is the better approach. In fact, I have an upcoming stay at the soon-to-open Andaz Maui at Wailea where the price has been dropping to the point where it is now a toss-up whether to use points or cash since the return I am getting per point is now a bit below below 2 cents per point (my threshold for Hyatt points).
Do you re-check your reservations as the date appears? If so, I’d love to hear any tips you have learned along the way!