When it comes to saving money on travel, I’ve always been the go-to person for my friends and family members. While some of them collect miles, most of them just want to know how they can save on paid travel, and I think I have a new answer for them: Club1 Hotels. Club1 Hotels is a travel booking site/OTA that offers wholesale rates on hotels, airlines, car rentals, and tour packages. They are cheaper than Trivago, Expedia, and Kayak – my previous go-to travel booking OTA – and offer substantial savings over direct hotel bookings. The way they’re able to do this is by charging a $675 annual membership fee instead of getting a commission on each booking. The great news? They are offering PointChaser readers a FREE 1-year Club1 Hotels membership [EXPIRED].
In addition to a free 1-year beta membership, Club1 Hotels has offered me a $150 booking credit to give away to one lucky reader. Here are the rules and instructions on how you can enter for a chance to win:
- Sign up for a free Club1 membership (EXPIRED).
- Leave a comment in this post, letting me know at which hotel you plan on spending the $150 credit (make sure it’s a hotel listed on the Club1 website).
- The deadline for entries is October 9, 2016 at 8:30 PM (PT)/11:30 PM (ET).
- Winners will be chosen via random.org and announced on October 10 at 12:00 PM (PT).
- Please respond within 3 days or I will have to pick a new winner.
Regardless of whether you end up winning the $150 credit, Club1 Hotels offers substantial savings on travel bookings. I did a quick search for some upcoming travel and was seriously amazed by the incredible deals I found.
How to Find Travel Deals Through Club1 Hotels
Club1 Hotels has a fairly user-friendly website. All you have to do is log in and search for travel like you would with any other OTA. The nice thing about Club1 Hotels is that in addition to searching by city, you can specify a hotel name. This is useful for comparing Club1’s rates against those listed on hotel websites or other OTA’s. There’s no need to wait for a huge list of results – you can narrow it down to the hotel you want, right away.
The search results will show the total for the entire stay, minus taxes and fees. Once you select the room you want and continue to the booking page, you’ll see the total cost with taxes included.
I was recently searching for hotels during the week of the Chicago Seminars and found rates to be especially high this time around. On October 12 – 16, a standard room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago was listed as $2,108.32 on the Hyatt website ($449 per night before tax):
Meanwhile, Club1 Hotels was offering the same room for $1,412.75 with taxes included. That’s nearly $700 in saving on a four night hotel stay! If I were to keep my Club1 Hotels membership after the first year, this booking alone would off-set the $675 annual membership fee. Which brings me to the questions I know you all must be asking by now.
Can Club1 Hotels Rates Be Used for Best Rate Guarantee Claims?
Most hotel chains don’t honor lower rates unless they are accessible to the general public. Since Club1 Hotels is a members-only site that requires a log-in to search for and book hotels, their lower rates are not eligible for Best Rate Guarantee claims.
Do Club1 Hotels Reservations Earn Points and Qualify for Elite Benefits?
While saving 50% on hotel rates certainly makes foregoing elite status and points worth it, it doesn’t have to be this way. A representative informed me that the rules vary across hotel chains and individual hotels, but some of them do in fact offer points and elite benefits on reservations made through Club1 Hotels. Here’s an overview of the various hotel chains and their policies regarding reservations made through Club1 Hotels:
- At some Fairmont hotels (i.e. Fairmont Monte Carlo), members will earn stay credits from reservations made through Club1 Hotels.
- Starwood, Marriott, Hilton, IHG and Hyatt do not offer points or elite night credit.
- Starwood, Hilton, and IHG will not honor elite status benefits.
- Marriott and Hyatt will honor elite status benefits.
There may be exceptions among individual hotels, but if you’re saving a substantially on hotel bookings, then foregoing elite benefits may be worth the trade-off. I suggest you claim your free Club1 membership and see if the site can save you some money on your next hotel booking. The great thing about the free membership is that you don’t have to provide a credit card, so there’s zero chance of getting stuck with a $675 membership fee next year if you decide not to renew it.
In the meantime, be sure to leave a comment in this post as your entry for the $150 credit giveaway. Don’t forget to provide a valid e-mail address so I can reach you if you do win.
Please note, I will earn a $4 referral fee for every person who signs up for a free Club1 Hotels membership using the link in this post. Thanks for your support and good luck!