(EXPIRED) Double Hotels.com rewards on future bookings (including refundable)

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Hotels.com has today announced a potentially very interesting promotion: get double rewards on future bookings made from May 14 – 24, 2020 when you use promo code RWD2X2020. In other words, whereas you ordinarily need to collect 10 “stamps” (i.e. 10 nights) in order to earn a free night, with this promotion it would only take 5 nights to earn that same reward. This applies to bookings made between 5/14 and 5/24 for check-in dates between 6/1/20 and 8/31/21. Note that the redemption here is pretty limited at just 12,444 coupons, so I don’t expect this will last very long since it is unlimited per person.

The Deal

  • Hotels.com is offering double rewards stamps on future bookings made from May 14 – 24, 2020 (for check-in dates from 6/1/20 to 8/31/21) when you use promo code RWD2X2020
  • Direct link to this promotion

Key Terms

  • You need to make a new booking between 12:01 am MT (Mountain Time North America) on 05/14/2020 and 11:59 pm MT on 05/24/2020 on the United States version of Hotels.com® for your check-in date between 06/01/2020 and 08/31/2021.
  • Redemptions are limited to the first 12,444 coupons used.
  • Account gets credited after your stay
  • When you book and stay for 1 night at an eligible property, you ordinarily get 1 stamp, but with this promotion you’ll get 2 stamps
  • Collect 10 stamps and you’ll get 1 reward* night to redeem at any eligible property. (Note that from Nov 27, 2019, a redemption fee applies to each reward* night, unless its redeemed on the app.
  • Hotels.com works out the average value of all 10 stamps you’ve collected (before taxes and fees) and give it back to you as a reward* night. You just pay taxes and fees on your reward* night.
  • If you choose a room, apartment, or other equivalent that costs more, you pay the difference.
  • You can’t collect stamps or redeem reward* nights when you pay using a discount coupon, or if you’re making a reservation for a package vacation.
  • Stamps and reward* nights collected will expire if you have not made and completed a booking with your Hotels.com Rewards account in the previous 12 months.

Quick Thoughts

Note that I haven’t made comparison searches to check whether the coupon code has any affect on the price of hotels. You should obviously compare to be sure that you’re getting the best price on a future booking.

On that note, since Hotels.com frequently offers percentage-off coupons, this deal may not be quite as good as it looks. You’ll (presumably) be paying full price for your booking rather than using a coupon for 5-10% off. Keeping the math simple, let’s say you were looking to spend 5 nights at a hotel that costs $100 per night. If you make your booking during the eligible window here, that $500 booking would earn you a future $100 “free” night (you still pay taxes and fees). If the property you are booking for 5 nights would otherwise qualify for a coupon that takes 6% off (a number I’m using because a quick Google gave me that kind of coupon), your net cost on the $500 booking would be $470. In that very theoretical example, you’re paying $30 extra for a future $100 discount. That’s probably worth it, but it’s worth considering the full cost of the reward night nonetheless. Note also that Hotels.com added a money-grab on those reward nights: if you book your reward night via the website, you pay $5 to use your reward night, whereas you do not pay that fee if you redeem via the app.

On the other hand, many chain properties aren’t eligible for coupons and so this deal could work out well assuming your chosen property is eligible for collecting “stamps” (which appears to be the newer name for what used to be called Welcome Rewards).

I could definitely see instances where this promo could make sense and save you some money on a future booking, particularly if you are able to pay for your qualifying stay with a discounted gift card (there is a new Amex Offer out this week for Hotels.com gift cards).

Keep in mind as noted in the headline that this promotion applies to refundable bookings. As long as you pick a hotel/rate that is refundable (and pay attention to the cancellation policy), you could book speculative future travel under this promo and if plans change you cancel no harm no foul.

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