Signed Up Free for Club1 Hotels? Save Thousands of Dollars on Airfare

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, Capital One and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).


I’ve written quite a bit about Club1 Hotels savings, they report $50 to $100 off per night on average. I’ve found the best deals at nicer properties. And they’ve been improving their website. They’re giving away a $50.00 Restaurant.com certificate with all reservations, and for every $1,500 spent they’re giving out a Priority Pass membership (both of these things can be gifted).

Many readers signed up for a year free. They’ve gone to a paid membership of $59 a month, but you can sign up for $29 a month and there’s no commitment to continue. So book when you want and cancel.

I’ve shown some of the better hotel deals offered but what’s been underreported is that they have airfare deals, too. This doesn’t get as much attention because you can’t search their airfare deals online, you have to request a quote. I’m told that their air partners don’t want to publicly reveel (and undercut their own online) pricing.

I requested some quotes as a test, and they come back really well for someone that would buy premium cabin tickets.

This Air France business class itinerary for the holidays retails for $8147. Club1 Hotels priced it at $5894

This British Airways first class itinerary retails for $10,125. Club1 Hotels priced it at $8024.

Not all itineraries will have thousands of dollars in savings. For instance, this American Airlines business class itinerary Los Angeles – Tokyo retails for $3397. Club1 Hotels quoted $2835.

Here’s the smallest savings of the itineraries queried — United Chicago – London. This itinerary retails for $3624. Club1 Hotels quoted $3484 ‘only’ a savings of $140.

So if you signed up for a free one year trial, and you’re considering a business class or first class paid ticket, it’s worth checking out the site. And go back to check pricing for hotels, too, since there’s sometimes enough savings to be really worthwhile (it’s a site worth keeping in the arsenal). Some will benefit from their new discounted paid memberships as well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Respect to you and your excellent site Gary and I enjoy learning about and trying new ventures- but (as far as hotels go) this one seems like a total bust for my purposes. New interface is much better than last one (though it still doesn’t sort right and still duplicates multiple instances of the same hotel) but, after dozens of searches for many hotels in the months since I’ve joined for free, even with all the various promos, I have yet to find one deal worth booking. The not particularly transparent and variably high “booking fee” killed any small savings I could find. I can’t imagine how anyone would pay money for access to this site and have to say I don’t understand their business model. The hotel rates are not really wholesale at all on most properties, there is a monthly fee they expect people to pay, and then there is a booking fee on top of that. I wish them well but I can’t imagine a client base for a hotel site like this. Maybe they will have more like with the premium airfare booking business. Thanks for sharing…

  2. So they are selling consolidator fares? You should probably inform your readers that these will accrue no/limited miles, regardless of your commission.

  3. Restaurant.com $50 certs can be purchased for 2-4 dollars (and it’s been years since I would even go to any of the restaurants they list in my area – they just aren’t good 🙁

  4. Was checking hotel rates in Las Vegas for next November, so in addition to the Hilton, Hyatt, and Expedia websites, thought I would try Club1. I know one search is a small sample to go off of, but I was unimpressed with Club1’s rates (either trivial or nonexistent savings), and ended up booking directly from Hyatt (where I also expect to earn full points).

    And as @estelle noted, while restaurant.com certificates are usable at some establishments, they rate pretty close to Monopoly money by the restaurants themselves.

  5. I’m with @Larry in experiencing repeated disappointment with various aspects of the Club1 site.

    I also second @FTC’s request that you make clear whether the air fares don’t qualify for mileage accrual. Even more important, Gary, whenever you post about Club1 please make it clear whether booking through them sacrifices status-related hotel program points and benefits.

    It’s fine to push such programs, but you should always make clear whether there are such hidden costs/sacrifices to make.

  6. As constructive criticism, if indeed there are some hidden gems to be had on this site with certain high end properties, maybe a better business model would be to get rid of all the fluff and just specialize in offering only luxury hotels that can be had at a true discount. Luxury Link perhaps tries to target that market, but does so without any great deals. This site has some pics and language indicating a focus on high end deals, but presents instead a confusing mishmosh. If they were to remake their site into a niche real deals site for high end travelers, maybe they would get a little traction.

  7. Gary: you’re posting about this crappy website almost as often as the Ritz Carlton Visa. At least the Ritz Visa is a good card. For Club1 you’re even highlighting restaurant.com certificates which as mentioned above are almost worthless. You sound like their salesperson at this point. Do you have a business relationship with them?

  8. @Jim R- actually I am *not* being paid to write about this website. I did receive something for people signing up [which was free to do, the free signups are over, yet the VERY TOP of this post begins “I receive compensation for many links on this blog” to make sure that folks are aware]. The purpose of this post was to make sure folks who signed up already knew about a feature that really hadn’t been covered. Niche perhaps but that will be very useful to some.

  9. @Daniel M – as I explain, I wanted folks to know about the current offerings and a feature – premium cabin airfare discounts – that hadn’t been covered elsewhere. I did benefit from free signups, but that’s over.

  10. You now disclosing that you benefit from sign ups makes sense, because there’s no way anyone in their right mind would recommend folks use this website. It’s a scam and–because you’re making money off it by trying to swindle us–yours feels like one too. You’re better than this.

  11. @To I disagree completely, there’s savings on hotels to be had and there’s savings on premium cabin tickets even if the website interface isn’t stellar.

  12. I have no issue at all with the business relationship, as Gary prominently discloses his commission based relationship right at the to of the post- unlike other bloggers who bury it somewhere else. C’mon guys wake up and get over it. This is how most blogs survive and thrive and I am fine with it. Who cares if the blogger makes a few bucks if it doesn’t cost you anything (and if you are benefiting from free content)? All I can say is I am a bit jealous that I am too lazy to do the same and create my own.

    As long as there is free discourse and open commentary- as this blog allows, I am fine with this kind of promotion of new sites through commissions. Gary pointed out some deals he thought were worthwhile. I am pointing out that for me, it’s not an attractive site, I can’t find any worthwhile deals, and I think the booking fees are improperly buried in with the taxes (and represented as minimal and less than actual taxes- which they clearly are not in all the test bookings I tried.)

    I disagree the site is a scam (if you don’t like it don’t use it) but personally would hesitate to use it not only because I can’t find useful deals– but because I generally book far in advance and I imagine with all the issues, if they stick with this concept, I don’t think they will be around in the long run.

  13. The problem with the disclosure, on this or any other similar blog, is that the reader still has no way of knowing whether the (or which) information is objective.

    So, yes, agree with the “scam feel” comments.

  14. Would like to thank you for this! I had a reservation at Vancouver Fairmont Waterfront for $220/night, refundable. At last minute I checked Club1Hotels and found Four Seasons. Advertised I believe for $136/night and even with taxes/fees my total cost was $175/night for 2 nights, over Christmas when rates are high. I’ve often heard people receive bad rooms when booking through third parties. I was given the corner room on the 28th (top) floor. The hotel is superb. Also, I had a question about my reservation and called Club1Hotels the morning of Christmas Eve, not expecting anyone to answer. Not only was the call answered, I received a call back later in the day with an answer to my question. So I highly recommend Club1Hotels but of course as with any transaction, check the total price and the terms/conditions and do you due diligence of price comparisons. Also – thank you for the Delta Status Chalkange tip. I received the status challenge in time for my trip to Jackson Hole so free checked bag! Hoping for an upgrade but happy with the free bag roundtrip!

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