For every 10 nights you book with hotels.com, you get one night free. The average cost of your 10 nights determines how much you can spend on your award night. One advantage of hotels.com is that there are many hotels to choose from so you are not tied to one particular chain. The biggest disadvantage is that you do not earn points, stay credits or receive your status benefits with the hotel when booking with hotels.com instead of directly through the hotel.
Points High Tip: Book through a portal. I always use evreward.com to check to see which portal currently offers the highest pay out. You can learn more about the various portals and find some discount codes for signing up here.
I am slowly working towards a free night on hotels.com. Your nights don’t expire as long as you have one stay within the past 12 months. I am typically working toward a hotel promotion or prefer to earn points and enjoy my status benefits, but occasionally there are opportunities when I like to use hotels.com. We’ve used it this year for a few weddings, where we knew we needed to be at a particular hotel. I’ve found it’s usually just as cheap to book through hotels.com as it is to book the room rate through the wedding blocks. You can always call the hotel afterwards to ask to be near the others in the group, and we even had success calling the hotel directly to change our room type from what we originally booked on hotels.com .
Another great benefit of hotels.com is that it features a lot of smaller, mom-and-pop inns and hotels. This was helpful for us in Venice a few weeks ago, as we wanted an apartment where all six of us could stay together. I tried airbnb, but wasn’t able to find anything in our price range that would accept a one-night stay.
We ended up booking the A Casa Mia B&B. It was a two bedroom apartment that slept seven, for about $280 a night.There was a small kitchen and even a washing machine, but the biggest difficulty for our group was only one small bathroom. Since it was only one night it wasn’t a big deal, but would have been harder had we been there for a longer stay.
The owners were very friendly and helpful with transportation leading up to our stay. They were quick to respond to my emails and spoke good English. We were dropping off our rental car in Venice and they advised it would be best to drop it at the airport and take the water bus to the Arsenale stop and walk five minutes or so from there. The boat ride took about an hour, and we had some difficulty finding the apartment once we got off. One little phrase on the directions, “cross it,” should have read “turn right,” which confused the heck out of us, but eventually we found our way.
The owner, Piero, was very helpful. He let us check in early and gave us some time to settle in before coming back to make copies of our passports and collect payment. He also gave us several suggestions for places to eat that night.
I hate having to pay out of pocket for hotels but we weren’t willing to burn an astronomical amount of hotel points since we were in Venice for such a short period of time and figured we’d only be in the room to sleep. This apartment worked out well, and it’s always nice to be able to earn rewards, even at a B&B.