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There are an untold number of websites available for making your hotel reservations, and most of them claim to be the best site to use. There is no one best site to use for all stays. However, there are some sites that are worth a look when you are shopping around for the cheapest hotel rate. Often times I book directly with the hotel chain in order to maximize discounts while still earning hotel points, elite status, etc. that you won’t necessarily get by booking via most third party sites. That said, if a better significantly better rate can be found elsewhere then I am sometimes willing to give up some of those perks to save some real cash on my paid hotel stays.
Potentially Save Money on Hotels via Club1Hotels
A new site, Club1Hotels.com, has decided to take a slightly different approach than most when it comes to offering the best hotel rates. They offer you “wholesale hotel rates” that they claim are cheaper for 3.5 through 5 star hotels than the rates available on other major sites like Expedia and Kayak.
In order to offer you lower rates their business model is to charge an annual membership fee for users of the site instead of tacking on a commission to individual hotel bookings. My friend Pizza in Motion had a good analogy of comparing it to paying an annual Costco membership fee, but then taking advantage of wholesale price discounts in the store.
They value the membership at $675 per year, but right now you can access it for free for a year via beta membership that does not require a credit card of any kind. I don’t know if they will ever really charge anyone a full $675 for a membership, but I’m more than good with the price of free-for-now.
Does Club1Hotels Save Money on Hotel Bookings?
Now onto the big question of whether Club1Hotels.com really offers the lowest prices. Yes. Sometimes.
I ran a couple dozen test searches for upscale family friendly hotels I would actually stay at, and I would say half the time Club1Hotels.com offered the lowest price. Sometimes their savings was only a few dollars. Sometimes it was hundreds of dollars. A very unscientific average savings was in the 10 – 15% range on the searches I ran – and that is against the lowest price I could find with the hotel directly whether it was a Member’s Only or AAA rate. That is not against the pricier “standard” type of rate since most of us don’t book those rates anyway.
The times that Club1Hotels.com wasn’t the cheapest site it was usually because the hotel or room type I was searching for wasn’t offered via their site. There was only once or twice in my test searches that they were offering the exact same room for more money than the hotel wanted directly.
I found savings via Club1Hotels at hotels like Hyatt Lost Pines, Hyatt Ziva Cancun (all-inclusive), Andaz Wall Street, Fairmont Orchid Hawaii, Best Western Greater London, and the St. Regis Princeville.
In my test searches, the biggest discounts I came across were interestingly enough at one of my favorite spots on earth, the St. Regis Princeville on the North Shore of Kauai.
On several dates that I checked the Club1Hotels price for the St. Regis Princeville would be in the $300’s + taxes/fees while the rate from SPG would be in the $400 – $500 range + taxes/fees. When you have a multi-day stay that can add up to a pretty significant difference of several hundred dollars.
Of course factor in that there are a myriad of ways to book luxury properties like the St. Regis Princeville and similar including via the Amex FHR program where you probably won’t find a lower nightly rate, but you will get extras like daily breakfast, late checkout, potential upgrade, and a $100 property credit. As always, do the math and factor in the trade-offs for booking via the various sources. This sort of math may not be super necessary for a one night $100-ish stay, but if you are talking about multiple nights at a high end property when you aren’t going to use points it is worth the time investment to do some math to determine how to best stretch your dollars.
In some cases the savings you find via Club1Hotels will probably offset some perks you may be trading away by booking via that site, and sometimes it won’t.
Club1Hotel Search Tip
One big tip I will share when searching for hotels is that sometimes within Club1Hotels website the same hotel appears multiple times under slightly different names and at different prices. I can’t quite explain that phenomenon, but keep that in mind and of course I would select the one with the lowest price.
Since joining Club1Hotels right now is free and doesn’t require putting a credit card on file, I highly encourage you to take the chance to check it out and see if any hotels on your radar can be found for less via that site.
Win $250 Club1Hotel Hotel Credit
To encourage you to give them a try, Club1Hotels will give one Mommy Points’ reader a $250 credit to use towards a hotel booking made via their site. To enter simply leave a comment on this post sharing where you would like to use the $250 Club1Hotels credit!
- Enter up to once per calendar day through 11:59 PM CST on 10/11/2016.
- Winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries.
- Must be 18+.
- Void where prohibited.
- Prize will be provided by and delivered by Club1Hotels.
- Must respond to email informing you of winning within one week of notification or an alternate winner will be selected.
The only way to get the best overall travel deals is to be aware of and use a variety of tools and sites, and I think Club1Hotels is a good site to have in your deal hunting arsenal.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.
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