Key link: Club1Hotels beta membership ($675 value)
There are lots of different ways to book hotel stays. Personally I like to use my points to stay in hotels whenever possible, though that’s only possible depending on how many hotel stays you have. When booking a paid stay, I usually try to look around at different sites to try and find the best deal. Hotel chains are moving more and more to a model where they “guarantee” they have the best rates on their own websites, offering anything up to a free night if you find a cheaper rate on a competitor’s website
I’ve had mixed luck with Best Rate Guarantees – see 5th time’s a charm – Best Western BRG FINALLY approved!!, though certainly some chains are better than others
Booking hotels through a membership site
Club1Hotels is a different way to book hotels. Because it’s a membership site, they have access to discounted rates at some hotels. Think of them as in the same niche as a Priceline, Expedia or a travel agent. They make their money through earning a commission on the hotel rate.
But because they are a membership site, they get some of their revenue from the membership fees
Right now, Club1Hotels is offering a complimentary 1 year membership as a beta test through October 30th. As far as I can tell, this free 1 year membership gives you access to all of the hotel deals like a paid membership but just doesn’t include the Priority Pass membership (which I’m sure most of you already have access to from a credit card)
Comparing hotel rates with Club1Hotels
So let’s look through Club1Hotels to see if their rates are better than those that are publicly available. First let’s look at the Sheraton New York Times Square, which was a hotel I stayed at in New York last weekend
A room with 2 double beds is $309. Now if we look at the same dates on Club1Hotels, we find that the double room is only $273.40
Both of those prices are before taxes and charges – when you click through you’ll get a cost of $358 on Sheraton’s site and $341.75 on the Club1Hotels site, so still cheaper on Club1Hotels. I did verify that the Club1Hotels is booking into a rate that is cancellable up until the night before.
There were some dates where Club1Hotels did not have any discount over the cheapest available rate, but other dates and hotels had some huge savings.
A few caveats. By booking through Club1Hotels (or any 3rd party booking site like Priceline or Expedia), you miss out on going through a cashback or miles shopping portal, so you need to discount your cash savings by the value of your portal earnings.
Also, generally you won’t get credit for a stay or earn credit towards fulfilling a hotel promotion with a 3rd party benefit. Elite benefits are hit or miss (typically Marriott and Hyatt will honor them; other chains no). Obviously both of those issues are only issues if you’re staying at a chain hotel – at independent hotels that wouldn’t be a problem. So maybe staying at independent hotels would be a sweet spot
Giveaway – $250 hotel credit and $100 cash
Club1Hotels has offered to give $250 in hotel credit to one lucky blog winner, and I will throw in $100 in cash (a prepaid Visa gift card). To be entered in the competition, you must sign up for a free trial of Club1Hotels hotel membership, and you can earn additional entries through the Gleam competition widget below
Good luck and happy booking!