a hotel with a pool and palm trees
Andaz Maui, a Hyatt hotel.

When someone makes a claim like “users save an average of $45 per reservation”, the classic ‘one eye raised’ emoji face happens. For emoji clarity, it’s out of disbelief, not intrigue. As consumers, we’re naturally skeptical and that’s a good thing.

That all changed with a service called Paribus. The app is doing legitimately cool things in the price drop realm, and unlike others, they’re making it super easy to actually enjoy the savings. It’s not when you book, but after that the magic kicks in. Here’s the scoop, and why it’s probably, or definitely worth a download…

a bed with pillows and a lamp in a room with glass doorsWTF Is Paribus

Paribus is a price drop tool which was purchased by Capital One and has since grown in a big way. The tool tracks your inbox for opportunities to save not when you buy, but after.

Basically, if you buy a toaster and it goes on sale the next day, it looks for opportunities to get you a partial refund as per any terms of the sale. Same goes if a package is delivered later than the date you paid for. The same goes for clothes, but most importantly it works for hotels too. The app monitors Expedia, Marriott, Hilton, Hotels.com, Booking.com and more, and also partners with Priceline.

How It Works On Hotels

For now, Paribus is in beta and only works on refundable rates – but it works really, really well. Paribus automatically crawls your inbox for hotel reservations and if it finds a better rate, through its multiple search pings per day, it sends you a link to confirm that there’s an opportunity to save on your reservation.

Here’s the cool part: rather than grind to find the rate yourself, its nifty tech does it for you when you confirm you’d like to. That’s really cool. It finds an average savings of 20%, or roughly $68 per reservation. That’s not small change. It may even be enough for a drink at a hotel bar!

a street light on a buildingThe Actual Rebooking Process

When a lower rate is found on the same site, including directly with chains such as Marriott, or with online travel agencies like Priceline, you get an email in your inbox, kind of like getting a flight price alert from Google Flights. Here’s a walk through from Paribus, as well as a look at their travel agency partners.

Rather than just tell you it’s lower and send you off on your own, it just confirms with you that the rate is the same, room type is the same and actually rebooks for you. Not only that, it processes your initial refund and everything. It even confirms the rate is valid when you open the email.

Caveats And Shortcomings

Some people are hyper sensitive about letting anything crawl their inbox. I you’re one of those people, just create an inbox for travel reservations, or forward them from your real inbox to one you make for this app. GSTP did reach out to Paribus, and heard that a ‘forward your email’ option may be in the pipeline of the near future. The other major shortcoming is that it only works on refundable rates.

Advanced purchase savings can be lower to begin with, but there are many cases where savings are small enough that it makes sense to opt for the flexibility and ability to cancel if you need to. Plus, it allows Paribus to potentially save you a bunch of money if you do. As we know, money is nice.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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