It’s safe to say that the hotel booking landscape is colossal. There are giants, there are unique approaches, and with every day there are new competitors. Meet: Wayfarer Points, the latest addition. Unlike many, the app has taken a starkly different approach to online travel booking, taking lower fees and cutting into the supply chain at a higher place in line to undercut major booking prices. The app is now live for public consumption, and at the very least, it’s worth a browse…
Almost a year ago now, I was introduced to the Wayfarer Team and unlike many app introductions, their main hope from our contact was feedback. Wayfarer Points wanted to become a scrappy upstart into hotel deals and a fantasy football type game for points nerds, and they wanted to get it right. As far as feedback went, I had a few things that most hotel booking platforms do, that I hated..
First: prices before taxes and fees.
I absolutely hate, with all the angst in the world being presented with a hotel price and then click through to find that actually – it’s the price before taxes and fees. Why?! I noted this to the Wayfarer team and much to my surprise, they actually listened.
The prices you see in the Wayfarer Points app are the prices you actually pay when it’s time to book. It’s an important thing to keep in mind when you’re browsing their prices versus Expedia, Hotels.com or any of the other players.
As someone who likes to call BS, I also struggled to understand how a scrappy upstart was actually offering lower hotel prices, when after checking myself, they legitimately were in many cases. The answer is fairly simple: they cut into the supply chain, eliminating middle players who take mark up when they sell rooms onto online travel agencies, and also just went a little less greedy with their markup than others do.
Like all things on this blog that I shout about, my only suggestion is that you take advantage of the 14 day free “premium” offer, and have a comparison of your next few hotel stays. Even the entirely free version of the app is lower than most OTA’s most of the time. We’ve got a promo code for you below either way.
You can take advantage of a free trial and discount here, or just play around with the free version.
These stays shouldn’t earn points or elite status nights, but that hasn’t been the case in every case. Basically, don’t book expecting to hit your nights with your favourite chain, but the savings may very well be worth it.
Fun For Points Nerds Too
Wayfarer Points clearly aims to become a social playground for the points and miles obsessed, in addition to travel deal hunters. The app now offers leaderboards, where you can upload your points balances and other key metrics, and compete in competitions amongst friends, or the world at large to win challenges or just have bragging rights for being points rich. You can even integrate with Award Wallet, which streamlines things rather nicely.
With the ability to create private groups and compete the way you want against friends, setting your own key metrics, this is a fun way to track your mileage goals, or hotel night goals and also have a social space to talk about it all via the group chat function. Whether this becomes a new Flyertalk lounge or not is yet to be seen.
This points functionality is nowhere near what I’m told it will be when it reaches full potential this year, so I’ll be curious to see how it moves along from these early stages onto what sounds like a cool way to earn prizes, points and other things as time progresses. Basically, I’m here for the deals, but I’ll play around in that sandbox too.
I’m happy to offer a $30 discount with a 14 day free trial in partnership with Wayfarer Points using the promo code GSTPnerd. At $69 a year, you could very easily find a great hotel deal which instantly covers the cost of the $69 annual premium membership in savings, but I’d suggest having a look around at the free version first.
If savings are lower than other OTA’s it’s still a win, and if you find that saving an extra $20-30 per night adds up, then upgrade to Premium. However you chop it up, this is an app to watch as we move into 2020, and with no pressure to pay any membership fees, there’s no reason not to check it out. Savings is savings and beating outfits like Hotels.com, Priceline, Expedia and more is no small feat.