Limited-Time Free Opportunity: 5% Rebate on Discounted Hotels and More

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Sign Up: Club1 Membership With Rewards Free for a Year

Despite marketing claims by the big chains, you can often get a better price on a hotel booking through third party websites. That’s even more the case with independent hotels.

What I’ve found is that the more expensive the hotel the greater likelihood you can find a deal through a small online travel agency website. You’ll usually give up hotel loyalty points and elite status credit, but you may receive other perks. At a minimum it’s worth checking before you book.

Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica

Membership Sites Can Beat Hotel Chain Prices

One way that hotel chains can claim to offer the best rates, while being beaten by other sites, is that those sites may charge a membership fee, even if that fee can be waived. Then they usually don’t qualify for best price guarantees the chains offer.

One such site is Club1 Hotels, which often has some really great deals. I’ve highlighted in the past when they’ve run free membership offers. Now there’s something even better.

But first a couple of examples of savings.

Now you need to pay less than booking direct if you’re giving up loyalty points, but the value proposition gets even better now that they’re introducing 5% towards future bookings with every booking… and you earn that not just on hotels but your other travel, too.

Club1 Hotels New Loyalty Program Gives 5% Back Towards Future Bookings

Club1 Hotels has introduced a loyalty program that gives 5% back on all of your hotel, car rental, cruise, and activities bookings. (5 points per dollar, 1000 points = $10 discount.) They normally charge $99 to join with a rewards membership, which means you break even at $2000 spent through the site.

Points post within 48 hours of completing travel. You can use your points as partial payment towards a booking — you don’t have to wait until you have enough points to pay for the whole thing to redeem.

There are just a couple of exclusions, “points cannot be used with discounted e-gift cards or any other promotions including our Guaranteed Savings.”

I challenged their leadership on the up front fee. They offer good deals, but customers have to sign up to see them (they also offer a best rate guarantee). Convincing customers to pay up front for savings is great if it locks them in but customers need to see the savings to know they’re worth it to want to sign on.

Join Club1’s Paid Loyalty Program Free

I made the case that customers will be reluctant to try the site if they have to pay up front. People are skeptical of brands, and companies need to show value first. They came back with well if you’ll share it with your readers, we’ll offer a year’s membership free inclusive of their loyalty program offering 5% towards future bookings.

That’s actually a great deal for customers and a great deal for them. You’ll make a booking if they have the best price. Then going forward they’re going to have the best price with the kicker of the 5% head start on the cost of future trips.

Each time you book you make it more likely that the numbers will make you come back to book again. That’s exactly what you want in a loyalty program, encourage repeat business while offering a better deal to your best customers.

So they agreed to let View from the Wing readers sign up with their rewards program for free for a year. What’s more they committed that the one year membership “does not auto-renew or auto-bill.” I insisted on that, but they were completely amenable.

Since this membership site often offers great deals it’s worth signing up to be able to check their rates, to keep them in your bag of tricks. And it’s a better deal than ever before since their rewards membership usually runs $99 but they’re allowing no cost signup to that program for View from the Wing readers for a year.

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, 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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  1. I signed up with a similar promo a long time ago, and I normally see hotel rates on Club1 to be around the same as on other websites, without any savings.

    I am comparing the final total prices, with all taxes and fees included.

    I still check Club1 when I need to make a hotel reservation, but only once I booked with them, when their rate was about 10% cheaper than elsewhere.

  2. I also signed up when this ongoing offer, being promoted by just about every miles points & miles blogger (they are certainly aggressive as to affinity marketing ), and found the rates to be more or less what could be found through either booking direct and through one of the more established third party channels.

  3. I have saved thousands booking through them. And I do compare like for like. But I’ve booked the Hyatt Ziva’s exclusively and gotten big discounts on a second or third room. Since I’m Globalist I usually get the traveling companion a room upgrade…and access to the lounge where the liquor isn’t watered down.

    Yep, watering down the liquor and fake liquor is a big thing in Mexico. I think I read 40+ percent of all liquor there is fake. Even the beer on tap seems watered down

  4. I joined previously on a free membership. It’s a quality site, but I’ve noticed the savings mainly really add up only at hi-end 5 star properties and especially on suites. My wife and I stayed at the Faena in Miami in an oceanfront suite for less than 1/2 the rate of booking through the hotel directly, or Orbitz, etc. My brother saved close to $2k over 5 nights when booking a suite at the Pendry in San Diego for a conference.

    Their rates on all-inclusive properties in Mexico/Caribbean are generally very good too. Essentially, they are giving you the wholesale rate – just the same as buying a “vacation package”. Then you use points for the flights (or find wholesale fares off momondo) and you’re good to go.

    On the lower end, last summer, they saved me about $100/night on a serviced apartment in Barcelona.

    Customer service is great – if you want a hotel or rooms type not listed on their site (or serviced apartment like I needed in Barcelona) – they’ll look into it and get back to you very quickly.

    While I don’t always book with them, I certainly check their rates every time I need a hotel.

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