Rate options is your best friend

Options! Options! Options! Most websites have so many offerings these days for the same bed for a good nights sleep. Rate options all have unique savings from bonus points to meal plans to activities or all combined in one saver rate.

Common mistakes people make are booking through an agent or a OTA ( online travel agency). Booking this way will yield no hotel brand loyalty points, no elite status recognition nor any royalty benefits or suite upgrades. You will never get a free room as quick this way. Ask your agent to sponsor you a free night and see how far that gets you.

Remember most hotel chains offer best available rate guarantee whereby if you find the rate lower anywhere else other than their respective website you may qualify to get your night for free. It makes NO sense paying money to a hotel and getting nothing back at check-out.

Another mistake is dialling into the call centre who often only provides a best available rate per night or calling the hotel directly who will quote you standard rack rates. Websites often have a pay for 2 nights and get the third night free which the 2 call agents will probably not have any knowledge of.

On a website the cheapest rate offered might also be a mistake one can make to book..

I’ve highlighted screenshots from 3 branded hotel groups showing what’s the best rate option per circumstance.

Brand 1: IHG

IHG options

IHG options.

Rates always fluctuate when booking online.

Option 2 to add a mere R5.00 for 1000 points is a absolute bargain.( Normal value is R135 for the 1000). I’ve seen some European websites charge R300.00 + for the same1000 point bonus option ( which also counts towards your elite status).

Option 3 for 10,000 points for a free night ( this is screenshot off a IHG Holiday Inn Express website) or you could get the room for R700 as you can buy 10,000 points anytime using my cash and points trick at a rate of $70 USD. 

Another important point to consider is in booking option 3, on points ( free night) many countries will not add extra taxes and service charges to you account. Read more on booking on points, save on taxes HERE

Brand 2: Hilton

Hilton rate options and view rate details.

Hilton rate options and view rate details.

Option 3 is the Summer Sale promotion most advertised but clicking the down arrow on more options and promotions Option 12 is the one I’d go for as its the cheapest and includes breakfast and double points. Double points brings free rooms into your grasp twice as fast. This can be blended and stacked upon other Hhonors promotions of double/triple points. Now free rooms are coming in 4-5 times faster than normal. It gets even better, if you are Hhonors silver, gold or diamond member you get 15%, 25% and 50% bonus points added respectively. Im sure you understand how easy it is at these levels.

If you want more info on getting Gold Hhonors faster click HERE 

Read more on a trip report showing proof of points being posted to my account HERE

 Brand 3: Fairmont

Fairmont's options.

Fairmont’s options.

Option 4. Why book 2 nights only when you can have the 3rd night free?

Hotels often partner with credit cards to have this option. Currently MasterCard and SPG have one running. Club Carlson / Radisson offers this every weekend to Gold members too.

So the cheapest option is ALWAYS the best option it seems? Not exactly..

Some exotic island destinations charge more for food than they do for accommodation. Arrive with no meal plan booked or no food stashed in your luggage and your wallet will be in for a denting that will make you cry long after.

Be prepared to fork out $100 USD per person per meal is not uncommon.

IHG rate options.

IHG rate options.


Clicking show more rates brings up this:

Rate details.

Show more rates


Rate details of option 8

Rate details of option 8

In this case you have to take the most expensive option in order to save. Otherwise be prepared to pay $600 USD for meals and drinks for a family to get by per day.

Some times booking multiple stays ( all in one trip) will get the benefits as highlighted multiple times. A prime example is a complimentary aroma therapy massage at Intercontinental, Mumbai in India. Read HERE.


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