a pool with lights on it and a building in the background

And another trick too…

The next time you look down at your phone or computer keyboard, you’ll have to ask yourself how much each letter you type is worth. Why? Because one of the easiest ways to save on hotels is to simply type a few letters and press enter. If that sounds too simple – it almost is, but people miss out on this simple way to save, every single day. It turns out typing can open private doors, and private doors unlock the very best hotel rates. Here’s how to turn a few letters into more than a few bucks of savings, and make sure you always book the best hotel deals…

a bedroom with a bed and a chairPublic Rates

Every hotel has a lowest public rate. It’s the lowest price that anyone, like a travel booking site can legally advertise online. Basically – if you want to stay at Hotel X, and Booking Site Y has it listed for $200 and every other site does too, that’s the lowest public rate and no one is allowed to offer a lower rate…publicly. But as you may have guessed, there are almost always better rates available if you go “non public”. Fortunately for travelers, unlocking these exclusive rates hardly requires any effort at all…

a pool with umbrellas and chairs and palm treesPrivate Rates

Something as simple as entering your email address can unlock exclusive, private hotel rates. Why? Because hotels are really often willing to sell their rooms for far less, they just can’t say it publicly. By gaining your email address, a booking site or hotel brand can show you the “members only” or “private” rates. In the simplest of times, these rates can be 5-10% cheaper. In the best of times, they can represent savings up to 50% per night. Who wouldn’t want that? Top sites such as Hotels.com, Mr & Mrs SmithExpedia, Voyage Prive, and Club1Hotels are just a few booking sites which reserve the best prices, only for those who register. Club1, for example guarantees a minimum savings of $25 per night on select hotels versus other booking sites. The same goes for major chains as well. Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, Marriott, IHG and all major brands offer “member rates”. Considering you’re exchanging marketing emails for free dollars, it’s a pretty great deal.

Cash Back Sites

Even when you find a great rate, you can often take things even further, by clicking over to the booking website or hotel brand from a cash back website. This allows any traveler to save up to 12% more in actual cash back rebate, after the purchase. Yep – one click can put hundreds back in your pocket instantly. Get started with these excellent cash back sites.

a hotel room with a view of marina bay sandsBest Rate Guarantees

If you don’t happen to find an amazing private deal, and go with a publicly available rate, you can book with confidence by taking advantage of “best rate guarantees”, which bail you out if prices go down. Virtually every hotel chain offers a best rate guarantee, and they’ll refund the difference in price if you can prove they later offered a lower price for the same room publicly. Apps such as Pruvo and Service automatically track your reservations for opportunities to rebook for free at a lower price, and get you the difference in price refunded. Not bad, right? When you combine private rates and best price guarantees, the stress of hotel booking becomes a whole lot less stressful.

Have you saved on hotels using private rates?

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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  1. The irony in Ryan posting that, aaaahahaha. Thanks for the laugh(ing stock), Ryan.

    Been loving the articles, Gilbert. The little things that are often overlooked, forgotten. Thank you!! Keep it up!!

  2. I’ve always liked booking via cash back websites. Often get 10% or more. Even better when work pays for the hotel.

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